Since the server seems mostly stable and I haven’t gotten notifications that it crashed and burned today I’ll fill in everyone on what I have been doing to prep for my sojourn to South East Asia. This mainly revolves around my need for visas to Thailand and Cambodia.
Since I am staying in the Kingdom of Thailand for more than 30 days they require that I get a visa. This will allow me to stay for a total of 60 days in the country. I have done a visa before to Thailand and for US citizens it requires that I show proof of my flight out of the country and that I had sufficient funds for my trip. In this case, the funds had to be $1500. The ironic thing about all this is I looked at the Canadian visa application and spoke to a Canadian also known as Pattaya Bound about his experience. No need to show sufficient funds. Guess Canadians are more trusting. The other fun thing is that no cash, credit cards or checks accepted as payment for the visa. It had to be money order or certified check.
In addition to all this I needed to get passport photos for my international drivers license. My Thai visa and my Cambodian visa. So I walked down to the photo place only to discover it moved. Fuck! So a bit more walking and got them done. They even put my picture on thumb drive so I could use it for my Cambodia visa.
With photos in hand I pull down the Thai visa application form and proceed to fill out all the information required with plans to head to the Thai Embassy the next day. I stop at 7-11 to get a money order and head off. I live near Washington, DC so it’s not a big deal to go to the embassy for my visa. I have been there before and its about a 25 minute drive. Get to the embassy and see the flag and even score some sweet front door parking. I walk in and a nice Thai man looks at me and asks if he can help me. I replied that I was here for a visa. He shook his head and said wrong place. Um what? Yep. The embassy had moved. This was no some financial office or something. No visas here! He said the embassy was located on Kalorama Road in Upper North West, about 15 minutes from where I was. Fuck me! So off I go to the correct location.
Now if you are familiar with Washington DC you know where Embassy Row is off Massachusetts Avenue. So I pulled up into a swanky new house that doubles as the embassy as most in that area are. Headed in. Not a big line but I got two visa services ahead of me but the Thai staff knew them and they moved along quickly. I get to the window and hand my form to the nice Thai lady. She then proceeded to pick it apart. Now in her defense I did fuck it up but still annoying. So I move over to a table and fix my mistakes. The biggest one was email address of the person I am staying at. Fuck if I know, its from AirBnB. So I just use his name at an @airbnb.com address and good enough.
Back in line.
This time I get a guy and he takes my form. He looks at my bank statements, my flight, and barely glances at my visa app. Just checks off that I do indeed have $1500 to my name and that I have return date that matches. To show how official he was, he checked it off in pencil!
He handed me back my money order and said please fill it out to Royal Thai Embassy and sign it.
Once that was turned over he handed me a receipt that said to pick up my visa in two days. No problem!
That evening I applied for my Cambodian visa. A much more civilized affair. It’s an e-visa and you just go to a website and fill out the required information. No flight? No problem! Just give an estimated date and we will go from there! We roll that way! Uploaded my image I had taken and paid my $40. Now I am waiting for approval.
My final adventure was going to the local AAA to get my international drivers license. Walked in, showed them my valid license, handed them my photos, paid my $15 and out the door I went.
Drove down to the Thai embassy and pick up my passport with the visa in it. Got there, handed my receipt to the new lady. Gave have a nice smile and she gave me my passport with a lovely 60 day visa in it. Go me!
Now its just wait for the Cambodian visa which I’m not going to be crushed about if I don’t get it for some odd reason and I am ready to go to Thailand. Lots of running around just for some paperwork but its one less thing to worry about.