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In my experience it can make a lot of difference at which consulate in which country you apply for a visa in an upcoming country on your trip.

For instance I seem to recall that it was easiest to get a visa for Iran in Trabzon, Turkey; and easiest to get a visa for Azerbaijan in Batumi, Georgia.

So I'm wondering if there is any place along my route through Southeast Asia that is easiest for getting a Chinese visa. I'll be passing through:

• Singapore • Malaysia • Thailand • Laos • Vietnam

If it makes any difference I'm not a citizen of any of these countries. I'm an Australian citizen travelling overland with as little planning as possible. I almost certainly won't be getting my Chinese visa before leaving Australia.

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May I respectfully suggest this as an alternative title "Which Chinese Consulates or Embassies in South East Asian Countries have an easier processing of visas"? – hagubear Jul 21 '13 at 11:26
Singapore is undoubtedly better, but are you a Singaporean or non-Singaporean (but Asian) applying for Chinese visa? What is your passport condition? You probably know this already, but it probably also depends which nationality you are? You need to add this information for the users to understand the scenario better and give you a bit more realistic answer. – hagubear Jul 21 '13 at 11:28

3 Answers 3

As a general rule of thumb I've often found it easiest to apply for visas in countries that border the country in question*. Those consulates/embassies are usually larger and more used to dealing with a variety of different issues. So for example, apply for a Chinese visa in say, Vietnam. I recently did this and the whole experience was very hassle free. The embassy is right in the center of Hanoi, easily accessible, well staffed, and fast at responding to applications.

*The exception to this rule is of course when the neighboring countries are unfriendly towards each other...

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I might be coming in from Laos because I don't need a visa there like I do for Vietnam. But I've been to Vietnam before and would love to go back. I don't expect it to be too hard to get a Vietnam visa in a neighbouring country but China has more requirements and I've never been there before. – hippietrail Jul 23 '13 at 10:28
Likewise, Laos is a neighboring country for China so I guess it should be relatively easy to get a visa for China in the capital, Vientiane. However I have not done this so I can't comment. Also, regarding a visa to visit Vietnam - you may qualify for a visa on arrival if you are landing at one of the major international airports and fill in an online application. Details here: – Paul Raftery Jul 23 '13 at 11:58

Chinese Embassy in Bangkok seems OK, many foreigners apply there. Not sure if it's any easier than other places (I have not done the CN visa elsewhere), but it seems straightforward and efficient enough.

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On my previous trip I ended up getting my Chinese visa in Vientiane, Laos.

  • The price was much lower than in Australia.
  • I picked it up the day after I applied for it.
  • The consulate never had more than two or three other customers so no queues and waiting and the staff were available for "what do I put on the form here" type questions.

The only hard thing is if you go to the embassy/consulate on your own, because there are two embassy buildings not on a major road but in the same area on different streets! One doesn't do visas and doesn't have English speaking staff to inform you efficiently if you've gone to the wrong one - as I did. A problem given that consular hours are so limited especially if your Laos visa is near expiry.

In this Google Map of Chinese embassies in Vientiane, the building marked "A" on the left, kind of behind the Australian embassy is the wrong one and is actually called "Economic Offic China Embassy" but this is easy to overlook if you don't know the situation or even if the sun is in your eyes when you're reading the sign. You want the other embassy a couple of corners away to the East on Watnak Nyai Road, marked "B" on the map.

If you go with a tuktuk etc the driver won't make this mistake.

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Maybe you could include in your answer which embassy building is the right one, with its address? And maybe a place to check what the office hours are? – Nate Eldredge Feb 9 at 15:40

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