Visa for India?
So we are sitting in our hotel room here in Bangkok with all our original plans scattered all over the floor. Again?
Our goal was to travel into Thailand from Siem Reap, Cambodia. So we made it that far. And from there we planned to go to Raylai, Thailand, and then up north to Chiang Mai. In between these two we planned to do a one week visa run to Myanmar (Burma). We had it all figured out.
After a rocky bus ride through Cambodia and Thailand and Bangkok we started to set all the practical stuff that had to be sorted. But as we started to look deeper we realized it wouldn’t be so easy as it looked.
To be able to enter Myanmar we have to apply for Visa in bangkok. We didn’t find any other place where visa for Myanmar could be issued but Bangkok. The embassy changes the rules frequently and without notice so the previous visa on arrival was not an option. So now we would have to wait four to five days in Bangkok to get our Myanmar visa. That ruled out going to either Raylai or Chiang Mai since we need our passports to go with us. And they would be living at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.
Ok, so let’s do what we do best. We throw our plans around and look at the problem from another perspective.
What if we go to Myanmar first and then fly in to Thailand again, then we get 30 more days unlike the two weeks you get when you cross the border by bus. So after some research we found out that it is possible to order a visa to India from Myanmar. India was thought as our next destination after Myanmar. But flying from Myanmar was cheaper than flying to India from Bangkok. But then again, the passports had to be at the Indian embassy in Myanmar instead. Same problem, different location.
If our passports were at the Indian embassy, we wouldn’t be able to travel around. Some hotels and tour agents allow no passports but it is not worth taking the chance and face not having somewhere to sleep.
And flying back to Bangkok again from Myanmar would be really expensive for us. And since we are not made out of money. Yet. We thought we would look into flying directly to India from Bangkok. And come back to Myanmar some other time.
So off to the Indian embassy in Bangkok we went.
We had our passports, we had our previous employment documentation, we had everything sorted out. We had also done some research as for what types of visas where available and what is requiered to get one.
We went up to the 22nd floor of the visa service department. Got in line with a bunch of confused looking people and we wheren’t far away from a solution. But we were wrong again.
It was our turn and we presented ourselves to the man at the counter and explained that we are applying for a 6 month, double entry visa for India. He didn’t even hesitate and said “Only three months, single entry available”.
What!? Why? how is that possible?!
But the man in the counter didn’t give in and we were left with a note of what was required for the application and a website where all this information would state the so called “three months rule”.
We know that all embassies can change rules frequently. but the rules are always posted on the websites. The Indian embassy in Bangkok and the visa in Thailand website that the man in the counter gave us all say the same thing. That it is possible to get three months, six months up to a year visa with several entries included. It even said so on the door to the visa service centre.
So why couldn’t we get one? Angry and dissapointed we left thinking we had to rearrange once again.
After some research we were empty of will and motivation. But then Sri Lanka came to our rescue. It is close to India. And from what we have heard it is a really beautiful county. And to our luck it was really cheap to fly there. And it is visa upon arrival!!
Just fill out a form online for the database at the passport control in Sri Lanka, pay the visa fee and you are good to go.
So no Myanmar, no Raylai, no Chiang Mai, no India. All that in it’s time. But next week we are flying to Sri Lanka. And honestly, we couldn’t be more excited.