Tips for Travel to Southeast Asia
In several countries in Southeast Asia, it is preferable to get a business visa rather than a tourist visa, even if your intention is just to tour.
- CAMBODIA: A Cambodian business visa is $30 and can be extended indefinitely, a tourist visa $25 can only be extended once.
- VIETNAM: Once you have entered Vietnam, you may want to go to a travel agency and obtain a business visa. Most agencies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can arrange the required “sponsor”. In Vietnam, a business visa is good for three months, is easier to extend, and allows for multiple entries. All in all, it makes traveling Vietnam easier.
Some other facts on visa requirements:
- Bangkok is the center for getting visas to anywhere in Southeast Asia.
- When landing at Laos’ Wattay airport, make sure you have $50 US in cash for your 15-day visa. Nothing else is accepted. For a longer stay contact Diethelm Travel P.O. Box 2657, Namphou Square, Vientiane, Laos, Tel: 856-21-3833
The visa situation is by far one of the most confusing matter concerning traveling Southeast Asia. The State Department can give you contact information at travel.state.gov/foreigntryreqs.html and will provide a run down on visa requirements.
Use the embassy contact numbers for up to date information. By far the best website for information on visa, health, and basics on Southeast Asia can be found at budgettravel.com/seasia.htm
If you want to arrange visas once you arrive in Southeast Asia, contact Diethelm Travel. They have offices in every country in Southeast Asia:
- Diethelm Travel
Kia Gwan Bldg II
140/1 Thaon Withayu
Bangkok Thailand 10500
Many airlines that fly to Southeast Asia may have special offers. Ask your agent or airline representative when booking and before buying your ticket.
Check Thai Air’s pass for travel within ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). It is available only to those who fly transpacific on Thai Airlines to Thailand and the tickets must be issued at the same time as your international flight from the US.
The price, as of writing, is US $99 per flight coupon, minimum 3 flights and maximum 6 coupons. thaiair.com or call 800-426- 5204.
For a short time Cathay Pacific is offering theAll Asia Pass. An unbeatable deal that can only be purchased on line. For $999 you can fly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York to Hong Kong, then on to any 17 Asian cities or all 17 cities, within 30 days. This means that you could conceivably have 30 days of economy air travel at no extra fare. While some cities in Southeast Asia are add-ons (Hanoi), most are not. Check cathay-usa.com for destinations and rules.
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