We arrived at the airport in Xiamen, China for about 2-½ hours flight from Manila, Philippines via China Southern Airlines. Set meals were served minutes after take off. Upon arrival at the airport, passport, visa and customs check went incredibly smooth and fast.Getting from the airport to Xiamen downtown was really easy. We took a taxicab and just showed the driver our address written in Chinese. (If you’re a foreigner, be prepared about the language barrier challenges.) As for us, we were like boy scouts ready for everything. And my hubby speaks a little Mandarin, so it’s a plus for us.) The taxi fare cost us around Y50 from Xiamen Airport to Zhenhai Road. (All taxis and other public transportation are non-airconditioned during the winter season.)
Food: In addition to the traditional Mexican fare of tacos, beans and tortillas, Chiapas offers several wonderful specialties including stewed lamb or baked chicken with “mole,” a spicy sauce made with chilies and usually chocolate. Street vendors sell delicious food, especially hot buttered corn. There are vegetarian restaurants and menus in the cities. You can take it easy on your North American stomach by avoiding or cutting down on very spicy condiments and salsa (“sin picante, por favor”). For breakfast, some restaurants offer “Americano”style scrambled eggs with ham or bacon, toast and delicious local coffee. Continue reading
All foreign nationals require a visa to enter India, although there are some relaxations for Bhutanese and Nepalese nationals.
Instructions for applying for a visa
The instruction and information given here is general in nature. We recommend that you visit the website of the Indian Mission for your country for specific information.
Requirements for Indian visa:
- Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India should accompany visa applications.
- Paste one photo and staple the other one on the form at the specified place.
- Foreigners holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizen of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time.
Read our holiday guide or some other background reading before visiting India, so that your holiday becomes a treasured experience, one that will linger in your memory forever.
Make your travel arrangements well in advance, especially if you are traveling between October-March (high tourist season). The Christmas-New Year period from 15 December to 15 January are popular months. Beach resorts especially at Goa and Kovalam get sold out early. Flights, trains and hotels are limited in relation to demand so prior bookings are a must.
Do not cram too many places into your itinerary. It is better to visit a few places in depth than to skim through several destinations and at the end of the day, everything is a blur. Nothing like an occasional free half-day for leisure, to use the swimming pool, explore the bazaars on your own or enjoy a cup of chai (tea) in the local restaurants.
Travel in the Indian subcontinent is a mirror of Indian society and one should be aware that with over 400 languages and dialects and over 1 billion people, getting around is not the same as in your own country. We believe that the key to travel in India is knowledge of the environment that you are travelling to. We therefore recommend that you do some background reading in addition to the information given below. Bureaucracy, hectic roads, power cuts, flight delays and re-routings are part and parcel or everyday life in India and you must expect to encounter one if not all of these during your holiday. An awareness of what to expect will turn your holiday into an ungfogettable experience…one that will linger in your memory forever.
All participants must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of your holiday. Visa requirements for each country will be advised in detail at the time of booking. Your travel agent will provide visa applications and can process all visas needed for your tour at a nominal charge. Continue reading