Planning : Visas

Australian nationals/citizens seem to have it pretty easy when travelling through South East Asia. Most countries require no visa or a visa on arrival. I’ve never had any problems with visas before, but then again I’ve only been to New Zealand and the United States.

Since I have no set travel plans, I really like the ease of visas for these countries, although Burma/Myanmar is super vague about who it lets inside the country borders.

I’ve only gone through customs about 4 times now, and have only had two problems.

#1. I accidentally left an apple in my checked bag on a SYD – LAX flight, which meant I had to declare fruit, and get my bag searched. I was taken into a separate room and had to remove each item from my bag at a time, before having metal scanners and 2 different men pat my bag down. I learnt a valuable lesson.

#2. I had carrot sticks in my carry-on, which I disposed off when I got off the flight, and before customs. But, a sniffer dog could still smell ‘fruit/vegetables’ and I once again, had to get my bag checked. This was a shorter process, and was much less…intimate.

I’m always picked up as one to have a wand scan by one of the customs/immigration personnel, without fail. I’m extremely white, Australia, female and young, so it isn’t a racial profiling thing. I just always get picked. Lucky me.


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