Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese visa’

Southeast Asia Considers Introducing One Travel Visa to Rule Them All

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Right now, planning a tour of Southeast Asia requires more research and paperwork than a tour of Europe. Each country has its own travel visa requirements for tourists, ranging from relatively permissive (Thailand) to restrictive bureaucratic spiderwebs like those in Vietnam.

In as little as 5 years, though, that may change. As part of its strategic plan to encourage tourism in member countries, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is trying to introduce one travel visa to rule them all: a Schengen-like visa that would allow tourists to travel effortlessly between countries such as Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei.

Stuart McDonald of TravelFish.org told the Inquirer Global Nation that visa regulations in these countries are a source of confusion for many would-be travelers: “One of the most common questions that we see on travelfish.org is people asking visa questions: What kind of visa can I get? How long is it valid for? What does it cost? The rules change all the time and it introduces a level of uncertainty and confusion that the industry can do without.”

A common visa for all of Southeast Asia would undoubtedly be a good thing for tourism, but don’t expect it to happen immediately. In its strategic plan, even Asean itself noted that there are many obstacles to overcome first: “The establishment of such a visa will not likely occur in the next five years due to barriers of technology, political issues, concerns of sovereignty and security and the different visa systems in the member states.” (more…)

Should You Use an Agency to Get Your Vietnamese Visa?

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Getting a visa can be a complicated and confusing process. Some countries’ visas are relatively easy to apply for on your own, while others are so complicated that you’re almost guaranteed to be better off if you hire someone to do it for you. What if you’re going to Vietnam as a tourist? Should you use an agency to get your Vietnamese visa?

Lauren Quinn of MatadorTrips researched applying for a Vietnamese visa on her own. Here’s how she described the process:

“It’s a strange and confusing process for those of us native to countries of privilege. As an American, I’m used to walking up to a customs window, flashing a tourist-dollar smile, and getting my stamp.”

Although she considered dropping her passport off herself at the nearest Vietnamese embassy, she eventually decided to get a “Visa Approval Letter,” which allows you to get a visa on arrival. To get this letter, you have to contact a travel agency before you leave for Vietnam. One word of caution should you choose to go this route: Make sure you get in touch with a reputable agency. The US Department of State notes that “U.S. Citizens have reported unscrupulous travel agencies taking advantage of travelers and charging extremely high fees upon landing.”

A visa approval letter can be a good option if you’d prefer not to let your passport leave your possession. If you’d rather get the visa in advance and avoid any potential unpleasant surprises at the airport, applying through a visa agency can make the process much simpler and less confusing.

If you’d prefer to just go ahead and get the actual visa in advance, RushMyTravelVisa can help. We’ll walk you through the application process step by step, then expedite your paperwork with the right Vietnamese embassy or consulate for the shortest possible processing time.

Need a Vietnamese visa? We can help!

Get a Vietnamese Visa to Walk Along the Great Wall of Vietnam

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Archaeologists working in Vietnam just announced the discovery of what is being called “the Great Wall of Vietnam,” a 79-mile wall that is up to 13 feet high in some places.

The discovery is the work of Dr. Andrew Hardy of the French School of Asian Studies. Dr. Hardy’s quest began when he found a reference to the wall in a Nguyen Dynasty court document. The ensuing exploration and excavation took 4 years, but revealed what Vietnamese history Professor Phan Huy Lê told CNN is “the longest monument in Southeast Asia.”

As it stands now, the Vietnamese government tries to discourage outsiders from traveling to Quang Ngai, the province in which the wall is located. During the Vietnam War, the area was the site of the tragic My Lai massacre. However, that will most likely change soon. The monument has been submitted for National Heritage status, the first step in a plan to develop it for tourism.

CNN declared that while the plan will change tourism in Vietnam, which at the moment is geared toward controlled package tours, “it may also create the greatest trek in Southeast Asia.” I’m in! (more…)

Get a Vietnamese Visa to Tour Some of the World’s Most Spectacular Caves

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

With their surreal, otherworldly rock formations and strange, pale inhabitants, the inside of a cave is like something out of a science fiction novel. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to visiting another planet.

Vietnam is known for its spectacular caves, many of which remain unexplored. In fact, the country is home to the largest known cave in the world, Hang Son Doong. Located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the cave’s largest chamber is an awe-inspiring 3 miles long, 656 feet high and 492 feet wide. There’s even an entire underground jungle inside, underneath a massive opening called a “skylight.” For more information, see these incredible photos from National Geographic.

Hang Son Doong is not open to tourists, but there are many other caves that are. Many of the most striking are located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park or Halong Bay.

Phong Nha, located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang, is probably the most famous and well-traveled. The first 1500 meters of this cave are open to tourists and even illuminated with colored lights to show off the stalactites, stalagmites and other interesting rock formations.

Thien Duong, or Paradise Cave, is also in Phong Nha-Ke Bang. It just opened to tourists in September of 2010. Here’s a description of it from VietnamAwesomeTravel.com:

“Stalactites that look like temples, cranes with their arched necks looking up to the sky and a pine tree with hundreds of branches are dotted throughout this underground world. With a little imagination, there is no end to the shapes to be found in the cave.”

To go caving in Vietnam, you’ll need both a passport and a Vietnamese visa. Some countries issue visas to US citizens when they arrive at the airport, but Vietnam is not one of them. Apply before your trip at a Vietnamese Embassy or consulate.

If you’re traveling as a tourist, you’ll need the following documents to get your Vietnamese visa:

  • Your US passport
  • A completed Vietnamese visa application
  • A recent passport photo, taken within the past 6 months.

By default, Vietnamese visas are single entry. If your itinerary requires you to enter Vietnam more than once, make sure you specify that you need a multiple-entry visa. Also, if you’re going from Vietnam to Laos, you’ll need a Vietnamese visa that is permanently attached to your passport. Detachable visas are removed as you exit Vietnam, but not having a Vietnamese visa in your passport can cause you to be denied entry to Laos.

RushMyTravelVisa makes getting your visa quick and easy. We’ll research your itinerary and guide you through the application process to ensure you have the right documents when you need them with the fastest possible processing.

Need a Vietnamese visa? Contact us today!

Get a Vietnamese Visa to Visit the My Son Sanctuary

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage is the ruined stronghold of an ancient Vietnamese kingdom. The My Son Sanctuary is the former religious center of the Champa kingdom. Pirates and traders, the Cham people ruled much of the Vietnamese coastline from the 7th century AD to the 15th century, dealing in spices, ivory and aloe. They were frequently at war with their neighbors, the Khmer people of Cambodia and the Viet of Vietnam.

The Champa kingdom was Hindu, and for centuries, Champa rulers built temples in the sheltered valley of My Son. Centuries worth of weather and heavy bombing of the area during the Vietnam War has taken its toll on the ancient temples, but the ruins are still quite impressive. Stick to the designated paths if you visit; land mines and unexploded ordnance remain a problem in the surrounding area.

UNESCO calls the My Son sanctuary “an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with the introduction the Hindu architecture of the Indian sub-continent into South-East Asia.”

To visit Vietnam and see the temples, you will need a Vietnamese visa. Vietnam doesn’t do visas on arrival, so you must apply in advance and have your Vietnamese visa with you when you get to the airport.

To get a Vietnamese tourist visa, you need the following documents:

  • Your US passport
  • A completed Vietnamese visa application
  • A recent passport photo, taken within the past 6 months.

Also, depending on your itinerary, you may need to apply for a multiple-entry visa rather than the single-entry Vietnamese visa that is typically issued. If you plan to travel to Laos after Vietnam, you’ll need a Vietnamese visa that is permanently attached to your passport. Detachable visas are removed as you exit Vietnam, but not having a Vietnamese visa in your passport can cause you to be denied entry to Laos.

RushMyTravelVisa can make getting a Vietnamese visa fast and hassle-free. Your visa specialist will answer your questions, help you with the paperwork and submit your application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.

Need a Vietnamese visa? Let us help!

    Travel Visa Requirements for an Asian Culinary Tour

    Friday, November 19th, 2010

    There’s so much more to Asian food than Chinese buffets and sushi. To help spread the word, Asian restaurant chain Pei Wei is having a contest to find a new food blogger (h/t Gadling). The lucky winner will get take a two to three-week culinary tour of Asia and document his or her findings. Yum!

    Per the Pei Wei website, here’s what it takes to win:

    “A talent for writing, a boundless appetite and willingness to experiment with the unknown, an eye for the unforgettable image and the ability to capture it, comfort both on-camera and behind the lens, a spontaneous spirit but a grounded work ethic, and a passion for Asian cuisine.”

    Basically, it’s a talent contest. You “audition” by writing as few as one or as many as 5 sample blog posts, and posting a YouTube video if desired.

    Of course, there’s only one winner. What if you wanted to replicate the tour on your own? Although you won’t have Pei Wei’s retinue of chefs on hand, a quick Google search for “Asian culinary tours” makes it clear that you won’t lack for tour options.

    To keep travel visa requirements from leaving a bad taste in your mouth, here’s a quick summary of the visa policies for each country:

    • China: You’ll need to apply for a visa before you travel. See Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists for details.
    • Vietnam: Again, you’ll need to apply for a visa in advance. See Vietnamese Visa Requirements for Tourists for instructions.
    • South Korea: US citizens do not need a visa for stays of less than 90 days.
    • Thailand: Americans entering Thailand by air are eligible for a visa on arrival good for 30 days. If you enter by land, you’ll be issued a visa good for 15 days. You can also apply for a visa in advance, if desired.

    No matter where your taste buds take you, RushMyTravelVisa can help. We’ll research your itinerary and let you know exactly which visas you’ll need to travel. Then, we’ll help you with the paperwork and expedite your applications.

    Let us help you get the travel visas you need today!

    Vietnam Visa Requirements to Visit Ha Giang

    Monday, November 1st, 2010

    Tucked away in the north of Vietnam, Ha Giang is a land of fantastic, staggering beauty. Steep, almost conical mountains, caves and grottoes adorn the landscape, where ethnic minority tribes still live and farm in ancient villages.

    New York Times travel writer Jennifer Bleyer visited the province of Ha Giang recently, with her husband and young daughter in tow. Here’s how she described the region:

    “Such reverence, we soon learned, was warranted, and it wasn’t just because of the region’s spectacular landscape. In an ever-shrinking world, Ha Giang, with its uniquely preserved tribal culture (nearly 90 percent of the population is ethnic minorities), is one of those rare places that hasn’t been corralled by modernity or prepackaged for visitors…During the past two decades, as Vietnam’s lowlands and urban centers have teetered on tracks of globalization and economic development, much of this distant 5,000-square-mile province has remained detached and frozen in the past.”

    Activities include hiking with local guides, shopping in the traditional markets and exploring the palace of powerful Hmong leader Vuong Chinh Duc. A variety of companies offer custom tours, either in a car or on motorbikes.

    However, before you visit you will need to acquire a Vietnamese visa. You’ll need to do this in advance, before the trip, as the country does not issue “airport visas” unless you have a letter indicating that you have been pre-approved for one.

    You’ll need to send your passport off to get your Vietnam visa, along with your visa application. Check the expiration date on it before you do so, as you’ll need to have at least 6  months left on your passport to enter Vietnam.

    For more information on getting a Vietnam visa, see Vietnamese Visa Requirements for Tourists.

    In addition to your visa, you’ll also need a permit to visit Ha Giang. You can get your permits after you arrive in the city of Ha Giang.

    RushMyTravelVisa can help you get your Vietnamese visa quickly and easily. We offer help with the application and expedite your visa for the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Vietnam visa today!

    Vietnam Visa Requirements to Visit Hoi An

    Sunday, October 24th, 2010

    This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gorgeous example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating back to the 15th through the 19th centuries. During those years, Hoi An was a famous port of call for traders searching for silk, spices, porcelain, traditional Chinese remedies, tea and other goods. Eventually, many merchants from China and Japan came to live in Hoi An full-time and brought their families.

    The city ceased to be an important trading port after the 19th century, when silt made the Thu Bon River impassable for large ships. Now, it’s a beautifully preserved tourist town, with shops and hotels surrounding a traditional city center. The historic area, called Hoi An Ancient Town, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The UNESCO website calls it “an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international commercial port” and “an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port.”

    One unique way that Hoi An has chosen to retain its old-fashioned atmosphere is to declare the 14th day of each lunar month, when the moon is full, “Hoi An Legendary Night.” On this night, there are no electric lights allowed in the city’s old quarter. Cars and motorcycles are forbidden, too. People walk, talk and play games bathed in the light of artfully designed lanterns and candles instead.

    To visit Hoi An, you will need a Vietnamese visa. Make sure you apply in advance, well before starting your trip, as you must have your visa in hand before you arrive at the airport.

    If you are traveling as a tourist, here are the documents you’ll need for your visa:

    • A valid US passport
    • A completed Vietnam visa application
    • A passport photo that’s no more than 6 months old.

    Also, if your trip requires you to enter and exist Vietnam more than once, you must request a multiple-entry visa when you apply. If you don’t request a multiple-entry visa, you will be given a single-entry visa. and this could wreak havoc on your itinerary.

    RushMyTravelVisa can speed up and simplify the Vietnam visa application process. We’ll take a look at your itinerary to make sure that you have the right documents for each step in your journey, and we’ll walk you through filling out the paperwork. Then, we’ll expedite your paperwork for the fastest processing available.

    Apply for your Vietnam visa today!

    Vietnamese Visa Requirements to Visit Hanoi

    Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

    Vietnam has come a long way since the war. Although the Communist party still rules the roost, the country has become increasingly welcoming to foreigners and is now a popular destination for Western tourists. In fact, Gadling’s Stanley Stewart recently visited Hanoi and found it to be a wonderful, timeless city:

    War and communism have preserved Hanoi from fifty years of progress. There are moments when it seems like the lost city of Asia, the one you can never quite find, the great teeming, squalid, fascinating metropolis of Marlene Dietrich films and 1930′s novellas. The modern age has transformed Shanghai. Hong Kong and Bangkok are jammed with traffic and skyscrapers. The lanes of Old Peking have given way to boulevards wide enough for tanks. Hanoi alone has retained its street urchins, curbside gamblers, sing-song girls, street barbers, bicycle rickshaws and air of neglect.

    It’s great to hear that Hanoi has retained its charm-now, here’s hoping that more tourists will translate into more prosperity for the city and fewer street urchins. Romanticizing poverty in a foreign place is a little bit dangerous. But his visit sounded like a lot of fun: shopping, smoking an unknown (and extremely potent) tobacco blend out of a water pipe in a tea shop, and visiting the pristinely embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh.

    If you’d like to visit Hanoi before it loses its charming, old-fashioned “air of neglect”, you’ll need your passport and a Vietnamese visa. Vietnam does not issue tourist visas on arrival, so you will need to apply for yours in advance. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Your US passport
    • A completed Vietnamese visa application
    • A recent passport photo, taken within the past 6 months.

    For more information about getting a Vietnamese tourist visa, see “Vietnamese Visa Requirements for Tourists.

    RushMyTravelVisa can make the process of getting a Vietnamese visa much quicker and easier. We’ll help you with the application, answer any questions you might have, and deliver it to the Vietnamese Embassy for the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Vietnamese visa the easy way!

    The Top 5 Reasons to Get a Vietnamese Visa

    Sunday, August 15th, 2010

    In 2010, approximately 4.5 to 4.6 million international tourists will visit Vietnam.  Should you join them? Here are the top 5 reasons to get your Vietnamese visa and go check it out for yourself:

    1. Phu Quoc Island

    This idyllic island features flawless, snow-white beaches, delectable seafood and a cornucopia of outdoor adventure activities such as riding motorbikes, sea kayaking and scuba diving. Visit it now, while it’s still relatively undeveloped. It won’t stay that way long.

    2. Hoi An

    Hoi An is a charming tourist town that revels in its history. One of the highlights of visiting Hoi An is the “Hoi An Legendary Night,” a monthly street festival that celebrates the full moon with traditional decorations, food, drink, songs and dances.

    If you like clothes, Hoi An is also the perfect place to get a perfect fit. The town is known for its many tailors, so you’re sure to find some flattering fashions to take home with you.

    3. Halong Bay

    Halong Bay is justly famous for its interesting limestone karst formations that rise from the sea like something out of a surrealist painting, as well as its many deep, mysterious sea caves.

    4. Hue

    Hue was once the capital of the Nguyen emperors, and many remnants of its former imperial splendor remain in the form of temples, pagodas, palaces and other artistic and architectural marvels.

    5. Interesting Cuisine

    If you have the stomach for it, Vietnam is known for serving a unique selection of foods and beverages. For example, consider the delicacy called “Ruou Mat Ran.” According to the NileGuidance blog, this meal begins with the contents of the gallbladder of a live snake served in a glass of rice wine. The remaining parts of the snake are then cooked in various ways and brought to the table after you’ve finished your drink.

    Not feeling quite that adventurous? Just forfeit your bragging rights and order something a little tamer (but still delicious), like Phở or sticky rice.

    To visit Vietnam, you do need a visa and you need to apply before you leave the US. For more information about what’s required, see Vietnamese Visa Requirements for Tourists.

    RushMyTravelVisa can expedite your Vietnamese visa application. We offer assistance with the application and a handy checklist, helping you avoid common mistakes that could delay your application, as well as the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Vietnamese visa today!