Archive for May, 2010

Cambodian Visa Requirements to Visit the Temple of Preah Vihear

May 30th, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Cambodia, along its border with Thailand.  The immense temple of Preah Vihear is one of the jewels of Khmer architecture.  Construction on the temple began in the 9th century, but the temple complex was rebuilt and improved by successive generations of Khmer rulers. Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, it was eventually converted to a Buddhist temple when Buddhism overtook Hinduism in popularity in the region.

Located along a cliff for maximum dramatic impact, the temple is an impressive sight for pilgrims and tourists alike.

Since the temple is located right along the border of Thailand and Cambodia, it was the source of a decades -long dispute between the two countries.  However, in 1962, the International Court of Justice awarded it to Cambodia. If you enter Preah Vihear from Thailand as a day trip, you won’t need a Cambodian visa. However, American tourists staying in Cambodia do need Cambodian visas.

You can get a Cambodian visa on arrival if you enter at a major border crossing or fly in through Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports.  You can also apply in advance if you’d prefer to have it hand before you leave the States.  Here’s what you need to apply:

  • A Cambodian visa application.
  • 2 passport-sized photos.
  • Your US passport. Check the expiration date as it needs to be valid for at least 6 months past the date you plan to enter Cambodia-if yours expires sooner than that, you’ll need to apply for a passport renewal before you can travel. Also, make sure there’s enough room in the back for your visa and add pages if necessary.
  • A copy of your travel itinerary.

RushmyTravelVisa can make applying for a Cambodian visa quick and painless. We’ll walk you through the application process and deliver your visa application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

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5 Reasons to Get a Chinese Visa

May 29th, 2010

China is a magical place, at once ancient and modern, as more and more American tourists are discovering. There are innumerable reasons to get a Chinese visa and go exploring, but here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. The Great Wall- Yes, visiting the Great Wall may be something of a cliché. But it’s still impressive.
  2. Tomb of Qin Shi Huan: The tomb of Qin Shi Huan features thousands of terracotta soldiers and horses, each one unique. If Qin Shi Huan got in a fight in the afterlife with an Egyptian pharaoh, the Chinese emperor would most likely win.
  3. Tiger Leaping Gorge: If you are the outdoorsy type, Tiger Leaping Gorge offers what is quite possibly the best backpacking trip in all of China.
  4. Chinglish- Chinese and English are too very different languages. When attempting to translate between them, hilarity often ensues. This article from the New York Times has some great pictures of “Chinglish” signs from Shanghai.  Please keep in mind, though, that if Americans tried to write signs in Chinese for Chinese tourists without the assistance of a professional interpreter or someone who knows both languages really well, the results would probably be equally amusing.
  5. REAL Chinese Food- After years of Chinese takeout, the sheer variety of Chinese food in China will be a revelation. Depending on the region you visit, you might find crispy, delicious duck, boiled scorpions or even “thousand-year” eggs preserved for a rainy day in ash and straw.

American citizens who want to visit China must first obtain the appropriate Chinese visa. China does NOT issue visas on arrival, so  make sure you apply in advance.

If you’re traveling to China as a tourist, you’ll want to apply for an “L” visa. You can choose to apply for apply for a single entry Chinese visa valid for 3-6 months, a double-entry visa valid for 6 months or a multiple-entry visa valid for 6 months, so double-check and make sure that the visa you are applying for gives you enough entries to accommodate your itinerary.

For more information on how to get a Chinese tourist visa, see Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get a your visa quickly and easily.

Apply for your Chinese visa today!

Brazilian Visa Requirements for Birdwatching

May 26th, 2010

Have you ever seen a black-hooded antwren? How about a cock-tailed tyrant?

With 1,622 different known species of birds, Brazil is a birdwatchers’ paradise.  In fact, when it comes to sheer variety of birds, Brazil comes in third place among all the countries in the world, behind only Columbia and Peru.191 of those species are found nowhere else on earth, making Brazil a “must-visit” destination for birdwatchers with a taste for the exotic.

Brazil is home to over 70 different kinds of parrots, as well as countless other types of birds: flamingos, hummingbirds, hawks, eagles, toucans, penguins and many more.

Because Brazil is such a popular destination for bird-watchers, many companies offer “birding tours” to take you to the best places to view a variety of different species.  Or, you can hook up with local bird-watchers via sites like BirdingPal.Org.

To visit Brazil, you’ll need both your passport and a Brazilian visa.  Unfortunately, at times, navigating the Brazilian visa system can be like trying to get through a labyrinth.  To get started, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Your passport. Check the date- to apply for a Brazilian visa, your passport needs to be good for at least 6 more months. Also, make sure there’s room in the back for the Brazilian visa, which will take up at least 2 blank pages.
  • One Brazilian visa application.
  • 2 passport-sized photos.
  • A copy of your itinerary showing the dates you plan to enter and leave Brazil.
  • A  clear, legible copy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
  • If you will be visiting friends or relatives, you also need a letter from your hosts.

To enter Brazil, you may also need a yellow fever vaccination. Vaccines are required of travelers who have been to any of the following countries in the past 3 months (90 days): Angola, Bolivia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan or Venezuela.

Once you have all of your paperwork together, you need to apply at the correct embassy or consulate.  Brazil’s visa system is jurisdictional-each embassy is assigned a specific region of the US, and will only process visa requests from people who live in that region.

After all of that,  catching a sighting of the elusive and rare black-hooded antwren probably sounds like a piece of cake. But, no worries, RushMyTravelVisa is here to help. We’ll review your itinerary to make sure you know exactly which travel documents you need for your trip, then we’ll walk you through the application process step-by-step.

Finally, we deliver your Brazilian visa paperwork to the appropriate embassy or consulate, saving you time and stress by providing the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Brazilian visa today!

Panama Visa Requirements For An Evening in Panama City

May 25th, 2010

Panama City is Panama’s capital and largest city. As you might expect, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time there. In fact, you may find yourself with too many activities to choose from.

To get the most out of any visit to a new city, it’s best to ask a local. Recently, Time magazine asked 3 famous native Panamanians for their recommendations. For example, according to New York Yankee’s pitcher Mariano Rivera, the best time to visit the Panama Canal is from late afternoon until sunset, while the best seafood restaurants are located on the Calzada de Amador.

Architect Spiros Vamvas recommends an itinerary that starts with whiskey sours at the Bristol Hotel and ends with dinner and dancing at Habana Panama. Naturally, jazz pianist and composer Danilo Perez recommends visiting during the Jazz Festival.

Americans visiting Panama City are required to carry passports. Depending on the circumstances, you may or may not need to apply for a Panama visa in advance as well.

If you will be flying into Panama, you probably don’t need to apply for a visa in advance-instead, you can buy a tourist card when in the airport. Call your airline, as the cost of the tourist card may be part of your ticket.

If you are visiting Panama as part of a cruise, your cruise line should provide a tourist card for you if necessary.

You can also apply for a Panama visa, good for multiple entries, before you leave the US. Please note, if you are entering Panama by land, you must apply for your visa ahead of time.

Here’s what you need to get a Panama visa:

  • A valid US passport, good for at least 3 months past the date you arrive in Panama.
  • 1 completed Panama visa application
  • 1 passport photo
  • A copy of your itinerary.
  • A copy of your plane tickets (if you’re flying in)
  • A letter of invitation or a copy of your hotel reservation.
  • A copy of your bank statement. can help you get your Panama visa quickly. Our visa specialists make the application process easy and virtually stress-free.

Apply for your Panama visa today!

Bolivian Visa Requirements to Visit Salar de Uyuni

May 23rd, 2010

Located in Bolivia, the Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. Stretching for 4,086 square miles, the landform is virtually flat, save for a few “islands” created by the tops of old volcanoes.

As the name suggests, the surface of the salt flat is made entirely of a crust of salt. Underneath the salt is a pool of brine, containing possibly the world’s largest reserves of lithium.

The Salar de Uyuni has to be seen to be believed. Describing the  a trip to the Salar de Uyuni for BootsnAll, Christian Celind writes “A picture is worth a thousand words” doesn’t even apply here. How do you explain an optical illusion in words?”

You might think that a salt flat this big would be barren, utterly devoid of life. For the most part, you’d be correct, but some of the islands shelter cacti that are over 1,000 years old, and the flats themselves are an important breeding ground for pink flamingos.

To visit Bolivia and the Salar de Uyuni, Americans are required to have valid passports and Bolivian visas.  You can apply for a Bolivian visa ahead of time or when you enter the country, but in most cases it’s easier to just get one in advance.  To get your visa, you need to have the following documents on hand:

  • 1 Bolivian visa application form.
  • Your  passport. Check the expiration date-you need it to be valid for at least 6 months after enter the country.
  • 1 passport photo, which must be 4 centimeters by 4 centimeters in size.
  • If you will be staying in a hotel, you’ll need a hotel confirmation letter.
  • If you are staying with friends or family, you need a letter of invitation.
  • A copy of a roundtrip airline ticket.  However, if you will be entering by bus or car, you can substitute  a written statement saying when and where you plan to enter and exit the exit the country.
  • A recent bank or credit card statement showing that you have sufficient money to take care of yourself in Bolivia.
  • An international yellow fever vaccination certificate. can help expedite the process of getting your Bolivian visa, as well as visas for any other country you plan to visit.

Apply for your Bolivian visa today!