I need your help guys!
It's my first time doing this trip alone and I'm going to be by myself 2/3 of the time. I did two trips alone before (Vancouver and Morocco) but I always had someone waiting for me at the destination I'm going. The trip I'll be making next spring 2010 will be solo. I'm planning to leave Canada in mid-May to Japan for two weeks, China for two months (to learn Mandarin in Shanghai and Beijing), visit relatives in Xiamen and Hong Kong... Maybe go to Vietnam to visit my dad's parents side hometown for the rest of the trip. I'm planning to visit Nanking for a day or two to visit around before going to Shanghai or while I'm there. My budget will be $10 000 Canadian dollars and I'm 20 years old female.
For Japan, I feel like doing everything but I only have two weeks there so I want to get the most out of my stay there. I am confused at where I want to go and I am planning to get a lonely planet book in the next week or so but I want suggestions first.
- Tokyo 5 days: This will be my first stop.I want to look around and possibly shop around a bit. For shopping, is there any places you guys can suggest where they sell feminin or cute dresses and everyday clothes so I can wear them to University? Clothes that people my age wear. I'm planning to spend a day shopping and the four other days visiting around.
- Mt. Fuji 1 day or 2 days? I heard it's only open to climb in July and August. I could enjoy a hot spring there. Should I stay for a day or two? Any suggestions on what to do other than hot spring? I'm open to anything.
And the rest of the days, I don't really know what I want to do. I want to see more of the cultural side of Japan like temples, geishas, nature and possible stop by the agricultural side of Japan. In general, I want to know the way Japanese live. Since I only have about 7 or 8 days, I want to concentrate on the central part of Japan and visit a few places. There's a chance I'll be back there after next year.
Also, is mid-May still a good time to see the flowers bloom? I really want to see them... If they still have them at this time of the year, any places where I can see them?
I'm going to be taking a ferry from Japan to China once my stay there is over, any suggestions on where to take the ferry to Beijing or Shanghai?
How much should I be expecting to pay for all this? I'm planning to stay in a hostel, buy groceries, buy food at 7/11 and try out places that are relatively inexpensive (eating local). Shopping will probably be $600-$1000 (clothes and other things such as souvenirs, I'm not expecting to spend THAT much but just in case).
I'll talk about the rest later... Japan is on my mind at the moment.
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Oct-2009, at 18:04 by T_I_N_A20 ]
Sounds cool, but...
A Chinese tourist visa is only 30 days. So you'll have to use the extra month you have somewhere else.
I'd suggest checking out Thailand for that time, or perhaps a couple weeks in Laos, Vietnam or the Phillipines.
Hey, you wanna learn mandarin? that's really cool. I don't know if you have got a Chinese teacher or some classes, mandarin is really hard but very interesting. I think while you're in China, living in a homestay family would be a very nice way to learn mandarin. -snip-
I went to Oz last year and lived in a homestay family in Brisbane for about one month, that's really a good way to improve my English and to make some friends. I do think you could have a try~~~~~
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[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please.Link to Forum Rules added. ]
Vietnam Visa - Things you should know
Most visitors still need to apply for a Vietnamese visa in advance to enter the country. Vietnamese visa is inexpensive in comparision to any other countries' visa fees ranging from US$45 - 85 if application is sent directly to the Embassy or US$25-55 if your visa has been pre-approved. A fairly convenient visa on arrival process has recently been introduced, but this requires a pre-arranged application to Hanoi Immigration Department and is generally helpful to nationals of countries without Vietnamese embassies.
Read who need visa for the visa exemption information.
Who need Visa to Vietnam?
Only citizens of certain countries can visit Vietnam without an entry visa (valid for visit within 30 days). Those countries include: most Asean countries, Korea, Japan & Scandinavians (2005). All other citizens are required to get an entry visa before departure (visa issued prior to departure by Vietnamese consulates or embassies) or a pre-approved entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam’s International Airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam.
VISA EXEMPTION INFORMATION
- No visa required for travel less than 30 days: Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.
- No visa required for travel less than 15 days: Citizens of Japan and South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland.
- No visa required for travel less than 90 days or several visits within 6 months: Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports
- No visa required for travel less than 60 days: Citizens of [updating] holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
- No visa required for travel less than 60 days: APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies
- Special Phu Quoc Exception: Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be exempt from visa application. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot.
- No visa required for Japanese citizens who hold valid diplomatic or official passports
When entering Vietnam to implement diplomatic or Government’s official tasks without concerning about the time of stay. For those who entering Vietnam not for the diplomatic tasks but hold valid diplomatic or official passports can be exempted from entry visa and permitted to stay within 90 days.using an international or local mobile phone.
The cheapest way to make international phone calls is at any of the various Internet cafes around Vietnam, although the quality varies. Two options to save money when calling from a land line (for example, in your hotel) are to either dial 171 or 178 (and then 00) before the country code or to buy a prepaid 1719 phone cards from the post office (prices between 30,000 VND to 500,000 VND).
Overseas Vietnamese visa exemption begins next month
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has given the nod to a new regulation allowing overseas Vietnamese and their families to enter Vietnam without visas as of September 1, and the visa exemption decision meets overseas Vietnamese aspirations..
However, overseas Vietnamese and their spouse and children must still obtain a visa exemption certificate, which allows multiple entries and a stay of up to three months at a time.
The certificate will be valid five years.
To obtain the certificates, overseas Vietnamese are required to submit one of the three following documents at an official representative office in their country of residence:
• a document (such as a birth certificate) from a Vietnamese agency that proves they are ethnically Vietnamese;
• a guarantee by an overseas Vietnamese association based in the country in which they reside or by a Vietnamese citizen; or
• a document from an authorized foreign agency certifying that they are ethnically Vietnamese.
Husbands, wives and children of Vietnamese people living abroad will also need to submit documents that prove their relationship to the Vietnamese member of their immediate family.
Expecting a rush on representative offices abroad, the government’s Committee for Overseas Vietnamese has sent 200,000 visa exemption certificates to Vietnamese embassies overseas.
The move to exempt visas for overseas Vietnamese was announced by President Nguyen Minh Triet during his visit to the US in June.
According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, there are currently close to three million overseas Vietnamese, most of whom have settled in the US, France, Australia and Canada. Around 500,000 overseas Vietnamese visit Vietnam each year.
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