The saga of the Chinese visa continues; this morning we were up at the crack of dawn again to get to the Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai. We spoke to the girl behind the desk and at first she wasn't going to accept the trans Siberian as an acceptable way of getting out of China. She then told us that getting the train in from Hanoi isn't good enough either and that she would have to talk to the ambassador and see what he though of such an off the wall idea. She also told us that we would need to have a ticket in to China to proceed with the process.
Off we went to find ourselves some flights to China to prove to them that we didn't want the 50 pound visa solely for its aesthetic value, but we were in fact going to use it to visit China.
After a bit of searching on the Internet the cheapest we could find was about 200 pounds. We remembered that the previous day we had seen an Air Asia shop in the city center and went to try there. 60 quid lighter we each walked out with a ticket to Shenzen in China.
Back we went to the embassy to try our luck again. The woman told us that the ambassador had OKed our train ticket out and that we could go ahead with the process. After a lot of form filling we gave in our applications and were told to come back on the 6th October. "Wait a minute, that's weeks away."
"oh, yer we're closed all of next week, but we can do it for tomorrow for and extra 800baht"
So tomorrow is the day when we find out if they will let us in or not.
On a more interesting note, this afternoon we hailed ourselves a pickup truck and headed up the mountain road to Doi Suthep temple, mostly to get out of the heat and smog of the city and to have a look at the panorama of the city.