Immediately after our arrival, we raced to “Chinese Resource Center” to apply for our visa for mainland China. The line was already very long at 08:00 am, one hour before the door opened and rumours were flying high. Everybody had a story or a concern about the latest changing visa requirements. It seems that after the heavy criticism on its policy in Tibet and the massive disruption of the Olympic torch carrier, China does not want individual travellers roaming all over the place!
Our visa application was simply rejected, because
we had no plane ticket out of China and
we also had no hotel booking for every single of the 30 days we wanted to spend in there!!!
Well, we had planned to leave China by bus going into Laos and naturally we had no hotel reservation, since our priority is to be as flexible as possible in our itinerary.
At that point, Gilles was determined to change plans, because he considered the attitude of the government towards travellers as a provocation, especially shortly before the Olympics. Heidi was not ready to give up that trip and eventually, she found a “travel agency” that offered to fulfil all requirements, for 850 Hong Kong Dollars a piece, a lot more than the regular application fee.
By now, our passport is in Chinese hands. We will know Saturday early morning if we can travel to China or not… Let’s wait and see!