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Old 06-15-2008, 02:33 PM
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Hello. So, we have to get a visa for our Vietnam trip. I have heard stories about people having hassles getting into a country, with a short visa, for under a month. I have heard the reason for this, is because if something happens while your in their country, and you can't leave within a month, due to accident/illness, or whatever, then you are covered with a longer 6 month or so visa. Does anyone have any info, stories to share about this. My visa options include Sams Passports recommended by TrvlPro, Zierer visa service (my friend used them for China), AAA (assuming they do visas), and a little Vietnamese travel agent a Vietnamese doctor at my work recommended to me. This is where he goes for his visas back to Vietnam. The travel books I have read, state that they do not issue visas at the airport/point of entry. Any advice, info, stories??? Thanks, Lil' Lori
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:33 PM
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Hello. So, we have to get a visa for our Vietnam trip. I have heard stories about people having hassles getting into a country, with a short visa, for under a month. I have heard the reason for this, is because if something happens while your in their country, and you can't leave within a month, due to accident/illness, or whatever, then you are covered with a longer 6 month or so visa. Does anyone have any info, stories to share about this. My visa options include Sams Passports recommended by TrvlPro, Zierer visa service (my friend used them for China), AAA (assuming they do visas), and a little Vietnamese travel agent a Vietnamese doctor at my work recommended to me. This is where he goes for his visas back to Vietnam. The travel books I have read, state that they do not issue visas at the airport/point of entry. Any advice, info, stories??? Thanks, Lil' Lori
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:47 PM
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We do have some messages around here with bad stories, but it really depends on the country you are coming from. I've heard of Sam's Passports, but then again the little Vietnamese travel agent probably knows more about those specific visas than anyone you listed. It has to help when you speak the language and probably know people in the visa chain.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:23 PM
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Actually if there is a passport/visa office in your area, that may be the most desirable way to go. You have to turn over your passport for the processing and finding someone local will save some shipping cost.

Sams is always my recommendation for accessing information because they have the most user friendly site I've found for getting to the required info you need to get started. They've also been very helpful in getting emergency situations handled for me quickly when I have clients who can't find their passport near the sailing time and other similar things. I've never had them let me down in a pinch.

ZVS is the one most of the cruiselines refer you to, I'm not sure what the affiliation is but their site is dificult to navigate and hard to find what you're looking for. That's probably where your friend got that contact.

A tourist visa is a single entry visa and there is no other option with out a business trip that includes dealing with a Vietnam business as a sponsor. The Vietnam visa can be extended after arrival in Vietnam at the Vietnam Immigration Service for up to 21 days. that wouldn't be necessary unless the ship had mechanical issues at port or soemthing similar. I've neve had anyone have the experience you described with dificulties from illness or other reasons.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:42 AM
 
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I second Neil's recommendation of Sams. They are prompt and extremely easy to deal with. I have found communication to be a problem when trying to secure visas. That will not be an issue with Sams. I know Neil's preference might be geographically biased (as Neil and Sams are both based in Houston ) but Sams has satellite offices in L.A. and Washington D.C. to help them expedite certain processes. Happy travelling and we look forward to a complete post-trip review.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:26 PM
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Hi Lil' Lori,

While I was in Bangkok last year I decided to make a last minute trip to Vietnam. Since this was not a planned excursion I had no visa but was able to apply online at www.visa-vietnam.org.
Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:02 PM
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Hi Brandy. We actually used that website visa-vietnam.org to get our visas. It was a smooth process, no problems. Thanks to everyone for advice. We leave 16 weeks from today. I am already very excited. Brandy, this is my first time in Asia. I have been to a lot of countries in Europe, when I was stationed there. Anyways, we almost went to Thailand instead of Vietnam. We had met some well-traveled doctors last year while in Morocco. They suggested we do Vietnam, before it gets too popular. That is how we decided to do Vietnam. So, how did Vietnam compare to Thailand? What are your thoughts? I really want to go to Cambodia too. Oh well, the world is sooooo big and wonderful. Lil' Lori
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:28 AM
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Hi Lil'Lori,

Yes I agree! The world is an amazing place and there are so many places to explore.

My Thailand experience was limited to Bangkok so it is hard for me to provide you with a fair comparison however I think your friend's recommendation to see Vietnam before it becomes more popular is good. However don't be misled there are plenty of tourists in Vietnam already. In fact, thousands of people a day visit the World Heritage site Ha Long Bay, an amazingly beautiful natural wonder. If you are visiting Vietnam on a tour I am certain you will visit this site however if you are organizing your trip on your own, then make sure to include it on your itinerary! Actually, it was here that I decided that I would go to Antarctica to see the last untouched frontier of our world and since Antarctica my life has been a whirlwind adventure.

How many days will you stay in Vietnam? Are you going via cruise, tour or solo?

Cheers,
Brandy
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:30 PM
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We will be in Vietnam 9 days, and yes we are doing a tour. We will being staying overnight in Ha Long Bay on a junk boat. Hong Kong we are doing solo, just 4 nights there. So, you've been to Antarctica! How awesome!! What tour group did you go with? The tours are VERY expensive, it would be my husband and I. What part of Italy are you in. I have been to Milan, in 1988, when I was stationed in Germany, a long time ago. AH,,,, Italian men in there suits. Lil' Lori
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:57 PM
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9 days in Vietnam sounds great!! Vietnam was the one country in SE Asia that I promised myself that I would one day return to explore the south since I only visited Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. While in Hong Kong, I can down with the flu so I cannot make any suggestions on places to go except where to go to buy a string of pearls Just writing to you about Vietnam brings back so many memories from my trip so I look forward to hearing about your trip once you return! You are going in 16 weeks so is that January '09?

I traveled to Antarctica with A&K on Explorer II (now Minerva) and now, I split my time between Italy and the US. I am currently in Southern Italy!! Any man in a suit or uniform is fantastic but an Italian? Well, that is just trouble!!

Ciao,
Brandy
 
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