Currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand (06/12/2013) - 31200km cycled

5 Nov 2013

Getting a visa for Vietnam in Kunming, China

Posted by Will

This is a short article because getting a Vietnamese visa in Kunming, China is a simple affair. The most difficult part is finding the Vietnamese consulate. I applied on 24th October 2013, as a British citizen, for a 30 day single-entry tourist visa with rushed same-day service.

p1060733-800The Vietnamese consulate sits inside Hongta Mansion inside Kai Wah International Hotel on the 5th floor. The address is 155 Beijing Rd but from that information alone it’s hard to find. Check out the ‘Vietnam visa in Kunming – a guide’ thread on Lonely Planet for an extremely good set of instructions on how to find the place exactly. I had to sign into the building with a man on a desk outside, then went up the elevator to the 5th floor.

You can apply for your visa between 9-12am, Monday-Friday. Take along: passport, passport photocopy, Chinese visa photocopy, 1 passport photograph, money in Chinese RMB and a pen. You will have to fill out an application form given to you inside the consulate. The cost for a 30 day single-entry visa (for British) is 450RMB ($70) for 3 working days processing, 500RMB for 2 working days processing and 550RMB for same-day processing. As for multiple-entry visas, I couldn’t get a straight answer from the consulate staff but it seemed as though they cost around 300RMB more. Payment is made in the consulate itself (no need to visit a separate bank).

Upon payment, you will receive a receipt which you MUST keep in order to pick up your passport and visa. The collection time is strictly 5-5.30pm. Don’t be late.

Bear in mind that English often isn’t spoken in the consulate so if your request is more complicated than the standard 30 day single-entry it may be advisable to take along a Chinese/Vietnamese-speaking friend. It is likely though that there will be a friendly student in the consulate too who speaks reasonable English and can help you.

In all an expensive, but hassle-free visa that can be guaranteed in Kunming.

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