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Question: Apply visa to Indochina ?
Hi I winder if you can advise me please. We hope to go to the Far East in 2015, back packing for 6 months. We will leave the UK in February and spend some time in Australia, then go onto Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and possibly Laos. We plan to fly from the UK to Australia, then from Australia to Singapore, travelling through the countries by rail, bus or some internal flights, then probably leaving from Bangkok or similar. As we will not be flying into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh airport how do we obtain a visa for Vietnam and does this also include Cambodia? The plan is to spend approx a month in each country, but when there our plans may change so that we spend longer in some countries and less in others. Can you advise us what the best visa is, how we go about getting one and the cost please? We want this trip to be a relaxed cultural adventure where we can stay a bit longer than planned in one place if we feel like it, not rushed and having to move on within 30 days if we haven’t seen/done everything we wanted.
As I will need visa’s for 5 – 7 countries prior to travel and we don’t know exact dates for arrival or departure in any countries other than Australia, how will this work to our benefit? And will I need to send our passports away?
Dear Gill Smith,
Thank you for contacting us.
We would like to answer your questions as follows.
1/As we will not be flying into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh airport how do we obtain a visa for Vietnam?
For travelers entering Vietnam by land and sea, you are required to go to the nearest Embassy/Consulate of Vietnam to apply Vietnam visa in person. If you fly to Vietnam, you can consider Vietnam visa on arrival instead of going to the embassy/consulate.
2/Does this also include Cambodia?
No, it doesn't. Unlike Schengen Area, visa of each country in Southeast Asia is independent.
3/ Can you advise us what the best visa is, how we go about getting one and the cost please?
The visa requirements and fees vary from one country to another. Kindly contact Embassy/Consulate of each country nearest your place for further advice. You can also see visa section here for reference.
4/As I will need visa's for 5 – 7 countries prior to travel and we don't know exact dates for arrival or departure in any countries other than Australia, how will this work to our benefit? And will I need to send our passports away?
You are advised to revise your schedule carefully to estimate your date of arrival or at least the soonest arrival date since once you get visa of one country, earlier arrival is not acceptable.
You are recommended to apply the longest validity visa that you are permitted. For example, you can apply 3 months Vietnam visa so that you can arrival and exit Vietnam at any time during 3 months validity.
Another way is to extend your visa when it expires. However, please note that the requirements for visa extension vary from one country to another, therefore, please contact the relevant Embassy/Consulate for further advice.
We hope that you find this answer helpful and wish you a wonderful journey to Asia.
P/s: If you travel to Vietnam and need further support about travel logistics (visa on arrival, hotels, transports, tours, etc), feel free to contact us.
Many thanks and best regards, Vietnamvisa.org.vn