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13

Yes, it WILL be an issue, unless you're very, very lucky. The whole point of a visa is that the government of that country has taken into account who you are and where you are from, and issued a set of days that it's happy for you to be in its country for. Flouting those, due to ignorance, accident, or even (some would say unfairly) conditions out of your ...


12

If you leave after your visa has expired, you will be "fined" but allowed to leave the country. Depending on the situation and where you are leaving the country (eg, airport v's overland) the "fine" may be an actual fine, or it could just be a border official taking the money for themselves. In general, expect somewhere around US$5-20/day as the "fine". ...


11

For such broad flight searches, a matrix flight search engine is the optimal solution. You could use for example Google's Matrix Airfare Search. I did a simple search for you: For that search query I used Berlin, Germany and all surrounding airports within 1000 miles as origin and all major airports in Vietnam as destination. The screenshots shows the ...


11

My experience with Vietnam was that it really didn't matter - there are literally hundreds of travel agencies and many of them share the same tour operators. You get picked up at the travel agency you booked at and the bus continues on to 5-10 other places to pick up everyone else. The only thing you really need consider is the price (which shouldn't vary by ...


9

I did feel that major cities in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh, Ha Noi) felt touristy, but considerably less compared to Thailand. Bag-snatching is somewhat common in the nightlife areas in Ho Chi Minh City but otherwise I didn't feel unsafe in any cities I visited. While I haven't been there, Ha Long Bay is particularly well-known for its beauty and there are enough ...


9

How often do cameras get stolen? Every. Single. Day. You should always guard your camera, and any other valuables, as if they were expensive, and could walk off at any time because, well, they are expensive, and could walk off at any time. Certainly the degree to which you guard your belongings can be very region-dependent, but will generally be a lot more ...


7

I think to get from Saigon to Kampot, you have to go through Phnom Penh. The main roads and bus lines go that way. Even if there are more direct roads, I doubt they can be used by buses because of the condition of many bridges in the area. Usually you can always get a private taxi to take you anywhere, but I doubt you'll find someone in Saigon driving you ...


7

The Minibus from the Oasisbar in Ha Tien to Kampot via Kep leaves at noon as I mention in this answer. Though the motobike taxis leave whenever you want. And yes it is not as safe as in a car. Though the driver can take your backpack between his legs in front of him like shown in the picture. So you either take a little risk or get the minivan at noon. ...


7

This sounds like a very poor judgment on behalf of Korean Airlines. Technically speaking, it is required that the ticket will show the same name on the passport but first and last are sufficient. I've traveled so many times from the US and never placed a middle name. You're not only entitled to get your money back but you're also entitled for a compensation ...


6

From the site of The Embassy of Viet Nam: We do not recommend visa-on-arrival and online visa. These types of visa are issued by un-recognised websites with no connections with the embassy. We cannot verify the validity of such visa and cannot provide assistance to travelers in case they are refused entry while using these types of visa. Please read the ...


6

Will you need visas? Yes Based on hippietrail's great comment, here's the breakdown: Canadian: Fiji: No visa Indonesia: Visa on Arrival (VOA) Thailand: No visa (expect to get entry stamps in your passports) Cambodia: VOA Laos: VOA Vietnam: Visa required before entry (or pre-approval, read below) Swede (same requirements as Canada for these countries): ...


5

There are no "ferries" that travel the route. Ferries are not available for this distance since the minimum distance (bee line) from Hong Kong to Vietnam is 600+ kilometers. You would rather get on board a cruise ship. Here are some cruises departing from various places in Vietnam, this one here for example going from Singapore via Vietnam to Hong Kong. As ...


5

The ferries between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville ended a few years ago, and the service seems unlikely to return. Between the paving of the southern road, the rise in fuel prices, and the fall in foreign tourism it is no longer economically feasible, and despite the election of the Shinawatra government, tensions between the two countries are high due to ...


5

I can't vouch for micro SIMs, but this wiki (very handy) will give you the lowdown on getting prepaid SIMs most everywhere you need to go. Shops or airport kiosks will probably know more about getting a micro SIM. If all else fails, though, you can use a SIM cutter.


5

I agree with Jozzas. It doesn't really matter. I recently returned from Vietnam. Most hotels that you stay in at Hanoi have tie-ups with some tour operators, especially for tours to Sapa and Ha Long Bay. I did not travel to Sapa, but we had our hotel book us a 1 night-2 day Ha Long Bay tour. We travelled with Cristina Cruises on their Vietnamese junk ...


5

A VOA for Vietnam requires that your visa request be pre-approved by the government before you travel. The "Approval Letter" is the document the government will issue once it has approved your request for a visa. To get a VOA it is easiest to ask the tour company you are traveling with to organize the VOA on your behalf. There are also some agencies in ...


4

If you're going directly from Bangkok to Vietnam, shortest path is Bangkok-Nakhon Phanom/Thakek-Vinh (and then either north to Hanoi or south to Hue). Luang Prabang is definitely not on the way, Vientiane is quite a detour. For casual touring, one interesting route may be to go from Bangkok to north of Thailand, cross over the Mekhong to Laos in Chiang ...


4

From wikitravel regarding Saigon - Ha Tien: There are buses to Ha Tien from Ho Chi Minh City's Mien Tay terminal (about 8h). To get to Mien Tay Bus Station (Western bus station): Take bus No. 139 from Tran Hung Dao Street. I found this on Tripadvisor, a nightbus to Ha Tien the bus leaves from the Western Bus Station in Saigon,at 21.00 and gets ...


4

Viet Nam is mostly accessible via hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). I know that since France has historical relationships with Viet Nam, there are direct flights from Paris to Hanoi on Vietnam Airlines. They are expensive though. I know there are also flights with Qatar Airways, through Doha. They are getting expensive early though, so you should book ...


4

I was there last year, and I remember connecting to internet in a café. The internet was really ok; nothing to complain about. Moreover, in general in Vietnam the internet connection is good. Some places censor Facebook though


4

As far as I can tell, the official answer seems to be nothing. As a Philippines passport holder, you don't need a visa for either country for stays of less than 21 days. But since the ASEAN visa-free zone isn't quite as smooth in practice as it is in theory, do bring along any written documentation about why you are going to Vietnam, who you are meeting, ...


4

This website contains all the pertinent information. Specifically, it says that while your friend as to apply for the visa at the German embassy in Vietnam, your "Verpflichtungserklärung" should be submitted to the "Ausländerbehörden" in your hometown. Presumably it will then contact the embassy. But there looms a bigger problem: Die ...


3

This one here at Amazon has blow-ups of Saigon, Hue, Danag and Hoi An. If you need more blow-ups, I recommend to use Google maps. You can also download them and use them as offline maps so you do not depend on internet connections. Otherwise, larger travel books always contain blow-ups of areas they cover - but usually printed in the book itself, and might ...


3

The short answer is 'yes', but whether you will depends a lot on your modes of transport, river travel is slow and not so frequent, and how long you are hoping to stay in each destination. Southern Laos is slow to travel through, Thailand and Vietnam are a breeze. But, 3.5 weeks is most definitely doable for going through all three countries. However, it ...


3

To get a visa on arrival, you need to apply online for a pre-approval first. There are many agencies (I used visa-vietnam.org several times), and they work fine, as long as you apply online several working days in advance. After a few days, they'll send you a visa approval document which you need to bring to board the plane. Note that you can only use ...


3

The easiest path is through Phnom Penh and Chau Doc. This is an established traveler path. Going through Ha Tien is possible, though more adventurous. You will be very much on local transportation, unreliable and overcrowded. I'm not confident it will end up being quicker or cheaper than going through Phnom Penh, but you may get lucky. If you are at a ...


3

I don't know about 'supported trips' but I did many day trips by bike in Vietnam. One I really enjoyed was around Ninh Binh in North Vietnam, two and a half hours by bus south of Hanoi. We based ourselves in Ninh Binh and rented bikes to explore the surrounding sites: Tam Coc, beautiful limestone cliffs surrounded by rice paddies. Trang An Grottoes Cuc ...


3

I have travelled from Vietnam to Laos to Thailand overland. To be precise, Hue - Vientiane - Chiang Mai. From Hue, there are daily open tour buses to Vientiane. The journey begins at 9.30am (there will be a pickup from your hostel/guesthouse) and you will reach Vientiane the next morning at around 8-9am. From Vientiane, you have a choice of travelling to ...


3

For Ha Long bay from Hanoi you can just get yourself a bus ticket from the bus station. If you are considering Ha Long Bay also consider Cat Ba Island. I have heard mixed reports of Ha Long Bay tours. I was warned a really cheap tour is generally a really bad tour but I rock climbed with a guy on Cat Ba Island who took a cheap tour and said it was great. I ...


3

I can't say about the smaller places, but in the big cities like Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh it's fairly easy to get the sim cards. (both normal and micro sim's) it appears that the 3G network is also quite good, and not expensive. (check viettel.com for some information)



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