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Visas and border crossings

Visas and border crossings forum

Vietnam & Thailand Visas

Posted by Clare1993 on 1/9/2012 at 22:20

Hey guys,
My boyfriend and I are going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand (in that order) from November 3 to January 26 this year.
We decided to go to a travel agent yesterday to find out what visas and everything we need because we thought it was easier (we are from Australia by the way).
We were told that we will need to get a Vietnam visa ($72AUD) and Thai visa ($45AUD) before we go. We were then told that we need to have documentation of the way we will enter and exit each country as well as specific dates.
This is slightly problematic, as we are backpacking and we wanted to just spend time in the places we feel like going to and move from country to country when we wanted - i.e. no pre-booking!
Firstly - We will be crossing from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh, does anyone know of a way we can book a bus for this crossing?
Secondly - We will be crossing at the Vientiane - Nong Khai border crossing, which i understand is a tuk tuk ride away from Vientiane... is there a way we can get documentation of this?

Has anyone applied for these visas in advance and been able to go around this problem? We don't really want to be booking anything other than a flight into vietnam and out of thailand before we leave!

Thanks in advance.

#1 Clare1993 has been a member since 7/4/2012. Posts: 22

Posted by daawgon on 1/9/2012 at 23:14

Yes, an agent can get you visas, but you pay for that service. For a normal tourist visa, Vietnam is the only county where you have to prearrange anything, and you can get a VOA Approval Letter which allows you to enter the country (online from any travel agent in Vietnam), and then you pick up that visa at the airport (no land border). When you enter Thailand by air you can buy a 30 day visa at the airport (nothing prearranged) or a 15 day visa when crossing a land border. For Cambodia and Laos, it's easier still - just buy the visa at any border or international airport in Cambodia/Laos.

If you need more time for Thailand, it might be a good idea to get your visa from any Thai Consulate, but if you ask your travel agent to get it, you pay for that service.

If you read the info on the Travelfish country pages, it's all spelled out there.

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 1,159

Posted by Clare1993 on 1/9/2012 at 23:26

Thanks for the quick reply!
What is this vietnam approval letter? would you be able to send me the think of a reliable website that I could get this from?

We will be entering thailand by land and are planning on staying for 3 weeks (21 days) so from what I have read we need to get a visa before we go, is that correct? unfortunately there is no thai consulate in the city I am in :(
The only reason we went to a travel agent was because I am hesitant about sending off my passport in the mail!

#3 Clare1993 has been a member since 7/4/2012. Posts: 22

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