Visa run to Moc Bai border Vietnam
In another post there is info about visas for Vietnam. Here more about the infamous border run or Visa run to Moc Bai border Vietnam. When you have a three months tourist visa and it is going to expire while you are in Saigon (HCMC), you can extend this only one more time with one month within Vietnam. After this one month you need to get yourself to the Moc Bai border point with Cambodia for a visa run in order to get a new visa. For a new 3 months visa you need to have an approval letter. You can get this letter from many agencies, as can be seen in pic. The prices are mentioned, depending on the length and type of the visa that you want.
When you have the approval letter purchased in Saigon (HCMC), you go to park 23/9 where the bus for Moc Bai leaves. A blue bus, number 703 is the one you need. You can buy the ticket in the bus. The price of the ticket is 40.000 VND, less than $2 for a one way ticket. It takes you around 2,5 hours to get to Moc Bai border, although the distance isn’t really far. It takes you almost an hour to get out of Saigon.
Moc Bai / Bavet
When you reach Moc Bai border and got out of the bus, you walk to the sort of gate that you see. Pass it and walk inside a building on your left hand side. The customs are there. Some (annoying) guys offering to help you with visa are there too. They don’t easily take no for an answer. Okay, it’s up to you, they can make your process easier and sometimes faster. You pay them between $15 and $25 for that. If you aren’t willing to do that. Just get yourself in line for customs. They give the exit stamp on your current visa.
You go again in line for checking if you got the stamp, and walk out of the building. Now you are in no man’s land. Walk the 50 meters to the Cambodian side. In a kind of boot you’can ask for the application form for a Cambodian visa and a card if you have something to declare. There is a sign on the boot which mentions ordinary visa $30 and tourist visa $35. Don’t ask me about the difference. I wrote ordinary because it was cheaper.
When I handed in the form they simply charged me $32. This probably meant that $2 extra was for his lunch. You don’t have to pay it and can protest, but in that case they just let you wait for hours before helping you. You get your passport with visa sticker at the boot and walk opposite inside the building. There the customs will give an entry stamp. You walk out of the building, go immediately left around the building to reach the exit boots. Give the filled nothing to declare card and your passport. Receive an exit stamp on the visa that you just got and walk back through no man’s land to the Vietnamese side. The border at the Vietnamese side is called Moc Bai, at the Cambodian side it’s called Bavet.
You are back at the Vietnamese side. Again some guys approach you, sometimes walking in blue kind of uniforms, which gives the impression that they are officials, which they aren’t. You can ask for an application form yourself at the boot. Fill it and pay. They charged me $55, although the official price was $50. So their lunch cost was a bit more. You wait 10 minutes, depending on how many others are waiting for visa. Get your passport with new visa sticker and get in line for customs to give an entry stamp.
Once you are through this, walk out to the same point where the bus dropped you and wait for a bus to arrive. Every half hour or so. Although I had to wait an hour. Take the bus back to Saigon and you’re done for another three months. All together the cost for bus, Vietnam visa and Cambodian visa will be $130. Take note that Vietnam increased the prices of visa from Feb 2017, a one month visa purchased at an embassy abroad increased from around $35 to $60. So the price mentioned above of $130 can be more now.
Leave early morning around 7 am from bus park 23/9 and you can be back there at around 2 pm. The visa run to Moc Bai border Vietnam is somewhat of an annoyance, but after all it could be worse and at least you can be a full year in Vietnam this way, which can’t be said from many other Asian countries. You can see more about the Moc Bai visa run in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rztjiwsoo0E
Have a successful visa run to Moc Bai border Vietnam!