My experience as an American applying for visas in Southeast Asia (SOUTHEAST ASIA PREP #2)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was in the "fun part" of planning my trip to SE Asia, looking up pretty places to go and not really worrying about any of the technical details.

Well, as glorious as that was, that time has come to an end.

My trip to SE Asia will be glorious adventure, but before it starts I get to have another adventure entitled "getting there."  This adventure will begin in my bed in Pittsburgh and will end when my plane touches down in Hanoi.

As I am currently in the process of applying for visas and figuring out which needles doctors need to poke into my arm, I figured I should document this experience into a new series entitled SE ASIA PREP - anecdotal tips on how to make it to Southeast Asia. 

Today we are tackling the first order of business - getting visas approved.  PLEASE NOTE: This is only applicable for Americans.

VIETNAM

  • valid passport for 6 months past entry AND tourist visa to enter
  • maximum 30 days in country
  • must apply in advance and send away passport
  • entire process takes about 30 days
  • cost: $60 (and then they emailed me randomly asking for $20 more for no particular reason and then never cashed the check)
  • must apply for special visa if planning on leaving and reentering again within those 30 days
  • more information

CAMBODIA

  • valid passport for 6 months past entry AND tourist visa to enter
  • maximum 30 days in country
  • can apply online, but visa must be used within 3 months of issuing
  • can apply at airport or border, but will need 2 two passport sized photos (would also bring $40 in US cash just incase) 
  • cost: $37
  • more information

LAOS

  • valid passport for 6 months past entry AND tourist visa to enter
  • generally 30 days in country unless you were born there or apply to extend your visa
  • visa is obtained at border, will need 2 two passport sized photos and $35 in USD cash
  • more information

THAILAND

  • no visa if staying under 30 days (exemption chart here
  • valid passport for 6 months past entry 

BURMA

  • valid passport for 6 months past entry AND tourist visa to enter
  • maximum 28 days in country
  • can apply online, but visa must be used within 3 months of issuing AND must enter through an airport
  • if attempting to enter by land, must apply for visa in advance and process is complicated - apply asap 
  • cost: $50 online, $20 by mail/in person at consulate 
  • more information

Be sure to double check the above information as it is subject to change (published 8/9/16). Also... never take anything you read on a random blog as fact.  Take what is on the U.S. Department of State's website as fact... and then be skeptical and double check on each countries own website. 

<MORE SOUTHEAST ASIA PREP

HAPPY GALLIVANTING!

<Backpacking Tips
<Destination Encyclopedia