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How to apply for an India e-visa

How to apply for an India e-visa

Visiting India anytime soon? Be sure to apply for your visa prior to your trip to avoid any issues with the Indian immigration authorities on arrival. This is a short guide on how to apply for a visa yourself.

Step 1: Applying an e-visa online

You can apply for an e-visa if you hold a passport from anyone of the countries listed on the Indian immigration website (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html). Do check the link out to see if you qualify. Major passports should have no issue applying.

India Visa

If you qualify for an e-visa, proceed to this link https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/Registration (valid as at 9 March 2018) to apply.

India Visa 1

Have the following details prepared prior to applying:

  • Port of Arrival
  • Estimated date of arrival
  • Visa Service (eg. Tourist / Medical / Business)
  • Recent colored photograph (dimensions 2in X 2in) size less than 1MB
  • Copy of Passport page containing personal particulars
  • Typical details required for form filling
  • Occupation information (Industry, employer etc) including past military experience
  • Places to be visited during this trip and also whether there have been past visits to India before
  • An Indian reference and a home country reference*

Don’t freak out when you see the Indian reference requirement. Just provide the name of the hotel you will be staying at and their relevant details like their phone number and address. It worked for my application.

While the forms aren’t too difficult to fill in, it will take some time to finish. So do allocate perhaps 10-15 minutes if you are going to apply for one. The Indian immigration authorities should definitely streamline the process.

Step 2: Paying required fees

Once you are done with the forms, you will have to proceed to pay the visa processing fee. While I would have preferred it to be a one stop process, payment is to be done separately (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/PaymentCheck link valid as at 9 March 2018). You will need to have your Application ID when you make your payment. It cost me around SGD35.

I hope you found this mini-guide useful for your trip to India. Please remember to like and follow for more useful tips!

PS. I was originally supposed to fly to India last Saturday. However, I had to reschedule in light of my work obligations. No worries! I will still update with new content.

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Kaohsiung, Taiwan: What to see and do at Ruifeng Night Market (Including buying a whole box of Taiwanese Instant Noodles!!!)

Kaohsiung, Taiwan: What to see and do at Ruifeng Night Market (Including buying a whole box of Taiwanese Instant Noodles!!!)

If you read my earlier posts, you would have guessed that I visited Taiwan recently. As part of that trip, I visited yet another Taiwanese Night Market: Ruifeng Night Market. I previously wrote about my experience visiting Ziqiang Night Market and Liouhe Night Market here. Ruifeng presented a totally different ball game altogether.

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Unlike Ziqiang and Liouhe, Ruifeng isn’t a night market that runs parallel and along the sides of a road. Instead, its a market squeezed into a large open space. The stalls are set out in rows with pathways cutting through that are no wider than 5 abreast. So it may be a squeeze walking through these paths as you browse the stalls. Do expect to face mini-jams when you are there as people tend to just stop abruptly to either to look at something or buy that delicious snack from one those bright eye catching stalls.

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My personal favorite is the grilled beef cubes (and I strongly recommend you try this). The chef will blast a juicy chunk of  steak with a blow torch searing both sides with that beautiful brown crust before cutting it down into bite sizes:

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There are also small eating areas managed by certain stalls that sell more substantive food instead of snacks. So if you want to have a proper meal, it is still possible:

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While I had branded Liouhe Night Market as being touristy (and with that, touristy prices applying), Ruifeng brings that to a whole new level.  If you are trying to find a lively place to spend your evening Ruifeng is one such possible spot. The atmosphere was great but I would prefer a less crowded environment.

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Th night market offers not only food and some shopping but also some friendly entertainment like archery or BB guns.

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Try your hand at one of these games. An easy game to win at such night markets are the BB guns. Super easy if you know what you are doing. A few tips to be a marksman for the day (I managed to get a 30/30 that night before being shooed away to the prize gallery):

  • Know your “master” eye. Unlike in the movies, not all of us aim with our right eye. If you are aiming with your right eye when your master eye is your left, you are doing it all wrong!
  • Hold your breath. Yes, you should hold your breath before taking a shot.
  • Squeeze trigger lightly. You don’t want your gun going off target, do you?

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Pro Tip (Where to buy carton boxes of Instant Noodles while in Kaohsiung, Taiwan):

For my Singaporean and Malaysian readers (actually, it applies to all my readers ><), if you are wondering where to get cheaper Taiwanese instant noodles to bring back home instead of buying from the many Family Marts and 7-11s around your hotel, Ruifeng offers a great opportunity as it is located close to a local supermarket. Supermarket = cheaper instant noodle prices!

The best part is that the supermarket has a packing area near the entrance where you can pick up carton boxes for free to pack your purchased products. Yes, it comes with carton boxes and also tape to seal those boxes with.

You can now check-in a whole box (or boxes) of instant noodles at the airport! Of course, there are many other supermarkets but if you are already at Ruifeng, why not just tick that off the list of things to do. You can then take a cab back to your hotel with your box of loot.

Address: Carrefour Nan-Ping Branch, 813, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Zuoying District, 南屏路369號

Travel Hack: A better way to find cheaper (cheapest) flights

Different travellers have their own “travel hack” on how to get the cheapest travel deal.

For some, it means booking on a Tuesday (Don’t ask me why but there appears to be some rumour that that the cheapest deals are on Tuesdays). For others, it might mean arranging your holidays such that your flights are scheduled on less popular weekday slots or odd hour slots. Then you have package deals on Expedia where bundling gets you a better value than you would have had booking separately. Why not also include the price guarantees offered on travel sites?    

Is there a simpler way? Something like a “An Idiot’s Guide to Travel Hacking”?

Have a look at Matrix Airfare Search.

This search engine is amazing as it offers what appears to be an independent search of  available flights (Note: the engine appears unable to identify budget airlines). “Independent” here is reflected by the fact that the engine is not managed by a travel agency. The operator neither sells any tickets nor earns any commission from your purchases. The site will show the relevant airlines and you can either book your tickets directly with the airline online or through an agent. If booking via an agent, Matrix will provide you the relevant booking codes.

Use the site as either a confirmation of your other price research or as a preliminary search to get a sense of the price for a particular leg.

Make sure to search both “Cheapest Available” and “Business Class or higher” options when using the search feature. Sometimes you may find good bargains where flying business will cost you just a few hundred dollars more. For example, for my upcoming trip to Delhi from Singapore. A direct return flight via Jet Airways would have cost me S$400. Flying business class via Malaysia Airlines with a stop in KL would just require a top up of another S$400. Definitely worth the bit more for a better flight experience.

There are also better examples like this where the options on Expedia although cheaper is just slightly cheaper than if you had flown business:

Expedia: Singapore to Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Assuming you are unable or unwilling to fly Scoot):

Vietnam Airlines Economy S$830.50

11 February 2018 (SG – KHH)

1.25pm – 9.55pm

13 February 2018 (KHH- SG)

7.30am – 7.25pm

 

Cathay Pacific Economy S$1,387.60

11 February 2018 (SG – KHH)

6.50am – 2.10pm

13 February 2018 (KHH-SG)

9.25pm – 11.55am

 

Matrix: Singapore to Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Vietnam Airlines Mixed S$1,125

11 February 2018 (SG – KHH) (Economy)

1.25pm – 9.55pm

13 February 2018 (KHH- SG) (Business, Part)

7.30am – 7.25pm

 

Vietnam Airlines Mixed S$1,624

11 February 2018 (SG – KHH) (Business, Part)

1.25pm – 9.55pm

13 February 2018 (KHH- SG) (Business)

7.30am – 7.25pm

This opens up a lot of options for you.

For example, instead of flying economy on Cathay and paying S$1,387, you have the option of flying the cheaper Vietnam flight at S$1,125 to experience Business Class for one part of your journey or topping up slightly for the S$1,624 flight for a more complete Business Class experience.

While using Matrix doesn’t guarantee that you will find cheaper tickets, it opens up more options to choose from. I hope you will find it useful and will incorporate it into your holiday planning.

Remember to like and follow for more travel hacks and tips!

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