If you’re ever unsure about how long you will stay in a country and have different visa options to choose from, always pick the longer option! (If the price difference isn’t too drastic.) We learnt this the hard way.
Coming to Vietnam this time, we were unsure about how long we would stay. Our plans were a bit up in the air as we knew that Vietnam would be our last stop before heading back to Berlin, but when that was, we still weren’t sure. When we landed at the airport, I told Artur just to get a one month visa (instead of the 3 month visa for $20 or so more). I thought that it would be easy and cheap enough to extend and also we were suffering from some on/off travel fatigue in Indonesia and Sri Lanka that I suspected we wouldn’t want to stay in Vietnam for very long.
Funnily enough, Vietnam feels like home. We’re heading back to Europe for Christmas in Poland, which means another month and a visa extension for Artur. We just paid $65 to get his visa extended for another month. How I wish I told him just to take the three month visa at the airport… $65 was the cheapest quote we got. Most told us around $80, with one person even telling me $125. Ridiculous. What’s even more frustrating as there’s just no reliable information on the internet about extension prices as they’re always changing the rules here. Americans now can only get a one year tourist visa which costs over $100, yet they still can only stay in the country for three months at a time. Don’t know what the deal is with that.
So the point of this post is, don’t make the mistake we did! Pay for the longer visa at the start!
Update: We have received the visa extension and it is just a stamp in the passport, with handwritten dates. There’s also a stamp that says ‘Fee paid – $10’.