Passports and Visas

You need a valid passport to visit our part of the world. Please make sure that your passport is good for at least 90 days AFTER the anticipated end of your trip. Make sure you have enough blank pages in your passport for the visas you need.

Depending on your citizenship, you may be required to have a visa to enter one or more of the countries where we offer travel programs. Visas are not included in our packages and you are responsible for making sure you have the necessary visa to enter the countries you intend to visit. We can not be responsible if you fail to get the necessary visa and are refused entry or not allowed to board an aircraft as a result.

Regulations change from time to time and the only reliable source of information is the embassies or consulates of the countries concerned, we can not be held responsible if anything incorrect is published here. If you learn that anything below is incorrect, please let us know so we can update this page.

Thailand 

Citizens of many countries are exempt from visa requirements when entering the Kingdom for tourism purposes for up to 30 days. Citizens of some countries not covered by the visa exemption may get a visa on arrival. Over-stays are subject to a fine. However, visas can usually be extended in Bangkok. Limits have now been imposed on the number of times someone cay leave Thailand, then re-enter in order get another 30 day stay.

For the latest details contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate or visit the website of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.mfa.go.th/web/12.php

Cambodia 

Although citizens of most countries can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia, 95% of the people on your flight will not have a visa, which means a long line and a wait of up to one hour. You can arrange an e-visa in advance via the Internet (except for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan or Sri Lanka. Citizens of Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and the Philippines are not required to have a visa. Visa processing takes three days and the cost is $20 plus a $5 processing fee, which can be paid by credit card. To apply, please visit: http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/

If you decide to get your visa on arrival please be prepared to pay the US$20 fee (no pounds, Euros, or baht are accepted). You will also need a passport photo.

Vietnam 

Vietnam requires visas for most visitors. You can apply for a visa in person or by mail from the embassy or consulate closest to you. We can provide a list of Vietnam embassy and consulate addresses if you cannot find the one closest to you.

You can also use an online visa service, which takes two to five days. They will arrange for an "authorization letter" that you can carry with you to get a visa on arrival. You pay for the service online when you apply, and pay for the actual visa when it is stamped into your passport on arrival.

You may apply as early as six months prior to the date of travel by submitting a completed application along with with two passport photos, an original passport and a fee. Some offices have specific requirements about whether you may use mail, DHL, Federal Express, etc. Expect processing to take at least one week. Each embassy has a different fee, and the fee may vary depending on how many entries you require.

Tourist visas are valid for a maximum of 30 days beginning with the date of arrival stated in your application (and NOT the day you actually arrive).

If you plan to travel through Bangkok on your way to Vietnam you can normally get a visa overnight, assuming no weekends or holidays are involved. Visas are also available at the Vietnam Airlines office in Siem Reap, assuming you plan to travel to Vietnam on Vietnam Airlines.

If you fly directly into Vietnam and plan to travel to another country before returning to Vietnam for your departure flight you will need a double entry visa. If you do not get the right kind of visa you will have to apply for a second visa and pay the fee again after you leave Vietnam

Embassies and consulates are closed on both Vietnamese and local holidays.

Please contact us if you need an application form or have questions about how to complete the form or if you are asked to supply documents with your application about your trip. 

Laos 

Lao visas are issued on arrival at airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, and at the Friendship Bridge near Vientiane. If you plan to enter Laos at any other place you need get your visa in advance from a Lao embassy. Cost is US$30. You will need two passport photos. Visas on arrival are usually good for 14 days. Visas issued by embassies are usually good for 30 days. If you overstay you will be fined $5 per day and may be subject to arrest. Visas are for one entry only. You may extend visas in Vientiane at a cost of $3 per day.

We have heard (but can not verify) that the cost of a visa is $10 less when issued by the Lao embassy in Bangkok. However, the embassy is quite far from the center of the city, so by the time you go there twice it may not be worth the trouble to save $10.

Embassy of Lao PDR
520.502/1-3 Ramkhamhaeng soi 39
Bangkapi, Bangkok

Myanmar (Burma) 

A visa is required to visit Myanmar and should be arranged well in advance. We can arrange a visa on arrival if you use Purple Dragon for your arrangements and provide the information we need 30 days or more in advance. Some embassies require that you appear in person with your passport and application. You will need a passport photo and US$35 (although fees will vary outside the U.S.) We DO NOT RECOMMEND waiting until you arrive in Bangkok to get a visa since they issue only 200 per day and the queue begins to form at 06:00. Tourist visas are good for 28 days and cannot be extended. We will provide a document confirming your arrangements to expedite issuance of a visa.

China, Hong Kong, and Macau 

Visas are required to enter (or transit China to Mongolia or North Korea) must be obtained from Chinese Embassies and Consulates before traveling to China. Regardless of advertisements, you can not rely on anyone in China to arrange a visa on arrival. Travelers should not rely on Chinese host organizations claiming to be able to arrange a visa upon arrival. Chinese authorities have recently tightened their visa issuance policy, in some cases requiring personal interviews.

If you plan to travel to China and continue to Hong Kong and/or Macau Special before returning to China must have a multiple entry visa. In general, visas are not required to visit Hong Kong or Macau. If you make a side trip to Macau from Hong Kong you MUST have your passport.

Permits are required to visit Tibet as well as many remote areas not normally open to foreigners. Every foreigner going to Tibet needs to get a travel permit . Permits cost RMB 100, are single-entry and valid for at most three months. Most areas in Tibet are not open for foreigners.

For the latest requirements visit the official websites of the People Republic of China.

Australia: http://au.china-embassy.org

Belgium: http://be.china-embassy.org

Canada: http://www.chinaembassycanada.org

Egypt: http://eg.china-embassy.org

India: http://www.chinaembassy.org.in/eng/

Israel: www.chinaembassy.org.il

New Zealand: http://www.chinaembassy.org.nz

Philippines: http://ph.chineseembassy.org

Singapore: www.chinaembassy.org.sg

Thailand: www.chinaembassy.or.th

UK: www.chinese-embassy.org.uk

United States: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/lsyqz/visa/visa1/t175971.htm

There are many more. If you live in a smaller country like Croatia, Morocco, Costa Rica you can Google these.

India 

Everyone needs a visa to enter India. In most cases visas are no longer issued by Indian embassies or consulates since this process has been outsourced to private companies. (India outsourcing something. Imagine that!)

United States: https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/homepage Canada: http://in.vfsglobal.ca

UK, France: http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/

Germany: http://www.indianembassy.de

Australia: http://www.hcindia-au.org/consular_passport_visa_oci.html

Thailand: http://indianembassy.in.th/tourist_visa.htm

If you have an old visa application form it is probably no good. We strongly advise you to apply for your visa in your home country. In some countries (such as Thailand), only citizens of that country or foreigners who have been permanent residents for several years can use the local visa processing service. We have been told that visa applicants in the USA need to produce a driver's license and birth certificate.

Nepal 

Just about everyone who visits Nepal for tourism is required to have a visa. Cost is US$30 (or the equivalent) for a thirty-day visa. Multiple entry visas require an additional $50 fee. Visas may be extended after arrival in Nepal. The maximum permitted stay is 150 days. For a list of Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad visit: www.immi.gov.np/location.php or follow the links below to embassies in major countries:

Australia: www.nepalconsulate.org.au

UK: www.nepembassy.org.uk

United States: www.nepalembassyusa.org

There may be others, which you might be able to find through your favorite search engine.

Bhutan 

Except for Indian citizens (in most cases), everyone who visits Bhutan needs a visa. We handle your visa as part of the reservation process. You cannot arrange a Bhutanese visa or book Drukair flights independently unless you are employed in Bhutan or visiting as a diplomat or representative of an NGO established there.