Vietnam has over a dozen international overland border crossings. These allow overland travel to Cambodia via five crossings, Laos via six crossings and China at least two crossings. In order to obtain the Vietnam visa at the borders you must have a original approval letter. You can also arrive by air at Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang, Phu Quoc and Cam Ranh international airports to obtain the Vietnam Visa On Arrival (Pre-Arranged Visa). Unless you come from one of the visa-exempting countries and just you must hold a passport valid for six months from your intended arrival date, and must have at least one blank visa page;
CITIZENS OF THE FOLLOWING 24 COUNTRIES ARE NOT REQUIRED VIETNAM TOURIST VISA
Visitors to Vietnam must obtain a visa from one of the Vietnamese Embassies/ Consulates or via agencies on arrival unless they come from one of the visa-exempting countries. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 6 months.
- Citizens of Brunei and Myanmar are granted bilateral visa-free entry no more than 14 days;
- Citizens of Philippines are granted bilateral visa-free entry no more than 21 days;
- Citizens of Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are granted bilateral visa-free entry no more than 30 days;
- Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Finland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belarus are granted unilateral visa-free entry no more than 15 days
- Citizens with APEC business cards from member economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are granted visa-free entry with no more than 60 days of residence;
- For tourists to Phu Quoc, Vietnam: Foreigners and abroad residing Vietnamese citizens entering Vietnam through an international border and travelling to Phu Quoc island, then residing under 15 days are granted Vietnam visa free entry. Passport are required at least 45 days validity. After entering Phu Quoc, in case travelers want to have a visit to other destinations or reside in the island more than 15 days, they will be offered Vietnam visa by the Immigration department right in the island;
Kindly note that the citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Finland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belarus are granted unilateral visa-free entry no more than 15 days, after 15 days visa exemption they must leave Vietnam for their home or another country and it takes at least 30 days since the latest exit from Vietnam to enter again without Vietnam visa.
TYPES OF VIETNAM BORDER CROSSINGS
Vietnam has two types of border crossings – international and local borders. As you may suspect, international crossings are generally open to all foreign nationalities who are in possession of a valid passport and visa, while local crossings are open only to locals (on each side of the border) who are able to cross back and forth using some form of border pass. The international crossings are the only ones covered in this section.
Vietnam has over a dozen international overland border crossings. These allow overland travel to Cambodia via five crossings, Laos via six crossings)and China at least three crossings. You can also arrive by air at Hanoi, Saigon and Da Nang international airports.
CAMBODIA – VIETNAM’S INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS
- Bavet / Moc Bai: This was the first crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia to open to foreign visitors and it remains easily the most popular. Daily buses regularly ply the Saigon – Phnom Penh route and the service is both fast and affordable. Cambodia and Vietnam visa on arrival are available here; Vietnam visas must be arranged in advance and original approval letter must be in hand.
- Kaam Samnor / Ving Xuong: This very popular river crossing links Phnom Penh in Cambodia with the Vietnam town of Chau Doc. Both slow and fast boat services are available.
- Phnom Den / Tinh Bien: Midway between Ha Tien and Chau Doc, this crossing is open to foreign visitors and Cambodia visa on arrival are available. The closest town on the Khmer side is Kampot or Takeo but both are a couple of hours away.
- Prek Chak / Xa Xia: Yes, the Cambodia/Vietnam coastal border crossing is open and travelers with a valid Vietnam visa can enter Vietnam at the Prek Chak / Xa Xia crossing a twenty minute from Kep. Cambodia visa on arrival are available.
- Le Thanh / O Yadao Crossing: This remote crossing links Ban Lung in northeast Cambodia to Pleiku in Vietnam, with a through trip between the two taking about six hours.
LAOS – VIETNAM ‘S INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS
- Sop Hun / Tay Trang: This border has finally opened to international visitors. To get into Vietnam, a bus leaves from Muang Khua on the Lao side for Dien Bien Phu on the Vietnam side.
- Na Maew / Nam Xoi: For those coming from Vietnam, this crossing offers convenient access into the bookdocks of Laos’ Hua Phan province. It is a short ride from the border to Sam Neau. Through buses run from Sam Neua to Thanh Hoa in Vietnam taking 10-12 hours.
- NamCan / Nam Khan and Nam Phao / Cau Treo: Convenient to the large Vietnam city of Vinh from Lao towns of Phonsavan, Lak Xao, these borders are the crossing of choice for most overland foreigner visitors.
- Dansavanh / Lao Bao: this border was the first land border between Vietnam and Laos to open for international visitors, it was for a long time the most popular, but many now opt for the more northern crossing near Lak Xao instead. This crossing is convenient for Hue in Vietnam and Savannakhet in Laos. Lao and Vietnam visas are available and through buses from Savannakhet to Hue run daily.
- Bo Y / Ngoc Hoi: Convenient to Kontum in Vietnam and Attapeu in Laos, the border at Bo Y is wide open to foreigners, and now provides an interesting, if somewhat challenging, way to enter Vietnam. Of course, as ever, you’ll need to have obtained a valid Vietnamese visa before hitting the border.
CHINA – VIETNAM’S INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS
- Mong Cai / Dong Hung: Mong Cai Border Gate is in the northeast of Quang Ninh Province, 176km from Halong City, 327km from Hanoi. From Halong City, along the highway 18 to Mong Cai Town, and then across the Mong Cai Border Gate to China.
- Dong Dang/Ping Xian: Vietnam and China have more than one border gate, but the most famous and busiest one is probably Dong Dang international gate which connects Lang Son, Vietnam and Pingxang, China. The gate is usually open from early morning until at least 18:00, so you should plan your trip accordingly.
- Lao Cai / Hekou Border: Lao Cai town, the provincial capital, is both a border town to China, the westernmost crossing open to foreigners via Hekou and the gateway to Sapa
VIETNAM’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
Formalities at Vietnam’s international airports are generally smoother, easier and faster than at land borders. Especially, crossing overland from Cambodia and China is now relatively stress-free, while crossing the border between Vietnam and Laos can be slow. So we recommend entering Vietnam by air and the procedure usually takes a few minutes via the following airports:
- Tan Son Nhat airport – Ho Chi Minh City
- Noi Bai airport – Ha Noi City
- Đa Nang airport – Đa Nang City
- Cam Ranh airport – Khanh Hoa Province
- Phu Quoc airport – Kien Giang Province
PROCEDURES TO OBTAIN A VIETNAM TOURIST VISA AT VIETNAM’S INTERNATIONAL BORDER CROSSINGS
Step 1: Getting Vietnam Tourist Visa Approval Letter
Visa Approval Letter is the legal document approved by the Vietnam Immigration Department to allow foreigners enter into Vietnam and pick up visa at the overseas Embassies or Consulates of Vietnam, or at Vietnam international border gates or at Vietnam’s international airports.
Required information you need to provide when apply for Tourist Visa Approval Letter:
- Your name;
- Passport number;
- Date of birth;
- Your nationality;
- Visa duration;
- Proposed date of arrival;
- Place of picking visa;
Processing time: 5-7 working days
Step 2: Obtain Vietnam Tourist Visa at Vietnam international border crossings
After your Tourist Visa approval letter is already, you also receive the ORIGINAL one, then you are pleased to prepare all the following documents to stamp your tourist visa:
- Your original passport must be valid for six months from your intended arrival date, and must have at least one blank visa page;
- 2 passport sized photographs (4×6 cm);
- The ORIGINAL visa approval letter;
- Complete the entry and exit application form;
- Visa stamping fee depending on the visa single or multiple entry and visa duration (USD25 for 1 and 3 month single entry, USD50 for 1 and 3 month multiple entry) must be paid in cash at the place of picking visa.
For further information please contact:
Discovery Indochina Travel Co., Ltd
5th Floor | Platinum Building | 145 Dien Bien Phu Street, District 1 | Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam
Tel: 028 39102358 | 028 39102359 Mobile: 0938228856 | 0906640505
www.visa5s.com | www.ditravel.vn