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Need visas for Cambodia and Vietnam?

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Will I need a visa for each of theses countries or will being a ship's passenger and my valid passport suffice? I am going on the Diamond Princess in February, 2009.

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Will I need a visa for each of theses countries or will being a ship's passenger and my valid passport suffice? I am going on the Diamond Princess in February, 2009.

 

US citizen-yes.

 

The ship has visa's for Vietnam. You will have to get a Cambodia visa at the border. IF you are on a cruise that actually stops in Cambodia, the ship MAY arrange a group visa. You will have to call Princess for that info. DO NOT use Princess visa service-Zierer. They have not a clue when it comes to Asia.

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She seemed quite knowledgable and confirmed what greatam said - that Princess does provide the visas for Vietnam and that a $7.00 charge would be applied to each passenger's onboard account.

 

Visas for Cambodia must be obtained by each passenger through the Cambodian embassy in their country. I have seen non-embassy visa processing services, but the service charges are quite steep, so hubby and I will probably just hand deliver ours to the Cambodian embassy in Washington, D. C.

 

I'd love to hear from others on this subject!

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If you are flying into cambodia at the end of your cruise you can obtain a visa at the airport upon arrival. You will need to give them a passport photo, and it is a simple process. There is a new electronic system that will work at different ports that allow you to do this over the internet, you will find a link for this at the cambodian consulate website (use google). If your ship is porting there they do provide for group visas for the day they are there, but if you want other access get your own.

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Tropic, I won't be flying in to a Cambodian airport. Are you saying that because my ship stops in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, the cruise line will provide a group visa? The Princess rep specifically said that each passenger has to procure their own Cambodian visa.

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We are on the same cruise and and received the same info from Princess. - we get our own visa for Cambodia before sailing. I emailed the Cambodian Embassy and they said an Evisa that one can get ahead of time is not valid for our port in Cambodia - they did say one could get one at the port but quite undestand Princess saying we need to get one ahead of time. (2000 plus passengers in a line up for a visa !!)The Washington embassy handles visas for all of N.America.

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I got an e-mail from the Cambodian Embassy today confirming what you have said.

 

Since I live about 2 hours from Washington, D. C., hubby and I are going to go up on a Sunday, do a couple of museums, have dinner, stay in a nice hotel and then go to the embassy first thing on Monday morning to drop our documents off. We'll probably go sometime after Christmas, checking to make sure the embassy will be open on the following Monday, of course!

 

Let's cross our fingers about the visas. At least we know what to do now.

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Interesting... we are going to the same port on R/C Legend of the Seas and they are providing for "visas" for both Vietnam and Cambodia on board ship. However, if you plan to return after the cruise to either country you would need a multi entry visa to be safe. It is kind of confusing and I don't think the cruise lines give adequate information to how to handle this issue. But with both Cambodia and Vietnam it is quite easy to get visa's on your own and not have to add the cost of a "service" to the whole process. By the way evisa is not yet available at Shianoukville (sp?) as you found out, so you need the go the traditional route. Have a great time at both of these countries. Amazing people by the way.

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Interesting... we are going to the same port on R/C Legend of the Seas and they are providing for "visas" for both Vietnam and Cambodia on board ship. However, if you plan to return after the cruise to either country you would need a multi entry visa to be safe. It is kind of confusing and I don't think the cruise lines give adequate information to how to handle this issue. But with both Cambodia and Vietnam it is quite easy to get visa's on your own and not have to add the cost of a "service" to the whole process. By the way evisa is not yet available at Shianoukville (sp?) as you found out, so you need the go the traditional route. Have a great time at both of these countries. Amazing people by the way.

 

I sure wouldn't count on getting a group visa from the ship for Cambodia. They are just not technologically sophisticated enough to pull it off. The new "e Visa" has left many a backpacker scrambling to get a visa because something glitched out. Almost a riot in Phnom Penh when 35 backpackers were sent back to the Vietnam border crossing from the "fast boat" because they "thought" they had e visa's. The visa's had never been validated. Who you going to argue with???-a Cambodian Army officer (those are the border guards and visa checkers) or go back and get your visa straightened out. Discretion is DEFINIETLY the better part of valor.

 

The cruise lines are NOT in the visa business and the reps OFTEN give erroneous info. For my own piece of mind, I would get a Cambodian visa BEFORE I got to Cambodia. I get mine at the airports which is easy. But on a cruise ship, with 3rd world, very backwards technology, I sure wouldn't count on a group visa. Would be nice if it happened and probably save you a few dollars (Cambodia visa's are $25.00). But would really be a rude awakening if you were not allowed to board the ship or get off in Cambodia for lack of a visa.

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I think it is always best to err on the side of caution even if it costs a few bucks to do so.

 

I, too, think the cruise lines need to be better informed on these issus so that their employees can impart the correct info to the passengers. I'll mention that on my next cruise questionaire.

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Great Am,

 

Are you saying do not get a e-visa for Cambodia? We are visiting Cambodia after our cruise and were going to apply for an e-visa. We are going overland from Bangkok to Siam Reap.

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Great Am,

 

Are you saying do not get a e-visa for Cambodia? We are visiting Cambodia after our cruise and were going to apply for an e-visa. We are going overland from Bangkok to Siam Reap.

 

I am saying that there have been "unvalidated" e-visa's through the online service. In fact, take a look at the official web page. http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/vindex.aspx

 

Cambodian officials are aware of the problem-they are just having a hard time getting it fixed. You will note in #1 that you can check the validity of your e-visa. However, you will have already paid for your e-visa by the time you can check the validity. And if it is no good, it could be a real nightmare to straighten out. I personally would get a Cambodian visa either at the airport or in advance through the Embassy.

 

You do realize that the overland trip is NOT for most. Getting from Bangkok to Aranyapathet is easy-there are MANY buses, private taxis and other transport. But Aranyapathet is 6km from the Thai border, so you have to negotiate with a tuk-tuk or moto driver to get you to the border. When you arrive at the border, you are in one the nastiest places you could be. Smugglers, gun runners, scammers and thieves all over the place. DON'T get TAKEN. The border is only open from 7:30-17:30, so DON'T get caught having to spend the night at the border.

 

 

Then you pass Thai immigration, then Cambodian immigration. You can buy a visa at the border. You MUST have photos. And there have been recent reports-one from one of my contractors who is Australian, but lives in Phnom Penh, that the border guards have come up with a new scheme-REQUIRING international vaccination cards with YF. While quite a few SE Asia countries are now asking sporadically for YF vaccination proof (due to the well publicized YF outbreak in SA), most will just turn you away if you don't have it. But Cambodia will let you pass without it for a FEE-another negotiating process.

 

When you finally get your Cambodian visa (if you didn't have one in advance), you now get to negotiate with the "taxi mafia" or find a pick up truck to take you to Siem Reap. The road is in better shape than it has been, BUT it is still subject to washouts. It is about 150km to Siem Reap and can easily take 5-10 hours. When you get to Siem Reap, the amount of touts grabbing at your luggage and trying to get you to go to "their" hotel is more than I have seen anyplace else in Cambodia. You BETTER have a car and driver waiting for you. Even though I travel to Cambodia frequently, I WOULD NOT want to try to negotiate that mess.

 

While I have done the overland trip with a group of 20 something backpackers (and rode from Poipet to Siem Reap in the bed of a pickup truck), I would only do it again in the company of a group of backpackers. There truly is safety in numbers. And DON'T believe the travel agents on Khao San Road in Bangkok that they will "take care of everything". Most of the time, they lie. They will get you to Aranyapathet, then you are on your own.

 

Here are a couple of tips from a blog written by an Australian that crosses the border frequently:

 

"Travel to Siemreap from Poipet is more or less a rough and adventurous trail, not suitable for those who seek comfort. On the Cambodian side, there are share taxi or pickup trucks that will ride you to Siem Reap where the impressive Angkor Wat and other Khmer temples are housed. The road condition is very poor, dusty, unpaved, and even worst in rainy season when the road becomes muddy with a lot of potholes. In some instances, local military guards may block the road to ask for illegitimate passing fees from travelers. If you are lucky, it takes around 10-12 hours for 150 km journey with an opportunity to cross some of the most exciting (dangerous) bridges that you never experience before. The transport fee one-way to Siemreap from Poipet starts from 100 Baht up."

 

And a little bit about safety and corruption in Cambodia from the same blog. I have spent the last 2.5 years trying to buy and renovate an old apt building into a hotel in Phnom Penh-there is almost as much "mordida" in Cambodia as there is in Mexico. Seems like every time I turned around, there was another "fee".

 

"Safety? - Though there are many instances of travelers being rip-off by the locals in the area, it may be UNAVOIDABLE. Anyhow, most of them are at a bearable cost. Practice your bargaining skill is the only advice! Recently there is no report on travelers being physically harm or endangered, so it is likely to be at individual risk."

 

Unless you are REALLY into backpacking (or are a 20 something), I would highly recommend getting on a plane in Bangkok to Siem Reap. Bangkok Airways is a VERY nice airline.

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Check the Cambodia embassy on the internet. The visa is $20 and is very easy to get buty ou must have one to get into Cambodia. we are doing a Princess tour after our cruise in November and were informed on our itenerary that a visa for Cambodia is required. I had investigated the e-visa but when I read the website i would not take the risk. it would be shame to get there and be denied entry becuse you do not have a visa

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Actually the Cambodian Immigration office has recently set up a new eVisa system. Now you can apply for visa online and then receive a document that you simply need to print and show when you travel to Cambodia. Pretty convenient. More details here: visa-travel-to-cambodia

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