We are travelling around China and are heading to Vietnam next, there are a few questions....
First what is the best way to travel? Train looks the easiest and cheapest? and second is where to get our visa's for vietnam? Do we just go to embassy like everywhere else?
There is a service for doing it online and collecting in airport but if we go by train we will need to cross boarder.
All coments welcome and appriecated!
Thanks and happy travelling.
The VN visa on arrival works great, but it is only available for those flying in. I would get over to one of the VN consulates and buy your VN visa if you choose train travel. Here is a list of options while in China.
In many countries, travel agents will do it for you for an additional fee. Not sure about China. Good luck with your planning.
Hey, thanks so much for the help.
Thanks for the info you posted Vegas Mike! Do you know if it is possible to get a visa for Vietnam whilst we're in Thailand? not sure when we're going to be going to Vietnam, or even if we definitely are going!! if we do go going to be travelling by train, so just wanted to know whether i should apply for all visa's for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos now, or whether it can be done in thailand.
Train travel from China to Vietnam is not as easy as it might look. (Which route are you talking about?) First of all, Chinese trains stop at the border and do not continue into Vietnam at all. You must walk across the border and board another Vietnamese trian (I believe 1 ticket will work for the entire route). The train from Nanning to connect to Hanoi does not run on a daily basis. There is a daily bus that does the trip through except for border formalities. Sure, you can get all of your visas in Thailand, but the only country where you need to pre-arrange anything is for Vietnam. No trains cross borders in the region except from Singapore to Thailand via Malaysia. There is no train from Thailand into Indochina. There are cheap flights from Thailand to Vietnam - Jetstar and Air Asia, and Vietnam Airlines is now on sale for all points.
[ Edit: Edited on 09-Apr-2010, at 12:55 by Daawgon ]
Before coming to Vietnam, you should make a visa. You can contact the Vietnamese Embassy in your country to do this. It is possible for you to make visa on arrival but a bit complicated!
In Vietnam, the cheapest way to travel is by train. However it is not easy to buy tickets! So if you plan to use train for your trip, you should buy tickets as soon as possible! You can contact one of the reliable travel agencies to buy the tickets! Do not wait your time to go to the train station if you want to buy soft sleeper tickets (first class) as the most of these tickets are reserved for travel agencies! They pay a fee to the train station to have the tickets!
Thanks for the info you posted Vegas Mike! Do you know if it is possible to get a visa for Vietnam whilst we're in Thailand? not sure when we're going to be going to Vietnam, or even if we definitely are going!! if we do go going to be travelling by train, so just wanted to know whether i should apply for all visa's for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos now, or whether it can be done in thailand. Thanks!
You should buy your visas for Cambodia & Laos when you hit their border. If possible, buy your VN visa in Cambodia. Cheaper and easier than Laos, Thailand or China. You need to state when you will arrive at the VN border. If you are not sure, then don't buy a visa until you know your arrival date. It is just too expensive to buy one thinking you 'might' visit VN.
Good luck with your planning.
The process is very simple. All you have to do is go to their website and fill out the online forms with your passport and personal information. Make sure you clarify if you want a single entry or multiple entry visa if you plan to explore nearby countries or return to Vietnam in the near future.
Once you complete the process they will send you a confirmation email with important information of the requirements. You will need to get 2 passport photos taken as well as print out an official letter declaring your arrival as well as an application form which are all required at the airport.
Of course, Visa on arrival is officially issued by Vietnam Immigration Dept (Vietnamese Government Agent), it has same validity with the visa you get from Vietnamese embassy abroad. You can see "visa on arrival" is stated well in the Immigration Laws of Vietnam.
Just thought I would reply to all this as we are now in Vietnam coming through from China. The process is very simple and so many stories going round. We got our visa in a day from Shanghai - there is an embassy there - you pay a little more to get it done in a day but if you are staying for a few days then it is the same price as doing it at home.
We then did the overnight sleeper train from Nanning to Hanoi. It again is very simple. You do have to get off the train at the boarders but that is understandable. So you get off with your bags at the Chinese board and the Vietnam boarder too. It is then a straight through train to Vietnam. It will only take you to Gia Lam which is just outside Hanoi main city center. Taxis are normally waiting outside the station - make sure you are ready to haggle with them!!!!!