Chinese visa hassle

For a long time I wasn’t even sure I’d visit China on this trip.

I could not make up my mind, but leaving it out of my itinerary seems like the trip would not be complete, after all it’s such an important country, one of the oldest civilizations on the planet.

So in the end I booked a flight into Hong Kong in October, first of all after all that I heard from my friend Will, with whom we stayed in the start in Melbourne, and who lives with his partner in a city close to Hong Kong.

The idea was to visit Hong Kong and then maybe see the boys, if they are there, as they share their time between China and Australia.

Hong Kong is easy to get into as a German citizen. But I knew I needed a visa for mainland China. However, I had not checked all the details, what was needed to get a visa. Something I clearly should have done…

It turns out, I need to apply for the visa in my country of residence, e.g. Germany. However, I’m not there during the time of my trip.

And it is not clear form the websites whether I could for example apply for a visa from within Canada or the US, and whether the stamp in my passport for those countries would suffice as a ‘Proof of legal status (applicable for those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)‘. Sucks.

It also seems I need an invitation, and hand in a detailed planned trip, places and addresses I’d visit, etc, etc. Nothing I have planned so far or intend to do within the next few days.

Heck, I only just started looking for accommodation in Mexico City. How do I know what, when and where I’ll be in China…??

I’ll need to get in touch with Will, maybe he has some advice. Maybe this will work from Hong Kong, once I am there, and can be arranged…? I have no idea.

I know I could and should have looked into this earlier. However, on the other side, I somehow can’t be bothered…. Do I need to visit a country that wants all that info from me beforehand? What I enjoy on this trip is the relative freedom I have to go around and do what I please, without too much planning.

Ok, I would have to book rooms in Hong Kong some time soon, and then decide where else I’d like to go, as I can’t afford last minute bookings… But all that paper work seems just too much of a a hassle right now.

So, maybe, in the end, all I do there is to be and visit Hong Kong for three weeks. It would not be a drama at all, just something that played out this way. And I am sure there’s enough to see, watch, experience and eat during three weeks in Hong Kong.