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#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111
If you are in Cambodia and want to go to Phu Quoc island,you need to go to the Prek Chak/Xa Xia crossing (Kep-Ha Tien),Then get a boat to the island from Ha Tien-this takes about 1+1/2-2 hours.There is no service direct from Cambodia to Phu Quoc island-there have been many rumours of such a service-but,as yet,nothing concrete.It is worth noting that if you go to Phu Quoc by this route AND return to Cambodia via the same crossing-you do not need a visa for Vietnam.The conditions are that you can only stay a maximum of 15 days,and cannot travel further in to Vietnam.There may be a small (5USD) charge at the Vietnamese border.This visa exemption applies to most nationalities except some Middle Eastern and African countries.
Technically speaking, the free visa at Ha Tien only allows you to stay in Ha Tien, not go to Phu Quoc. It's designed to encourage people to visit the Ha Tien casino.
There is a law that allows people arriving via an international border onto PQ (eg by air via HCMC or by cruise ship to PQ) to get a free visa. There are different interpretations of this law, but entering by road via Ha Tien is generally not considered a valid method for this visa.
In practice, however, I know many people that have done this route and not had a problem. Passports are not checked to get on the boat or once you are on the island.
As pointed out earlier, there is likely to be a charge for this 'free' visa, and it's worth a small discussion to get the price down.
From Phnom Penh, it's about a 3 hour journey in a minibus to get to the border, then a short hop to the boat terminal.
Well,actually post #4 is not correct.You certainly don't need a Vietnam visa to go to the Ha Tien Vegas casino,because it's not in Vietnam,it's in Cambodia.You don't even pass the Cambodian checkpoint if you go to the casino,it used to be before you got to the casino entrance,but they have now moved it.Also-the regulations state that you can visit Phu Quoc island for a period not exceeding 15 days,without a Vietnamese visa,if you enter Vietnam through an "International Border Gate" The Vietnamese passport/customs control at the Ha Tien crossing has a huge arched entrance,that says,in red letters a metre tall "International Border Gate" So,yes there is some dispute as to whether it is covered by these regulations, but what is absolutely certain is that the border guards know quite well that people come to Vietnam through this border with the intention of going to Phu Quoc,and they permit this to happen-and this is an everyday occurrence.So -No you don't need a visa,if you intend to only go to Ha Tien and Phu Quoc island.It might be wise to not say that you are going to Phu Quoc,just in case but there is,in practice,no problem at all in doing so.
Yes-if you leave Cambodia for Vietnam,you are stamped out of Cambodia,and your visa will be marked "used" so,unless you had a long term Cambodian visa that permits multiple entry/exit, you need to get another Cambodian visa when you return-you can get this at the border on arrival-the cost should be 20USD,but usually they will ask for a bit more-perhaps 25USD.If you protest enough,and are prepared to wait,you might get it for the official price.
If you mean-can I go to Phu Quoc using this 15 day no-visa method,and then utilise the visa for another 30 days,without leaving Vietnam,then no I don't think so.because if you already have a valid Vietnam visa when entering initially ,the Immigration authorities will stamp you in on that,and not give you the 15 day stamp.As for getting to Nha Trang from Phu Quoc,it's not particularly difficult(but a long way) You would have to go to the mainland,at either Ha Tien or Rach Gia,then travel to Saigon-which takes about 8 hours,and then to Nha Trang-about another 8 hours.Or you could fly to Saigon and go to Nha Trang from there
Paying $25 to go back into Cambodia is still cheaper than paying $72 to go to VN the "correct" way. Still wondering if it's worth the trouble... I'm assuming I'll need Dong - Haven't researched banking options on the island.
Yes you will need Dong.You can pay in some places with USD,but it's not the generally accepted currency like in Cambodia,and if you do you probably won't get a very favourable exchange rate.There are several banks and many ATM's in Phu Quoc,in Duong Dong,and along Long Beach.ATM's pay in VND,not USD,and the fee is much less than in Cambodia,generally 20-30,000 VND although in some ATM's the max payout is 2M VND,if you want more go in to the bank and get the money there (you will need to show your passport) As a rough guide 1 USD is about 20,000 VND
Aha, I'd forgotten the gate had been moved!
This website states that only tourists arriving on a flight or a foreign-tourist boat directly to PQ can get the 15 day free island visa. The usual ferry via Ha Tien is not included -- as there is a small distance between the border and the ferry terminal, you are not entering PQ through an international gate, you are entering Ha Tien and then 'travelling' in Vietnam to the ferry.
I was told very clearly that the Special Economic Zone 15 day exemption was only for travel into Ha Tien town and definitely NOT for PQ. But, as correctly pointed out, lots of people do it and the guards know that. Might be why they find it so easy to charge $5 for the free visa!