Don’t worry about finding a travel agent to process your visa to Vietnam — it’s insanely easy (and cheaper) to get by yourself and Bangkok is a great place to do it. You will need: two passport photos, the visa form itself (available at the embassy), your passport, the visa fee and a pen. Pen optional as you can probably borrow one from the embassy.
The Embassy’s visa section is conveniently located on Wireless Road, just south of Phloen Chit BTS Skytrain Station between Siam Square and Sukhumvit in central Bangkok. From the station, head along the skywalk past exit 2 and take the stairs down to your left, putting yourself on the east side of Wireless Road. Walk a few hundred metres south and the embassy's visa section is clearly marked on the left side of the road, just beyond Plaza Athenee Hotel. If you need photos, head into the Mahatun Plaza Building next to the BTS station and find Closeup Photoshop on the first floor; they’ll take a set of visa photos for 150 baht.
Single-entry 30-day visas cost around 2,500 baht for four-day processing (hand your passport in on day one, and it will be ready first thing on day five, weekends and holidays not included) or 3,000 baht for next day processing. Single-entry 90-day visas cost around 3,700 baht for four-day processing. We were told in July 2017 that 90-day multiple entry visas are also available, though only with four-day processing. Note that fees may differ for certain nationalities.
Visa applications can be submitted at any time from 09:00-11:30 and 14:00-16:00, but you can only pick up your passport with the new visa from 16:00-17:00. Keep in mind that the Embassy closes on both Vietnamese and Thai holidays, so do take those into consideration before finalising any travel plans.
The process itself is pretty effortless: the visa application section is just off the footpath, Embassy staffers we've spoken with have been helpful, and long queues are rare. We've picked up visas here a couple of times, and for us the application has never taken more than 15 minutes. Of course, nowadays some nationalities don't need a visa to Vietnam for short trips, and most others can apply for an e-visa. Still, getting a Vietnam visa in Bangkok is so easy that we suggest it as a way to avoid a potential e-visa mixup.
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
83/1 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
T: (02) 650 8979
Open Mon-Fri 09:00-11:30 ; 14:00-17:00 (last hour for visa pick-up only)
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.