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There is a lot of conflicting information on visas for Vietnam on the internet these days, I'm trying to clear up just what is the cheapest way to get one for an Aussie who is already in Cambodia and will arrive in Vietnam by a land border crossing.

Googling is tricky because there's a lot of old info that could be out of date and a lot of companies offering visa services, which are hard to trust.

Some things I read are that it's actually cheaper to get your visa from your hotel, a travel agency, or an online visa company in Vietnam.

I only want the cheapest visa, so that means a single-entry one-month tourist visa.

Vietnam visas-on-arrival are talked about but are actually pre-arranged visas. I can't find out for sure whether these are more or less expensive or only available at airports but I finally established that they are only for arriving via air whereas I'll be entering by land border.

If I do apply at an embassy or consulate I can't find much definitive on whether it's cheaper or easier in Phnom Penh, Battambang, or Sihanoukville. Many pages say it is easier, cheaper, or both in Sihanoukville but those may be out of date as others state this is not the case.

I'm currently in Siem Reap heading counterclockwise around the country. My guesthouse quoted me $65 to arrange a visa for me which I'd get on the same day. vietnamvisapro.com, recommended in Lonely Planet Thorn Tree (same guy who insists it's cheaper than direct from the consulate) says $45 and makes it look like $10 of that is their fee. I've since been able to confirm that all websites which arrange visas are doing the pre-arranged VOAs which are only good when arriving by air.

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    VOAs aren't available for land border entry. Getting the visa at the embassy was very straightforward in Bangkok, but I don't know about Cambodia. – neubau Feb 10 '15 at 7:44
  • Oops I thought I covered that about VOAs in my question - but I must've only found that clarified after I posted so thanks! Did you get your visa recently (last year and a half)? How much was it? – hippietrail Feb 10 '15 at 9:18
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    It was about a year ago, and the fee was 2,000 baht, which hasn't changed for 2015 acc to the embassy website. – neubau Feb 10 '15 at 13:38
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I ended up in Sihanoukville after I left Phnom Penh and the Vietnam consulate was just a fifteen minute walk from my guesthouse.

A one month visa cost me $60 USD, there were no other fees or charges.

The consulate was not very busy, the form was a simple single page.

The visa was ready for pick up at 10 am the next day.

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