I am flying into Bangkok in February to travel around Southeast Asia for two months. We are then going to Europe for two months immediately following.
Our plan was to circle SE Asia, and fly out of Bangkok to Beijing to board the Transiberian Railway via Mongolia to Moscow. We could then fly into Oslo and start our Europe trip there, this is a cheap flight.
I have a few questions....
Is there anywhere we could get our China, Russia, and Vietnam visas all at once during the month of January?
Is there another route to Europe we should be thinking about? This seemed the most cost/time effective while seeing the most... We need to be back in June.
Any thoughts or comments would be most appreciated!
There are professional visa services which will do the leg work of applying for/collecting visas for you - and I imagine it would cost you plenty. China has been giving people a hard time, recently, over visa issues, but I imagine by now all of these countries are hungry for Western $ and this might make it easier. If China should refuse your application, you could simply fly into Far Eastern Russia instead of China to board the train. If you are arriving by air in Vietnam, for instance, the procedure for getting that visa is somewhat simplified by using the e-visa Approval Letter instead (pre-approval), and getting the visa hard copy upon arrival. Good luck with China!
Phnom Penh in Cambodia is probably (as of 2006, anyway, and I haven't heard anything to the contrary since) the easiest place in the world to get a Russian visa, though it takes (like everywhere else) a few days. But be aware of the visa regulations/requirements.
Vietnamese visas are easy to get in Bangkok and anywhere else in the region, through local travel agencies. The dollar or so fee they charge is definitely worth it compared to the hassle of queuing yourself and cost of getting to/from the embassy. Obviously in towns which don't have a consulate, it will take longer.
China used to be easy across the region, but in 2008 they tightened regulations dramatically, allegedly due to the Olympics, and haven't really loosened them since. So it can be much harder these days (shorter visa legnths, pre booked accom etc required). I don't have any personal experience since these changes occurred, so can't offer anything else, except to mimic Maawgon in saying good luck with China. (((this may well be much easier if you already have your train ticket. But Getting your ticket could be tricky, as you will almost certainly have to pick it up in Beijing...))
Thank you both very much for the info.
We'll have to go with the Russian Tourist Visa instead of the Transit Visa because we likely won't be able to book our train ticket until we get to Vietnam or so..
I think we may get the China visa out of the way before departure, and take care of the others in Cambodia. This sounds like the smoothest way to go.
So I have a dillema! I am a UK citizen, currently in New Zealand. I plan to travel overland from Thailand via Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam to Beijing, China. From there I plan to travel on the Trans Mongolian to Moscow.
The trouble is that i leave New Zealand on a date greater than 90 days before I plan to arrive in Russia, therefore I can not get a visa here in New Zealand unless I change my arrival in Russia to an earlier date.
I can get one in New Zealand as I have a working holiday visa. Otherwise however, I have read that you can only apply for a Russian visa in the country of your own citizenship.
Does anyone know if this is true? Am I able to apply for a visa in any of the countries that I plan to visit before Russia?