Due to my German – or let’s say European – background I spent too much money for my Vietnamese Visa. Why? I thought that government-run organization would charge less than tourist agencies. But I was wrong. Since I had to wait for a long time in Vietnam for my new German passport I wanted a two months visa for Vietnam. Most of the agencies in Laos were offering a one month visa for around 50 USD. Some of them offered also a two month visa for around 70 USD. The price always depended on the fact whether you wanted your visa for the same day or for the next working day. I made up my mind to go to the Vietnamese embassy in Vientiane with my Vietnamese friend Dang. I thought that this would be much easier since he could ask for specific information such as ‘single visa’ or ‘multiple visa’. But I was wrong again. The guys at the Vietnamese embassy were not willing to give a lot of information at all. On the contrary they almost sent us out of the embassy since we were talking ‘to loud’. They collected my passport and asked whether I wanted a one month or a two months visa. Then they stamped my passport and wanted 95 USD. Since we had trouble before I did not want to start to bargain. The officer took a part of his money in his wallet.

Instead of two months he gave me three. But the price for two and three is the same. I really wonder whether that was on purpose or without intention.

The next time in Asia I definitely will apply for my visa through a tourist agency. It should be less complicated and cheaper. Another lesson I have learned. Another aspect that I can appreciate when I go back home: No corruption. No money in private pockets in government places.

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