Planning Vietnam: vaccinations and visas

IMG_2067This won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but preparing for a trip to Asia needs so much more thought than a quick trip to Europe. The trip to Vietnam is now only a few weeks away, and there still seems so much to organise – including visas, insurance and injections!

I have visited a few countries which require a visa, but none which involve sending passports to the embassy beforehand. In an age where almost everything is done online, it can seem strange having to write out a form, attach a passport photo, and mail it to London. But this is the process which needs to be followed in order to visit the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; it isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming (and you get to see how bad you look in a photo booth!). We organised the visas through STA Travel, but with hindsight I wouldn’t do this again; we basically ended up paying more for a company to send the documents to the embassy on our behalf, but I think we could have easily done this ourselves. We’re currently waiting for the visas to be approved, so fingers crossed!

Had my final vaccination today; a whole raft of them were recommended, but it is basically up to the individual what you decide to have. Some, such as rabies and Japanese encephalitis, can cost around £100 each so it is definitely worth researching the areas of the country you’ll be visiting and how much risk is involved. This is the same advice for malaria; the NHS has a couple of good websites which highlight malarial zones. The basic vaccinations for Vietnam include hepatitis A and B and typhoid, along with a combination booster for tetanus, polio and diphtheria.

I got quite a good deal on travel insurance through my subscription to Wanderlust magazine, so now all that’s left to sort is travel to the airport…and deciding what to pack.

Included are some photos taken in Thailand.




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