Citizens of the United States visit Vietnam for the rich culture, historic sites, beautiful scenery, and flavorsome food. They often come to take in the sights at Halong Bay up north or jump on one of the many boat cruises on the Mekong Delta.
Vietnam also offers a chance for Americans to look at the past and see the Vietnam War from the other side by allowing them to crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels. These were used by the Viet Cong during wartime, and seeing them can be an educational and somewhat sobering experience. The inexpensive shopping and dining in Vietnam appeal to American visitors as well, making it an all-around prime travel spot.
Currently there are no direct flights from the United States to Vietnam, but Vietnam Airlines is planning to start offering some in 2018. Depending on which city you fly out of, there are plenty of 1-stop and 2-stop options on several different airlines. When planning your travels, start by checking flights with some of the larger companies, such as:
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Korean Air
Before you get on any airplane, however, you must get a Vietnam visa.
How to Get a Vietnam Visa Online
Since 1996, all U.S. citizens who visit Vietnam can pick up their visa at a Vietnam international airport. This is the easiest way of entry into the country, and requires you to get a visa approval letter before traveling. To use this method and obtain a Visa On Arrival, simply submit an online application to request an approval letter via email. It may take up to two days, so allow time to secure your visa before your travel date.
Once you have your letter, all you have to do is show it and your passport to the customs agents in Vietnam to get a stamp and entry visa. Visa On Arrival is an option for any American flying into Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang. Traveling to Vietnam by any other method requires you to get a visa from an embassy before leaving the United States.
Getting a Visa through a Vietnam Embassy
Although it is the more complicated and expensive option, when visiting Vietnam by bus or train from another country, you will need to get your visa from your nearest consulate. Before applying for a Vietnam visa (using either method), please make sure your passport has a minimum of six months of validity from your arrival date, as well as a page left for a stamp.
To get your visa from the Vietnam Embassy prior to your trip, submit your passport and application through the mail or in person. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth (DD/MM/YY), nationality, passport number, passport photos, and date of arrival on the application form, so make sure you have that information ready when you contact the consulate. Within a couple weeks of your request, you will be able to return to the embassy to pick up your passport and stamped visa.
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