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Stuck at Hanoi airport 1 long night without VISA, options?

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Jul 19th, 2015, 08:30 AM
  #1
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Stuck at Hanoi airport 1 long night without VISA, options?

Hi! We are going to have a long layover (from 10pm til afternoon next day) in Hanoi airport. Flying in T2. One of us doesn't have a VISA, and for the little time we were thinking of just staying in the airport. Are there an good options? Or do you think he should really just pay the 100$ for the visa for the night and get to the Old quarter for a flash visit?
The main reason we are hesitant is because we are 60%going to Hanoi in Xmas this year, so sightseeing now is not our priority. We just want to have somewhere to sleep/half sleep and have some entertainment at the airport (shops, spa, massages, whatever you can name?)
Thanks in advance!
whereismimiyu is offline  
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Jul 19th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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Look on Hanoi airport site and see what is there. I think not much is there and probably close early. Don't opt for hotel across from airport. The room they were going to give us had bugs as big as a golf ball in the tub. Who knows what was in the bed. Isn't VO A cheaper?
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Jul 19th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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$100 for a VN visa? That is way too much. You should be able to get a pre-arranged visa (sometimes referred to as a visa on arrival) for less than that.

When I was last at the Hanoi airport, it was a pretty spartan place. Certainly no airside hotel or even a nice lounge. Shopping was minimal (and fake). And it is very possible that the airport closes at night. Do look at the airport website.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 09:15 AM
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Staying in the airport for so long sounds like torture to me. And you may not be eligible for a visa on arrival, see here:

https://visa.mofa.gov.vn/NewsDetail.aspx?id=29#sec7

I'd be inclined to just get a visa in advance and a hotel in the city to sleep and otherwise enjoy the time you have there.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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Kathie, it's been over 2 years since I was at Hanoi Airport but a new terminal opened late last year which appears to be a vast improvement:

http://www.hanoiairportonline.com

But I still wouldn't want to stay there for more than a few hours.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 12:53 PM
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Thanks, MmePerdu for the link. Yes, it looks nicer than the old airport, but I agree that I wouldn't want to overnight there.

The "visa on arrival" is actually a pre-arranged visa. If it was a true visa on arrival, then the OP would have no problem. And while the website you linked to makes it sounds like only a few people might be eligible for the pre-arranged visa, IME they will grant it to anyone from eligible countries who holds a valid passport. BUT - you must get pre-approval though application to a travel agency.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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I believe we're talking about 2 different visas, Kathie. I think the "visa-on-arrival" they speak about in the linked page is a sort of emergency visa. And the pre-arranged visa is a normal one, the alternative to sending in our passports, the one with an approval letter. I suspect it's incorrect to call the pre-arranged version an actual "visa-on-arrival" like they do in Indonesia, etc.

My recommendation is for them to do the pre-arranged visa, as what the Vietnamese govt site seems to imply they aren't qualified for what THEY call visa-on-arrival.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 02:37 PM
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See http://www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/hanoi.htm

Sounds like the lounge at $20 is the best option.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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We flew into Hanoi a few months ago. Whilst the new airport is a vast improvement on the old it still ist that great. The choice is really to get a Visa approval letter for around $12 (can be obtained in 24 hours) and then pay the $ 45 stamping fee in cash on arrival. Given the the time to get through security both ways, the travel time to/from the airport and the cost of a hotel room, thursdaysd's solution of the airport lounge seems by far the best option.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 06:19 PM
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According thursday's link the lounge belongs to VN Airlines. Information on another site states hours are 6 am to 1:30 am:

VN Lounge (Airside)
Location: Near Gate 29 at Departure B
Opening Hours: 0600 - 0130

http://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_U...tails.HAN.html

So it seems the OP would have to leave at 1:30 am and likely pay again at 6 am when it reopens. Or not use it until morning. Not ideal.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 06:46 PM
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Now looking at that page again I'm not sure about any of it. I still think going into town for the price of a $57 visa for something like a 14 hour layover would be the best bet. Failing access to the lounge for the entire time, unlikely anywhere as lounges generally operate when there are flights, not 24 hours.
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Jul 19th, 2015, 09:47 PM
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@Thursdayd I saw that link from sleeping in airports and I was precisely trying to find if someone has done the "pay $20 and stay in the Vietnam airlines lounge". We are fliying Vietnam airlines, so hopefully its possible.

Im Spanish and need no visa, he's american so he can get a visa beforehand. the reason we didnt wnt to pay the visa for him is that we will visit vietnam later on, and had heard the new terminal is not as bad.

@MmePerdu: i dont know why, when we searched we saw $100 for a 1 time visa! $57 is a big improvement so I'm going to look more into it.

The pity is that the layover was originally 2h longer (so morning time until lunch available to go around in Hanoi) but the flight from hanoi to bangkok got changed, so now its kind of.. just get breakfast, look around and get back to the airport.

Thanks everyone for the quick responses, I'll check more info and see what we can do. I may call Vietnam airlines to ask specifically about their lounge.

IF anyone here has done it (staying at the lounge overnight, or just on their opening time) please let me know how it was! And where would you sleep from 130am to 6am...

Thanks!
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Jul 20th, 2015, 12:03 AM
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For info...

We're visiting Vietnam for 4 weeks soon. I applied recently for our Visa Approval Letter online via www.vietnamvisapro.com on a Monday @ 0900, and paid the US$18 fee(total for both of us).

The application was immediately acknowledged by vietnamvisapro by e-mail.

Received the Visa Approval Letter by e-mail @ 0800 on the (Wednesday), attached was the Visa Application Form.

The Approval Letter, completed Visa Application Form, and US$45 per Visa have to presented to Immigration at the arrival airport in Vietnam

All very straightforward, and risk free.

If we want to Fast-track through the Airport then vietnamvisapro charge US$15 per person.

NOTE that between 31 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, holders of British, German, French, Spanish and Italian passports will not require a visa for stays of up to 15 days.
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Jul 20th, 2015, 12:09 AM
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Have you looked into a multiple entry visa?
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Jul 20th, 2015, 12:17 AM
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<<>>

This link off TA is up to date...

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g2...rival.Voa.html
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Jul 23rd, 2015, 06:40 PM
  #16
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Thanks everyone!
We called the airline, since they had changed the schedules of their flight (originally had a layver from 8pm til 2pm the next day, they changed it so it was from 8pm to 11am) and we requested to get on either an earlier flight (just sleep at the airport) or later (and pay for the visa).

We ended up deciding for the earlier flight at 9am. That way, we won't be too long at the airport (just the sleeping time) and arrive to Bangkok earlier, to enjoy it for a bit more time. Our trip is short, just 10 days for Bangkok and North! So don't want to waste any time ^^

We will be going to Vietnam in Christmas time, so this information was still very useful to us. THanks again!
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