Forums > Travel Yunnan > Are turnaround visa runs possible at the China-Vietnam border in Hekou?
Vietnam issues VOA for nationals of some countries, but not many...they include Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Singapore (30 days) and all other ASEAN nationals with the exception of Myanmar for periods ranging from 14-30 days. Scandinavians and South Korean and Japanese citizens get 15 days. Everyone else needs a visa in advance, including Chinese citizens. I travelled through that crossing with a Norwegian friend recently and he didn't have a Vietnamese visa because he didn't need one. The Chinese border guards were well aware of that rule (even more aware than the Vietnamese border guard, who needed a supervisor to confirm that a visa was indeed not required!) For Laos, Swiss citizens can cross for 15 days without a visa, ASEAN nationals (except Myanmar) get 30 days.
Forums > Living in Kunming > Is Kundu safe?
The guy that died yesterday was probably Chinese from what I heard. The Thai guy who was stabbed last year apparently died from his injuries...
I've also heard of a Lao guy who would always pick fights at Kundu and elsewhere and get himself into trouble nearly everywhere he went...he was on a student visa and in fact got deported after a serious incident at his dormitory.
It's hard to say because each situation is different, but it seems that foreigners in these situations are often getting themselves into trouble by not being careful enough, given they're in a foreign country, different culture etc. they really should be extra careful. Also, like everyone else has said...just be careful, don't do anything stupid and definately don't pick a fight.
Forums > Travel Yunnan > nearest Yunnan-Laos border crossing to Kunming?
It's Boten, which may be near the place you mentioned, but i also heard another one in Phongsali may be opening sometime soon, but probably isn't open (to those using passports, including foreigners) yet. I'm guessing it's only for locals using day passes and probably is quite isolated. Once it does open, it would be much closer to Kunming, but on the other hand, wouldn't cut travel times down much since roads in Phongsali province are horrible and that province is quite impoverished. Therefore, it would simply mean getting to Laos more quickly and spending more time inside that country compared to the current situation. That's because if you look at a map, Xishuangbanna extends like a spur southward between Laos and Myanmar...everything to the east is Laos and eventually Vietnam east of that.
Forums > Travel Yunnan > Can Chinese get a visa in Bali on arrival?
I have read that the Chinese authorities have recently made it harder for Chinese citizens to travel abroad, by requiring that all Chinese citizens have a visa in their passport IN ADVANCE despite there being a visa on arrival facility available in some countries.
What this means is that even if a Chinese citizen can apply for a visa on arrival from certain countries provided they are in possession of a round-trip air ticket and sufficient funds (for example 15 days in Thailand), the Chinese authorities will require Chinese citizens to have a visa in their passport before they are allowed to board a plane to that country. I saw evidence of this in Thailand, where a Chinese citizen on his way back to Beijing had only stayed in Thailand for 4 days but had a visa sticker in his passport from the embassy in Beijing. This inspite of Thailand allowing Chinese citizens to apply for 15 day visas on arrival.
Only if a Chinese citizen visits a second country WITH a visa in their passport and then proceeds to a third country from that other country would it be possible to apply for a visa on arrival. For example, if a Chinese citizen with a Singaporean visa in their passport goes to Singapore first and then Indonesia (assuming they actually allow Chinese citizens to apply for a visa on arrival) would they be allowed to board the plane and apply there. Otherwise, if leaving directly from China a visa must be applied for in advance.
Forums > Living in Kunming > Impressions of Kunming from a foreigner waidiren
I hate those small jiao notes too...1 Yuan notes are fine, but I'd rather see more 1 Yuan coins. In Shanghai, all I ever got were jiao coins and most of the time even 1 Yuan coins, especially as change from taxis (which made me very happy). The problem with jiao notes is that they tend to be ripped and basically only useful as toilet paper. I usually just throw them somewhere as I can't be bothered keeping them in my wallet...they take up too much space.
I even know someone who actually used jiao notes as toilet paper in a public toilet...just in case you're not sure what to use them for...