Struggling with Visas!!
16th August, 2009
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I wonder if anyone can help me please?
I am a British traveller flying to Bangkok on 3rd Feb and travelling to North Thailand after 2 days.
I am heading to Laos on 20th Feb, heading to Vietnam on 5th March, heading to Cambodia on 20th March, and re-entering Thailand on 28th March.
I am really struggling to find info on visas. I know that i can stay in Thailand fr 30 days without needing a visa, but i am really struggling to find info on the rest of the countries as all the info i have found seems to contradict itself somewhere.
I am aware Vietnam is difficult as you can't buy visas on the border.
What is the best way to do this? is it easier to buy visas from the embassy websites or in Bangkok or at the border as I am on a tight budget.
Do visas have an expiery date from when they are issued? Will i have to spend extra to fast-track the visas as i am only in Bangkok fr a couple of days?
#1 Posted: 16/8/2009 - 19:41
You can get the Vietnam visa from the Embassy in London, they will post it out if you can't get there in person to collect - valid for 30 days - http://www.vietnamembassy.org.uk/consular.html#VISA - it's very easy to do and normally takes a week
For Laos it depends on where you are entering the country as to whether Visa on Arrival is available - assuming you are crossing at Huay Xai there is VonA there - valid for 30 days - http://www.travelfish.org/laos-border-crossings.php
For Cambodia, as per Laos it depends on where you are entering - valid for 30 days - http://www.travelfish.org/vietnam-border-crossings.php
Plenty of info at the above TF links, so you have come to the right place
#2 Posted: 16/8/2009 - 20:25
Sounds like you are going overland to Laos ...ie no onward flight ticket?
There might be a problem if so. Your airline from the UK may not let you board your flight to BKK if you have neither a proper tourist visa in your passport nor a ticket out of Thailand within 30 days. Phone them and ask what their policy is. If they say it's OK then you'll be alright as Thai immigration hardly ever ask to see an onward ticket when issuing the free 30 day stamp.
If they say they do need to see either a visa or an air ticket out then the best option (at the moment) would be to get a 2 month tourist visa because they are being issued for free right now ...not sure if they will be when you go though! The best place to get one in the UK is Hull. They are valid 3 months from issue so you could get one up to three months before you need it. Check online or phone the consulate in Hull to try and find out if they will still be issuing free visas for when you go.
If not, then is there any chance of inversing your itinerary and starting in Phnom Penh ? You could get a cheap BKK-Phnom Penh ticket from Air Asia which would serve as proof you will be leaving the country within 30 days. You could get your Vietnam Visa in Phnom Penh too.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that if you enter Thailand overland you only get a free 15 day stamp. The free 30 day stamp is only given to those arriving by air. You don't say how long you are staying in Thailand at the end of your trip in March, so I don't know if this matters as far as you're concerned.
#3 Posted: 16/8/2009 - 21:03
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