Visas in Hind Sight

Old Oct 21st, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Visas in Hind Sight

Hi all,

My wife and I will be travelling to China, Japan, & South East Asia (ie Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, & Vietnam.
I was wondering if people in retrospect would have rather purchased the visas prior to departure to avoid hassles once they arrive later on? If so for which places? We are British and Canadian travellers.
Thanks! jit
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Hi Jit
I don't have the answer to this but I am interested in finding out if anyone has purchased E Visa for Cambodia. Is it quicker once we arrive? I have heard on one of the other travel sites a while ago that they did not have enough people to process E Visa in PP and it is quicker to get a visa once you arrive. Has anyone had recent experience with this? The E Visa costs US$25 as opposed to US$20 at the airport after you arrive so it is really just a question of which is more convenient.
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Since you are from Canada and the UK, you will get visa-free entry to Thailand for up to 30 days upon arrival.

For Laos, I'd recommend you get your visa on arrival. I saw one instance of a woman who thought she had purchased a visa in Germany, but had to pay again at the airport in LP.

For Cambodia, visa on arrival is usually quick and easy. A number of people have had good experiences with the e-visa. Whether the e-visa or the visa on arrival takes more time depends on the mix of people on your plane.

You MUST pre-arrange a visa for Viet Nam. There is no visa on arrival. You can get a visa ahead of time in your home countries or you can get a visa in say, Bangkok, or you can pre-arrange a visa through a travel company like If you get a pre-arranged visa, you must have the email proof of the visa to be allowed to board your plane to VN.
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Old Oct 21st, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Thanks skittle and Kathie! That helps us!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 03:02 PM
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We've just got back from Cambodia and Vietnam. Arrived in Cambodia without visas. It was no big deal getting them at the airport (Siem Reap) although it probably slowed us down by 20-30 minutes. If every minute is precious to you, get the e-Visa. Most people on our flight already had visas.

One thing to note: if you don't have a passport sized photo to put on your visa form they charge you an extra couple of dollars ($US22 instead of $US20 from memory).

There is an ATM at Siem Reap airport that you can use before purchasing your visa.

Hope this helps.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 08:16 PM
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Do a little research on the other countries on your itinerary, as some have no visa requirements (like Japan) and some require a visa before you arrive (like China, and this takes some weeks to arrange). As mentioned Thailand also does not require visas. The US State Department has a great website for visa requirements for US citizens visiting virtually all countries, and I imagine that the UK Foreign Ministry also has a similar service. Rules for UK citizens differ than for US citizens, esp. for former British colonies, so do look at a UK website.

I agree that for countries which offer the visa on arrival option, it is often easier to just get them there, but do bring the passport photos with you.
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