Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland March 17 – Day 7 Complete in Hong Kong Proper; 12/04

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by PrincessInOz, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

    Joined:
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    Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland March 17 – A New PTR Hope


    Welcome to the start of a new vacation! Congratulations and thank you for clicking through to this page and I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.


    A new PTR/TR is always full hope and promise at the start:
    Is it going to be any good?
    Will it contain useful and useless information?
    Will it be fun and easy to read?


    Well…..let’s just say….it’s still a new hope. There’s plenty of time for promises fulfilled and hopes dashed later!


    This is me, taken by a friend of mine. Actually….it’s a rare picture of me. I hate having my picture taken, which is why I’ve taken to being the photographer.

    [​IMG]



    Did I mention that I take photographs? This is a good time of the PTR to post my standard disclaimers.



    DISclaimers.


    I hereby absolve all responsibility for any therapy that you might want to claim as a result of reading through this PTR/TR. Just remember. We are in an open forum and it is your choice to read along......right? And who knows? We might end up being 2D friends in a box along the journey.

    I openly acknowledge that this TR will be photo heavy. At least I think it will be. I hereby absolve any responsibility for any therapy you might want to claim on behalf of your desktop or gadget. Afterall, I’m not responsible for what you might subject your device to.

    Food porn is usually a feature in my posts. Anyone who feels strongly about food should be eaten and not photographed, please be aware that no correspondence will be entered into on this matter.

    As always, deviations and deviants off-topic are usually another feature. Don’t worry. It’s not you, it’s me (although if you stick around, you could discover that it is you too. We just don’t know for sure yet). I hereby absolve any responsibility for any therapy that you might want to claim on my behalf. Although….feel free to PM me if you feel like contributing to my cause. :upsidedow

    Above all else…lurk if you must……but I would appreciate you posting and providing input and feedback into “our”blog! Afterall…….How else is this going to be
    am I going to get deviations and deviants? NOTE: I really do mean FUN!! FUN!! I mean FUN!!





    princess::upsidedow
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
    Mouse Mate, Zosha, Montanabel and 3 others like this.
  2. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Reserved for Quick Links


    PTR Section

    Introduction
    How This Trip Came To Be - FOMO
    The Boring but Critical Planning Stuff aka Being Able to Legally Enter China
    The W-W-W-W-W (Two Definitions)
    Planing for Shanghai Disneyland
    I haven't Forgotten Hong Kong Disneyland
    Road to Shanghai
    Shanghai Sights
    My Bag is Packed


    TR Section

    Day 1: Melbourne to Shanghai


    Planes, trains, automobiles.....and Scammers
    It's a Central Hotel Indeed
    Wrong Turn leads to Snacks
    No Dogs or Chinese Allowed
    They Say the Neon Lights are Bright
    The Bund at Night
    Jumping into the Hot Pot (Shua Lan Grou)
    Nanjing Road at Night - More Neons



    Day 2: Shanghai to Suzhou and Back Again

    An Eastern Style Breakfast
    The DIY Guide on what NOT to do for Suzhou - How to Get to Suzhou
    The DIY Guide on what NOT to do for Suzhou - How NOT to find a tour
    The DIY Guide on what NOT to do for Suzhou - The Venice of the East
    The DIY Guide on what NOT to do for Suzhou - What we Got Right - The Lion Forest Garden
    The DIY Guide of what NOT to do for Suzhou - What we Got Right - The Grand Canal Cruise
    The DIY Guide of what NOT to do for Suzhou - What we Got Right - Ditching the Tour
    The DIY Guide of what NOT to do for Suzhou - What we Got Right - Stumbling across the Xiyuan Temple
    The DIY Guide of what NOT to do for Suzhou - The 12 Yuan Man aka How NOT to take a Picture of a Local
    The DIY Guide of what NOT to do for Suzhou - What we Got Right - A Rickshaw Ride
    A Very Late Afternoon Snack
    Shanghai DisMeet Dinner - Two becomes Four
    A Little Night Exploration - Follow the Leader to the Former French Concession



    Day 3: Shanghai to Shanghai Disneyland

    The Second Breakfast
    Not Fun Moment with Credit Card
    In Search Of.......Zen
    In Search Of.......Old Town
    In Search Of.......Peace and Health Parts 1, 2
    In Search Of.......Food Porn
    In Search Of.......A Place Far From the Madding Crowds
    In Search Of.......Shanghai Old Street Food Stalls
    In Search Of.......Lunch! We're Hungry!
    In Search Of.......An Old Lilong Neighbourhood
    In Search Of.......Shanghai Old City Wall
    In Search Of.......A Credit Card Refund Found
    In Search Of.......The House of the Mouse
    Welcome Home
    I Only Went Down for a Quick Snack
    Mickey Snacks at the Ballet Cafe
    You'll Need Drinks with Your Snack (Bacchus Lounge)
    A Room with a View
    Ignite the Dream (From Our Room with a View)
    I Only Went Down for a Quick Snap
    A Quick Snap Turned into a Cold Snap



    Day 4: Shanghai Disneyland All Day Today

    So I'm Awake.....but the Sky is NOT Awake
    Where Exactly Are We?
    4 + 2 = 6 at Starbucks (FireflyFi and her DF)
    1st View of the Park
    100 Yuan = A Disney Scammer Problem
    6 + 1 = 7 at Floral Mickey (Fairy Floss)
    7 + 1 = 8 at Mickey Avenue (Zanzibar138)
    That Disney Feeling
    It's Adventure Time
    The Beauty and the Grey
    This is NOT a Roller Coaster - Our Surprise First Ride: Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
    This IS a Roller Coaster - TRON Lightcycle Power Run
    A Quintessential Disney Ride - Peter Pan's Flight
    A Bounty-Full Lunch
    Inside Barbarossa's Bounty
    The One About Restrooms
    100% Disney, Distinctively Chinese - Challenge Trails
    You DO Know this is a Roller Coaster? - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    When Memory and Words Fail Me - PotC: The Battle for the Sunken Treasure
    Swapping Orange Scents for Grass and Roses - Soarin' Over the Horizon
    Another Childhood Favourite - The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    My First Rainy Day Parade
    Because It's Shop O'Clock Somewhere - The Newest World of Disney Store
    The Up-Side of Rain Days - Park Reflections
    That was a Rather Dumbo Suggestion of Mine - Dumbo the Flying Elephant
    Trash Cans at 30 Paces - More Reflections at Fantasia Carousel
    All About Montages - Ignite the Dream
    Calling it A Night - The Long Way Round Back to the Hotel



    Day 5: Our Second Full Day in Shanghai Disneyland

    Rainy Day Strategy #1 - Sleep In
    An Illuminating Establishment - Lumiere's Kitchen
    Leave the Pictures to Us - All About Disney PhotoPass
    The Early Breakfast is Worth Four Meet and Greets In the Camera
    Rainy Day Strategy #2 - Linger over a Leisurely Breakfast (Lumiere's Kitchen Food Porn)
    Rainy Day Strategy #3 – Walk around the Park in One Direction
    Rainy Day Strategy #4 – Spend Time doing Meet and Greets (Shanghai Mickey)
    Incorporating the Marvel Universe into the Disney Empire (Marvel Universe)
    Rainy Day Strategy #5 – Repeat Rides as much as Possible (Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue)
    It’s Not Easy being GMO-Free – Experiment 626 (Stitch Meet and Greet)
    Rainy Day Strategy #6 – Stay Indoors as much as Possible (Star Wars Launch Bay)
    Off Peak Grid Time (TRON Lightcycle Power Run)
    On our way to Adventure Isle - Neverland Got in the Way (Peter Pan's Flight)
    Rainy Day Strategy #7 - Go See All Live Stage Shows (Tarzan: Call of the Jungle)
    I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major Pirate (Jack Sparrow Stunt Show)
    Rainy Day Strategy #8 - Enjoying a Hot Drink (Ovaltine is NOT Hot Chocolate!!!)
    PotC Fully Loaded: Covering Old Ground (Pirates of the Caribbean Part 1)
    PotC Fully Loaded: Finding the Sunken Treasure At Last (Pirates of the Caribbean Part 2)
    The Lure of the Siren was Wasted on Me (Siren's Revenge)
    Back to My Happy Place in the Jungle (Happy Circle Meet and Greet)
    Walking Our Way Out of the Park
    Rainy Day Strategy #9 - On A Rainy Day, It's Time for Disneytown
    Rainy Day Strategy #10 - It's Always Worth Lingering Over Another Meal (Crystal Jade)
    The Lights of Tron at Night
    Igniting the Nightmare (Wishing for a new Camera Body)
    Rainy Day Strategy #11 - Head back to the Resort Early



    Day 6: Our Third and Last Full Day in Shanghai Disneyland

    It's the Promise of a Sunny Day
    Rolling with Breakfast (Bread Talk products)
    The No Worries Oasis (Hakuna Matata)
    When You Ferry Across Wishing Park Lake
    It's Such a Different Park in the Sun (Down Mickey Avenue)
    Are You Chinese or What???? (Garden of the Twelve Friends Part 1)
    The Chinese Zodiac - The Race to the Finish (Garden of the Twelve Friends Part 2)
    I Owe. I Owe. So It's Off to Work I Go (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train)
    In the Maze of Underland (Alice in Wonderland Maze)
    I Don't Know How I Got to Neverland (Peter Pan's Flight)
    The Longest Wait of the Morning (Voyage of the Crystal Grotto)
    I'm Late! I'm Late! For an Important Date
    Inside the Castle (Royal Banquet Table)
    This is What Being a Photopass Photographer Must Feel Like (RBT Characters)
    Food Porn from Royal Banquet Table
    Closing out the Royal Banquet Table Edition
    Back to the Pirate's Lair Parts 1, 2 (PotC: Battle for the Sunken Treasure)
    Fashions in the Sun (Mickey's Storybook Express Parade) Parts 1, 2, 3
    Daytime in Front of the Castle (Golden Fairytale Fanfare Show)
    A Quick Spin Around Tomorrowland
    A Quick Spin of a Different Kind in Fantasyland (Pooh's Hunny Spin)
    A Quick Spin at Twilight in Alice's Maze
    A Quick Spin around Treasure Cove at Night
    Ignite the Dream from Front and Centre Parts 1, 2
    Last Picture in the Park



    Day 7: Shanghai to Hong Kong

    A Final Walk to Disneytown
    Lakeshore Disneytown
    Disneytown Proper Part 1, 2
    Once More Across Wishing Star Lake
    More Around Shanghai Disneyland Hotel
    An Hour Early is 30 Minutes Late
    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
    Real Life Hong Kong
    Dinner Somewhere in Hong Kong Parts 1, 2
    APM Shopping Mall
    Late Night Photography in the Hotel Foyer



    Day 8: Hong Kong Disneyland First Day

    xxxxx




    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  4. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    How this Trip Came to Be - FOMO


    One October morning, a number of us received an exciting message from a fellow Dis-ser.

    "Cathay Pacific Shanghai return flights $595"


    For Australia, that's an amazing price to head to China! Even better, the flight path was hubbing in and out of Hong Kong....and that meant we could stopover there.

    For a day. We dreamed. We schemed.


    April worked for all of us. An Aussie Dis-sers’ trip. Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.

    Then I went to bed.


    And when I woke the next day, there were 4 on a plane heading to Shanghai and Hong Kong in March.



    Wait….what? March???? :faint:



    Taking DS out of school in March was out of the question. And that kinda meant that I had to get around two problems.

    • If taking DS out of school was out of the question, that meant that DH had to stay home.
    • The March date was problematic for my work.

    My chances of getting on that plane was looking slim. I’ll just sit down (on this) and sit out now!

    [​IMG]



    By 11 am there were 6.



    Wait…..what? Oh no! S-I-X!!! :eek:

    There I was with a baaaa-aaa-aaad case of FOMO.


    From 11 am, I frantically made calls, sent emails. I made more calls, sent more emails……hmmm….I even think I made promises that I intended to keep…..and that FOMO went into overdrive as the time ticked by.


    Finally, at 2 pm…..management took pity on my plight and I got leave approved.

    And......Thankfully, DH was easier to talk round than work!

    Yesssss!




    At 3pm, when I was sitting down with my friendly travel agent, I made an impulse call to my mother. And with that, 6 become 8.

    I had a seat on that plane and I no longer had FOMO!




    :jumping1:
     
  5. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    Hey fellow Aussie! Your trip sounds like it's going to be a blast.
    My wife and I saw the SAME cheap flights and booked the SAME trip leaving 29 March haha!
    Can't wait to see what you have planned and how similar our itineraries will be.
    Darren
     
    PrincessInOz likes this.
  6. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    :wave: Hi Darren! Long time since our paths crossed on the Dis. Hope you've been well.

    YAY! You're going too? How awesome!
    How long are you going for?

    Yes....it will be interesting. There's not a lot of information anywhere on Shanghai. So it would be great to add to the body of knowledge. :teeth:
     
  7. klmall

    klmall aka Kathy DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Hi Princess! I love reading your trip reports; so full of good details and fun to follow along with as the trip approaches, actually happens and your impressions afterwards. And you are far from being the only photographer who hates to have her picture taken (p.s. I love your freckles).

    Hurry on March 17th!
     
  8. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    We leave March 29 and have a tour booked starting in Beijing and finishing in Shanghai. Then we check into Shanghai Disney Toy Story Hotel for 4 nights - fly to Hong Kong - a few days in Downtown Hong Kong and then 2 nights at Hong Kong Disney Hollywood Hotel. We are away for 2 weeks altogether.
    I have booked us into the Royal Banquet Hall for dinner, which can only be done by phone (and even with an English speaking CM was challenging). I also find it curious that park hours and schedules are only available a few weeks ahead.
     
  9. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose Loosing Boo Boo

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    Well, I am here. Love your pictures of you!
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    For the 6 uber-Disney planners going on this trip, you can't imagine how frustrating this is!



    Your trip sounds awesome! I look forward to reading all about it. ;)
     
  11. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    :wave: Hi Kathy! Thanks for joining in. Hope you've been well.

    We're actually going in early March. The '17' reference was for 2017.




    :wave2: So glad to see you here. Hope that life is treating you well, and the dogs (and your sciatica) are doing great!
     
  12. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The Boring but Critical Planning Stuff aka Being able to Legally Enter China


    With flights all sorted out, we now had to work out how to get ourselves legally through the Chinese authorities.

    Our flight plan was Melbourne – Hong Kong – Shanghai and then out from Shanghai – Hong Kong – Melbourne. As a result of us hubbing in to Shanghai via Hong Kong both inbound and outbound, technically the 144-hour transit visa was not an option for us.


    That meant that we were all left with having to apply for a Chinese Visa. For those in Melbourne/Australia, you can fill in an on-line form here. https://www.visaforchina.org/MEL_EN/

    I'm pretty sure the form is universal....you just need to find it in the equivalent website for your country of origin.



    There is also a tightened requirement for the mug shot.

    [​IMG]



    If only it were that simple!



    Seems like the new requirements came into force late in 2016 and I highly recommend you check them so that you’re aware of them. http://eg.china-embassy.org/eng/ywzn/lsyw/zytz/P020120528717997222806.pdf


    The requirements seem to be tighter than what we would need for an Australian passport....especially where free space around your head is concerned.
    Oh....one thing that the requirements do not specify is that they prefer no jewellery.

    When I submitted the application for my mother, she was wearing earrings in her photo. The girl behind the counter pointed it out to us and said she would let it through this one time.



    The China Visa website in Australia also allows you to prebook an appointment time. I highly recommend you do so. When you get to the visa office in Melbourne, there is one of those self-serve electronic machines with an option for appointment made. It’s an extremely civilised system. We were served at the next available counter. Just make sure you bring your appointment confirmation with you. They do check.

    Collection of the passports was equally as civilised. We had to exchange money for the Visa. The Visa set us back AU$110 each. I guess it's a fair exchange.




    So, with our Entry Visa all sorted out, hopefully, we won’t be met by these guys when we enter the country.

    [​IMG]




    Note:

    The 144-hour transit visa only applies to certain ports in China. You need to check if it applies to your particular circumstance.

    The visa is valid for 3 months from application date so you need to apply for the visa at least 1 – 3 months prior to your entry.

    There have been anecdotal reports that other travellers have gotten into China despite hubbing in and out of the same city. We could have chanced it but it is far better to be sure rather than sorry.
     
    darrenf67 likes this.
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The W-W-W-W-W (Two Definitions)



    With flights and Entry Visa all sorted out, I probably should digress back to the basics. Afterall, it is customary on the Dis to detail out the W-W-W-W-W at the start of the PTR. Who am I to change that convention?? :flower1:


    (Definition 1)

    What: This PTR/TR will cover off my version of events. By all accounts, I take a lot of pictures so the sequence of events will be told through the barrel of my camera.
    Verity and truth may or may not be feature of the TR.


    Why: The Melbourne Dis-sers have been meeting roughly once a month for the last 4 years. We have always dreamed of going to a Disney location together. Well....dream no more!


    Where: Shanghai and Hong Kong. This is predominantly a Disney trip. We are covering off two Castles in this trip.



    When: Early to Mid March. Some of us will be going for 7 days, others for about 10 days. We will all be at Shanghai Disneyland together.



    Who: Your Cast Members for this trip include myself and my DM. There are 4 other Aussie Dissers – @zanzibar138, @FireflyFi, @Fairy Floss and @Aussie Wendy . The other two are either family or significant others for the 4.




    (Definition 2)

    But there is another definition for W-W-W-W-W that can apply to this trip.


    What the
    Woop-woop am I going to do to be able to access the

    World
    Wide

    Web?





    China takes it’s internet security rather seriously and there are any number of websites that are blocked when trying to access them from inside China. I believe that China employs thousands of people to monitoring content of the various sites that users might wander into; and then decide to block or keep it going. There are about 100 or so popular websites (including Facebook, Twitter, Google, gmail, Instagram) that are currently blocked in what is effectively the Great Firewall of China.

    I might as well be left with no connection to anywhere!

    [​IMG]




    The level of commitment also means that Chinese IT has progressed down an innovation path of independent technology in order to maintain control and step-side Western companies and open-source access. You have to applaud the Chinese determination when you end up with companies like Yonyou to rival SAP and Oracle, Inspur to replace IBM and HP, Hwawei to rival all the handset/phone manufacturers and 360 to provide antivirus software without needing Norton or McAfee.

    And that's not counting the Chinese apps and Google-equivalent platforms that replicate all the stuff you and I take for granted!
    Truly amazing and all kudos to the Chinese for dedication to the cause.




    For a little longer (at least until 2018), the way around the Firewall is to sign up and get a Virtual Private Number (VPN). There are at least 3 major VPN providers in China recommended by people much more tech-savvy than me. However, the Chinese Government has recently announced that they will crack down on VPN providers in China. It will be an 18-month operation and it remains to be seen what will happen after this crackdown for visitors.


    So.....What this means is that if I want to access Google or FaceBook, I would need to sign up to a VPN provider outside of China. Yes, I did the research but I’m essentially a goodie-goodie and the fact that the VPN crackdown is underway made me a little reluctant to go down this path.


    My way of dealing with this was to ask a friend in Hong Kong. He suggested that if I have an unlocked phone, then getting a SIM card (data only) from Hong Kong will get me on the mobile network and be able to access the Western sites when in China. Voice calls are not that popular in Hong Kong so most of the cards are for data only. Getting what is effectively a ‘local’ SIM from Hong Kong would mean that I would not have to pay the high intercarrier charges if I used international roaming with my Australian service. It also means that as the original carrier is outside of Mainland China, it is not subject to the Firewall.

    There are a number of data-only Hong Kong and China SIMs offered for sale via Amazon. Sadly for me, the one that I wanted was not available to ship to Australia. Neither was the HK SIM card my friend recommended - it required a HK address.

    Thankfully, my friend came to my rescue. He’s purchased a SIM card on my behalf and has mailed it to me.



    I sure hope the W-W-W-W-W workaround option arrives in the mail…..and soon! But, in the meantime, that leaves me.....anxiously…….
    W-W-W-W-W…..

    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting
    Waiting!




    I sure hope the postman arrives soon!



    princess::upsidedow
     
  14. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    My wife's visa photo was rejected due to earrings and we had to resubmit
     
  15. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    Wow!! This is vital information that I DID NOT know about. I was just assuming that I would be able to access the hotel wifi and Facebook from there! A little too western of me??

    Now I am concerned about keeping touch with family back home. Any more info would be appreciated.
     
  16. dolphingirl47

    dolphingirl47 In Search of the Tag Fairy

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    Checking in.

    I really hope so.

    Wow, that sounds like a fantastic price.

    Yay for everything falling into place.

    How nice get to share this with your mother.

    Sounds relatively straightforward.

    I knew this either. I am glad that you have your internet access sorted provided the SIM card arrives in time.

    Corinna
     
  17. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Ooh you've started our PTR - how exciting!

    Just to add my version of a couple of things in case it helps someone else...

    Visa
    I applied for my visa via post. The process was pretty much the same, but instead of going to visit the application centre (which I didn't have time for), I just posted all my documents. It was a little more expensive to do it this way (even aside from the postage costs), but it saved me a lot of time which was much more valuable to me! I did fill in the wrong credit card payment form from the website, but I received a call early on in the process informing me. They were even able to send me the correct form via email, which I just filled in and sent back. My passport (complete with visa) was waiting for me in my mailbox about 10 days later.

    VPN
    I went to the Grand Opening of Shanghai Disneyland last year (and still haven't finished that TR - naughty, naughty!), and used a VPN to get around the firewall for that trip. I used Express VPN, which was very easy to download, install and use. You can also install it across several devices (so your phone and computer for example) for the one cost. You do need to download it before you go as obviously once in China access to VPN websites could be sketchy. It's a good idea to try it out too. I tried to use it to access video files from the US which I can't usually view through my Australian network. It worked perfectly, and I highly recommend it.
     
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  18. OrangeBirdGirl

    OrangeBirdGirl DIS Veteran

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    Oh no! I am far from a consulate. I just overnighted my application to a processing center today with delivery tomorrow. I notice I have pearl studs in. Thanks for the heads up, I emailed the processing agency to see if they think any issues and i could overnight a new photo. I am spending a lot on the processing center to walk my application over to the consulate, so I don't want to pay their fee twice if denied.
     
  19. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info I shall check it out
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I hope it's all sorted out now and that you both also have shiny visas in your passport!
     
  21. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Thanks Corinna. Glad you checked in!

    Still anxiously waiting for those SIM cards.
     

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