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Ordos

Should I take the visa free travel?

18 posts in this topic

After I decided not to travel to the States this year, I was considering my options for where else to go. Last year I tried to get a Shengen visa but stopped because of some complications in the family. Re-applying with several members of my family also wanting a visa will take a lot of work. So I looked at my options with visa free travel and it turns out I have more options as an Indonesian passport holder than I first thought. I thought it would just be Southeast Asia. But some countries in South America allow visa free travel for Indonesians.

But even more surprising was this: there is one country in Europe where I can travel visa free for 5 days only as of February 17th of this year. That country is Belarus. I have no idea what I want to see there and I don't speak Russian but I'm considering using that loophole.

I'm guessing most of you here who have powerful passports (passports which give you visa free travel to many more countries) cannot sympathize with me over how hard it is sometimes to obtain visas. 

So what do you guys think? Should I go to Belarus visa free? Other alternatives include four South American countries, Morocco and a visa on arrival in Iran.

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Which South American countries?

Nvm I just looked it up. You can get to Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, and Peru. I would visit any of those countries (except maybe Guyana because the security situation is a bit dicey right now) over Belarus, especially for a dedicated trip. Otherwise, of your choices I'd probably opt for Morocco. 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer

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5 minutes ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

Which South American countries?

Wait, that's five/six. Chile, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Guyana. A tourist card on arrival for Suriname.

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Whoops -- I was editing my own post when you replied. I loved Colombia when I visited there in 2015. Interesting country with a fascinating/fraught history, lots of really cool things to do in Bogota, the Caribbean coast is nifty, and the there's the natural heritage. Things can get dicey in certain parts of the country, but Bogota, Cali, Medellin, and Cartagena are all relatively safe, as is the Caribbean coast (generally) and the coffee region. 

My friends who have visited Chile and Peru greatly enjoyed them as well. Those who loved Ecuador are hard-core outdoors enthusiasts, so it'll depend what your interest are if that appeals. Then again, pretty much everyone I know who has visited Morocco loved it as well. 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer

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Belarus, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't have a huge amount to recommed it over anywhere in South America - especially for just five days and with no ability to visit somewhere else further. Seems like a long, expensive trip with little potential return....to the point I'm not sure you're asking seriously ;-)

Although I sympathize with the transit visa loophole temptation, it is a thing of odd beauty. Apparently, I can get into Qatar for 24 hours, and am tempted to try for very long layovers whenever I have any flight that could reasonably include it. Never quite pulled it off, but I will someday!

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Oh, you might also consider Transdnistria. As far as I can tell, it requires no visa from anyone, and I believe is known to rival Belarus' for quaint post-industrial Soviet nostalgia eccentric dictatorial charm. Which is saying something.

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8 minutes ago, Datepalm said:

Oh, you might also consider Transdnistria. As far as I can tell, it requires no visa from anyone, and I believe is known to rival Belarus' for quaint post-industrial Soviet nostalgia eccentric dictatorial charm. Which is saying something.

Umm... Don't you need to go through visa required Moldova to get there?

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I can sympathize with getting the visa part. Even though I live in Germany now, I still have to get deal with visas if I want to travel out of the Schengen area. (Traveling around EU is not a problem for now, but with my PHL passport, it is still conditional, you know?) In terms of visa-free travel, Morocco is on the top of my list, plus other South American countries (Brazil, Peru, etc). Have you looked into Japan? I think Indonesians can get a visa waiver to enter the country for about 2 weeks. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Eyelesbarrow said:

 Have you looked into Japan? I think Indonesians can get a visa waiver to enter the country for about 2 weeks. 

 

 

Yeah but I hear that you also have to go through paperwork in advance of going there to get that waiver. Maybe it is less work than a visa but it's still work.

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3 hours ago, Ordos said:

I'm guessing most of you here who have powerful passports (passports which give you visa free travel to many more countries) cannot sympathize with me over how hard it is sometimes to obtain visas. 

So what do you guys think? Should I go to Belarus visa free? Other alternatives include four South American countries, Morocco and a visa on arrival in Iran.

As a Serbian citizen I can definitely sympathize with you when visas are concerned. We can travel without visas to Schengen states for 7 or 8 years now which helps A LOT, but we still need visas for quite a few countries. That being said, I've never had problems getting a visa. There's some paperwork involved but that's about it. Or at least that was it in my case. I don't know how different it is for Indonesian citizens but if I could get visas with my Serbian passport in the '90s and a better part of '00s then I'm pretty sure you could, too.

Don't let bureaucracy stop you from visiting places you want to see. If you go half way across the world, spend a whole day on planes and airports, spent a significant amount of money on plane tickets alone, don't go for the "I won't need visa to get there" consolation prize. If you want to see Belarus, by all means go for it. But if you'd rather see some other country, go for the visa.

I've never been to Belarus myself but a friend of a friend travels to Belarus on business every once in a while and says it's a much better place than it's reputation would suggest. That being said, it's still ranked pretty low on my list of places to see.

I don't know if you looked into Turkish visa regulations, but when I was there it was pretty relaxed. You get to the airport, stand in line to get the visa, pay for it (different amounts for holders of different countries' passports, ranging from 10 to 80 euros/dollars), and you get it. I was in Turkey in 2004 and 2008, so that may have changed but after reading visa information on Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website it seems to me it's the same. Especially this part:

- Visitors arriving to Turkey without visas may obtain their e-Visas via interactive kiosks placed in Turkish airports.

I'm not sure what the situation in Turkey is like at the moment, but Istanbul is definitely a city worth seeing.

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14 hours ago, baxus said:

 

Don't let bureaucracy stop you from visiting places you want to see. If you go half way across the world, spend a whole day on planes and airports, spent a significant amount of money on plane tickets alone, don't go for the "I won't need visa to get there" consolation prize. If you want to see Belarus, by all means go for it. But if you'd rather see some other country, go for the visa.

 

I completely agree with you on that point. I jumped through many bureaucratic hoops to get my American visa including standing for hours in the pouring rain for a cab that never came so I had to hitch hike on a motorcycle (it's a long story). 

The reason I'm talking about visa free travel is that I need to help get visas for several family members. Most of them are adults but I need to wait for them to get their paperwork in order. In fact that was why my trip to the states last year was cancelled. Because my brother had legal issues he had to deal with before he could travel. If it were just me travelling, it would be much easier.

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I'd go to Peru. It's definitely on my list of places to see some time.

And I hear you on visas. I still remember how humiliating it was to get a US visa from Poland 13 years ago. Although the actual officer I talked to was very nice. The second time around I got my American visa from Luxembourg and the experience was much more pleasant.

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@Ordos

As I said, check Turkey out. You could get the visas at the counter on the airport (double check that, of course) and there's a lot to see.

Istanbul was a metropolis when London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin etc. were little more than marketplaces on muddy crossroads.

The whole of Asia Minor is packed with archaeological sights, including the city of Ephesus with what remains of Temple of Arthemis (one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world).

Turkey has some pretty good seaside destinations, too.

It definitely ranks higher than Belarus on my list of places to visit and I can't imagine an easier procedure for getting a visa (once again, if you pick Turkey as your destination, double check that before you head out).

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On 2/3/2017 at 10:04 PM, Ordos said:

Yeah but I hear that you also have to go through paperwork in advance of going there to get that waiver. Maybe it is less work than a visa but it's still work.

I find this bureaucracy so ridiculous. For an Indonesian citizen to travel to Japan, you can either go through the paperwork to get a visa or paperwork to get a visa waiver.

Does anyone here know the difference? That is the advantages/disadvantages for both of them because they both require work to get.

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Wow! I just learned that as of April 15th, I can get a 15 day visa on arrival in Ukraine. Eastern Europe is really opening up to me!

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Eastern Europe continues to open up. I learned that if I applied for a Shengen visa (which I have successfully applied for twice), there is one loophole that can get me into Russia. I can stay in St. Petersburg for 72 hours if I take a ferry from Stockholm or Helsinki. 

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I'll be in St. Petersburg for almost a week at beginning of August, if everything goes as planned.

Looking forward to hearing your impressions and experience, if you do go there.

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72 hours in St. Petersburg is a nice loophole - St.P is gorgeous, has tons to do and is a little less unweildly than the rest of Russia to visit, get around in, etc.

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