Eventually we want to tour China properly, but right now our schedules just won't allow for it.
Ok so what do we need to do to go to China for a day? First we need a plan, check that (Thanx Eric!) then we news to make sure we has the right paperwork. Since the China Olympics, you can no longer apply for a visa at the border from Hong Kong (especially if you are American). And a visa can take as long as a week if you apply in Hong Kong.
So where did that leave us? Applying at the Chinese Consulate at home in Toronto. Ok not a big deal I guess... The consulate is open from 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 3:00 pm from Monday to Friday... We needed to have a valid passport, a filled out application form and passport photos. Check, check, check.
So off to the city I went. I got there before 9 am and there was a line up that seemed to go on forever. I found a parking place and off I went... The line took about an hour.
As entrepreneurial as the Chinese are, they even had a photo service if you came without your photos.
The process is pretty straight forward. I dropped it off and then had to pick it up in 5 days. Okie dokie.
Well today is the day I am supposed to pick it up. It's hot and the line seems longer!
It is interesting looking around though. There are lots of different people. Chinese nationals renewing their passports. Retired people getting ready for the trip they have been looking forward to for years. Chinese Canadians planning a trip home to see family. Some business men. Company representatives of companies who will do the whole process for you for a fee. Students.
So that brings me to where I am right now. Waiting to pick up our passports. Been here almost an hour... It's REALLY hot and I think my parking is about to run out!
I made it out in an hour again, with one minute to spare on the parking. We are now the proud owners of a Chinese Single Entry Visa, valid until September. Overall it wasn't a big deal, just a lot of lines and waiting. I hope that visiting Shenzhen is worth it! We will report back!
Tip: when picking up bring a money order. The line is much smaller... That's where the businessmen were!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location:Chinese consulate toronto