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 regulat
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