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How much time to allot for plane transfer in SGN? Penang Marathon?

  • red100

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Hi! I am arriving in HCMC, Vietnam on Nov 17th at 10am. I have decided to take a flight from SGN to PEN (for the Penang Bridge Marathon) AND so I only have to get a one entry visa (save some money). The flight choices I have are 11am or 6PM?! I dont really want to hang out inside the airport ALL day...

    Q1. Will I have to do anything (upon arrival in SGN) that would make me the 11am flight a no go? (only having 1 hr to connect- obviously barring delays in my arriving flight)

    Q2. Is there any type of immigration when landing in SGN that would hold me up and possibly make me miss the 11am?

    Q3. Am I correct that if I do take another international flight out of SGN I will be able to just get a tourist visa (one entry) for when I enter back in the country closer to my departure date? (this is just a double check question, I am 99% sure I know the answer)

    Q4. Is anyone else out there running the Penang Bridge Marathon on 11/20/2011??

    Thanks for the info! First time in SE Asia and am so excited!

    Sincerely,
    Andrew
    Ft. Worth, TX

    #1 Posted: 4/11/2011 - 12:12

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  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 541
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    As I understand your situation, you are just transiting through Vietnam. AFAIK, you may not need a visa provided your max time in transit is 24 hours and you have a ticket for an onward flight. Be sure to check, as government regulations can change.

    One hour to connect sounds iffy to me. You probably want at least an hour and a half. It looks like the 6 pm flight is a safer bet.


    Check out here
    http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/home.htm

    #2 Posted: 4/11/2011 - 23:31

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 937
    Total reviews: 2

    I disagree with the previous post - if your ticket to Penang is not a through ticket from the States, you certainly do need a visa to pass immigration at SGN. As to the 1 hr connection time for international transits - that's really cutting it close (how much of a risk taker are you?) I would not do it myself. The problem at SGN is that one never knows exactly how busy the airport will be at any one time. I have never had a problem there - all went well, but I did arrive at midnight. If 2 or more jumbo jets arrive at the same time, you might be up the creek!

    (No airline will allow you to board without the proper documentation for Vietnam or Malaysia)

    I always use the VOA visa for Vietnam - you can get it online at visa4vietnam.com (if you are also returning through Vietnam, you will need a multiple entry visa)

    #3 Posted: 5/11/2011 - 13:43

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 541
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    Daawgon,

    The IATA website says transit passengers do not need a visa.

    According to post #11 in this thread, there is a small desk to assist transit passengers get the proper paperwork and help them clear immigration so they can check in for the connecting flight.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asia/804256-do-i-need-transit-visa-vietnam.html

    Perhaps somebody else can confirm this information.

    To the OP: Please check with somebody who can give you the most updated visa/travel requirements.

    #4 Posted: 6/11/2011 - 06:25

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 937
    Total reviews: 2

    goonistik- The OP has not confirmed that he is a true transit passenger (one who holds a through ticket to the final destination). Many passengers will connect at SGN to an Air Asia flight to an onward destination, and these passengers have to pass immigration to check in with Air Asia or other airlines. At any rate, the OP should check with his airline, since he will not be allowed to board that aircraft without proper documentation.The term "transit" is often confused on these forums.

    #5 Posted: 6/11/2011 - 12:25

  • red100

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Goonistik and Daawgon,

    Sorry for the delay in my reply I have been out of pocket.. Thank you both for your thoughts on the matter.. And yes I am not ticketed through to Penang just SGN, I am adding a flight to Penang after the fact.. So I believe I will get the multiple visa and just either get the 6pm or possibly a flight the next day.

    Seriously, thanks for your opinions and thoughts!! This newbie needed them!

    #6 Posted: 7/11/2011 - 09:23

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 937
    Total reviews: 2

    I feel it necessary to warn about one more thing - the visa. If you do decide to take the earlier flight with a one hour connection time, I would not use the VOA visa. This visa requires that you wait for the actual hard copy visa to be placed in your passport at the airport (before immigration).

    #7 Posted: 7/11/2011 - 12:08

  • red100

    Joined Travelfish
    27th September, 2011
    Posts: 4

    Thanks daawgon! I believe I am going to get my VOA and take a flight to Penang on Fri or Sat! Thanks again.

    #8 Posted: 7/11/2011 - 14:17

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