Archive for July, 2010

Travel Visas to Climb Cho Oyu

July 31st, 2010

If mountaineering is one of your hobbies, climbing an 8,000-meter-tall mountain is probably on your life list of goals. That means a trip to the Himalayas. While climbing Mount Everest is a difficult and expensive undertaking, there is a more accessible option for amateur mountain climbers- Cho Oyu,  the “Turquoise Goddess” of the Himalayas.

At 8,201 meters above sea level, Cho Oyu is the 6th highest mountain in the world. There are 14 mountains in the Himalayan range with summits higher than 8,000 meters. However, Cho Oyu is generally considered the easiest and most approachable of these giants.

That doesn’t mean you can just go without any preparation, however. 8,000 meters is way up there, and the risk of altitude sickness and other altitude-related problems is still quite present even with the help of oxygen and a team of Sherpas. You need to be in the best possible shape before you climb a peak like this, and many of the companies that guide you to the top require that you’ve climbed at least one really high mountain successfully prior to attempting to summit Cho Oyu.

Most Cho Oyu expeditions start in Nepal, where you meet up with your climbing group.  However, the climb actually starts on the Tibet side of the mountain, so you’ll need both Nepal and Chinese visas to complete your journey.

Nepal visas can either be obtained ahead of time, before you leave the US, or in the airport on arrival.  If you take the time to apply for your Nepal visa in advance, you get the advantage of peace of mind from knowing that your visa is already taken care of and you’ll spend less time in the airport.  For more information about how to apply, see Nepal Visa Requirements for Tourists.

Some trekking companies will have you apply for your Chinese visa in Nepal, but you can also apply for it in advance. For more information about what you need to get your Chinese visa, see Chinese Tourist Visa Requirements.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you apply for these visas as well as any other visas you might need for your trip, including transit visas. Contact us about your travel visa requirements today!

Get an Indonesia Visa to Get Up Close and Personal With a Tarsier

July 30th, 2010

At this point, you’re probably wondering: what, exactly, is a tarsier? About 5 inches long from nose to tail, the tarsier is the tiniest of all primates. Known for their huge, saucer-shaped eyes and basically for being adorable, they are also, unfortunately, endangered.

Although tarsiers are classified as primates, they are very primitive and look more like adorable, furry pocket-sized aliens than monkeys. They don’t adapt well to captivity at all, so you won’t find them in any zoos. If you want to see one, you’ll have to travel to their natural habitat.

Tarsiers are endemic to Southeast Asia, and can be found in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia has a decent-sized population in Tangkoko National Park near Manado. With the help of a guide, you can look for tarsiers in the jungle at night (the only time they come out of their nests.) In fact, over on the Environmental Graffiti blog, there’s a great post describing just such an excursion. There is also incredible scuba diving close to the park, in case you decide you don’t want to spend your entire trip in the jungle.

To visit Indonesia, you need a US passport and an Indonesia visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after you enter Indonesia, and you need to have at least one blank page in the back to accommodate the visa. Indonesia is very strict about this and will turn you away if your passport expires in less than 6 months, so apply for a passport renewal if necessary before you go.

Indonesia visas are available on arrival to tourists at most airports, or you can apply in advance. See Indonesia Visa Requirements for Tourists to see what documents you’ll need for the visa. Also, keep in mind that if you are entering Indonesia by land or flying into the Banda Aceh airport, you are not eligible for an Indonesia visa on arrival and you must apply in advance.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get your visa quickly and easily. We’ll also take a look at your itinerary and let you know what visas are required for each stage of your trip, including any transit visas.

Apply for your Indonesia visa today!

Indian Visa Requirements for a “Tree Pilgrimage”

July 29th, 2010

“I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree.” Joyce Kilmer

There’s something really special, almost magical, about old trees. Being in the presence of a living thing that has been around for hundreds of years really puts our short human lives into perspective. Each tree is unique, shaped by both its own internal biology and the forces of nature. It’s no wonder that people often give names or even build shrines to trees that are particularly old or distinctive.

India is an excellent place to see some of these giants. In fact, Matador Travel currently has a post up by YD Bar-Ness describing the “tree pilgrimage” he took across the country. I love trees, but I must admit that until now I’d never thought of traveling to India to see them. I’d always imagined touring temples, visiting the Taj Mahal and finishing up with the proverbial elephant ride. However, according to Bar-Ness, India is one of the best places in the world to go in search of distinctive trees:

Additionally, there’s nowhere else in the world with so many temple trees, popular shade trees, historical marker trees, and trees used as business locations. The Hindu and Sikh religions, especially, recognize many famous trees. Trees are used as landmarks and reminders of events, and are often planted by dignitaries to mark special occasions.

See the post on Matador for descriptions of the trees Bar-Ness visited on the “pilgrimage” and some truly amazing photography.

If you want to follow in his footsteps, you’ll need to apply for a passport and an Indian visa. India doesn’t do visas on arrival, so you’ll need to apply for your Indian visa in advance and have it in hand before you leave the states. See Indian Visa Requirements for Tourists for details on what documents you’ll need and how to apply.

If you’d like help applying for your visa, RushMyTravelVisa can assist you. We’ll take a look at your itinerary to make sure that you know which documents are needed for your trip and don’t run into any nasty surprises along the way. We’ll also help you with the visa paperwork, answering your questions and helping to catch mistakes that could delay your application. Then, we’ll deliver your Indian visa application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Indian visa today!

    5 Reasons to Get a Tanzanian Visa

    July 25th, 2010

    Tanzania is a beautiful, relatively stable country, and a trip there is a great way to start exploring Africa. Here are 5 great reasons to get a Tanzanian visa and go visit:

    1. Mt. Kilimanjaro: The tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro ‘s three snow-capped, volcanic cones tower over the surrounding landscape. Whether you choose to appreciate its grandeur from a distance or test your strength and endurance in an attempt to summit, the mountain is definitely worth seeing.

    2. Old Zanzibar: The old stone buildings of Zanzibar are nothing if not charming. The historic center of the town preserves buildings and architectural styles that date back to the 1830′ s.  Old Zanzibar is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    3. The Serengeti:Serengeti National Park is the oldest national park in Tanzania.  It is home to over a million and a half wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Their annual migration is a spectacle right out of “The Trials of Life.”  The northern section of the park has more hills and trees and is a perfect habitat for elephants and giraffe.

    4. Kalambo Falls: Located along the border between Tanzania and Zambia, Kalambo Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Africa. Plummeting 772 feet into the Kalambo Gorge, the falls are definitely a sight to see. The area is also a fascinating archaeological site, with artifacts and other evidence of human habitation that stretches back 250,000 years.  A large breeding colony of Marabou storks live next to the falls. Interestingly, despite that old story about storks delivering human babies, the Marabou stork is actually a scavenger that eats carrion as well as preying on smaller animals and birds. In other words, a stork would probably sooner eat a baby sooner than deliver it.

    5. Gombe Stream National Park- This national park is Tanzania’s smallest and is only reachable by boat. The park is home to many different types of primates, including the family of chimpanzees that Jane Goodall made famous.

    If you’re an American citizen, you do need a visa to visit Tanzania. Although you can get a visa on arrival, the US Department of State recommends getting one before you leave the US, in order “to avoid long delays at entry points.”

    For more information about getting a Tanzanian visa, see Tanzanian Visa Requirements for Tourists.

    RushMyTravelVisa can make applying for a visa much quicker and easier. We’ll examine your itinerary to make sure you have the right travel documents for each stop, so that there are no unpleasant surprises. Then, we’ll assist you with the paperwork and expedite your application for the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Tanzanian visa today!

    Jordan Visa Requirements To Visit the “Rose-Red City”

    July 24th, 2010

    “Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,a rose-red city half as old as time.”
    John William Burgon

    This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Jordan’s oldest and most beautiful cities.  Located between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra was an important trading city during Biblical times, and has been inhabited for far longer than that.

    Petra rose to power as the capital city of the Nabataeans. The Nabataeans traded not only goods but also water, and Petra is constructed with a system of dams, water storage and irrigation that allowed them to capture water when it rained and dispense it as needed during dry periods.

    After the Romans took control of the area, trades routes shifted and Petra’s location became much less advantageous. Eventually it was all but abandoned, before locals led a Swiss explorer to the city in 1812.

    The entire city is built into a mountain, carved into and constructed out of the same gorgeous red rock. According to UNESCO, Petra “is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture.” It is also Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction.

    Fun Fact: The last scene in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was filmed in Petra.

    To visit Petra, you need a valid passport and a tourist visa.  In most cases, you can get a visa to visit Jordan when you arrive. However, if you are crossing over the border with Israel at the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge crossing, you must apply for your Jordan visa in advance.

    No matter how you are entering Jordan, if you’d rather have your Jordan visa paperwork taken care of before you leave the US, you do have the option of applying ahead of time.  The application process for a Jordan visa is pretty straightforward. Just submit your US passport, 1 Jordan visa application form, and 1 passport-sized photo taken within the past 6 months.

    Also, keep in mind that you may need other tourist or transit visas depending on your itinerary. RushMyTravelVisa can help by reviewing your travel plans and researching visa requirements for each stop. Then, we can help you with the application process and deliver your paperwork to the appropriate embassy or consulate to expedite processing.

    Apply for your Jordan visa today!