Folkestone, United Kingdom
Have been looking into the visa situation for Goa and the cruise. We know we need a visa for Goa and for the cruise we need a visa for China but not for Hong Kong. Timing is a bit tight. Rather tighter than is comfortable to be honest. For the Indian visa we will have to go and get it almost as soon as we get back from Cyprus in mid November. We’ve downloaded all the forms today and spent hours filling them in. They are hideously bureaucratic and complicated. In the past I’ve used a visa service to get them but we are trying to economise wherever we can so we’re doing them ourselves this time. Need to make an appointment to go to the Indian visa office in Paddington to hand the forms and our passports in.. They will courier them back to us about a week later. Quite expensive. The visas are about £100 each.
The Chinese visas are more complicated because they are for 3 months starting on the day they issue them and you cant order them for a “starting date”. Now we will arrive in Beijing on 21st March and leave on 22nd March so we cannot get our visas before December 21st. And we need them back by January 10th when we leave for Goa. This would normally be ok but Xmas and New Year are in the way so we will probably have to use a visa service to speed the process through. They’re about £150 each if we do this. Quite an expensive undertaking. We have spoken to one visa service and they say if we get the paperwork and passports to them by the 18th December we will have them back early in the New Year. Phew. It’s going to be a bit of a tense business I can see that. And also they need 4 blank pages in the passport. I have exactly 4 blank pages so I’m going to have to be very careful in Cyprus this autumn that they don’t stamp my passport on a blank page. That would be a Dis-ARS-TA!