the Vietnam visa

Posted from Krong Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia.

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I had read online that the Vietnam embassy in Cambodia was located in Sihanoukville. Seeing as I had plans to go there I decided to not apply for my visa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. Vietnam is one of those countries that require you to prearrange a visa before arriving at the border or by air.

When I got off the boat from Koh Rong I talked a motortaxi driver into giving me a lift to the embassy for $2. Well, I didn’t so much talk him into it. We needed a translater, but he knew where I wanted to go. We wound down the streets and he pointed out the embassy, driving right past it and up an alley to a guest house. He wanted me to book into this guest house so he could get a commission. Oh Cambodia. I told him no and we went back to the embassy.

The doors were locked and the security guard informed me that I had to go sleep and come back. I only understand after I walked around to the other side of the building and saw that visas can only be obtained from 8 to 12 and 2 to 4. It’s was 1 p.m. So I chose to wait. I had a puzzle book and I’m quite good at killing time. Plus I had no clue where else this motorbike driver would take me.

An Aussie guy showed up early too so we got to talking about our travels. He lives in Vietnam and had come here to get a one-year visa. It’s the only place you can get one in a day.

When the office opened I went in, filled out my paperwork, handed them my crappy 4×6 photo I got done in Bangkok and also handed them the $60US fee. The fee, for some reason, goes up every year. And it’s only payable in USD. I find that amusing. Ten minutes later I had my 30-day visa in hand and was out the door looking for someone to give me a lift back down to the beaches area. I would spend one more night in Sihanoukville before heading east to Kampot and Kep. From there I would have to take a motorbike taxi to the border, cross the border, and get another motorbike, or the same one, to Ha Tien. From Ha Tien my plan so far is to get a bus up to Ho Chi Minh City, better known as Saigon.

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