My name is Phil and I am travelling trough Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos from end of Jan to end of April 2012.
I need help?
After some research it seems that I can get into Thailand without a visa for a 30 day stay and can get visa's for Cambodia and Laos at border crossings but not vietnam.
My question is if I arrive in Thailand with a return ticket of say 2nd May and get a visa in Bangkok for vietnam, taking into account that I will only be in Thailand for less than 30 days, will I get through immigration?
PS I would like to meet up with others in Thailand when I arrive. I may be 54 but have a young outlook and completely mad lol
I remember finding it quite confusing myself.
If I recall you get 30 days on arrival in Thailand if you fly in, then if you leave and come back it will start again. You just get a stamp in Thailand where as you get actual full page visas in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The only thing is I believe if you arrive back to Thailand overland it's only 15 days instead of 30. So look in to that. Otherwise I think you can buy a 90 day visa.
Try and either get your Vietnam visa before you leave home or in Bangkok. You can do the details for it through the Vietnamese consulate online and then send your passport away if you have time. No ifs and buts with Vietnam.
The others you won't have a problem with. Take passport photos, they don't use them in your passport but they take them with the form.
Hope that was helpful.
Thanks for that. I was just a bit worried that if I fly in with a 3 month return date back to the UK then they might stop me proceeding into Thailand although I will only be there for less than the thirty days before going to one of the other countries.
Did you get a return flight or just booked when you wanted to return home?
Most of us do not carry a return ticket anymore. All we have is a confirmation number. The Thai Imm. officials know this and rarely ask for a return ticket anymore. They can, but they just don't. I would not stress over a return ticket past the 30 day time period. Thailand will be happy to have you as a visitor.
I assume you will go overland into either Laos or Cambodia. Buy your VN visa while you are in Vientiane or Phnom Penh. Cheaper and faster than in BKK. PP is your best bet if you are entering VN overland from Cambodia. Or Sihanoukville. The guy at the VN Consulate will sell you a VN visa while you stand there and chat with him. Figure about $35. Here is the best resource for all things Cambodia.
There is a visa on arrival system for a VN if you fly in. My blog covers my experience flying into Tan Son Nhat. I would use the open tour bus system while traveling through VN. Cheaper and more convenient than using the train IMO. VN does have a decent train system if you prefer rail. My blog might help with traveling between HCM & PP, visiting HCM, DaLat, Nha Trang & Mui Ne. Air Asia has cheap flights between several of the cities you will be visiting if you are running out of time.
Send me a PM if you have any questions. Good luck with your planning.
Thanks Mile I really appreciate your help and will defo look at your blog.
Just one question do you find that the airlines before you depart your home country ask about visa's as I was advise by my agent when booking my flight they they can refuse to take you not having one but I would assume this is just standard practice by booking agents?
I suppose I just fret abit lol
Some airlines will not let you board w/o a return ticket. Check. Talk to your airline and tell them your plans. You do have a return flight, so all should be OK. They may require you to buy a Thai tourist visa since your return flight is over 30 days from arrival. Worth checking on before your departure date. Good luck.
Have you considered an open-jaw air ticket? An open-jaw ticket allows you to start your trip in one city (say Bangkok) and end it in another (say Hanoi). Often the open-jaw is no more than a roundtrip ticket, and can be purchased online by using the multi-destination option found on most airline or third party websites. I suggest that you might also try a good travel agent since you have visa questions. As written above, it is the responsibility of the traveler to make sure about proper documentation before travel - the failure to do so could possibly invalidate your ticket and the airline would be justified in denying boarding. Actually, I think you would be quite safe in Thailand (when I traveled there, no one in Thai Immigration asked about my itinerary or onward tickets at all).
The bottom line then reads - if you are an inexperienced traveler, USE A TRAVEL AGENT!
Personally I have never had an airline enquire about my visas.
As far as they are concerned they have been paid to take you there, they are not going to care whether or not you have the correct visas. Why would they care?They would be quite happy for you to have to pay a stand by fee to return. The only time it has ever come up with me is when flying to the states some of the American airlines ask if you sorted your ESTA (visa) but don't need to see it, just a friendly reminder.
Travel agents are not that useful I find but if you have lots of questions by all means go and ask one but when it comes to visas it is the travellers responsibility and they will wipe their hands of you if it stuffs up.
If you are worried about your airline, ask them.
You should be fine. Have all your documentation in hand if they want to see it you have it. I never got asked for return flights but you have it booked if they ask. Visas are usually fine but Thailand is a bit confusing because I believe it has changed around alot in the past few years.
I fretted for no reason, never got asked anything at any of the borders. They will jsut open your British passport and stamp it and move you on. A British passport is of no concern to them. They are friendly. It's a chilled part of the world and very used to backpackers traipsing in and out and around. It's not like the UK, US or Australia, it much easier. Except Vietnam of course, have your documents in order there.
Cheers your mail is very useful