Entry Ports to Vietnam - How to Get Entered Vietnam?

After getting compulsory Visa to Vietnam, you will consider the way you get to enter to Vietnam. Your travel plan will very much depend on the way you choose. Moreover, each way of entering will have some slightly different requirements of Visa. Here is the brief guide while HIT strongly recommends you should look up by yourself to ensure the entry requirements; otherwise, you might find your Vietnam tour become so harsh from the very start.

There are 4 ways to get entered Vietnam:


This is the most popular way to enter Vietnam. Vietnam has 3 international airports with customs officers who can deal with visa related issues: Danang (in Danang), Noi Bai (in Hanoi), and Tan Son Nhat (in Sai gon – Ho Chi Minh city). Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat are the top choices for most of the international flight schedule.

They are able to deal with migration issues professionally with full functional custom offices. The Visa from Embassies and Letter of Approval for On arrival visa are all accepted. The international terminals are clean, covered with free Wi-fi. The one in Noi Bai airport was newly built in 2014 but in Tan Son Nhat airport, the terminals are quite old, notice boards hard to figure out.

There are some duty-free shops, cafeteria, and restaurants but their menus are not various. Those airports are not enjoyable places to do shopping or entertaining for a few hours transit even though they are making remarkable efforts to change. Please be noticed that the prices of food and drinks at these airports are noticeably higher than usual.

Read more: Vietnam Flights and airlines​

Sea ports

With over 3000km coastline, Vietnam often welcomes a huge amount of visitors coming from big cruise liners via our seaports. The procedure of entry to Vietnam via sea ports is quite different from airports. You are about to need a letter of approval from a local Vietnam tour operator with details of your programs and personal information. This letter must be approved by an authorized main contractor with the cruise. Your local operator in Vietnam must deal with this paper to get you entered Vietnam.


The sole international waterway for tourists is between Vietnam and Cambodia via Mekong River. There are two ways to cross-border gate Vietnam Cambodia including:
  • Taking a cruise trip along Mekong River. They are often luxurious, outstanding cruises with overnight accommodation, fine restaurants, and extra services. 
  • Using speed boat from border gate to Phnompenh and vice versa. You will transfer by road to Phnom Penh where you check in a speed boat. The ride takes about 4 hours to get border gate Vietnam – Cambodia. You will be served with the snack, fresh fruit, and bottled water.
You will need to obtain Visa from Embassies or the ORIGINAL letter of approval for visa on arrival at the border gate. Please note that the printed or faxed Visa letter is not accepted. We suggest you should arrange Letter of approval minimum a week prior embarking date so that we can send the original letter to your address via postal express services.

Read more: Mekong and Halong cruises​

Border gates in mainland

Vietnam shares border with China to the North, Cambodia, and Laos to the west. The most popular border crossing in the mainland is in Southwest of Vietnam – between Vietnam and Cambodia. The reason is mainly from the easy and quick access from the border gate to main visiting sites and cities. 

The border gates at North and North West are mostly in the very remote areas and very much far away from main tourist attractions. They are often used for commodity trading rather than tourists. That leads to the customs officers here not familiar to deal with visa issues for travelers and very limited usage of English.

Caravan groups, that often wish to bring their own vehicles into Vietnam via those border gates, are strongly recommended to contact us in advance several months to complete the paper works and the best preparation for a smooth operation.

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