Monthly Archives: April 2012

Best and cheapest way to get a visa for Vietnam from Thailand?


Hi there, I will be arriving in Vietnam on the 1st June. I will be coming from Thailand probably by plane.

I have looked online but am still quite confused over how to get a visa. I will be staying for 3 weeks. I know I need to give the exact exit dates and will have that soon.

What is the cheapest and best way to get a visa? And do you know the cost roughly?




Hi Tony:
If you stay here 3 weeks, you don’t need the exit date, but you need to have a entry date into Vietnam. So that you can get your approval letter from immigration office. Once you get your letter, you can pick up your visa when you arrive in Vietnam. (Stamp fee for picking up your 1 month single entry visa is $25 usd.) The cost for getting a 1 month single entry visa approval letter is about $8 USD.
It is a simple process. Drop me a email, I’ll be more than glad to assist you.



You have two choices. VOA, that’s visa on arrival. this can be done on line through several different company’s. I have used cheap Vietnam visa and had no problems. They will provide you with a letter to immigration and you just go to the counter and pick up your visa.

Or… You can just go by the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok and get your visa directly. Probably cheaper this way.

Oh, you could also go by most travel agents in Thailand and they will provide a Visa for you as well. That’s probably the easiest.
A one month Visa is very inexpensive. Usually $25 from the embassy and more for service fees from the online services and the travel agents.

Future for Eco-Tourism in Vietnam

Vietnam is a tropical country, have big forest and many rivers, beautiful waterfalls

Prolonged wars and economic development have claimed large areas of various ecosystems in Vietnam. Yet, a host of countries would still envy with the remnants, which include a variety of geographical and ecological features: from high mountains to extensive coastline, from rare plants to exclusive animal species. These combinations rapidly become known to both domestic and oversea tourists, suggesting a way for Vietnam to set its tourism industry apart from other countries’ in the region: eco-tourism.

Eco-tourism has been developed in all regions from North to South Vietnam. In the North, Cuc Phuong National Park stands out; in the central, Kon Tum, Quang Binh own their reputation to diversified geography, wildlife animals and vegetation; in the South, Phu Quoc island strikes as a gem with wonderful natural scenery and fine sand beaches. Besides reserving the nature and building the infrastructure to attract more tourists, the state and local governments also aim at foreign investors by providing them with extra incentives, including reduced taxes and one-price policy for land rent and other services at certain regions. For instance, Phu Quoc imposes no import tax on machinery, equipment and materials, allows foreign investors to purchase land or lease long-term, and offers reduction on both corporate and personal income taxes.

An increasing number of tourists also acts as an encouraging fact to foreign investors who are interested in the tourism industry in Vietnam. Despite its small size, Vietnam will amaze its investors by the untapped tourism potential in many areas of the country, especially the Central Highlands and coastal provinces.


(picture) Nam Cat Tien National Park

An example of some of the new eco-tourism areas in Vietnam are the Nam Cat Tien national Park in Dong Nai and Lam Dong province and the Ba Na area close to Danang in Central Vietnam. Nam Cat Tien National Park is the biggest national park in southern Vietnam at over 70,000 hectares and includes a wide range of distinctive mammals, reptiles and birds. Some of the last Java Rhinoceros, Siamese crocodiles and many unique species of birds and reptiles are present in the park. Tour operators in the Ho Chi Minh City area offer two-day and longer tours to the park that go from the leisurely with stays in the parks air-conditioned bungalows with full meals all the way to much more adventurous involving long hikes, 12 Kilometer motorboat rides up the Dong Nai River plus other more active programs. Cost for the programs range from less than $100 on up depending on the program.

Ba Na, which used to be referred as “the Spring of France” is a mountain area near Danang that was used by the French to get a respite from the extreme heat of the Central region. The area, which had gone into a decline and largely, been cut-off over the last decades has been revived by recent rebuilding of roads and other communications. The center of the area is a 1,487 meter-high mountain. Locals claim that you can experience the four seasons in a day on the mountain. In the early morning, it’s spring: at noon, it’s summer; in the late afternoon, it’s autumn; and when night falls, it is winter. Even in the head of summer, Ba Na enjoys a coolness of 18 degrees Celsius or 64 degrees in Fahrenheit in the evening and rarely exceeds 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The forest on Ba Na exceeds 17,000 hectares and contains a wide range of rare trees and flowers. From the center of Danang, you can take a rental vehicle or a bus to get to Ba Na. A two-way bus ticket is around VND 30,000 per person plus entrance ticket to the mountain, which is an additional VND 5,000. Some simple hotels on the mountain are Le Nim Villa at (051) 17 1504 and Ba Na by night at (051) 179 1056. For more information you can contact the Ban Na Tourist area at (051) 179 1056.

Eco-tourism is still a new business in Vietnam and is just in its infancy but the potential is real and obvious. Further, eco-tourism is often a field that responsible young people both Vietnamese and foreign can involve themselves with relatively small investments that when properly managed can generate profits, jobs for locals and increasing focus and protection of the environment by local authorities.

When you arrive Vietnam, you can apply online at to get a cheap Vietnam visa. You only have to pay 8 dollars for 1 person/ 1 month.

Quy Nhon Binh Dinh

Quy Nhon is a coastal town in central Vietnam  that can be reached by plane from Hanoi and from Ho Chin Minh City. Arriving from abroad, the second alternative is recommended because of the fare and the time duration of the journey (one hour instead of one an half hour). Indeed, from Ho Chi Minh City, there are daily flights at 6:00 and 14:25 (Vietnam Airlines) and at 08:40 (Air Mekong) but it must be checked. From Hanoi there is a single flight at 6:00 (Vietnam Airlines) every days excepted on Wednesday. See also the useful booking sites (vietnamflight, Jetstar). The airport is around 20km north-west of Quy Nhon.

Alternative solutions are bus and train (useful informations are here). The bus is the cheapest means of transport. Buses are becoming on more international standards. The express buses are faster than local buses, which stop anywhere on request. There are also buses chartered by private companies. The express train connecting Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is named the Reunification Express. There are 3 per day in each direction. Trains that are registered SE are the fastest, while the TN are (much) slower, see Golden Trains (between Saigon & Quy-Nhon).


The easiest way is to ask for a Tourist VISA. The Department of Consular Affairs of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to invite foreigners to get in touch directly with the Vietnam Embassies and Consulates abroad about visa application procedures. The information and website addresses of diplomatic missions in Vietnam are available at the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: or portal Consular:
There are two ways for obtaining a VISA

  • before leaving your country, in a Vietnam embassy or with the help of a travel agency;
  • on the arrival with a Vietnamese traven agent.

You can apply online at to get a cheap Vietnam visa. You only have to pay 8 dollars for 1 person/ 1 month.

Vietnam’s Tourism Growing

There are about 6.014.032 foreign visitor came Vietnam in 2011.

Vietnam received about four million foreign visitors for 2007.  Vietnam only had 250,000 international visitors in 1990 but now aims to attract six million by 2010.

The country of mainly a backpackers’ destination in the 1990s has improved its airline capacity and buillt new hotels and resorts, as it seeks to catch up as a mainstream destination with countries such as Thailand (Thailand received about 9.59 million foreign tourists in the first eight months of 2007)

In Vietnam, the number of international arrivals is forecast to reach 4.3 million in 2007, or 700,000 more than 2006 according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).  Visitors from China made up the largest group, with 515,000 arrivals in 11 months, followed by arrivals from South Korea, the United States, Japan, Australia, France, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore.  With this year’s rise in international arrivals, the tourism industry expects earnings to increase to US$3.5 billion from last year’s $2.85 billion.

HCMC Plans More Investment to Spur Tourism Growth

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have decided to pour more investment into fundamental infrastructure to accelerate the growth of the tourism sector in the 2010-2020 period to 20% from 12.3% in the 2007-2010 period, the local top tourism official said to Saigon Times recently.  Director of the municipal Tourism Department Dong Thi Kim Vui informed that the investment for the coming years will focus on key infrastructure like the hotel network and tourist attractions.

However, Ms. Dong foresaw that the city’s tourism would not develop strongly if HCMC lacks infrastructure.  For the hotel network, she said the department would combine with the HCMC Institute for Economic Research and the Department of Planning and Investment to devise a road map for hotel development until 2020.  The map will give investors a clear view about the trend of hotel development in the city in the years to come, including a list of projects calling for investment.

Currently Vietnam is facing a critical shortage of hotel rooms and other basic infrastructure facilities for tourism due to the lack of a transparent policies and an inadequate development scheme for the sector in the past years.  HCMC has some 22,000 hotel rooms, including some 3,600 of five-star standard, 1,300 four-star rooms, 1,600 three-star rooms, and 3,400 two-star rooms. The department estimates that the city will lack some 14,500 standard rooms by 2010 including 7,000 rooms of three- to five-star ratings.  The number of hotel rooms in the city accounts for around 10% of the country’s total. But HCMC is lacking three- to five-star rooms that are most used by international and business guests, and also lacking a good strategy to catch up with the development.
In the 2007-2010 tourism development plan, which was approved by the municipal government in June, the tourism industry expects to earn more than US$2.15bil in revenue by 2010.  International tourist arrivals will increase by more than 12.3% a year to more than 3.6mil in 2010. The number of domestic tourists will have increased 15% a year to six million in the same year, according to the plan.

HCMC welcomed 240,000 tourists in November 2007, up 16% year-on-year, taking the total number of international visitors during the January-October period to 2.14mil. The total tourism revenue in the period amounted to over VND17.2tril (US$1.07bil), up 32% year-on-year.

More planes for Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines announced that it had signed a deal to buy 12 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, with the first to be delivered in 2015. The agreement was signed during a visit by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to New York.  The Airlines plans to modernise its fleet of 45 aircraft — a mix of Boeing, Airbus, ATR and Fokker planes — to compete against foreign carriers and new budget airlines.  Vietnam Airlines now operates 45 aircraft: ten Boeing 777, ten Airbus A320, ten A321, three A330, ten French-made ATR-72 and two Fokker-70. It was already due to receive five more A321 next year and four Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners from 2009.
Vietnam Airlines also has a plan to fly direct to Los Angeles from Ho Chi Minh city five times per week by the end of 2008. It does not currently fly direct to the US.

Low-cost airline expands to Vietnam

According to Bankok Post newspaper, AirAsia (AA), Southeast Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, is moving to branch out into Vietnam and the Philippines with the creation of sister airlines in those countries.

The airline was launched five years ago and has carried over 40 million passengers over 86 routes across 11 countries.  Recently AA has signed a letter of intent with the Vietnam shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), a state-owned agency. The deal would see the establishment of a low-cost carrier (LCC) in Vietnam in the form of a joint venture like those in Thailand and Indonesia established more than three years ago.

However, the plan to set up the airline, tentatively known as Vina AirAsia, to operate both domestic and internationally, is facing opposition from two existing operators — Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Airlines. Current Vietnamese regulations restrict access of the two airlines.  Only Vietnam Airlines is allowed to operate internationally and Vietnamese authorities have not yet shown any sign to change that. The present maximum foreign ownership in an airline in Vietnam is 30%.

When you arrive Vietnam you can apply online cheap Vietnam visa at You only have to pay 8 dollars for 1 person/1 month

An Introduction to Vietnam

Although many westerners still imagine Vietnam through the lens of war, it is in reality a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, far from being devastated, continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. Over two decades have passed since Vietnam was officially united, and in that time it has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds. Today, this gracious and graceful country is an outstanding travel destination.

Location, Geography, & Climate

Shaped like an elongated S, Vietnam stretches the length of the Indochinese Peninsula and covers a surface area of 128,000 square miles–making it roughly the size of Italy or, in the U.S., New Mexico. China lies to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and the South China Sea to the east.

Topographically, Vietnam is a verdant tapestry of soaring mountains, fertile deltas, primeval forests inhabited by exotic fauna, sinuous rivers, mysterious caves, otherworldly rock formations, and heavenly waterfalls and beaches. Beyond nature, the curious and open-minded visitor will find in Vietnam a feast of culture and history.

For convenience, the country can be thought of as comprising three unique areas: north, central, and south. The north is known for its alpine peaks, the Red River Delta, the plains of Cao Bang and Vinh Yen, enchanting Halong Bay, and historic Hanoi, as well as for the diversity of its ethnolinguistic minorities.

Central Vietnam, also home to many ethnic minorities, is characterized by high temperate plateaus rich in volcanic soil and by spectacular beaches, dunes, and lagoons. It is also the location of the ancient imperial city of Hue. In the South, visitors encounter modern life in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and the fertile alluvial delta of the Mekong River. Vietnam’s territory also encompasses a large continental shelf and thousands of archipelagic islands.

Vietnam’s climate is as complex as its topography. Although the country lies entirely within the tropics, its diverse range of latitude, altitude, and weather patterns produces enormous climatic variation. North Vietnam, like China, has two basic seasons: a cold, humid winter from November to April, and a warm, wet summer for the remainder of the year. Summer temperatures average around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 22 C), with occasional typhoons to keep things exciting. The northern provinces of Central Vietnam share the climate of the North, while the southern provinces share the tropical weather of the South. South Vietnam is generally warm, the hottest months being March through May, when temperatures rise into the mid-90’s (low-30’s C). This is also the dry season in the south, followed by the April-October monsoon season.


Legend has it that Vietnam’s origin lay in the harmonious union of lac Long Quan, King of the Sea, and Au Co, Princess of the Mountains. Real life was not so paradisical, as Vietnam’s early history–like its recent history–is characterized by a nearly continuous struggle for autonomy. First came an entire millenium of Chinese domination, which was finally thrown off in the 9th century. External control was imposed once again in the 19th century, when Vietnam was occupied by the French.

French rule lasted until WWII, when the country was invaded by Japan. At the war’s end the predominantly Communist Viet Minh, which had led the resistance movement against the Japanese, declared the country’s independence. The French Indochina War ensued, until France admitted defeat in 1954, and the Geneva Accords left Vietnam divided into a Communist north and an anti-Communist south. By this time the U.S. had replaced the French as the primary sponsor of the anti-Communist government. Tension between north and south mounted over the next few years, until in 1964 full scale war erupted. The conflict lasted for the next eight years, and involved hundreds of thousands of troops from the U.S. and other countries. In 1973 a cease-fire agreement allowed the U.S. the opportunity to withdraw its troops, and in 1975 the southern capital of Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. An extended period of political repression followed, prompting massive emigration from the country. In 1991, with the fall of Communism and the end of the Cold War, many western powers re-established diplomatic and trade relations with Vietnam. The last country to do so, in 1995, was the U.S.

Vietnamese Culture

The richness of Vietnam’s origins is evident throughout its culture. Spiritual life in Vietnam is a grand panoply of belief systems, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Tam Giao (literally ‘triple religion’), which is a blend of Taoism, popular Chinese beliefs, and ancient Vietnamese animism.

The most important festival of the year is Tet, a week-long event in late January or early February that heralds the new lunar year and the advent of spring. Celebration consists of both raucous festivity (fireworks, drums, gongs) and quiet meditation. In addition to Tet, there are about twenty other traditional and religious festivals each year.

Vietnamese architecture expresses a graceful aesthetic of natural balance and harmony that is evident in any of the country’s vast numbers of historic temples and monasteries. The pre-eminent architectural form is the pagoda, a tower comprised of a series of stepped pyramidal structures and frequently adorned with lavish carvings and painted ornamentation. Generally speaking, the pagoda form symbolizes the human desire to bridge the gap between the constraints of earthly existence and the perfection of heavenly forces. Pagodas are found in every province of Vietnam. One of the most treasured is the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, founded in 1601 and completed more than two hundred years later. In North Vietnam, the pagodas that serve as the shrines and temples of the Son La mountains are especially worth visiting. In South Vietnam, the Giac Lam Pagoda of Ho Chi Minh City is considered to be the city’s oldest and is notable as well for its many richly-carved jackwood statues.

As a language, Vietnamese is exceptionally flexible and lyrical, and poetry plays a strong role in both literature and the performing arts. Folk art, which flourished before French colonization, has experienced a resurgence in beautiful woodcuts, village painting, and block printing. Vietnamese lacquer art, another traditional medium, is commonly held to be the most original and sophisticated in the world. Music, dance, and puppetry, including the uniquely Vietnamese water puppetry, are also mainstays of the country’s culture.

Although rice is the foundation of the Vietnamese diet, the country’s cuisine is anything but bland. Deeply influenced by the national cuisines of France, China, and Thailand, Vietnamese cooking is highly innovative and makes extensive use of fresh herbs, including lemon grass, basil, coriander, parsley, laksa leaf, lime, and chili. Soup is served at almost every meal, and snacks include spring rolls and rice pancakes. The national condiment is nuoc mam, a piquant fermented fish sauce served with every meal. Indigenous tropical fruits include bananas, pineapples, coconuts, lychees, melons, mandarin oranges, grapes, and exotic varieties like the three-seeded cherry and the green dragon fruit.


Today there are about 80 million people in Vietnam. Eighty percent of these are ethnic Vietnamese, while the remaining twenty percent comprises more than fifty separate ethnic groups. About seven million of these ethnic minorities are members of the hill tribes or montagnards (French for mountain people), making their homes and livelihoods in the spectacular mountains of the north and central highlands. Among the many languages spoken in Vietnam are Vietnamese, Chinese, English, French, and Russian.