My next Visa run is less than six months away.  Where am I gonna go?  I don’t know yet but time to plan, at least the early part of it.  Maybe you can help me.  I could use some help.

Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong

We have several direct flights via Cebu Pacific to other countries now.  One even includes the USA.  If that continues, I’ll have lower priced fares.  That should help.

My first choice would be to return to the states but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that.  I can get to the West Coast of the USA for about what it would cost me for an entire trip to Hong Kong, including hotel.  The fee to the USA would cover only the air fair.  Then I have to fly to the other side of the country.  In the USA though, time there should be cheaper as I would have no hotel fees.  Some how though, there will always be more to spend than I counted on.

I could go to Bangkok and back for less than $500.  Hong Kong a bit more  I’m not feeling too good about Bangkok right now.  They had problems just before my last trip.  Now they just got over some more.  This time the way the trouble was put down, its going to lead to even more trouble I think.  Maybe not, much of the command staff of the Red Shirts didn’t survive the event.  Might be a while before that problem returns but I think it will return and it will be far worse.

Hong Kong is looking like my best choice but there is a lot of knowledge out there among the expats.  I saved a lot of money on my last trip from their help.  Perhaps, I will be lucky again this trip.  I’m not going to buy early this time.  Last time I did only to watch prices fall a lot.

I’d love to find someone to go with me but had no luck at all with that before.  That is another expat that needs to make his run too.  What do we mean by run?  We are able to be in the Philippines for 18 16 months and get our VISA extended every two months.  After 18 16 months we gotta leave.   We can come back after 3 days.  Failure to do so means you pay heavy fines before you are allowed to leave for three days.  Then you are referred to as an “over stayer.”  There are likely LOTS of those in the country that never leave.

Is it really three days?  I hear of so many people that fly to Thailand and then return immediately.  I believe they do that.  The BI website says three days and my local travel agent and VISA facilitator indicate its three days.  I think the law is three days.  Perhaps BI does not enforce that.

In theory, there is a 24 month option rather than 18.  Jessie  asked about it at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Cebu City, they told her it was only 18 16 months.  No way to go longer.  So I’m quite confused.  I need to look at the website and see if Manila will tell me more.  I know of someone that got it, but I don’t have first hand knowledge of it.  Anyone else?

In the Philippines, I’ve never had anyone ask me for a passport, except when flying, that I recall.   When I went to Bangkok, the hotel inspected it for a long time.   If they did that more here, probably be fewer “over stayers.”  They may make that one word here though, I can’t remember.

I’d love to hear your suggestions about where to go and do it cheaply.  My money has not been going as far as I would like to see it go lately.  Wouldn’t it be nice if that were not the case.  Let me hear from you and if you want to try to travel together, let me know.  We can try to work it out.  Right now, I’m planning a trip in October or November.

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