Arranging Visas on the Move

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Scams in Beijing
The Angkor Experience
The VIP Sleeper Bus Experience in Cambodia
Sleepy Kep, Cambodia
Arranging Visas on the Move
The Adventure of A Ricetime: Mekong Delta
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Easy Riders Tour
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Tailored Hoi An
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Solo Motorbiking
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Halong Bay
The Adventure of  A Ricetime: Sapa
Scams in Vietnam
6 Hours in Bangkok
Scams in Bangkok
A First-Timer First Class Experience


Getting my Vietnam visa arranged while in Cambodia included an offer for the tour agency to meet me at the boarder with my passport…

but luckily that wasn’t necessary.

So, you book a trip and then when a visa is required, you get that all squared away before you leave for your trip, right? Well, not always.

When planning my trip around Southeast Asia, specifically to Cambodia and Vietnam, I knew I was going to get a visa on arrival in Cambodia, and that for Vietnam, you could only get a visa on arrival if you were going to be flying into DaNang, Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be flying in. That meant that I needed to get a visa before I arrived in Vietnam.

I had two options. The first was to get my visa before departing from the US by sending my passport in to the Embassy… but, the problem was that I didn’t know exactly what date I was going to be entering Vietnam, and the Vietnamese visa is only good for 30 days… which didn’t give me a whole lot of room for error.

My second option was to arrange my visa while in Cambodia. Based on some online research, I deemed that to be a relatively easy thing to do. There are many reports of travelers arranging their visas for Vietnam in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, and a few in Siem Reap. So, I set off to Asia without my visa…

As it turns out, it took me a while to get my game plan together for the second half of my trip, and while I was in Siem Reap, I didn’t know enough yet about my plans to get the visa arranged there. I passed through both Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville on a bus, with no where near enough time to arrange a visa, and then I ended up in Kep, the tiny little sea-side town that I love so very much.

I was not optimistic about getting my visa arranged there, and figured that it was likely going to mean a one or two day trip to either Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, and a lot of wasted time. I knew I wanted to cross the boarder into Vietnam at Ha Tien, because I was interested in spending some time in the Mekong Delta, otherwise going up to Phnom Penh and crossing over to Saigon wouldn’t have been such a horrible option.

But, there was one travel agency in town…. so why not ask, right? I was in luck. For an extra $10, they would take my passport to Sihanoukville and get my visa for me! It would take two to three days…. not a problem! I waited for confirmation on what day I was getting my passport back, and it ended up scheduled to be back in the afternoon of the third day, the day I was hoping to depart.

No worries, they said, you can go and we will meet you at the boarder with your passport! Not so fast………. I said. I’m more than happy to stay in Kep an extra day. I received my passport (with visa!) that afternoon, and departed the following morning!

 

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