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2011年3月29日 星期二

The travel of apply for Thailand Visa

One week trip
On March 13, when I arrived Thailand at Suvarnabhumi airport from Taiwan, I waiting for pass by the entrance of Thai immigration, when an official said that because of I have no re-entrance permit for Thailand, so I cannot enter Thailand. I went to do an on-arrival visa, but this kind of Visa can just let me stay in Thailand for 15 days, or before March.27, I need to leave Thailand to get a Thai visa. Visas can be single-entry which means the visa is canceled as soon as the holder leaves the country, or multiple entry visas for many entries for a specific period of time.

When I returned to Khao Kwan Foundation, and asked them which country I should go to? They suggest to me that I go to Penang in Malaysia, and there is one women who is a friend of KKF’s office manager. She can take care of me when I arrive there. As I checked the airplane ticket of Air Asia online, I find that the airplane ticket from Bangkok to Penang cost about 10,000 B, which is expensive for me. KKF’s staff researched the information about the cheapest way to go Bangkok to Hay Yai. The cost will was down to 1070 B, but it takes 13 hours to arrive in Hat Yai. Then, I can take a minibus for 4 hours to Penang. Finally, I decided to apply for a visa by land route.

On March 17, I took a bus from Bangkok to Hat Yai at 18:00, and I arrived in Hat Yai at 7:30 in the morning. Then I bought a ticket in a local store which deals with tours between Thailand and Malaysia. Then I took 9:00 am minibus to go to Penang. Around 11:30 am, we crossed the border of Thailand, and ten minutes later, we arrived at the border of Malaysia and every passenger on the minibus needed to their our own suitcase and line up to wait for going through Malaysian customs. When my turn came, the immigration officials passed my passport to another counter, then they ask me to go to an office, and because I didn’t have a Malaysian Visa, they gave me a “notice of refusal of entry”, and turned me back. I made a phone call to talk to friend at KKF and said that I cannot enter Malaysia.

Luckily, a passenger on the minibus was a Chinese immigrate from Malaysia. They told me I can get a Malaysian Visa in Songkhla province of Thailand. and they reminded me that I needed to cancel the stamp of Thai immigration, or I would on the bad list of immigration. I went back to Thailand and started my week visa trip.

When I returned to Thailand, I took a van back to Hat Yai bus station, I went back to the local store called “Sor Saksit Tour”, and asked them where I could stay, I got information about one hotel near the store, called C.K hotel, a clean hotel, that for one night costs 450B, and including toilet, TV and air conditioner in the room. When I went out for dinner, a foreigner came to ask the price of hotel, and I found out that the waiter told her 500TB for one night, that means I was charged more expensive price than the local people. For two days waited, then I went to Songkhla province in Thailand for my visa, it takes two days to get a Visa, and I got it at 11:00 on Tuesday.

Hat Yai local store called “Sor Saksit Tour”,this store supply tour information,money exchange and free 3 in1 coffee.

When I got the Malaysian Visa, I met an Indian man and he introduced me to a hostel that was cheaper, the cost 200 B for one night. The difference between the hotel where I live was no TV inside the room, but it has a public area to see TV, so I moved to another place to wait one more day. When I stayed in the hostel, a German traveler told me that I needed to careful traveling in Penang, I needed to be very careful about my backpack. There were two French women on the street, and motorcycle with 2 riders passed by the women and robbed the backpack from one of the women and it injured the women badly. So I went to the Malaysian consulate early and I got the Visa at 10:30, I arrived in Penang around 18:00.Stayed in the hostel called “75 travelers Lodge” where there were a lot of foreigners living, I got the information from a German traveler before I came.

This traffic tool can carry cars & motocycles go to Georgetown

The hostel is located in Georgetown, named after Britain's King George III. Georgetown is located on the north-east corner of Penang island and has a lot of English style buildings. There also were a lot of Chinese and Indian immigrants. When I searched for the information about Thailand consulate in Penang, and it said that, 14:00-16:00 was the collection time for Visas, so I went to the the Thailand consulate in the afternoon, and in fact the officer said “submitting for Visas” in 9:00-12:00,and because of this misunderstanding, I needed to go back to the consulate on Wednesday morning.

In Penang,there is a lot of English style buildings.

When I was walking on Chulia street, and I met a man called Jim, and he helps people get Thailand Visas .He drives people to the consulate and back twice and charged 20RM.It was cheaper than the first time I tried to get my visa by taxi, I was charged 40RM.So I asked Jim to help me, and finally I got the Visa on Friday at 15:00.After that I knew I could get my visa on Friday, I booked the airplane ticket at Air Asia office. Friday at 16:00 I took a minibus from Penang to Hat Yai ,and around 20:00 I arrived at Hat Yai and stayed one night. Next morning I took airplane from Hat Yai to Bangkok, so, after one week, I finally finished this long trip.

The entrance of Malaysia.On weekend,there is only one counter for service.

What is Visa?
I started to think about “What is a visa?” In Wikipedia, it said that a visa (from the Latin charta visa, which means "paper that has been seen" ) a document issued by a country's government allowing the holder to enter (or to make a formal request to enter) or to leave that country.

Hotel & Youth hostel’s culture
Due to the time I lived in a common hotel and a youth hostel, I found something interesting. In common hotel, because the TV is inside the room, a guest always stays inside a room, and they do everything by themselves. There is no chance to meet each other, and the price of hotel is also more expensive. In a youth hostel, because the room just has bed to sleep, and the TV is in the public area. Guests have chance to meet each other, and exchange information. I saw foreigners of all ages. For example, young couple with their child, old man about 65 years old, and more middle aged men. I also find that the foreigners stayed youth hostels for a long time. So in they are saving more money. For example, when I considered going to Thailand consulate by taxi, some foreigners they went there by bus and then walked there.

This is the public shower place in the youth hostel,traveler also can do washing here

About the travel tips
*When withdraw the money abroad, you don’t know how much money you have, so you need to make sure your account has money, or you cannot withdraw any money.
*when you cannot speak the local language, you can find someone who speaks local language, and let them help you write down the word that you want to say, for example: “I want to go to airport.” It’s a safe way to find where you want to go.
*As you get information, you can ask someone if they have any contact information or you can just keep the information you have, but don’t lose it. When I stayed that first night in Hat yai, I went to the night market by my hotel. I saw a shop selling Air Asian airplane tickets from Hat yai to Bangkok. The price was 1450 B, but I didn’t keep any contact information. So when I want to get the ticket in Penang, and I was booking at Air Aisa’s counter and it cost 2668 B.
*Don’t just go around the main streets, sometimes in the daytime you can go walk in an alley, and find some local shop that are more interesting.

What I learned from this experience
When I go abroad, a visa is a very important thing. When I go to another country, I need to have the Visa first, or maybe sometimes the country we visit doesn’t need a visa, but we waste to search information first. Don’t be lazy about finding the information first, or you’ll waste more time .

Although I spent more money and time to do the visa, on the another hand I also made some friends from this time.I know a Danish girl from the van who lives in the jungle in the south of Thailand, she wants to know more about Khao kwan Foundation and learn about how to become self-sufficient, when I drank Indian tea I met a taxi driver who lives in Penang, and after talked with him, he told me about the culture of Penang.

After this experience, I think I will also rethink,“what kind of travel do I want?”

*Reference:Wikipedia websitehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_(document)

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