So, since I posted about my trip to Vietnam, I’ve had a few people ask me about applying for a tourist visa to Vietnam.
Firstly, you can apply for a visa online which gives you an approval letter to get your actual visa upon arrival, or you can visit the Vietnamese embassy in your city.
We’re talking about applying online here.
I ran a few google searches to look up a list of countries that have visa exemption into Vietnam, but if I scroll to the bottom to the page, all of the website I clicked into says that it isn’t the official Vietnam government or embassy website. They’re mostly agencies that help you with applying for a visa approval letter.
I clicked around a little more and basically came to the conclusion that one site isn’t going to differ hugely from another. I used VietnamVisa.org. As of 2018, the fees range from US$12 to US$150 for a 1-year multiple entry visa (this option is only available for American passport holders).
On the last night of my weekend trip to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, I was walking around District 1, close to the Bitexco Tower looking for a place to have some local dinner. It was one of those nights where you’ve run out of things to do, and you’re still full from the previous meal, but you’re also too tired to keep walking around, so dinner it is.
For no particular reason, I looked up and saw this logo that says “Chin Chin” on the side of a narrow building. Frankly, it reminded me of a fusion bar & restaurant called “Fang Fang” in Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Its oriental look and dark windows have me convinced it’s a pretentious bar I can afford (because we’re in Vietnam), which was perfect because it really was too early for dinner.
We crossed the street and checked out the menu. Turns out, it’s a three-story building with two bars and two restaurants in it, probably from the same group. We headed up to ChinChin which was a tad fancier than I thought it would be. Thanks to language barriers, we were invited into the bar even though the staff was still on their break. No problem, they’re super nice and hopped up: the music came on, the lights dimmed a little, and the place came to life even though our small party was the only customers there. The menu came and man, was I confused. First, I was sitting in front of one out of two windows in the whole place, where the only light streaming in was from a huge bubble tea sign from across the street. Defeated, I got my phone out for the flashlight, and after confirming with another human being, I came to accept that what turned out to be a very strong and over-the-top cocktail was indeed only less than US$4 during happy hour.