A forum for meeting other BootsnAll members on the road, finding travel partners and splitting the costs of a road trip. Also a place to search for long-lost road friends.

Chiang Mai right now

tommarvelle

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 6
Joined: October 3rd, 2006

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: October 4th, 2006
Hi

I'm in Chiang Mai at the mo and am heading off an a hill trek 'til the 10th. Then I'm off to Laos and Cambodia (Vietnam's off bounds at present, because of the temporary visa restrictions for October and November - you probably won't get in even if you have a tourist Visa, by the way).

Anyone up for the Laos / Cambodia loop from 10th or 11th? Gonna spend a couple of weeks doing it, so not masses of time, but enough to see the good bits. I'm also a fan of getting off the beaten track, so if anyone's up for it, let me know.

Email: mitsycar@hotmail.co.uk
M/28/UK (straight!)

or send me a PM.

Tim

Keppie

User avatar
Squat Toilet Professional
 
Posts: 879
Joined: March 4th, 2005

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 4th, 2006
Why does Vietnam have temporary visa restrictions?
------------------------------------------
"He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch."
-Jean Luc Godard

gonorth

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: April 23rd, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 4th, 2006
I'd say at a guess Keppie, that it would be related to severity of Typhoon Damage in that either the government is looking to restrict travellers getting in that generally travel N-S or S-N and other than having transport/accommodation themselves could just add to demand on services,
Or
That tommmarvelle has looked at getting across from Lao Bao and found that there could just be difficulty in getting through because of conditions.

Seen nothing on official restrictions but reports indicate heavy damage and considerable loss of life.
---...--- ---...--- ---...--- ---...---
Joes portly antipodean pal
He just wants my port and cherry ripes

tommarvelle

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 6
Joined: October 3rd, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 5th, 2006
Yo

You can still get into 'nam, but you must have a C1 Visa. Where travellers are concerned, they more than often give you a D1 these days - they tend to save C1's for business travel and stuff, but apparently you can still get them up-front if you're prepared to wait longer than usual (that's what they told me at the Vietnam Embassy in Kuala Lumpur the other day).

It's a bummer if you're already out here, like me. They're like rocking horse shit if you want them within a week.

Here's the quote from the Foreign Office:

"From 15 October - 25 November 2006, category D visas, which are issued to visitors who have no sponsorship for their visit, will not be issued. Holders of this type of visa will not be granted entry during this period. You should check your visa carefully before travelling to Vietnam and arrange appropriate sponsorship from your business partners, friends or travel agent if necessary".

Here's the link (look at the second-to-last paragraph in bold in the summary section at the top):

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket...ce&aid=1013618386595

The statement is not particularly clear either, because I asked whether I could still gain access to Vietnam during the duration of the temporary restriction if I'd already been issued with a C1, but they said no. So not only are they not issuing them from Oct 15th, they're also seemingly not letting you in even if you have one.

From what I can gather, the restriction is politically motivated and nothing to do with the severe weather they've been experiencing. I may be completely wrong, but I heard from elsewhere that they'yre expecting some 'sensitive' political guests in the country during this period, so I think they just want to exercise a bit more border control as a precaution.

My pal went last month and we looked at his passport - his was a D1 and he got that one up-front in the UK, so just goes to say it may well affect a few folks.

Tata

gonorth

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: April 23rd, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 5th, 2006
Yeah, strange that, and also mentioned on Oz Gov site Smart traveller
But no explanation
There's an APEC Tourism ministerial meeting scheduled for Oct 11 -19 and could it be that there'll be a heap of people travelling the country thereafter and they are just looking to have less independent travellers around because of that.

If so, you would hardly have the government admitting so I s'pose.
---...--- ---...--- ---...--- ---...---
Joes portly antipodean pal
He just wants my port and cherry ripes

tommarvelle

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 6
Joined: October 3rd, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 15th, 2006
Yo

In Luan Prabang now. It seems the strife about visas is a bit misleading, because most of the agents out here will issue C1 visas if you ask. Despite lengthy waits in your country of residence, they knock them out in a day over here. All for $45. Don't pay any more than that,and make sure you ask for a C1.

No problems.

gonorth

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: April 23rd, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 15th, 2006
Off Topic slightly Tom, but how have you found getting about up in Northern Thailand and Laos in respect to reported flooding.

A few people have been asking on that and maybe you could give an update from what you have experienced this past week as it is difficult to get good up to date info.

Been quite a few reports on what situation is/expected to develop closer to Bangkok, and reference to a lot of people attending hospitals but limited from up north and particularly away from cities for trekking.

If you have time, there's a couple of threads in Asia section, where sure people would also be interested in anything you know of any increase in health/sanitation problems because of flooding and probably also worth posting there re the visa situation.

Hope your travels continue well.
---...--- ---...--- ---...--- ---...---
Joes portly antipodean pal
He just wants my port and cherry ripes

tommarvelle

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 6
Joined: October 3rd, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 18th, 2006
Yo

I don't have much time, so I'll post here and maybe re-distribute to other threads later...

I've been in north Thailand and all through Laos for the last 3 or so weeks. The truth is that I've seen 2 or maybe 3 average storms. There's evidence of the flooding, especially in north Thailand, to the West of Chiang Mai and my friends encountered some problems out there, but they seemed to think it was an improving picture. We had rain in Chiang Khong on the border with Laos (North Thailand), but the worst had passed before me and, again, it was pretty much fine.

I would give a word of caution to those folks thinking of taking the slow boat from Chiang Khong (Houay Xai) down to Luang Prabang at the moment... it's certainly do-able, but think twice if you're not too hot on boat journeys. The Mekhong river is in high flood and the journey is a lot more dangerous than usual. It's not really the placid, laid back ride it normally is, but the guys in charge seem to know what they are doing. We ran aground a few times, but other than that we made it through. Lots of the river is passable, but there are some spots (that the drivers know well) where the swell is very hard to negotiate.

Laos has been fine. I've been here for a week and made a fairly quick passage down to Vientiane from the top. I saw one storm whilst I was tubing in Vang Vien, but I was happily drunk and it passed in under half an hour. In fact, the weather here is very hot at the moment and I've seen strong sunshine most places I've been to. I know there's more rain in Thailand at present - and it's heading this way, seemingly - but it's surely the last blast this wet season. Dry season takes hold here soon, and although it's 'winter', temperatures rarely fall below 25 during the day (According to a tribe leader I spoke to), but up in the hills it can get as low as 6 or 7 at night - so take that sleeping bag if you're trekking!

I trekked for 3 days in north Thailand - about 3 hours north of Chiang Mai - and saw no rain the whole time, but the ground was wet from the week before. Other folks we spoke to had full days of rain, and they were only on the other side of the mountain!

Fact is, life is going on for travellers out here. Treks are still running around Chiang Mai for definite, although you may have to wait a day or 2 for treks to fill up, because numbers are low as people are put off by the weather and, yes, the coup. North West seems to be a different story, with the floods putting a temporary halt to a lot of the outdoor activities, but it will start to ease over the next week or so, apparently. There seems to be one last blast of wet season to come, so maybe it's best to not head too far north in Thailand just yet...?

My 2 months so far out here couldn't have been better. 90% fantastic weather (despite the constant pessimistic warnings from other folks) and the few storms I have seen have been awesome!

Wet seasons aren't all wet! Yes, there's the prolonged spells of rain like those affecting Thailand in the last month, but other than that, it's generally sunshine and showers - but mostly sunshine. You're really unlucky if you get more than 4 days of constant rain. Obviously, it's more bearable down south on the islands as the north tends to stay waterlogged for a while after the storms.

Anyways, Visa-wise for Vietnam, all seems good. The Travel Agencies know what's going on now and $45 will get you the C1, one month Visa you need. You can get them in as little as a day from most agencies in Thailand and Laos (I know, because all of my travelling mates have been doing it in the various places we've been through). Don't pay more! MAke sure you ask for the C1 visa too.

Bye for now.

gonorth

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3686
Joined: April 23rd, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 18th, 2006
Thanks Tom, I'll cut and paste to Asian branch thread
---...--- ---...--- ---...--- ---...---
Joes portly antipodean pal
He just wants my port and cherry ripes



Return to Travel Buddies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
18
Newest Member:
1stworldview


Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers


Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2014 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.