Planning a last minute trip to Vietnam, these are the moments that led to minor panic (which the traveller loves to indulge in, for no real reason)
1. Does Vietnam allow visa-on-arrival for Indian passport holders? There’s this website that claims to provide a “visa approval letter”. Is it for real? Is the traveller getting conned? The trip is just about a week away, planned at the last minute… Urgh… Take my money already, website!!!
For those confused visa-on-arrival enthusiasts out there, this traveller registered for a visa approval letter on https://vietnamvisa.govt.vn which seems to be genuine (well, flight hasn’t departed yet… Watch out for next post on how that turned out). You would need to enter your details, pay a fee online (17 USD per person, as of Dec 2017) and you’ll get the visa approval letter online within 2 working days. There are expedited options too, for a higher fee. Your name may be one of many on the approval letter. Just carry a print out (preferably colored) of all pages of the approval letter, a filled up application form and paste a photo on the form. An additional 25 USD stamping fee would need to be paid on arrival at immigration desk
2. The Vietnam visa photo spec is an odd sized 4×6 cm. Most photos are 4×5. Are they strict about the photo spec?
There are opinions available online that indicate the immigration officials aren’t very strict about the photo size. But this traveller would recommend erring on the side of caution when it comes to immigration. So he got the photos specially clicked for the Vietnamese spec. Incidentally it is the same as the Saudi spec so your neighbourhood photo studio should be able to handle it in a jiffy.
3. Trusty duffel bag or backpack with no zipper?
After agonizing over this dilemma and realising the trusty duffel bag is on its last legs due to a particularly bad termite infestation, the traveller chose the backpack without a zipper. Now the thing about backpacks without zippers is that they can’t be locked. One takes a risk when said backpack serve as check in luggage. Risk is mitigated by keeping only clothes/non valuable items. Who would want to steal the travelers old underwear?
With that, the traveller is all set for an exotic new years eve holiday in Vietnam. Backpack top strap broke at the check in counter. What other adventures await us? Stay tuned for more.
Pictures taken with my Apple iPhone SE