In April, my wife and I plan to travel overland from Hong Kong to Hanoi. We are flying one-way from Sydney to HK and plan to travel on to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore.
According to seat61.com we can get from HK to Hanoi as follows:
> Day 1, take a train from Hong Kong (Kowloon station) to Guangzhou > (Dong station).
>Take an overnight train from Guangzhou (main station) to Nanning.
>Day 2, take a morning train from Nanning to Pinxiang.
>Take a taxi from Pinxiang to the frontier at the Friendship Pass. >Allow 2 hours or so to pass through both Chinese and Vietnamese >border formalities. Then take a taxi the next 3km into Dong Dang >town.
>There are several trains a day from Dong Dang to Hanoi. Frequent >buses are also available. Dong Dang to Hanoi is 161 km
My question is, where do we stand in terms of visas. Can we pick up a Vietnamese visa in Hong Kong, if so, how long will this take to process? will only plan to be in HK for 5 days (maximum) so it makes me wonder if we should get the Vietnam visa before we leave Australia.
What about a Chinese visa....do we need one? If so, can we get this in Hong Kong also?
You have the time, so you might as well get the visas before you go. Assuming you are Australian citizens, in which case you will need a visa for China. It should only take a week to get your visa for China, and a week for Vietnam, which gives you lots of time to get it down before you go.
You might want to check out this site, which has travel information for Australians travelling to different countries.
Thanks for the reply Greg, will be contacting the embassies tomorrow!
It'll cost you $70 for a Vietnam visa from the Canberra Consulate, but on the application form that you have to send in along with your passport, you have to state dates of arrival and departure, and give an itinerary. So in your case it'd probably be good to do what I did when applying last week and that's add a few days either side, and just stretch your itinerary out to match. As for China, I asked a question about applying from Hong Kong, and they said that it would be rather expensive to apply in Hong Kong if you wanted it quickly ie 1 or 2 days (which you would do). I can't remember the cost for a Chinese visa from the embassy in Australia when I applied last year, but I think it was $50. I don't know where the border crossing is from China, but if the place you mention is in mainland China and not part of Hong Kong province, you'll need a visa.
This is an old thread but below is an important warning - in case anyone is doing a search on the subject:
What I want to warn you about is the border crossing after you've gotten into Vietnam. By the way, it did not take us all that long to get thru the border - and take a van, not an open taxi as it can be quite chilly in the back of those trucks! The price is the same. Now, here's the warning - the taxi drivers on the Vietnam side have a HUGE scam going on. They will tell you that there are no trains from Dong Dang and try to convince you of a long, expensive taxi ride to Hanoi. They will go so far as to take you to an old abandoned train yard and say that it is the old railroad station. So, if you can't find a taxi to take you to the real railroad station (and there were only two the morning we got there and they were in collusion) and they let you off at the abandoned yard - the real station is just a short walk south of there. Just look for the red train signal lights. Walking from the border might be too long and you won't see any signs telling you where the station is anyway...