May 30, 2017 at 1:55 pm NZST #2514
I’m prepping for an upcoming trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ve previously been ‘caught out’ when obtaining an ESTA for US Travel, using the wrong site – which looked like the official one. Using these agent sites often gets you the result – but at a premium – e.g. US$100 to get an ESTA that costs US$15 on the official site.
How do you know which are the official sites? Agents are much better at SEO than governments… so don’t bother with Google/Bing searches. I’ve found, time and again, that the UK maintains a really good and up-to-date travel advisory website which includes links to e-visa sites in many countries. I’d recommend checking there first!
If it’s health requirements, vaccination recommendations, and anti-malarial recommendations, then the following NHS site is also brilliant and comprehensive:May 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm NZST #2517KiwiwingsParticipant
Decades ago I was flying to Vietnam via Singapore. The flight centre travel agent didn’t say anything about needing a visa and I would have heard if she did as I had NEVER needed a visa to go anywhere before. I was denied boarding in Singapore because I didn’t have a visa. I was fuming!!! Stayed with a friend who tried to calm me down and we decided I should go to Cambodia – it was close and you could pay USD$1 on arrival, so that’s what I did. Called the travel agent and she was really apologetic and said she’d pay but also defaulted to the ‘fine print’ of check if you need visas etc.
Lucky I was flying by the seat of my pants and didn’t have accommodation booked so didn’t lose out on that part and turns out Cambodia was a much better destination for only 1 wk off. Aiming to head back next year to show my partner. Doing Angkor Wat totally ruins you for other temples though as you’re like ‘meh – Angkor Wat was better’. The whole Pol pot regime was a real eye opener for me and going to the killing fields where you could see the pits and the clothes coming up through the ground. Really crazy how evil some people become.
Eventually got to Vietnam but I let my partner sort the visas prior to departure.
I have to admit I tend to read lonely planet regarding requirements and still use google for travel requirements. I had read about being scammed by other websites. The Air NZ website has a link to the official ESTA website. Lucky there aren’t too many places where Kiwi’s require visas 🙂
Never needed any travel jabs but there are actually specific travel doctors / GPs you should go to.May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm NZST #2527KiwimacParticipant
Cambodia you can do at the airport. The last couple of times I have done it, it’s been quick and easy.
Vietnam I always get from the Embassy in NZ before I go. The on line ones are only half the story – you still need to hand in the letter when you arrive, pay more money and then wait while they put the thing in the passport.
IME this can take a very long time. I once arrived in SGN around midnight and had to wait 90 minutes whilst they put the visa in because there was a massive queue. I had visions of my bag going around and around on the carousel and then just getting swiped by some chancer out to get the foreign devils.
Now, I get it before I go. Costs a bit more (got to keep the embassy beer fund topped up…) but saves a heap of hassle at the arrival end. You just head straight to passport control and out, whilst everyone else is waiting for their visas.May 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm NZST #2531KiwiwingsParticipant
Cambodia you can do at the airport. The last couple of times I have done it, it’s been quick and easy. Vietnam I always get from the Embassy in NZ before I go. The on line ones are only half the story – you still need to hand in the letter when you arrive, pay more money and then wait while they put the thing in the passport. IME this can take a very long time. I once arrived in SGN around midnight and had to wait 90 minutes whilst they put the visa in because there was a massive queue. I had visions of my bag going around and around on the carousel and then just getting swiped by some chancer out to get the foreign devils. Now, I get it before I go. Costs a bit more (got to keep the embassy beer fund topped up…) but saves a heap of hassle at the arrival end. You just head straight to passport control and out, whilst everyone else is waiting for their visas.
Yeah he did the online one with the longer processing time for Vietnam. How much extra is the embassy one? Presumably you have to send your passport in? How far in advance can you get the visas? I wouldn’t mind going again (no idea when). The way things have been working out I’m usually away and then get back and we go.
Nice to know Cambodia’s process hasn’t changed. I suspect the atmosphere around Angkor Wat has though.May 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm NZST #2538KiwimacParticipant
They just advised me a one month multiple entry is NZ$180. Single entry would be a bit less but I am going in, then going to Cambodia, then back to Vietnam.
I first visited Cambodia in 2004 and it was a remarkably different place to what it is now. I have been several times since, most recently 2 years ago.
When I first went, Siem Reap was full of land mine victims begging, the roads were mostly dirt roads, the only visitors were hardy back packers for the most part, with a few very well heeled people in the couple of posher places. Food was fairly local, money was travellers cheques cashed in the bank, petrol was sold in pop bottles.
Now, they have KFC, ANZ ATM’s, supermarkets selling Anchor butter and Aussie beef, modern petrol stations, tarmac roads and Range Rovers..!
I climbed Angkor on Christmas Day 2004 and the place was empty. Last time I was there, at the top (you can’t use the original stone stairs any more) it was wall to wall Korean tourists with iPads and identical hats!May 30, 2017 at 11:03 pm NZST #2540
it would be interesting to know if the Vietnam online one was the official one, or one of the dozens of “official sounding” sites that charge you to get a visa letter sent…. the official site is quite a bit different in its requirements which include both an application photo, and an upload of passport page. The “official letter” sites just grab details and no photos.
I’ve just finished applying for 5 entry visas online to Cambodia on their *new* site (it went offline for about 4 days, just as I was about to apply, then returned all new): https://evisa.gov.kh/
I was going to apply for the Vietnam ones, but after filling in half the page… I realized that “New Zealand” was missing from the Nationality drop-down 🙁
Is the Vietnam embassy in Wellington? (Damn, was there all last week) The MFAT website links to a dead web page… $180 seems steep for a multiple-entry, especially if you are buying for 5 people! The online official one is US$25 – just lacks an NZ option.May 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm NZST #2542
seems to be a listing on the http://www.gov.vn site, “Dominion of New Zealand” to be found under “Australia” of course… is the embassy still in Glimmer Terrace?November 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm NZDT #3735floydblokeParticipant
seems to be a listing on the http://www.gov.vn site, “Dominion of New Zealand” to be found under “Australia” of course… is the embassy still in Glimmer Terrace?
99% sure it is (well, it’s actually Gilmer Terrace)
2 years ago we paid NZ$125 each for one month validity, single-entry visas.
My understanding is those ‘invitation letters’ are legitimate and many agencies will provide them for for 10-20 US dollars, but you can only use them if you arrive by air and then you still need to queue up at arrivals and hand over a photo and US$25 for the actual visa, before heading through immigration and customs. It’s called Visa-On-Arrival, VOA, this page is pretty good. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293921-i8432-k10617090-FAQ_Visa_on_Arrival_VOA-Vietnam.html
(The reason we bought ours at the embassy is that we had limited time to go catch a domestic flight and the embassy is a 5 minute walk from work.)
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