Monday, May 25, 2015

Lao Trip 10.4a - Non-Immigrant "O" Visa

Fourth day of my tenth trip to Lao – and my second trip to obtain a one-year Thai visa at Savannakhet – turned out to be one of those great days (actually night) in my favorite country to travel in. Looking back on it, I rank the day up there with the afternoons I met Nuey in 2014 and Nout in 2012.

In the morning, after taking a tuk-tuk to the Thai Consulate, I submitted my required paperwork and application for a new Non-Immigrant “O” Visa, based on marriage to a Thai national. My packet included: application form, two recent passport size/style photos, 5k THB fee, my passport, photocopy of the passport page dated and signed by me, marriage certificate, copy of marriage certificate, copy of my wife’s Thai ID front and back signed by her, and a copy of her house book (tabian bann) dated and signed by her. I was given our marriage certificate back after the receiving official inspected it and compared it against the copy. I would get my passport back and, hopefully, a fresh new one-year visa the next day, in the afternoon.

(pages from my passport, circa 2013, showing what the visa looks like)

I went back to the riverside and checked out another guesthouse in the area. I just didn’t like where I was at, at Nongsoda. This other guesthouse was a nice place, but five dollars more and further away from the riverside vendors where I liked to hang. So, I didn’t follow thru with the place, but as it turns out, I should have and will probably stay here next time I’m in the area. I forgot to write down its name.

On the way back to Nongsoda, I met a guy about my age, Eric from Denmark, who likes to travel in SE Asia on his yearly vacations. He was en route to Vietnam. Oddly, I would by chance meet him again in the same exact spot, hours later.

Back at Nongsoda, I did laundry, showered and changed into clean clothes. Since the guesthouse WiFi didn’t reach into the dungeons where I was staying, I moved out into the common area, the main patio complex where the owners, their help, and visitors hung out. Here, using my “smart phone,” I got caught up on my communications which actually took a while.

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