The Girl Travels

A log of my recent adventures in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Vietnamese Embassy Needs to Get Call Waiting

My Cambodian visa arrived safe and sound on Saturday, nestled inside my only slightly abused passport. So today I've been trying to get everything together for my Vietnamese visa application. The one missing item: the application fee. Why? Because it isn't listed anywhere on their website.

I googled "Vietnamese visa application fee" and came up with a bunch of visa services that for at least $100 can get you a visa in a week. Um, no thanks. So then I went back to the website and tried calling both of the numbers listed there. For your information, they are (202)861-2293 and (202)861-0694. Try them. Busy, busy, busy. And while I think that most embassies are generally busy places, I can't believe there is only one single line per phone number, and that neither number can direct you to voicemail where you can leave a message or to an automated system that answers simple questions.

What kills me is how precise the web site is about the visa application process; but it leaves out the most important step: money.

So I sent an email to We'll see if I hear back anytime soon. In the meantime, if you know the visa fee, feel free to share that information.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Visa Application Sends Its Love

So after getting yelled at by the guy taking my picture for my visa applications ("Sit still! Stop blinking! Look up! Don't move! Stop! NO BLINKING!"), I finally got everything together for my first application.

-->Application - check
-->Itinerary - check
-->Photo - yep
-->Passport - scarier photo than this one
-->Express Mail SASE - check

$39.00 later, ($20 visa application fee, plus $19 to mail everything Priority and have it sent back via Express Mail), the package is in the mail to the Cambodian Embassy in DC. I hope. I did put it in the mailbox at work, so there's an 95% chance it's on it's way.

Fingers crossed that my passport gets back to me in one piece, since I'll have to repeat the process for the Vietnamese visa.