Tag Archives: visas

Visas & Border Crossings in South East Asia

This isn’t ALL the info…this is info for Flying in to DPS, Bali then to Singapore, then overland to Malaysia-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand on a Canadian passport in 2013.

Vietnam Visa: 60 dollars, get it in advance, there is also an e-visa system for air arrivals, 45 in advance, 15 on arrival. Extentions in country, overstay is 5 per day. Its like 15 minutes to get done in sihanoukville in person but it’s a bit out of the way solid 45 min walk from water) so most places charge 10 bucks to get it processed…use your judgement on what’s good for you.

Cambodia Visa: 20 on arrival…anything from Thailand by land will charge you more, the airport, Laos, and Vietnam borders are well regulated. Extention is 40, overstay is 5usd per day ***Cambodia is the only SE Asia country with atms that dispense in USD….get all the USD you need for Visas here, you will get ripped off on exchange elsewhere ***

Thailand: 30 by air arrival, 15 by land, 60 day tourist visa extendable to 90 once in Thailand is 1000 baht but needs to be done before hand…it is 40USD in Hanoi, 110 MYR in Penang, and 1000 baht in Vientiane. Double that for a dual entry. Malaysia is the only visa run country that doesn’t have a visa charge itself. You can do a visa run to Myanmar for a 10 dollar fee at the border crossing closest to Phuket. Getting a 60 day is cheaper than extending or paying the overstay 500 baht pd. If you get a double entry visa it means you can enter for 60 days, renew for 30 additional (90 total) then leave and do it again so 6 months total…but once you’ve left, the first ‘90’ days is done, and you start your second entry at day 1 of your second 60/90. If you’re getting your visa in Vientiane there is a massively long line and wait, so beware…also people out front to scam you saying they’ll process for a fee…there ARE application forms inside! Also you will need photocopies of your passport, Laos Visa, and Laos stamp page which you can do for 1000 kip at the consulate. There are like 20 tuk tuks and mini buses to the border at 2-4 pm daily after pick up.

Laos: 42 for Canadians, 35 for UK, USA, lots of the EU (some only 30). You will pay 1USD to ‘stamp’, and 2 more if it is after 4:30, a weekend, or a holiday.
Indonesia: 25 on arrival, 150,000 IDR departure tax paid only in IDR and the atm at DPS airport only dispenses in 100’s, you can extend in country.

Myanmar: 20-30USD in advance Border runs to Myanmar charge at $10 stamping fee in/out of Myanmar

Malaysia, Singapore: free.

Bonus….India: cheapest in Vietnam by about 10USD….it is 63 for everyone but Japanese (74) and Americans (83) but takes a full 5 days to process…time it well. Hanoi is great because you can go to Halong Bay and Sapa while waiting but get copies of your passport…Vietnam is sticky about it for hotel stays. Nicest embassy I’ve visited for sure.

Overland border crossings
Singapore-Malaysia…hectic because people do it for work daily, but simple and efficient.
Malaysia-Thailand (hat yai) also simple, any mini bus pretty much holds your hand…however make sure you’ve filled out your arrival card fully, the thai border officials aren’t known for their friendliness.

Thailand-Cambodia(poipet)…basically any border in this direction is a mess, poipet is the worst. Not unsafe, just a scam. There’s about 3 fake border offices, do NOT pay in baht, and you do not ever NEED to pay an extra processing fee….follow signs for ‘pre-arranged’ visas to take you to the real boreder!

Cambodia-HCMC: Because the viet visas are pre done it’s quick and easy. The 8 dollar bus from pp to hcmc will arrange it all and get the passports stamped as a group. No fee.

Vietnam-laos (Vientiane): you will pay 1 dollar to stamp leaving Vietnam (or 20000vnd), then as mentioned 1 dollar stamping at laos, plus 2 more on weekends holidays and after hours.

Laos-Thailand (Huay Xai-Gibbon): Super easy. Any package bus deal will include your bus across the river, if not I think it was less than 100 baht. Out bus dropped us off by the night market (LP-CM) so we didn’t have to pay for the sorongatheu from Arcade station which was nice. buses leave the Thai border town at 6 and 10 am. Paid no stamping fees on either side.

Fire me a message if you have any questions.

Advertisements

Phnom Penh 3

….I think it’s 3?

Anyway, we’re in our last week of volunteering at the special needs orphanage. We’ve dusted the cobwebs off of our nursery rhymes and mastered all of the Khmer names and eating habits of each child. It’s a bit gutting to know we’re leaving so soon…but I am looking forward to properly travelling again.

We’re gathering our gifts for the orphanage which consist of formula, cereals and diapers…all essentials that the kids end up going without if volunteers and donors don’t provide contributions. In once sense I really don’t agree with how we’re expected to provide these essential commodities when we’re already donating our time (I don’t have spare cash…hence donating my time?), but at the same time if the kids need it 100 bucks is worth heaps more to them than to me, even in the dire circumstance of backpacking.

My legs are led at the moment due to the fact that we’re biking 15km a day as we traded in our turfed tuk tuk for push bikes saving on cash and contributing to the calorie burn….probably good considering I have an empty bag of soft baked dark chocolate cookie purchased tonight by my side…We’ve also been pretty dedicated to doing the workouts at Olympic Stadium, which are 25 cents for an hour of zumba/tae bo, and cater to every and any cambodian of any age, social standing, and/or attire…
our nurs
Otherwise the stadium is great, there’s stairs, track, soccer pitches, tae kwon do, tennis, and impromptu badminton.

We’ve also discovered some sweet restaurants this week including an Indian joint called Taste Budz on street 282, just off of Monivong and Sihanoukville. Pretty good indian….if I hadn’t been to Penang, great Indian. Relatively cheap….but we hear there are cheaper all-you-can eat places by the lake. We went in search the other night to find out it was ‘closed’. Must love Asia and it’s ‘yeah, it was grandpa’s birthday last month and now we got a new cat so I think we’ll take a day off to watch soaps’ holidays…

Friends is also amazing…pricier because it is an NGO cafe, but the food is great. I’m going to interject here and present my beef with Cambodia. Yes, it is very poor; Yes, it has seen complete turmoil I will never understand; and Yes, I might do the same if I were them…but the use and abuse their tragic history. Every cafe is run by street kids or teaches them to cook, every shop has things made by mothers in need, every traveller is a volunteer… So, all these shops charge extra because they cater to empathetic Westerners who are here volunteering their time…when really they are Massive cash cows for their western owners. All of the major NGO cafe/shops are owned and operated by westerners. Hence the English menus, tons of advertising, and all in one heart string teasers to get the biggest bang for the buck out of each visitor. You would honestly be better off buying from the super local cafes where nobody speaks English…betcha they need your cash more than the others. It’s funny, each of these NGO places always has air con, fresh paint, and recent renovations…Wonder if they hired street kids to install it?

I know that they are in fact poor, and that I couldn’t imagine what they’ve been through. However they definitely have taken their past and turned it into a pity story to scam westerners….not even the Khmer people, more sickening…its the westerners that come, use the story, and benefit off of other westerners. I feel a little sick every time I go to one of these places but it seems all my other ‘good hearted volunteer’ friends quite like it. What gives. Perhaps I’m a cynic…I like to think I’m smarter than ‘scambodia’ as I’ve called if from the minute I entered it. Eating local, buying local, and staying in our somewhat bug infested guest house makes me feel better than eating a ‘really good apple crumble’ recipe by nana in Georgia executed by a Khmer kid, whose brother comes to sell me DVDs during my dinner with begging hands…

Somehow in the next 10 days I am trying to get visas for India, Vietnam, and a 60 day for Thailand. Cambodia is the cheapest place in SE Asia to get all of them (moreso I need Vietnam to continue my journey), but the office hours are while I’m at volunteering…time will tell. Either way these three will cost me upwards of 200 combined…yeesh! good thing I found cheap flights to India, from there to Africa, and from cpt to Athens–Skyscanner I love you.

Lunch tomorrow is Tofu, cucumber, and Carrot…made possible by the knife I bought for 80 cents. Arguably my best purchase in Asia so far.

I’m also going to yoga at Yoga! Phnom Penh tomorrow for a ‘sweat and samadhi’ class. Not only do the instructors and classes seem sweet but they are also doing me a massive favor and helping me get my books for yoga training which would have costed upwards of 80 bucks to get shipped, for only 6 bucks each here in PP!

That being said, I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping fit, probably because we have one home and the laundry lady is AMAZING, so any excuse to get a fresh load washed, dried, and folded for a dollar is a gooder.