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China Visa

Today I got a 6 month, multiple entry visa for China. Susan and I left about 5AM or so and grabbed a couple of motorbike taxis to take us to the bus depot. We got there safely and the bus ride to Bangkok also went well until we got to Bangkok. The bus got stuck in traffic, so we got off and hailed a cab.

We showed the address of the Chinese embassy to the driver and he said OK, and then yelled, “GET IN!” Its the only time I’ve felt kidnapped by a cab that I’ve hailed. Our driver seemed to be in a tremendous hurry and constantly fidgeted and looked for a way around stopped cars. We got to the embassy safely but since it was not open, we walked down the street and got some photos made and filled out the forms.

The Chinese embassy is really good compared to the whole Thai Immigration office. We went in, dropped the forms, and were told to come back at 3PM. Nice. 

After that, we took the metro to the end of the line, and started walking around Chinatown. We missed the main touristy area and mainly walked around streets that resembled Guangzhou’s Haizhou square district. Must have been about 10 shops that sold scales of all things.

We stopped at a hotel and went upstairs to a restaurant that offered dimsum. It was 11:30 or so, and the sign said the place was open from 11AM onward, but the place seemed closed. The waiter saw us and came out. We asked him what time the place opened and he looked at a clock and his watch before saying “Ok,  you can come in.” It appeared that they had lost track of the time. The dim sum was generally pretty good.

We staggered out and headed back east, blundering into the main tourist street, and loads of dim sum places. Oh well.It was a long walk, but we made it to the MBK department store, where I sought out the IMAX listed in the travel guide. Unfortunately, there was no IMAX, but they did have the new Christmas Carol in 3D. I wanted to show Susan, but it was nearly time to pick up the visa. I went back to the Chinese embassy by Skytrain and underground, and the visa was picked up in just 10 minutes or so. Personally, I think the speed was excellent. We probably spent only 15 minutes total wait time for the whole process.

We took the skytrain and underground to the bus station, and then got a ride back to Pattaya. It was a long bus ride due to the fact that the driver stopped all over the place to pick up people and then of course would stop to drop them off on the way down to Pattaya. The good news was, I woke up in time to spot our street so we jumped off without having to go all the way to the bus station.

 

All in all, a successful trip.

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