Passports and Visas
Many reputable travel agencies offer pre-arranged visas, which are available to citizens of most countries, including the United States, but only to those landing in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or Danang. This makes for a convenient option for those who don’t live near a Vietnamese consulate, but note that in high season, you may be stuck waiting in line for some time. You’ll need to pay your visa fee in cash; as of this writing, the cost for American citizens is $45 for a one- or three-month single entry visa, $65 for a 30-day multiple-entry visa, and $95 for a longer multiple-entry visa.
Make two photocopies of the data and visa page of your passport (one for someone at home and another for you, carried separately from your passport). If you lose your passport, promptly call the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police.
U.S. passport applications for children under age 14 require consent from both parents, or legal guardians, and both must appear together to sign the application. If only one parent appears, he or she must submit a written statement from the other parent authorizing passport issuance for the child. A parent with sole authority must present evidence of it when applying; acceptable documentation includes the child's certified birth certificate listing only the applying parent, a court order specifically permitting this parent's travel with the child, or a death certificate for the nonapplying parent. Application forms and instructions are available on the website of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs (www.travel.state.gov).
Visas for Cambodia are available online at www.evisa.gov.kh. The fee is $30, plus a $7 processing fee, payable online. Allow at least three days for processing, after which your visa will be emailed to you. Print it out and bring it with you.
Embassy of Vietnam. 1233 20th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, District of Columbia, 20036. 202/861–0737; 202/861–0917; www.vietnamembassy-usa.org.