Saturday, 19 September 2015

Visas. They're everywhere you want to go.

I did it! 
After almost 3 month of uninterrupted  stay in Vancouver,  I finally booked a flight.
And what a flight it's going to be (hint: it's a 13 hour flight). 
But it isn't going to my final destination. There isn't one on this trip.
Like on the bike trips through Europe, it's the journey that's going to count.
Hong Kong is to serve as a jumping point and easing-in point to parts of Asia where they hopefully won't speak my language and I won't speak theirs.
Ha long Bay, Vietnam (not my pic)

I have learned from my visa debacle of 2 years ago.  When trying to check in for my flight to Hanoi at Hong Kong airport, the stewardess at the check-in counter asked me for my Visa for Vietnam.  All she got from me was a dumbfounded look.  I had booked the ticket and the hotel room in the 'penthouse' of a junk boat cruising Ha-Long Bay, but I hadn't thought that I might need a visa to enter Vietnam.  Regrettable, but  the subsequent 2 weeks in Hong Kong in 2013 weren't bad either ;-) 
Arriving at Hong Kong airport this time will be difficult.  It is the last place that I saw George alive. In every area of the Departures terminal I will remember that day 1.5 years ago and I don't think I will be able to go to he restaurant where we ate our last meal together.

Bali,  Indonesia (not my pic)
In visa matters, I decided to check ahead this time.  And good thing I did.  It looks like I would need visa to enter the Philippines AND Indonesia. So maybe Good Bye Bali & Manila and Hello Ha-long Bay and Angkor Wat? But no, I need visas for both those countries as well.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia (not my pic)

So the next two weeks will be spent trying to get a visa for every one of the above countries.  What happens if I get all 4 visas in time?  Then I might as well visit all 4 countries ;-)  One-way plane tickets between most of these places are only as much as CDN$ 200-300.

Manila,  Philippines (not my pic)
But then there  are other countries  for  which  I don't need visas!  Hong Kong of course, otherwise my first exploration of Asia would have been very short  in 2012 because it would have ended at Vancouver airport. 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (not my pic)

Add to that the gambling and clothes-buying village of Macao. And then there are Malaysia and Singapore!  Where to go?  Or better: Where NOT to go?

Only ~350 km from Kuala Lumpur: Singapore (not my pic)
Unfortunately I already have to  reasons not to visit Bali.  A friend advised me that it is flooded by Australian tourists and that seems to be confirmed by the fact that the #1 tourist thing to do in Bali according to TripAdvisor is visiting a water-slide park

Update: As of July 1, 2015, holders of a German passport no longer need a visa to visit Vietnam ;-)

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