Following my last post "Travel Help!! Please!!" I got loads of feedback on how to cross the boarders of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia & Thailand and how to sort out the visa's. (Check the post out if you have any visa Q's as it is very usefull)
Im a little conserned that the advice i got is from a experienced backpackers and most people get the visa's before they go.
I was just wondering what most people do?
Get the visa when they are there or before they go?[b]
Thank you for any info
Also im going to these countries in April to Oct, then 6 months in India
I understand ill be in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia & Thailand for high rainfall season
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how i could miss the worst of it....
ie: Vietnam may have a different fainfall season than Thailand so i could change the root i take. Ive checked the internet but cant figuar it out!
Any info would help loads
I'm more or less doing the same trip as you, except I'm there for most of the sunny seasons
I'm going to India in November, the onto Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, 6 months altogether.
Basically I've sorted out 2 visas beforehand. The Indian one you need, you cant enter without a visa. I got this by queuing up at the Indian Embassy in London. If you live or work in London I suggest taking the morning off and going down there with your passport, 2 passport pictures, and the visa forms and it's done in a day.
The other visa I've got is the Thai one. The laws have changed now, if you enter Thailand on a plane you are only allowed a 30day free visa if you can prove you are going to leave the country within the 30 days with an outgoing plane ticket. This obviously was no good for us, because we're travelling overland from Thailand onto other countries, plus we want to stay for longer anyway.
I've applied for the Thai tourist visa, which costs £25 (per entry). This means basically you get 60days leave in the country, you must leave after 60days, and if you intend on going in and out of the country its an extra £25 for every time you do this. So basically if you plan on staying in Thailand for a couple of months like us, just dont go in and out and it wont cost any extra.
The Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos ones you can sort whilst you're there, either on entry to the countries, or in the preceeding country. (We'll probably sort our out in Bangkok).
A lot of people have told me not to worry too much about visas. As long as you can pay for them on arrival you should be fine. I'd just get the Indian and Thai one in advance if I were you.
I've done the "visa on arrival" thing at borders for Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. no problems at all. Although at the Poipet crossing in Cambodia they may ask for the visa fee in Thai baht instead of (the standard) US dollars. Thus, you'll end up paying more that way. As for Vietnam, I understand you must get your visa at a Vietnamese embassy (there's one in Bangkok) before making your trip. I think that needs about 3 days to complete, but I haven't done that so maybe somebody else out there knows the Vietnam details.
Bangkok is the best place to get your Vietnam visa, either at the embassy or a travel agency can arrange it for you for a small fee. Saves on hassel finding the embassy.
I got my visa for Laos when I arrived in Luang Prabang airport, no problems there and didn't wait for long. As for Cambodia, I also got that visa on the border, entering from Vietnam. Again not too much of a wait and no problems. Just remember a few passport photos. Also if you are travelling by land, check the borders you will be using and whether they do issue visas on arrival, I know some of the less uses border crossings may have restrictions.
As for weather in Thailand/Laos/Cambodia it doesn't start raining until around Mayish, even then it will not rain all day. September & October will have the most rainfall and this is when floods can occur. I know the weather in Vietnam does differ from north to south, but not too sure on the exact weather patterns.
People exagerate, about how bad the rainy season is. Usually, it is just a couple of hours rain, every day and usually warm sunshine, the rest of the time.
If it was i who was going, i would get the visas, beforehand, if it is not more expensive, to get them from the consulate, in your country, than at the borders. But i always like to be as prepared, as possible, to prevent hassle. Probably not necessary.