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Solo travelling in China and Asia

Travel Forums Asia Solo travelling in China and Asia

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1. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

Help. I am planning a trip in October of uncertain length to see as much of Asia as I can (and perhaps convince people that all us Yanks arent from Texas). I think I will fly into Beijing and travel around China. Will it be easy for me to get a visa or will they be skeptical of a solo traveller? Will I need to have a set itinerary?

After that, I figure I will wander south overland into Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia with the intention of getting into India. I dont want to go through Myanmar do I? (with their govermental issues and all), and I hear that the Indian-Chinese border is closed. Anyone know a cheap way into India from that part of the world? Will I have to fly?

Any other pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Dave

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Hi Daver141,

It's very easy to get a Chinese visa. All you have to do is mention a few places you may go like : Shanghai, Xian, & Beijing. I always got mine just by mailing it the the Embassy in NY along with the app., passport, and check.

Burma is a wonderful & safe destination, I've been there 3 times. You can't enter or exit by land, so it wouldn't get you towards India, but I'd look into it as a destination in it's own right.

The only real way to get to India form China would be to go thru Tibet & Nepal. And then you need to get a special permit to go to Tibet, and Nepal is not that safe right now.

China to Vietnam by land is easy enough. I did the other way around. Northern Vietnam is lovely and the hilltribes around Sapa are very interesting.

You could probably fly form bangkok to Calcutta for under $200 on Indian air.

3. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

Sweet. Thanks for the info.

4. Posted by Data1000 (Full Member 29 posts) 11y

I just returned yesterday from visiting China and Vietnam for 30 days. Reguarding the Chinese visa, you can't send the application to the Chinese consulate anymore. They stopped receiving applications by mail about 1 1/2 years ago. You will need to use a visa service. The one I use is Unipac. It is very simple.

Going from China to Vietnam isn't too bad, but coming back into Chinese was rather grueling. The line was extremely long and slow and the room was extremely crowded and hot. If I visit Vietnam again from China, I'll definately cough up the money and fly.

5. Posted by Daver141 (Respected Member 117 posts) 11y

OK well in light of that last post, how easy/difficult is it to buy one way air tickets while on the road?

6. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting Data1000

I just returned yesterday from visiting China and Vietnam for 30 days. Reguarding the Chinese visa, you can't send the application to the Chinese consulate anymore. They stopped receiving applications by mail about 1 1/2 years ago. You will need to use a visa service. The one I use is Unipac. It is very simple.

Going from China to Vietnam isn't too bad, but coming back into Chinese was rather grueling. The line was extremely long and slow and the room was extremely crowded and hot. If I visit Vietnam again from China, I'll definately cough up the money and fly.

Wow, that's a bummer that you can't get the Chinese visa directly form them, by mail, anymore. I used to be so easy. Sounds like now you've gotta waste an extra $30-$40 dollars.

I wonder where you crossed form Vietnam into China. I crossed into Hekou, China and there was no line. Just showed passport, etc., walked across bridge, and did the same in China. It was quick & easy when I did it.

7. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting Daver141

OK well in light of that last post, how easy/difficult is it to buy one way air tickets while on the road?

The problem is, if you were seeing say North Vietnam, you'd have to back track to Hanoi to get a flight. And if you flew into Vietnam form China, you'd have to go up north to sapa (near the chinese border) and then turn back around and head beack south.

So you need to evaulate the whole process.

8. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting Data1000

I just returned yesterday from visiting China and Vietnam for 30 days.

Hey Data,

Where in China and Vietnam did you visit?

9. Posted by wtanaka (Budding Member 44 posts) 11y

To answer your question, yes it's generally pretty easy to buy flight tickets on the road.

10. Posted by Data1000 (Full Member 29 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

Hey Data,

Where in China and Vietnam did you visit?

After arriving in Shanghai, I flew to Shenzhen to visit a friend. From Shenzhen, I travelled by train to Guangzhou-Nanning-Vietam-Nanning-Kunming. Then flew to Lijiang. Then bus to Zhongdian (Shangrila). Then flew to Kunming and Chengdu. Bus to JiuZhaiGou and flew back to Chengdu. Then to Jiangsu province (Nanjing and Wuxi) and finally back to Shanghai for a couple of days.

Someone also asked where I entered China from Vietnam. I entered at Friendship Pass which is near the small Chinese city of Pingxiang (three hours south of Nanning).

[ Edit: Fixed quote ]