If you have been living in Thailand for one reason or another you probably need to do visa runs once in a while.
There are 2 types of visas:
- the one that you get by crossing land border 15 days)
- the one that you get by flight (30 days only for flying out and back in or 60+30 if you pay a visit to the embassy)
If you are bored of Kuala Lumpur and Penang visa runs, you may try something less popular between Thai visa runners: Hanoi.
- The embassy in Hanoi is less crowded (only 2 people queing there each time I went)
- Hanoi is a nice and charming city
- Super Cheap
- The embassy is located near the old quarter, walking distance from backpackers and bars area.
- Flight can be more expensive depending from where in Thailand you’re flying
- Google maps did not update the new embassy address which is 15 km further than the old one
- You find very little information about visa requirements on the Thai Embassy website in Vietnam
- The only visa type available is the 60 days (+30 possible to extend in Thailand)
- Citizens of Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spain do not need a Vietnam visa if they stay shorter than 15 days, all the other countries need to apply for a visa (procedure is really simple, you just do i all via email, I didn’t even print the letter just showed my phone)
Useful Facts I wish I had read somewhere before I went there:
- You can only pay in US dollars (40$)
- You cannot buy US Dollars in Vietnam (I was guided to a jewelry shop which was selling them over the counter) so try to get them upfront
- The Embassy new Address is: 26 Phan Bội Châu, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam.
- Taxis in Vietnam use meters almost standard and they are really cheap.
- From the airport there is a 2$ shuttle that can drop you off right next to the embassy.
- The visa will be ready next day and you can pick it up after 13:00
- You can chose a hostel close by to sped the night, I was lucky enough to run into Chien Hostels which was the best hostel I stayed in so far (5$ a night, buffet breakfast – proper one, free beer between 18-19, super social place).
While you are in Hanoi:
- You can visit the city which has a lot to offer or
- you can book a cheap trip to beautiful surroundings such as Ninh Bình, Halong Bay or Sapa
- Check out below videos of trips to Sapa and Halong Bay so nicely put together by Kevin Cook.