I plan to travel around southeast asia for 6 months. I want the flexibility of being able to just buy one way tickets to my destination country and waiting until later to buy the ticket to my next destination country. However, I've been reading a lot of stuff saying you need to show proof of an onward ticket to enter a country. In practice, are they really strict about this onward ticket requirement?
I'm not sure exactly about SE Asian countries but I know that if you're able to show you've got the funds then it should all be fine. I flew into Singapore from Sydney on a one way ticket and it was fine. A mate from Sydney flew to Singapore (from Sydney) a week after me, also on a one way ticket, and strangley he had to show Australian immigration that he had funds to get back...
I'm now in Malaysia after 4 months of travelling around SE Asia and I haven't had to show my onward ticket once. Some airlines like you to have an onward ticket beacuse if you are refused entry then they don't have to deal with you. I landed in Bangkok in October and have travelled across Northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Southern Thailand and now to Malaysia. Not once have I been asked for an onward ticket including on a couple of cheap flights I took within SE Asia.
When I arrived in Thailand, I was asked to prove I had an onward flight for their country so I couldnt outstay my given tourist visa of 30 days, I had prepared in advance for this and had applied for a visa before my arrival in Thailand, when I was still in the UK so I was able to stay for the time I wanted to and catch my outgoing flight from Singapore. Im having a similar problem with my trip to Vietnam, The visa i get means I have to be able to give an exact date when I am leaving the country, I cant prove the time Im staying as Im planning to go back via Cambodia to Bangkok by bus, so Im not sure what to do?!?!Anyone know the deal with Vietnam????
With regards to Vietnam we had to state our exact dates of when we were arriving and expecting to leave. We said we would be there for a month but actually left after 3 weeks. As long as you don't overstay you'll be fine! I didn't have any hassle when I left but maybe that's because I had a visa for Cambodia already.