As you know, we just came back from being almost eleven months in South Asia, seven of them in Southeast Asia. Being as easy as it is to travel and live there, and how good is its food and even more, its people, if it would be up to us we would still be out there. But we had to go back to see the birth of our first niece :)
So, although finally we could not go to all the countries, as it was planned to initially, we had gathered the information already so here you go. This information is valid for travelers with Spanish passport, like me, as for travelers with Italian passport, like Eugenia. And as you will see, everywhere was exactly the same except for a small difference in Thailand.
Countries where you will not need visa
Arriving by plane to Thailand, with both passports you will get 30 days free visa. The difference comes crossing the border, where the Spanish passport will get you only 15 days and the Italian one 30.
In Vietnam, usually you had to issue a visa but starting from July 1st 2015 until June 30th 2016, you could enter the country up to 15 days without visa. To re-enter the country, using another 15 free days, it should have passed more than 30 days since your last departure from Vietnam. This visa exemption was renewed for another year, so until the end of June 2017 you will be able to enjoy it with the same conditions.
In Malaysia, also entering by land or air, you will be granted 90 days free visa to stay in the country.
When arriving at this city-state in Southeast Asia, you will also get 90 days to remain in the country without a visa.
In the case of Indonesia, do not panic at the airport if you see a sign with your nationality and ’30$’ right next to it. It’s because until a couple of years ago it was like this and they have not yet removed many of the signs! So, with both passports you will be able to stay in the country without a visa for a total of 30 days.
And we get to one of three countries that in the end we could not go. In this case, as Indonesia, we can be in the islands of the Philippines a total of 30 days without visa. And as we read, here, unlike all other countries in Southeast Asia, they do ask the return ticket on arrival.
– East Timor and Brunei
And to finish the part of countries that allow us to enter them without a visa, the other two countries that finally we could not visit. You will be able to stay in either of these two small countries a total of 90 days.
Countries with visa on arrival (VOA)
To enter Laos, you can issue the visa at the border or airport when you reach the country. The price of the visa is 35$ and allows you to enter once the country and stay there for 30 days. If you cross the border in ‘unofficial’ hours, you should pay $1 extra per person. When they ask, do not be silly thinking you are being ripped off, or you’ll end with a CANCELLED stamp in your passport, as it happened to me.
With Cambodia we really had doubts which was the real price to pay in the border. While you can do an online visa that costs 37$, it is also possible to issue the visa at the border or the airport. The fact is that surfing the internet we found many sites where they said it cost 20$ and others who said that was 30$. With all the confusion, we spoke with the Spanish and Italian embassy and we were told that currently costs 30$. And as Laos, is single entry and 30-day duration..
Countries where you will need issued visa
To conclude, we have the former Burma, as the only country in Southeast Asia that requires visa (unless you pretend to stay more than 15 free days in Vietnam, that then you should apply for a visa also). You can do an online visa that costs 50$, or you can do it in some of its embassies. We did at the embassy in Bangkok and it cost us 23$. In both cases, the visa will be single entry and will allow us to stay in the country a total of 28 days.
If you want to know in more detail how easily we handled the visa at the embassy of Bangkok, you can read it here.