This site has been so informative but I have a few enquiries you guys/gals could help me with.
I'm flying to Bangkok on 9th Feb, arrive 10.30am and wait at airport for late pm flight to HCMC. I'm about to apply, online, for a "visa on arrival" approval letter that allows boarding the plane. This service costs about $20 The entry visa is stamped at the visa on arrival desk, costing $25. This service only available for air travel. I'm pretty sure these services are legit but I've heard so much about needing a FULL visa before entering Vietnam. Can someone confirm a visa on arrival desk exists at HCMC airport?
#1 limeyben has been a member since 4/1/2012. Posts: 3
What you describe describes exactly what occurred for me, when I arrived in Hanoi. I have no reason to believe it would be different in HCMC.
I organised my pre-approval letter through this website http://www.myvietnamvisa.com/ and everything went smoothly. I've also recommended them to other people who have had no issues that I'm aware of.
The key thing however, is to check the dates on the visa once you do get it before you leave immigration. I was just reading how CrankyCarrot (on this forum) got short-changed by a week somehow - and I've heard it happening to others, too.
Thanks for your replies! I've just spent the last 20 minutes writing out my itinery for any helpful comments, pressed preview and told to log in again... and lost my message. Is there a time limit on these replies??
#4 limeyben has been a member since 4/1/2012. Posts: 3
It's an hour before you automatically get logged out -- sorry about that.
Re the above for visa on arrival, I did that into Ho Chi Minh City a couple of weeks ago without problem.
You only need 1 picture. Be sure you stop at the Visa counter B4 you head to the Immigration gates. Don't be alarmed if yours is not the only name on the Approval Letter - this is routine.
#6 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,083
The service is indeed legit though $20 is a bit excessive. As stated above, make sure you have $25 cash (try & have the exact money to avoid waiting for change), 2 passport pics & your authorisation letter, & be prepared to elbow people jumping what passes for the queue.
#7 ComeAndGoVietnam has been a member since 17/3/2009. Posts: 24
Thank you all for the advice! Now could you advise me on myitinery? Any alternatives or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I’ve got 28days. I’m a mature hippy making his last long haul flight, (I’m not as good asI once was but I’m good once as I ever was..) I like beaches, night life,smiling faces, some comfort but able to rough it.
I leave Heathrow for Bangkok 9th Feb, arrive10.30am on 10th. Hang around the airport for the late pm flight toHCMC. Stay a few days and acclimatise then get a train to Nha Trang, stay a fewdays before returning by Bus to HCMC to arrange a Mekong Delta tour taking inCan Tho and area ending at Chau Doc to take a boat to Phnom Penh. Stay a fewdays Then Sihanoukville (few days) then make my way to Anghor Wat. Hopefully Ican go by road to Bangkok, otherwise back to PP and fly.
Forgive my ignorance but I assume it’s straightforwardgetting a Cambodian visa either before or after the boat trip? Finally wouldyou advise taking Doxycyline or rely on creams and a net?
#8 limeyben has been a member since 4/1/2012. Posts: 3
I don't have time to make a long post of itinerary suggestions at the moment.. but you can get some ideas here: http://www.travelfish.org/trip_planner/
No, I wouldn't bring a mozzie net. Personally, I wouldn't bother taking Doxycyline either - but that is very much a personal decision and calculated risk. I carried it with me on two trips in the SEA region (7 months total) and never took them in the end.
Yes, you can easily get Cambodia at border as you come through from Vietnam. The boat from Chau Doc will stop at Vietnam immigration to check out you, then you stop a few minutes later at Cambodia immigration to get your entry visa. It's an easy process. (NOTE: This does not work in reverse. If you were to take the boat from PP to Chau Doc, you would have to have a Vietnam visa ahead of time. You can't get the Vietnam visa at overland border crossings.)