Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Great Escape

I am now a mere 4 days from leaving this town for the ever, and about a week from getting out of China altogether (for a while anyway). Unfortunately, my residency permit expires in 4 days too, so I'm going to spend a few days experiencing the heady thrill of being an illegal overstayer (high-five Leon) and then pay about 1500 RMB (round $250) as a fine when I leave. At this stage this seems to be kind of unavoidable, as the dour police lady wasn't convinced I was worthy of a visa extension, and 1500 RMB is probably less than I'd pay to have one, ahem, arranged.

So the plan for now (well, more of a 'notion' than a plan really) is to do the following (dates in the dd/mm format, as is what we use in New Zealand and thereabouts):

30th June: Farewell Liaoyang, drive to Shenyang, catch flight to Beijing
1st July: Catch train to Hong Kong
2/7: Arrive in Hong Kong, find cheap accomodation, apply for Chinese Tourist Visa
3-4/7: Faff about in Hong Kong, (hopefully) receive Chinese Visa, apply for Vietnamese Visa.
5-7/7: Get Vietnamese Visa. Hop on train to Nanning, China.
8/7: Train from Nanning to Hanoi Vietnam

Rest of July: Travel around Vietnam, look at stuff, sweat a lot, lie on a beach or two. Cross in Cambodia, check out things thereabouts, cross into Thailand

1/8: Fly from Bangkok to Beijing
2-4/8: Spend whatever money I have left in Beijing (alternatively: Survive on 2 yuan bowls of noodles for three days)
5/8: Fly from Beijing to Melbourne, Australia
6/8 - ???: The madness begins afresh.

All of this is being done solo, relying on my minimal Chinese, mediocre wits, and my 'meh I guess he's okay if I'd had a few to drink' looks.

Potential Problems with this scheme:

  • The good folks of the Chinese Communist Party, in an act of extraordinary foresight, chose to arrange the re-unification of Hong Kong and mainland China exactly 10 years ago, this July 1st. Thus ensuring that finding a train or accommodation will be a complete pain in the ass.
  • My finances, whilst probably adequate, are finite, and Hong Kong is expensive.
  • I am for some reason, denied a Tourist visa to re-enter China. This is extremely unlikely, but its also China. Nothing is a given.
  • Its approaching the stinkiest hottest part of the year in IndoChina. I might actually sweat to death.
  • Malaria.
  • Monkey attack.
  • Landmines (in Cambodia)
  • One, or a combination of the above factors meaning I don't get to Bangkok in time to catch my flight to Beijing.
Should be fun.


Unknown said...

cool plan dude! wana hang in poo cock island southernist nam. looks very pleasant. congratulations on the only blog ill ever ready. Bravo, encore, of course therell be a victory lap...

Unknown said...

I read somewhere that Tonic contains quinine and was the anti-malarial of choice of the British colonialists ... with the requisite quantity of Gin of course

A quick search on Google reveals a mere 67 litres of G&T a day should provide effective protection from the mosquito-borne pestilence

Just channel a Hammond-esque fingers marathon before dinner every night and you should be fine

Ben said...

Excellent advice as always Nikhil. Now all I need to do is find a bulk supplier of lemons...

Anonymous said...

You could do with a few days illegalness in ya...everyone can.