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'Preliminary visit' to each country - the embassies - TU 20/05/2014, sunny, 16°C

Embassy of Malaysia
Embassy of Malaysia

We were amazed about lots of eye-catching embassy buildings, built in the respective country styles as we turn into Yarralumla, home district to many of the embassies.
Just in time for opening we arrive at the embassy of East Timor, the first country on our trip once left Australia. With the intention to clarify last questions and obtain further information, we are full of expectations. The gate is locked. And after three rings there is still no one answering. Even no one answers the phone once we called. Good start! We decide to move on to the Indonesian Embassy. Cash, two passport photos and the passports are in the luggage. More was not necessary to successfully apply for a 60-day tourist visa for Indonesia when we apply for the same kind of visa in the Malaysian town of Kota Kinabalu in 2013. Not so this time: after some back and forth two days later we had all the necessary documents. Since we are not Australian residents and also our entry should be over land and not by plane - to summarise:

  • Passport + copy of same
  • 2 Photographs
  • 1 filled out application form
  • 1 detailed travel itinerary (2 pages long)
  • Print out of the Australian visa grant notification
  • Copy of title page of the Carnet de Passage
  • Bank statement
  • Form with detailed information of vessel schedule for the shipping of our car to East Timor (no idea why this was necessary ... no worries...)
  • Evidence of current residence (very funny for backpackers - fortunately we still have had a evidence form of our previous address down in Victoria)
  • Money order from post office (since they do not accept cash payment; extra fees to be paid at the post office of course...)
Some of our maps and travel guides
Some of our maps and travel guides

Following the Indonesian Embassy, we moved on to next embassy. Six more were scheduled. A race against time since the embassies are opened to public for only three hours every day. Our next address was the Malaysian and Thai Embassy. Again, we explained what we intent to do and that we are here to clarify questions (a visa obtained in advance is not necessary in both countries). The people were surprised and a bit impressed and after answering all of our questions they us good luck on our journey.
Then it became serious. Having great expectations we drove to the representation of Myanmar. Once arrived we became sceptical immediately, as two Australian ladies are working here and no locals. After providing them our travel intents and own knowledge the ladies only smiled on shook their heads. They also were not able to help us in applying for any kind of special permit. So for now, we are still completely on our own regarding the topic of crossing Myanmar with an own car. We hope to receive positive feedback of the contacted tour guides as well as the Ministry of Tourism Affairs in Myanmar.
We drove on to the Indian Embassy. Again the staff was very interested in our project and we were forwarded to the office of the first secretary. After telling us he never had to deal with travellers like us (coming with own car over land from Myanmar via Manipur and Nagaland and move on the central India) he was able to help us with every open question and finally wished us good luck on the trip.
We then left the embassy district with the intention to apply for an Indian visa later. We will use the next days to purchase the last needed equipment, find a provider for vehicle signage and finish creating this website. We also scheduled the visit of the embassy of Pakistan and Iran for the next week.

Although there are still many open questions, our tension dissolves slowly and gives way to anticipation. About two weeks to go. Then we will finally start our big adventure. We cannot wait.