We arrived at the Chinese embassy in Hanoi bright and early on Monday morning, freshly scrubbed and with our best tourist smiles firmly fixed on our tired faces. With a six week love-hate affair with China only a recent memory, we were unexpectedly going back for more. Our cargo ship was leaving from Hong Kong in three weeks, and to get to it without flying we’d need to cross China. We were even hoping to see some sights along the way. So we needed another visa.
Armed with online assurances that getting a Chinese visa in Hanoi was pretty straightforward, we were feeling optimistic. Confident that we could jump though the hoops, if a little nervous that they might move them.
I don’t know what we were thinking. China. Straightforward. Ha.
They didn’t so much move the hoops as set fire to them, replace them with different hoops, then hide them, refuse to let us anywhere near them for several days, convince us that we’d successfully jumped through them, then tell us that actually there weren’t any hoops right now, and even if there were we weren’t going to jump through them in time so we might as well just leave.
But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Continue reading “For all the tea in China (how not to get a Chinese visa in Hanoi)”