The VISA for China is easily the most tricky VISA I’ve applied for in Bangkok. Certainly dwarfs any for Southeast Asia. I do not envy any backpacker who has to go through this process. Fortunately for me I was not backpacking and had a set schedule in place and a quick in, out journey planned. For those expecting to travel independently and unplanned it will be hard. Return flights essential to apply as well as hotel booking for the length of stay (or at least part). On top of this you will need a letter from employee and proof of sufficient finance to cover the trip. Okay the last two were more of a problem for me. First I don’t really have a job and second my finances tend to hover around the zero mark (or below). To solve the employment conundrum I had a letter from ‘a client’ (my dad) saying I managed their ‘online media’ (his website). I then selected business as my profession (this caused complications outlined later). For finance I went into overdraft in a second account sending $3000US to my travel account. This worked fine. For hotel bookings I booked with free cancellation (booking.com) and later rescheduled once my Chinese VISA was issued. For the Chinese VISA Application in Bangkok, other than the above you will also need Passport Photo, Scanned Copy of Passport Pages and Scanned Copy of current Thai VISA. Also glue and a pen if you don’t want to go mooching. The offices open for application at 09.30 to 11.30. For collection 15.00 to 16.00.
Things I Got Wrong
To speed up the process I download the forms from the Embassy Website and complete both (Forms v2011a and v2011b). Both are scrapped at the door as I start again from scratch with the new VISA Application Form (v2013). Don’t worry you will have plenty time to complete forms at the VISA Application centre. We were there for 4 hours (arrived 10.00 finished 14.00). Next there was a problem with the copy of my Thai VISA having only scanned the 1 year VISA and not my latest entry date to Thailand. I was given the chance to run out and photocopy on the streets nearby. I return with the copy to the same window and am given a receipt with collection date. The process takes 3 to 4 working days (we apply Tuesday with collection on Friday). You do not pay until collection (1,100 Baht for British Passport). Of course things don’t work so easy. Two days later we get a phone about my employee reference letter not being correct. First off I had chosen ‘Business’ as occupation and the words ‘online media’ were flagged. I was told to change the wording of the letter and to include a sentence on ‘not conducting business during my time in China’. I made the changes and dropped the letter again to a window at the Application office. I get a new receipt for collection and the waiting period starts again. Four(ish) days later I collect the VISA. The Chinese VISA application in Bangkok complete but not easy.
Where to Make Chinese VISA Application in Bangkok?
Located on Ratchada Soi 3 (Ratchadaphisek). The closest subway (MRT) station is Rama 9 (Exit 1). Walk with the traffic, past Fortune Town Mall and take a left just after the Bank of China. It is the first building in the soi on the left (AA Building 2nd floor). The actual Chinese Embassy is located just a bit further on this road…. Do not go here. If lazy take a taxi from the Asoke Interchange on Asoke Road (Sukhumvit 21). Taxi fare should be around 60 Baht.