Ho Chi Minh City

Visa Process

Ho Chi Minh City was our original visit to Vietnam. Our arrival was not smooth sailing like entering Mexico. With our three-month Visas in hand, we entered the “All Passports” line. Waiting about 30 minutes in line, we approached the guard. He reached for my papers and glanced them over then looked at me, said “over there,” pointing at his 5 o’clock position with his hand behind him and returned my papers. Our failure was we did not receive the official Visa inside our passport. We head in the direction where the guard pointed and waited in smaller single line with our documents.

Sitting and Standing for almost 2 hours…

After 10 minutes, we approached the security counter, surrendering our papers and passport over to the guard, accepting them without us knowing our next move. We ask the surrounding people the entire process and they said; you submit your papers and passport and wait for them announce your name.  Sitting and standing for almost 2 hours someone announces my name with an almost unrecognizable accented pronunciation. I stand up, head to the counter, pay the stamping fee (25 dollars for a single-entry), and finally receive my passport. NOW I CAN HAVE A BEER! NOPE! Now, we have to wait in the line we were before, except the lines were longer. We reach the counter, a different guard accepts our passports and looks at us and asks us when we are leaving.

Flight, Bus, or Boat… to prove our disappearance…

I told him, “in about 40 days.” The guard began requesting a flight, bus, or boat, something proving our disappearance of Vietnam. Researching for months, we did not encounter this in any other people’s experiences. Luckily, our friends meeting us toward the end of our Vietnam trip had purchased everyone’s flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We presented Jamie’s phone with the flight and FINALLY he let us proceed. Now, we have to fly to Hanoi…

-Walter

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