Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kuala Lumpur - A Visa for China

Petronas Towers light up the Kuala Lumpur skyline
I arrived in Kuala Lumpur with one thing I had to do...I needed to get a China visa. As I started reading the application form I realized I needed to do more planning than normal. I had to provide copies of my flights and hotel rooms for each night I would be in China. Ugh! I have to decide when I wanted to go, what cities to visit and book hotels. I decided to get everything planned in the next 36 hours so I would be at the Chinese Visa Application Center on Monday morning at 9:00 AM. My first stop was a book store for a China travel book. I knew I wanted to go to Beijing and Xian. Amy (a friend from Myanmar) suggested I fly to Chengdu or Kunming and travel towards Beijing. I decided to take her advice. I planned my trip and bought a ticket to Kunming for July 24 and leaving Beijing on August 20. Then I booked hotels. I now had a travel itinerary and could complete my application. All of this took hours and research to plan. I was exhausted when I finally went to bed at 2:00 AM!

The Kuala Lumpur service center was efficient. I arrived at 8:50 am and was at the counter at 9:15am. It would have been fast if I had everything needed. I got sent to the copier room for a second copy of my passport, got back in line and sent back for a copy of my Malaysia visa stamp, back in line and was told my hotel reservations list was insufficient because it did not have my full name on it. Ugh! I pulled up a copy of an email confirmation and asked if it would work. I was told yes which was opposite the information I had found online. Oh well. I was told to go to a local computer shop and print the information and return before 3 PM. I found the Internet store but it was not opening until 11:00. I decided to have tea and relax. I finally got it all printed and was back at the counter at 11:20. 

I turned in my paperwork and was told I would have an interview Tuesday morning at 10:00AM and if all went well I would get my visa on Thursday.

My interview Tuesday morning was quick. I arrived at 9:50 AM and was on my way home by 9:54AM. Not bad for a 10:00Am appointment! I am not sure why they conduct an interview. I was asked questions that were on my application: Purpose of travel? Are you going alone? Wow! Do you have friends in China? What cities will you be visiting? Do you have confirmation of hotels and flights? Any questions? They only concern I had was if my unemployed job status required proof of funds. I had read online that you had to provide a financial statement. I was told that was not required but the woman returned my bank statement. I was instructed to return on Thursday to collect my passport and pay the fee, $164. 

I visited a few tourist sites but spent my time relaxing and enjoying the city. I visited the Kings Palace, Petronas Towers, KLCC, Chinatown and tea tasting. 

Tea tasting in Kuala Lumpur
I also decided where to go before my trip to China. I did not have time to see everything before I left for China. I decided to go to Borneo before China. Afterwards I will go to Bali and Gilli Islands in Indonesia for 2 weeks. Then, on to Eastern Europe. 

On Thursday morning, I returned to pick-up my passport. I was the 6th person in line and was in and out in 5 minutes. I got my visa! Yippee! I returned to the hotel, grabbed my backpack and headed to the airport for my flight to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo! I was Borneo bound! 

No comments:

Post a Comment