Archive for October, 2010

Kazakhstan Visa Requirements to See the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly

October 31st, 2010

Tucked away in Kazakhstan’s Tamgaly Gorge, surrounded by high grasslands called steppes that have nourished nomads and their herds for millenia, is an incredible collection of petroglyphs.

The petroglyphs in Tamgaly, today’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site, date back to the Bronze Age in most cases. However, since the site has been continuously inhabited, some were carved as recently as the early 20th century. The carvings are definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in archaeology.

Here’s how UNESCO’s website describes them:

“The dense and coherent group of petroglyphs, with sacred images, altars and cult areas, together with their associated settlements and burial sites, provide a substantial testimony to the lives and beliefs of pastoral peoples of the central Asian steppes from the Bronze Age to the present day.”

US citizens need a Kazakhstan visa to travel to the Tamgaly Gorge and see the petroglyphs. If you’re visiting Kazakhstan as a tourist, the following documents are required to get your visa:

  • One visa application form
  • 1 passport-sized photo
  • A cover letter explaining what you are planning to do in Kazakhstan and when you plan to be there. If you are staying for 30 days or less, you can write the letter yourself. However, if you are staying 30 days or more, you need an invitation letter for you issued by the Kazakhstan department of foreign affairs. Your host will have to apply for this letter on your behalf.

Also, you may need additional transit visas if you are traveling through a third country, like Russia.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you move smoothly through the web of international visa regulations without becoming ensnared. We’ll review your itinerary and research the visa requirements for each and every stop, so that you’ll know exactly what documents you’ll need before you travel. Then, we’ll help you with your applications and expedite them for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Kazakhstan visa today!

New Azerbaijan Visa Requirements for Tourists

October 29th, 2010

Until just recently, American citizens could visit Azerbaijan without having to apply for a visa in advance. It’s always been a good idea to do so, because getting a visa in the airport meant waiting through a number of long lines, but airport visas were an option if you didn’t have the time to apply at an Azerbaijani embassy before you left.

However, as Gadling notes, the rules have changed and travelers to Azerbaijan need to take note:

“Then, in the middle of October, Azerbaijan suddenly changed its visa regime, requiring visitors to obtain visas at the country’s embassies in advance. This requirement is not particularly annoying for tourists, who usually have time to drop their passports off at embassies prior to travel, but it’s a huge hassle for business travelers who often need to travel at the drop of a hat.”

The US Department of State further clarifies the new rules: “With limited exceptions, (diplomatic or official government travelers, or persons with invitations from high-ranking officials of the Government of Azerbaijan) you cannot get a visa at the airport. Nor can you get a visa at the land borders with Georgia and Russia.”

You can apply for your Azerbaijan visa at an Azerbaijani embassy. If you’re applying as a tourist, you will need the following documents:

  • 1 completed visa application form
  • 2 passport photos
  • A tourist voucher from a hotel in Azerbaijan with a confirmation number.

The default tourist visa for visitors to Azerbaijan is a single-entry visa. If you need multiple entries, you will also need a letter of invitation from someone in the country.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get an Azerbaijan visa before you travel. We’ll walk you through the paperwork and deliver your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Azerbaijan visa today!

Chinese Visa Requirements To See the Silk Road

October 28th, 2010

The Silk Road- the name brings to mind the slippery feel of silk fabric, the taste of spice, and the incense-like smell of opium smoke. For centuries, these goods and many others traveled the Silk Road, a series of routes connecting China with Europe, and the region of Xinjiang was at the heart of it all.

Now, you can tour both Xinjiang itself and the surrounding desert. Dan Levin, a travel writer for the New York Times, did just that recently, staying in the city of Kashgar for a few days and then riding a camel through the forbidding Taklamakan desert.

He writes:

“Travelers who retrace the Silk Road in Xinjiang find that despite the flood of economic development, much of this remote province remains a world apart from China. In the towns and villages along this ancient trade route few people speak Mandarin, and the traditions of their ancestors — whose kingdoms have been swallowed by the sands — live on in faith and food.”

If exploring Xinjiang sounds like your cup of tea, autumn is the best time to go, according to TravelChinaGuide. This is when you’ll have the best weather, without the extreme fire and ice of winter and summer.

Before you leave, you’ll need to apply for a Chinese visa. Chinese tourist visas are available from Chinese embassies and are referred to as “L” visas. Depending on your travel needs, you can 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.

Either what you need to apply for a Chinese tourist visa:

  • A Chinese visa application
  • Your passport, which will need to be sent to the embassy along with your application. Your passport must expire no sooner than 6 months in the future, and it must have at least one blank page in the back. If it expires prior to 6 months or it’s too full, you will need to get a passport renewal or add pages before you apply for the visa.
  • A clear copy of your passport’s information page (the page with your name, date of birth, etc on it)
  • One passport photo glued or stapled to the application.

If you are leaving within the next week, you can expedite your visa by including a copy of your itinerary.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get your Chinese visa, as well as any other visas required for your journey. Some countries require you to get a visa even if you’re just stopping in the airport, so we research your itinerary to make sure you have all the documents you need. We’ll also help you with the application, reducing the chance of common mistakes that can hold things up. Finally, we’ll expedite your visa for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Chinese visa today!

Get an Indian Visa and Save Big on a Tour With Friendly Planet

October 27th, 2010

Frommer’s Deal of the Week for this week is pretty exciting: a 9-day tour of India from Friendly Planet for only $1,199 per person. The price even includes round-trip airfare to and from New York’s JFK Airport, though you’re on your own when it comes to getting to JFK. Hotels with private bathrooms, breakfast, ground transportation and the services of a tour guide are also part of the deal.

The Taj Mahal Express tour takes you through Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, plus the Taj Mahal (naturally). Although it would take more than 9 days to experience even a fraction of the excitement that India has to offer, this tour will give you a good start. Plus, you have the option of adding on a trip to nearby Nepal after the Indian tour is over, for an additional $799-1397.

Prices are good if you book before December 15th, or until the tours sell out, whichever happens first.

Take note: the tours do not include the cost of an Indian visa or a Nepal visa. You will need to obtain your Indian visa on your own before you travel.

Here are the documents you’ll need to get the Indian visa:

  • Your US passport
  • 2 passport-sized photos no more than 6 months old. Glasses are not allowed in the photos.
  • One Indian visa application form. Write neatly-penmanship counts! There is a section on the visa that asks why you are planning to visit India- write “tourism” here.
  • A photocopy of your plane tickets or your itinerary.
  • A clear copy of your driver’s license or a utility bill showing your name and address.
  • A copy of your birth certificate

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get your Indian visa quickly and easily. We’ll walk you through the application process and help you catch common mistakes that could delay your visa approval. Plus, we’ll expedite your application with the appropriate Indian Embassy for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Indian visa today!

Vietnam Visa Requirements to Visit Hoi An

October 24th, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gorgeous example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating back to the 15th through the 19th centuries. During those years, Hoi An was a famous port of call for traders searching for silk, spices, porcelain, traditional Chinese remedies, tea and other goods. Eventually, many merchants from China and Japan came to live in Hoi An full-time and brought their families.

The city ceased to be an important trading port after the 19th century, when silt made the Thu Bon River impassable for large ships. Now, it’s a beautifully preserved tourist town, with shops and hotels surrounding a traditional city center. The historic area, called Hoi An Ancient Town, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The UNESCO website calls it “an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international commercial port” and “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port.”

One unique way that Hoi An has chosen to retain its old-fashioned atmosphere is to declare the 14th day of each lunar month, when the moon is full, “Hoi An Legendary Night.” On this night, there are no electric lights allowed in the city’s old quarter. Cars and motorcycles are forbidden, too. People walk, talk and play games bathed in the light of artfully designed lanterns and candles instead.

To visit Hoi An, you will need a Vietnamese visa. Make sure you apply in advance, well before starting your trip, as you must have your visa in hand before you arrive at the airport.

If you are traveling as a tourist, here are the documents you’ll need for your visa:

  • A valid US passport
  • A completed Vietnam visa application
  • A passport photo that’s no more than 6 months old.

Also, if your trip requires you to enter and exist Vietnam more than once, you must request a multiple-entry visa when you apply. If you don’t request a multiple-entry visa, you will be given a single-entry visa. and this could wreak havoc on your itinerary.

RushMyTravelVisa can speed up and simplify the Vietnam visa application process. We’ll take a look at your itinerary to make sure that you have the right documents for each step in your journey, and we’ll walk you through filling out the paperwork. Then, we’ll expedite your paperwork for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Vietnam visa today!