My friend and I are travelling South East Asia for over 7 weeks at the start of June. We are flying into Bangkok and flying out of Hong Kong, so what would be the best route to take on these countries?
Also, is it difficult to get visas for Vietnam and Cambodia and how much are they? We booked through a travel company and they said that a Vietnamese visa would could cost a 110 euro and Cambodian visa would cost 90 euro, is this right?
Any help would greatly appreciated!
Oops, that seems like a big rip-off.... visas are much-much cheaper.... it is quite easy and straight forward using local agents to arrange visa for you. they will advertise their services on the street in tourist areas. You will even be able to do it through your hotel as they hook up with the agents.
Cambodia visa: $20
Vietnam visa: $25
add $5 extra fee for each that you will pay to the agent.
What country are you from? Are you flying back to the same country from Hong Kong or on to another place?
The country you are from and the passport you are using also affects what visa you can get or if there are special requirements or restrictions you have to adhere to.
If you Google up "visa requirements" for the various countries you want to visit you will know what the requirements are for your country. You can pull up the websites for the Cambodian and Vietnam embassies in your country and get the visa info direct. It may be convenient to get the visa stamp before you leave home.
Hong Kong will be the most expensive country to visit if there are budget constraints. Laos and Malaysia would be cheaper. From Thailand you have good transportation choices to the nearby countries. Buses, trains, private vans bring tourists to border areas. There is even a train that goes from Bangkok, through Malaysia, and on to Singapore. You can purchase flights from Thai travel agencies when you are in Bangkok. Sometimes the discount airlines have fares that are real cheap! But discount airlines also have lower weight allowances and charge if your bags are overweight.
If you are using one way flights to Bangkok and one way flights from Hong Kong to return home compare prices. Some one way flights cost the same as a round trip flight. It might be cheaper to fly round trip to Bangkok and fly round trip to Hong Kong and return to BKK. I have flown to Hong Kong on China Airlines a few times and the fare was not that much.
For flight price comparisons try pulling up the airline websites and enter the dates you want to fly and choose round trip, record that price. Then see what the price is for a one way flight. Some international flights that are one way can cost the same as round trip. But it depends on the airline and how your flight is booked. A travel agent can help you, usually the advice is free too.
Thanks a million for your help on the visas, we were definitely being ripped off! Its seems fairly easy to get a visa for the country you want to visit in the country before!
We are from Ireland and flying Dublin to Bangkok on 1st June and on 23rd July we are flying from Hong Kong to Brisbane.
Although I fear we have made a big mistake choosing to fly from Hong Kong as it is going to be difficult to get, a six hour flight from Hanoi alone!
Would we have been better to fly from Singapore to Brisbane? Also what is the best travelling route to take in South East Asia?
Easy one first. Yes, it would have been cheaper to fly SIN-BNE than from HK. Now visas. Thailand is easy, fly in and get your free 30 entry permit. I would enter Laos at the Friendship Bridge. Buy your visa on arrival. Figure $35. After Laos, I would enter Cambodia. This is a bit tricky and I have not done it. Read up on crossing Lao borders here. Here is a great resource for Cambodia. Siem Reap, bus or boat down to Phnom Penh, perhaps beach time at Sihanoukville, Kampot. You can cross into VN at Ha Tien if you want to hit the Mekong delta before HCMC. Buy your VN visa in S'ville, takes less than 30 minutes. The guy will usually do your visa while you stand there and chat with him. Figure $35, $25 for the visa, $10 for his trouble. Or buy it in PP while you are there. Most GHs will get your VN visa for an extra $5-10 , figure $35 total for a 30 day VN visa. There are many bus companies that make the run PP-HCMC if you choose that option. My blog talks about my trip: HCM-PP. I would use the open tour bus system to travel up to HAN. Get on/off when you want, much cheaper and more convenient than the train. However, the train is safer and you might sleep better on the overnight legs. Your decision. Buy your China visa in HAN if you do not have one. Bus or train into China. Over to HK, your flight to BNE. This route has very little back-tracking.
Good luck with your planning.
re: getting from hanoi to hong kong
Mike gave you an excellent idea/description how to get from hanoi to hk thru china. Just one note in case you need to get visa for china: inquire if it is possible to get the visa in hanoi, it used to be the case, but i heard since two years ago it's been difficult and travellers recommend hcmc instead. In bangkok and in laos (vientien), you can also obtain it.
Lately, people have been saying on this forum that there might be restrictions on getting china visa due to upcoming sport games in guangzhou.
Unfortunately, there are no low costs flying between vietnam and hk/macau. So, either you will have to fly with a "regular" carrier or take the train/bus thu china.
It will be otherwise very easy and convenient to get around by train in china. Getting to hk from china (shenzen) is also straight forward. See train schedules in china:
Let me know if you have more questions.
If you're in Sihanoukville, Cambodia before you go to VIetnam you can get your visa from here too. Costs $45 at the consulate in Sihanoukville and takes 5-10 minutes. You can also get an agent to do it, they'll charge up to $50.