Ho Chi Minh City · Indonesia · Travel

How to Apply Visa for Japan in Saigon

For Indonesian citizen like me, I need a visa to go to Japan. There are some people who have e-passport who are allowed to go to Japan without a visa if the trip is within the time limit. Unfortunately, my passport is a normal one. In Ho Chi Minh City there is only consulate general of Japan, not the embassy. I visited their website and couldn’t understand a thing! Their website is in Vietnamese and Japanese only. Luckily we have the translate function from Google Chrome, so I tried using it to find my way there.

There is a list of travel agents that are registered in consulate general of Japan that we can use. I contacted one of them asking what should I prepare and how much is the cost. They replied my email :

Hi Melissa,

I am Huynh Di – from Visa Deparment.

For your case, Indonesian nationals who do not possess e-passports need to obtain a visa.

And you need to prepare fully documents to prove:

  1. Personal
  2. Employment
  3. Finance

The fee: 100USD

Time: at least 5 working day

You yourself need to be at the Japan Consulate at the day we submit for visa.

I didn’t use their service in the end. The first reason was because their fee is too expensive. 100USD! I read on another website the fee is 25USD only. The second reason was because I didn’t get enough information on what kind of documents needed. They only said personal, employment, finance. I could have guessed that! I assumed they didn’t give complete detail until I have the deal with them.

I have been to Japan before, via Indonesia. That time I was working and didn’t have experience in applying for a visa by myself. I did used a travel agent that time. I figured the Indonesian website should have some information for me so I checked them out. Plus, I looked at their vietnam website one more time and combined the requirement.

These are the documents I prepared :

1. Photo 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm white background 1 piece

2. Visa application from the website

3. Passport + old passport

4. Resident card + copy

5. National ID card + copy

6. Flight ticket

7. Hotel booking

8. Schedule of stay on the website

9. Marriage certificate + copy

10. 3 months of Bank statement

11. Salary slip of my husband

12. Employment contract of my husband from the company that stated his salary


On the day for applying visa

Time to apply for visa at Consulate General of Japan is only between 8.30am to 11.30am. Try to be there before 8.30am! I arrived at┬á8.40am and there were 30 people standing in line, waiting to come in. The officer then gave me a paper stating what number I was in the line and which time slot for me. I still got the 8.30am luckily. Before went in, I had to show my passport and resident card to the police there since I’m not Vietnamese. By 9 am, I finally proceeded to next room which is a security screening. I had to put my bag in for security check, and I had to walk pass the metal detector. The officer then asked me what do I want to do there and where do I come from. Friendly officer.


The next room is the waiting room. I saw people touching on a machine to get number, so I did the same. I picked Visa and got my number and the number they were serving at that moment. My number was 1041, and they were serving number 1012. Oh well.. a long wait..

There were 3 counters to serve visa application. I counted the service time for each counter was 2 minutes in average. I got my turn less than an hour later. I went to the counter mentioned and handling in all my documents including the original one. The officer checked on my documents then returned the original. She also asked me a few questions. To my surprise, she returned the flight ticket! She gave me a paper to put in my contact number for them to call me if the passport is ready to be picked up. I asked her where should I pay for the visa. She told me no need to make payment at that moment. After one week they will call me, if I got the visa I need to pay by then. Lovely!

On the day for collecting passport

I got a phone call from consulate general of Japan in the morning, said my passport is ready to be picked up.

The time to pick up passport is between 1.15pm to 4pm. I went there at 1.15pm and there was a short queue. I had to report to the police outside again, but this time I didn’t have my passport so I only showed him my resident card. He seemed confused and asked his friend to checked on me.. After they confirmed my intention to collect passport, they let me in. Went through the security check point as before, and in waiting room need to choose ‘Visa’ then wait for the number to be called.

When my number was called, I went to the counter and gave her the receipt for collecting my passport. She checked for a bit then she asked me to pay for the visa fee 610k vnd. After that, she told me to wait a moment on the seat. It took a while until she started calling names and people whose name called came to counter and collected their passport.

So happy I got the visa for Japan! I will go to Fukuoka, Beppu and Nagasaki. Wait for the story ­čśë


Hope this post helps you in applying visa to go to Japan from Saigon. Especially for those who can’t understand Vietnamese and Japanese like me.


Hobby · Indonesia · Travel

001 – Happy New Year

As the new year come, I started a photography project to improve my skill (I hope..). It’s a 365 photo challenge where I need to take photo (and post it) everyday. Let’s see how it goes but I want this to be a success project. I posted the pictures on my facebook page but I figured I need to do it here as well. So.. here is the first photo :


This photo was taken at one of the hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia on new year’s eve. They have a firework event and it was beautiful!


Indonesia · Travel · Vietnam

How to extend Indonesian passport in Ho Chi Minh City

My passport is expiring on October, which mean I can’t go there anywhere within this month until I renew it. I contacted Indonesian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City at number +84838251888 and chose consular department. He was really nice and mentioning all the requirement to extend / renew my passport.These are the requirements :

  • 2 pcs 3 x 4 cm photos with red background (on file and printed)
  • old passport
  • residence card
  • filling the provided form (I got it when I went there).

Their opening hours is 9 AM – 12 PM and 2 PM – 4 PM, close on Saturday and Sunday. I went there and gave them everything but I forgot my photos (printed one)! I was already thinking they would send me back because of that, but they didn’t! They gave me the form and I need to fill it there and return to them. After that they gave me a receipt and a note that I need to bring my photos when the new passport is done.

I went there on Friday around 3.00 pm. Got a call from someone in consulate on Monday saying that he will process my passport. I asked him how long will it take to process it, but they didn’t give a clear answer. He only said that he will call me when the passport done. Okay then I just need to wait..

The next day, I got another call from him and he told me the passport is done! Whaaaatt? So fast! He told me to bring money to pay. It was USD $22. I asked him if I can pay in Vietnamese Dong, but he said I can’t ­čśŽ So prepare money in USD for this.

And.. that’s it! It was very quick. They did a great job as Indonesian Consulate. Very helpful and no unofficial charge.

Hope this helps!


9 Nov 2016 : They only have stock of 24-pages passport now. And they only charged my husband for USD $7!! Why so much different than me?!

Food · Indonesia · Travel

Cirebon – Culinary Trip

Have you ever been to Cirebon City? You should if you haven’t. It’s one of the city in West Java, Indonesia, as well as my hometown. With the new highway built, more people from Jakarta and Bandung are coming to Cirebon either for pilgrimage, vacation┬áor culinary trip, or all!

Cirebon Station at night

I just want to share about culinary part from my last visit two weeks ago. I arrived at Cirebon by train from Jakarta. What I love about Cirebon is the food. Many different kind of food and delicious and affordable price (some even very cheap!). I only have 3 days to do the culinary there but it’s satisfying. So, let’s start the list :

1. Nasi Langgi 

Nasi Langgi

This is my favorite Nasi Langgi, because it has long beans. Looks very simple but I like the taste better than the newer version of it. Nowadays they put meat as well and many people like that one better. But I stick to the traditional one, my favorite since I was a little. For this one, I don’t know where to get it. My mom bought it for me haha. But you can show this picture to local people there and they should be able to tell you where to go. This one is very busy in the morning, so make sure to be there early or else you won’t get it.

2. Mie Murni

Yamien asin Mie Murni

I like dry-style noodle like this one. We call it Yamien in Indonesia. And since I like salty thing, I ordered Yamien Asin (salty dry noodle). This place is my favorite noodle restaurant since I was in Junior High School. I didn’t expect they still there, but they do! And they still taste good. I don’t like their wonton though. It has very thick skin. I must say this is the best noodle in Cirebon. They are located at┬áJalan Pasuketan no. 21.

3. Nasi Jamblang Bu Fitri

Nasi Jamblang Bu Fitri

This one is considered new, but it become really famous now. At first they only open from 9 pm. But now, they start selling from 7 pm.

Nasi Jamblang Bu Fitri

There are many kind of dishes you can order. The price depends on what item you ate. For me, I never eaten meat here, so it’s always very cheap when I ate. About 18.000 rupiah. It’s at Jl. Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo, in front of GTC.

4. Nasi Ati depan Santa

Nasi Ati Depan Santa Maria

This one is not healthy but good! Everything that is not healthy is always taste good xD They sell every part of chicken in fried. I ordered rice with fried chicken liver, fried chicken skin, and fried chicken intestine. The chili is very spicy but yummy. I can eat a lot of these if I’m not reminded of high cholesterol lol. They are only open from about 11 AM until they run out of stock. Usually very busy at lunch time. It’s located at┬áJl Sisingamangaraja ÔÇô in front of Santa Maria┬áCatholic School.

5. Cirebon Seafood (Acoy)

Never disappointed eating here. Try their “Udang Gulung” and “Fuyunghai”. Finger-licking good! Cirebon Seafood is located on the ground floor of Hotel Cahaya Jl. Kalibaru Selatan, Cirebon. They have room with air conditioner behind.

6. Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul

Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul

Another nasi jamblang that is really famous in Cirebon. They are already around since I was in Junior High School. I used to eat this at night, because they only open at night before. The rice is packed in small size, so you will need more than 1 pack per meal. My mom only eat 1 pack though. For this place, my favorite are ‘telur dadar’, ‘sambal’, and ‘tahu sayur’. Those are my order whenever I went there. They are open 24 hours now, and located at Jl. Cipto ( opposite of Grage Mall).

7. Tahu Gejrot


Another traditional dish from Cirebon. Tahu gejrot. If you like spicy food, you can ask the seller to give you more chili. For my order, I didn’t use any chili, just extra onion. Hmm.. yummy. For this one, you can find it in front of Shinta Manisan, Jl. Lemah Wungkuk, on its pedestrian.

8. Mie Koclok


This one also special dishes in Cirebon. They cooked the noodle and mixed it with coconut milk sauce. Not everyone like this, but if you haven’t tried it you should do it. There are a few place for this noodle, but the famous one is at Jl Lawanggada. This one also quite famous and tasty. It’s on┬áJl. Pekarungan (dekat Masjid Merah Panjunan).

9. Seafood Pak Kliwon

This place is very far from the city, but worth the trip. The price is affordable, and big portion as well. If you wanna try this, you can go to┬áJl. Kalijaga No.1, Pelabuhan Perikanan Nusantara, Kejawanan, Cirebon. It’s inside a fisher compound.

Do you have favorite place to eat in Cirebon as well? Do let me know in comment below ­čśë