Visas and DFAT

A few quick travel updates at the end of a long day:

- Visa problems. I found out today that the fine folks at the Myanmar (that's Burma to all you colonialists out there) Embassy in Canberra had refused to process my application because I had not used the most up-to-date form. Fair enough. Except for the fact that they sat on it for several weeks and didn't tell anyone, thereby not forwarding it to the Cambodian or Laotian Embassies for the relevant visas. The outcome is that I am still likely to get the Myanmar visa, although it and the passport will not get back to me until Friday next week which is just ONE DAY before departure, and I will be without a Cambodian or Laotian visa. From all reports it is not too difficult to get hold of these visas at the right border crossing, so not too much is lost. But damn those Myanmarianese.

- All registered with DFAT. Jumped onto the heavily-promoted-but-rather-unhelpful Smart Traveller website. Told Alexander where I was going (and how many times have I wanted to tell him where to go...?) and signed up to receive any updates to the Australian travel advice for the countries I'll be hitting. The website is clunky and not very user friendly, and seems to have real problems for people who are travelling to more than a couple of countries. Each subscription to the updates service needs to be separate (that's 10 for me), and I was reluctant to follow all the way through. I guess all the DFAT people are living it up in Chile at the moment, and who can blame them?


Anonymous said…
No worries man, most visas that side of the world can be sorted out without too much hassle within a couple of days of wanting to cross the border. You'll be surprised how much you can get done through someone who barely speaks the language as supposed to your friendly consulate in Australia...

Brent said…
He, he - Myanmarianese.

I thought you and Lexy were the best of friends, given your recent post?
Anonymous said…
If you're going via Bangkok you're probably better off getting the visas there. As far as Laos goes you can get a 15 day visa on the border for US$30 but (and I didn't know this) you need 3x passport size photos of yourself (but they'll waive this requirement for a "small processing fee").

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