Visas and Travel – always do your homework; don’t be me

Kind of a note if you are thinking about going to Phu Quoc Island and you are going to ride a mini bus from some place like Cambodia and not fly in to the airport. While Phu Quoc is a special economic zone and is visa free, getting to the ferry in Ha Tien is not. You need an e-visa to get to there on the bus so you can catch the ferry to the island. There is a lot of mis information about how this works but you can get an e visa in less than 3 days from Vietnam and list Ha Tien as your entry and exit point which is all I want. It costs $25 to get a 30 day visa which is single entry. You get a downloaded e visa that you present to customs when you enter Vietnam at Ha Tien. I could have flown in and skipped it since arrivals at the Phu Quoc airport are covered by the exemption. That flight costs about $400 and takes the same amount of time that taking the mini bus does but the mini bus is only $25.

So here are the steps if you are doing a land thing to Ha Tien and then catching the ferry:

  1. find mini bus service to Phu Quoc. Easy to find online. You will pay for the entire trip bus and ferry.
  2. Get the hotel defined beforehand much as possible. The e visa application asks where you are staying in Vietnam.
  3. Get an e-visa from Vietnam that lets you land in Ha Tien and depart. The official site is easy to use. You will need a photo and passport capture in JPG format. You will pay $25 in VND for the e-visa. It takes up to 3 days so plan accordingly.
  4. Print out the e visa and take with you when you go
  5. Have fun in Phu Quoc!

For me, I may or may not go since I kinda skipped the e visa step until the last minute. If I don’t get to go there, will hop a mini bus next week for a week to Kampot. I have positive vibes that I will get the visa and I will go. Still have the three days including leaving on Monday. I think I will get the visa tomorrow when I am on my day tour of the city here.

The main message is always do more and more homework when it comes to crossing international boundaries. I finally emailed Vietnam immigration and they told me what I needed to do. If I don’t do the trip, no big deal besides the hotel I already paid for and the travel. Perhaps $200 lost. I don’t like that too much but its my mistake so live and learn.

We’ll see if I am packing to go to a tropical island next week or what. No matter what, I leave the following week for Siem Reap and it appears my Fuji XT2 camera will ride the bus there to meet me. Its coming back from Fujifilm Singapore all fixed up.