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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese visa’


Southeast Asia Considers Introducing One Travel Visa to Rule Them All

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.” Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Use an Agency to Get Your Vietnamese Visa?

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

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! Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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!