Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting it Right: Chinese Visa Revisited

I got it right this time, since I had to pick up my passport with its new double-entry China visa.

How to Get a Chinese Visa in Bangkok from Khao San Road:

-Walk to Wat Sukhat khlong (canal) water taxi. On-board, buy a ticket for "Asoke/Petchaburi."
-When everyone else switches boats at Pratunam, switch with them.
-Disembark at the pier that has the sign that says "ASOKEPETCHABURI."
-Walk down the alley (it's the only option for leaving the pier) to the metro.
-Take the metro one stop to Phra Rama 9.
-Go up escalator. Take U-turn at top and walk to Soi 3, alongside Fortune City Mall, passing Tesco Lotus at the end of the mall.
-Left at first corner, about 400 meters. There is a sign here—Soi 3, like on the photo below.
-Go in first building on left, the one with silver pillars. Go to the second floor. Be there well before 11:30 a.m.
-After you do all the paperwork and apply, they'll give you a receipt and a pickup time a few days later.

That's what I was here for now. My appointment to pick up my passport.

This went smoothly, and I then went back to the metro. But instead of going to Banglamphu, I headed downtown to the Indian visa processing center. I'd made an appointment online and wanted to save myself repeated trips downtown.

A security guard forced me to turn off my phone before I entered ("No photos!") and they wouldn't let me read my Kindle. So I stared at other people.

Huh. One of the monks in the waiting room was hot. I wondered briefly if such thoughts would send me to Hell. Do Buddhists even have Hell?

I was given a receipt and told to return on July 13th after my paperwork went in.

Back outside, I turned on my phone and checked my email.

"Marie, we have a night bicycle tour running tonight. Do you wish to join?"

I'd been trying to get a night bike tour all month but the only times other people had signed up, the monsoon season had washed us out.

Hell yeah, I wanted to go on the nighttime bike tour tonight.

I hurried back to Banglamphu to drop off my passport and change into the closest thing I had to cycling gear.

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