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FILIPINO BACKPACKERS: How To Travel To Vietnam For More Than 21 Days?
Preparations in the Philippines
As a Filipino, you are allowed to travel in any country in Asia without a visa as long as you will stay in there for the period of days they allowed for you as tourist. In Vietnam, you don't need of a visa if you just stay less than 21 days but if you are planning to stay longer like 1 month, 3 months or 6 months that won't work for you. You need to follow some simple steps to get a visa. The cheapest and quick way is applying online.
Things to prepare:
1. Buy your airline ticket online using your credit card. Since you will apply for a visa online, you can book a one way ticket instead of a round trip.
2. Go to vietnamvisapro.net to apply your visa online. You will need again your credit card in paying the fee for the visa approval letter.
3. Print out the letter that the site will send to you in your email.
4. You will need an arrival and departure form so you better download it through the link that the site will send to you and fill out while you are still in Philippines so when you arrive in Vietnam you can save time.
5. Submit to the Visa Upon Arrival Section in Vietnam Airport your visa letter approval, arrival form, passport size photo, your passport and your $25 stamping fee.
Note: Apply your visa 1 week or 10 days before your arrival day to Vietnam.
If you have chosen Cebu Pacific Airlines, the airport will be at terminal 3
For Filipino backpackers:
Is Vietnam in your travel list?
Check your ticket if your travel tax is already included. If not, mostly only terminal fee, you need to pay your travel tax before going to check-in counter. The airline staff will also ask for your visa approval letter so you need to prepare it and put it in a carry-on bag to grab it easily.
Make a check list
Things to bring
Cash and Card
Enough to survive
Passport and other papers
Use cash and credit
Book Your Hotel
Where to book?
You don't need to pay in your booking online. Try booking.com for free booking of hotels and guest houses of your choice. Be aware of their rules because even though it's free cancellation you should be aware that cancellation is 3 days or 1 day before your check-in day otherwise you will pay for it. The site will ask you for credit card details to hold your booking only, they won't charge if you cancel on time.
Ho Chi Minh City Airport
Arriving at the airport
After you pass through the Immigration, there is an exchange currency on the left side. It is better to change your dollar for your safety because mostly the flights are during midnights. When you are ready to go out of the airport building, be sure you got your taxi ticket so you will be safe and secure to arrive in your hostel. The people are really helpful so you don't have to worry about being lost. Their rate in taxi is fix but you are assured of your safety especially during at night and if it's your first time. You can also get some grab taxi outside and usually the meter will start at 11. If your travel time from airport to your hotel is 30 minutes it can cost you 150 (that's 150,000 Dong) depends with district and location. Green taxi has higher meter starter, you can find red, yellow and white/gray.
Going to Nha Trang by Bus
Phuong Trang Futa Buslines
This is the company you can try to book a ticket for your trip going to Nha Trang. They charge $10 or 210,000 dong for fare one way. Their bus has a bed so they call it a sleeping bed. You can choose night trip so you can sleep on the way and wake up when you arrive in the city. They have 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. The travel time will reach 9 hours so when you choose 8pm trip, it will arrive Nha Trang city mostly at 5am. They are equipped with bed and blanket with free drinking bottled water. If you choose morning trips, you will arrive in the evening so you got to be prepared with your hotel address in order not to get lost.
Nha Trang City
Long White Beach at the center of the city
you will love the place. It is like a paradise. You can find here some cheap serviced apartments where they cater free laundry and house cleaning. The food in the market are cheap and you can walk around to shop for fresh and cheaper fruits and vegetables. The beach is walking distance from most hostels and guest houses. You can see many tourist on the beach with their swim suites and they are ready to get tan. Many are Russian nationals and also locals from Ho Chi Minh City who wanted to experience the beautiful white beach.
My First Day in Ho Chi Minh
Traveling with Sleeping Bed
Nha Trang Beach
My Cheap Apartment
For more questions
Please leave a message or comment if you wanna know more about my trip in Vietnam. Thanks for reading my hub.