Tenwest Mandarin School

User profile: Tom69

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  • RegisteredNovember 17, 2010
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredNovember 17, 2010

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Chinese National going to Thailand Overland Issues

Not sure about arriving overland for Chinese nationals, but I know that Chinese nationals can get a 15-day on arrival visa for 1000 Baht at airports only I believe. Therefore, it may be necessary to get a 60-day tourist visa from the consulate in Kunming if your girlfriend wants to stay longer than 15 days since those visas are non-extendable I believe. I don't think it is really necessary to produce a return or round-trip air ticket but each consulate has its own rules, and for Chinese nationals they will probably enforce such rules more rigorously than for other foreigners.

A return bus ticket is probably not of much use, as I never heard of this being accepted or even heard of anyone purchasing a cross-border return bus ticket, I think it has to be a plane ticket - but do check to confirm.

China Eastern has 3 weekly flights from Kunming to Chiang Mai. Otherwise, Thai flies 5 times weekly from Kunming to Bangkok with connections to Chiang Mai.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Dali to Myanmar

The Burmese do allow vehicles into their country - but mainly from Mae Sai in Thailand. I have asked about this and it is indeed possible. Even non-Thai foreigners have managed this, but driving a Thai vehicle of course. It does require lots of permits and money to pay for these permits along the way aswell, but I have seen a personal account of a foreigner who did this - I can't remember the website, but it's easily searchable by googling it. There are restrictions and you can't go everywhere you want either. I think it may only be possible to drive from Tachilek (opposite Mae Sai in Shan State) to near the Chinese border and back.

From China, the conditions and restrictions may be very different. Myanmar is a fascinating but also very strange country with some of the most bizzare laws in the world. You can definately drive your own Chinese car to the border at Ruili but as for progressing further into Myanmar you might want to enquire in Kunming or Ruili if anyone can help you further.

I think it's unlikely, or maybe you'll be permitted to take the car to the town across the border (Mu-Se or something I think it's called) but no further, since that town is just an extension of China anyway (Chinese is spoken, most people are Chinese and Yuan are used). Then again, just being able to spend a day driving in a border town is probably not what you want so do enquire somewhere official that may be able to help you further as I can only comment on driving in Myanmar from Thailand.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Driving to Thailand

Do you mean that Laos used to drive on the left hand side of the road like Thailand? I don't think so. Laos has always driven on the right due to the French colonizing their country until 1945 although they officially gained independence in 1954 I believe it was.

Myanmar (Burma) used to drive on the left until 1970 until a fortune teller told the then leader to switch to the right to improve his karma or something. You can do a search on the internet and you can easily confirm what I just said.

You are right about Laos having many right-hand drive vehicles though. Many, if not most of these are from Thailand, but since Laos has legitimate car showrooms now, there's little reason to buy a Lao-registered right hand drive vehicle unless a particular model is not available in Laos these days.

I have stopped in many Lao villages between Vientiane and Vang Vieng along the way (driving a Lao vehicle) and they were a pleasure to pass through. People were friendly and helpful. Mind you, the only reason to stop would be for petrol/gasoline, a toilet break or buying some snacks to eat or stopping for a meal.

Don't drive at night because there's no lighting, you can't see the stray animals/kids/grandmas and grandpas etc. on the roads, dangerous overtaking/passing is prevelent and many vehicles drive without their lights on. No service stations would even be open at night either (all gas/petrol stations even in Vientiane close by 7 or 8pm, in the countryside possibly even earlier). Also, no sane local would drive at night outside the cities and yes banditry may be an issue on some routes though I think things are considerably safer these days. I would say the risk of driving at night comes more from the fact its extremely dangerous in terms of all the things described above - don't do it, just get up early and start driving again during the morning and you'll be fine.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > 2 week rental in BANGKOK?

My post may come a bit late since I just saw your post now, but for future reference, stay at one of the many hotel apartments that with signs in English and/or Thai as follows: Daily/Weekly/Monthly รายวัน/รายสัปดาห์/รายเดือน since they offer the best rates. Hotels away from the city are better value and may offer something similar.

If you want to save money stay away from touristy places such as Sukhumwit (with Sois numbering 40 or less) or Rajdamri etc. as they are expensive. Yes, you may have to sit in a cab for a while if you stay further away from the city, but if you can find a place to stay near an expressway on-ramp you're often not going to spend much more time traveling than if you were staying somewhere like Sukhumvit soi 11 as the above poster has suggested, even if distance wise it's much further but given the traffic in Bangkok I'd much rather stay further away and you'll probably save both money and yes, surprisingly even time....believe me, I know Bangkok as I've lived there for a while and I know that traveling 30km can sometimes be quicker than traveling just 3km depending on where you are in the city.

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Exchanging RMB in Laos

Above advice is fine, although I thought I saw Yuan on the noticeboards on the moneychangers in Vientiane (just check and if they don't accept them, find another moneychanger or guesthouse or internet cafe as above posters have suggested). I've changed numerous currencies in Vientiane before, but Yuan was never one of them since I'd never previously visited China before now.

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Comments

Good article but a few inaccuracies. This border crossing opened as an international border to foreigners in possession of Myanmar visas on August 28, 2013, not only 2016. Since then it has been possible to visit this area then proceed to other parts of Myanmar by air (or vice versa). The on-arrival permit system for foreigners without visas is still in place, reportedly the requirement to have a guide (for 1000 Baht a day and payment must be in Baht) is still in existence if you don't have a Myanmar visa, but with the e-visa system now it would seem rather odd not to go for a Myanmar visa even if you're only going to Kengtung and coming back the same way - you'll even save money by not needing a guide. You can always hire a guide for trekking around Kengtung. Of course, a guide may also come in handy if you intend on traveling by car with driver, however, it is not possible to travel west of Kengtung towards Taunggyi by road, except with a permit, though I hear none have been issued since around Dec 2016.

Many thousands of Thais cross the border between Mae Sai and Tachilek daily, so the author is greatly misleading readers when he claims only 5000 crossed last year. If he meant 5000 non-Thai foreigners, he may have been right but there are surely as many (if not more) Thai daytrippers crossing this border as has been the case for years, as Chinese who cross to Mengla or Muse from their respective border towns on the Chinese side. This is partially the case due to Mae Sai being an official border crossing for many years (by comparison, Mengla is not an official crossing even for Chinese) and there is a large market on the Burmese side that Thais like to visit.

@Alien, you are right about the nationalist "protecting our country from ....." part, which is indeed a smokescreen that most people still fall for.

As for the opposition that I referred to, the real patriots, liberty and freedom loving people etc. are generally not tied to any political party because they are able to think outside of the two party paradigm. Traditionally they probably thought of themselves as conservatives, however, these days not that much separates the democrats and republicans anymore as they both largely run the same agenda even if they use slightly different means of getting there. Libertarians would be closer, but even that's not specific enough as some Libertarian candidates aren't true enough to the core values of that brand if you will. "Conservative Libertarian" is perhaps the closest term that describes what I'm referring to. There are certainly Europeans who share these values, but far fewer than Americans.

As for the student who made the speech, it's hard to say exactly what she meant because I didn't hear her whole talk, only read this article. However, I suspect that she, like many others are successfully drawn into the whole ideology that students are taught at American universities and this not only made her worldview conform to these values, but she has probably been so convinced that these "progressive" values are what makes America great and what China should strive for.

@Peter99, LOL. Yeah nihilism seems to have replaced any sort of sense of self-worth, self-preservation or pride in one's being, culture and overall values in Europe. It's disturbing, though sad more than anything. At least China still clings onto most of these things. Not that everything traditional about say Chinese culture is good, or that change should be rejected at all costs, but preserving the most important cultural values and having at least some sense of history and identity is important. Otherwise I think there's not much purpose to life.

@Peter99, 100% agree with you. It's insane the way things are going now in Europe, in many ways it's even worse than in the USA because you have almost no conservative opposition in Europe. The patriotic, freedom loving revolutionary spirit is still strong in the US, but it's fading fast in Europe.

China and most parts of East Asia are a refreshing change, which makes living here so refreshing, in many ways. At least that's been my experience over the years.

@Alien, you make an excellent point but the US is not making wars/regime change for nationalist purposes. It's actually for the exact opposite reason, which is to advance the interests and pockets of multinational corporations like Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin big oil companies and many others (and of course the big banks and big oligarchs) for whom nationality and patriotism is meaningless.

I am absolutely 100% opposed to all imperalistic US-led actions since the late 1800s, all these wars were unnecessary and have brought with them untold misery.

I used to buy all that bull about China being a "dictatorship" whenever the NY Times, The Washington Post or The Economist used to bring it up in my younger days, but I've since become much wiser now that I can predict their writing style in my sleep. Hence why I now frown every time I read a story similar to this one - the writing style, the things said are always pretty much the same.

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