Vietnam: The Long Unknown – Progression

Slightly more ahead today than yesterday.

Finally got around to researching the Visa On Arrival option. This option basically means you pay $16-$20 to a company in Vietnam who arrange a Letter from the Vietnam Immigration service. This letter is effectively pre-authorisation, although you still need to get the Visa stamp on your passport. With this letter, you’re already in the race and over the first hurdle. The second leap is going through immigration at one of Vietnams airports with the letter, before paying a “stamp fee” of $45 to complete the process.

There’s a number of online services that can offer this Visa On Arrival letter. Your best option is to Google “Visa On Arrival Vietnam” and compare the first few pages of companies that will do so. The prices vary, so make sure you’re not paying over the odds for something that is actually quite simple.

The other option is to go to the Vietnam Embassy in your country and get one there. But it’ll take longer and cost more.

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I’ve also gone ahead and ordered currency via a Comparison website. We know we’re paying roughly $200 cash each for a motorbike when we get there. There’s the $45 Visa stamp cost, and probably $20-40 for the first night in a hotel with decent food and drink. What we don’t want to be doing is carrying around huge wads of money. With this in mind, I’ve gone ahead and ordered $340, which basically covers the bike, hotel, food and drink on the first night with an additional $50 extra for the unknown.

US dollar denominations

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On top of this, I’ve ordered 3 MILLION Dong, which sounds incredible, but it’s about £100 worth. This might be excessive, but I’m not quite sure.

One thing I keep remembering is other bloggers mentioning police bribes, as foreigners are often stopped at road blocks and threatened with arrest for a handful of reasons. A spare wallet with 100’000D in it more often than not will quell that issue. Bottom line is that’s about £3-5 in my currency, which really isn’t a lot.


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