Getting into Vietnam can actually be quite tricky! We’ve put together a little guide on our own (and some friends’) experiences to help you get in pain free!
Hey y’all, a different post this time from us but something that we felt we should make! Vietnam is way too beautiful to miss and we had some great experiences there so wanted to share all the info we possibly could with you.
Getting your VISA
First things first, we recommend getting an E-Visa before you even think about getting into Vietnam. It only costs around £30 and takes up to a week to come through. This E-Visa gives you up to 30 days to explore the beautiful country of Vietnam and trust us, you’ll need it! You can get a Visa at an Embassy should you already be abroad when deciding to visit Vietnam but this is more expensive and can take a little longer. They do offer fast track options at Embassies if you’re really in a pinch though (for more money). Honestly though, save yourself the headache and get the E-Visa.
*Countries that require a Visa for Vietnam may vary, we’re basing ours off of being from the U.K where it is required. Do your research into Vietnam before planning to enter!
We went from Laos to Vietnam but that won’t be the case for everyone. If you have your E-Visa, you’ll be designated a place of entry. This’ll be either a land border or airport of your choice. Personally, we’d recommend flying into Vietnam as we heard a LOT of horror stories about doing the land crossing. Two of our friends were on the bus from Vientiane to Hanoi for over 24 hours (with all the waiting at the border included)! We’re not 100% sure if their experience was a one-off but we had heard similar things from other people we met on our travels about it being a nightmare trip. It obviously depends on what sort of financial position you’re in as flying is more expensive but hassle-free and saves a ton of time. Taking the bus is a lot cheaper but is stressful and time consuming. We flew in to Hanoi from Vientiane and it was totally painless. It only took 4 hours of travel total, waiting included, which was amazing & cost us £80 per person.
*Vientiane is actually one of the most expensive airports to fly out of that we’d seen. The bus trip cost around £30 per person in comparison from what we’d looked at so make sure you weigh up your options!
Getting from the Airport to your Hostel
This will differ for everyone depending on where you’re staying and flying into. Some people start their journey at the bottom of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) and others begin in Hanoi up north. We started our Vietnamese journey in Hanoi and we’re quite glad of that because it was a great change of pace after coming in from Laos. We recommend downloading the ‘Grab’ app which is similar to Uber and does taxis & food deliveries in some South-East Asian countries. Grab is super cheap and will get you from A to B all over Vietnam. We took a Grab from the airport to our hostel in the Old Quarter which saved us a ton of money. The Grab cost us £14 where as the airport taxi would’ve been £30.
*TOP TIP – Don’t buy a SIM Card from the airport as it was super expensive and unreliable. It was 500,000 Vietnamese Dong (£18) and only lasted a week even though it was supposed to last 30 days.
How Much did it Cost?
E-Visa – The 30 day E-Visa cost us £30 each, all done online & months in advance. Visa from an Embassy – 2 options here: Fast & Non-Fast. Fast Track cost £90 per person in Luang Prabang but was ready to pick up the same day. Non-Fast cost £30 per person but would’ve taken a week to be ready. Flights from Vientiane to Hanoi – These cost £80 per person (booked months in advance) so prices may vary on timings. Grab Taxi from Hanoi Airport to our Hostel – £14 total, super cheap!
*Save money on the SIM and use the airport WIFI to order a Grab. Consider using a VPN though, plenty of good options around, just have a look on your phones app store!
Make sure you properly research Vietnam before planning your visit! 30 days didn’t seem like enough and we could’ve probably done another 30 to be honest. We recommend making an itinerary (nothing set in stone) of where you want to visit for sure and then going with the flow when you get there. Plans change and you’ll probably meet great people who you want to travel with! Save yourself money by booking things early and use Grab to get around if you don’t like walking!
If you’re planning a similar route that we did, going from Laos to Vietnam, check out our post on Vientiane below:
We apologise that the post is short but we didn’t want to over-complicate it but we do have a massive post on Hanoi coming out soon (there’s SO MUCH to see and do there)! If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, follow us here and on our socials below:
Stay Safe & Much Love,
Matt & Mik
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