Though Vietnam resumed international tourism from March 15, foreign tourists feel current policies are ‘unfriendly.’ They want the government to extend tourist visa durations.

Justin Douglas from the U.S. said Vietnam should return to the old three-month visa policy to give tourists time to explore and discover the country at their pace.

Starting March 15, Vietnam has allowed quarantine-free travel and resumed its pre-pandemic visa exemption policy for citizens from 24 countries, including Japan, South Korea and European economies.

However, the country only issues a one-month single-entry e-visa to visitors from other countries, and has not resumed issuing three-month visas as was the norm earlier.

“A 30-day stay is too restrictive,” Justin said.

“One thing I never got a chance to do before the pandemic is make a bicycle trip around Sa Pa and Ha Giang (in the northern highlands). It would be very difficult to do a trip like that in 30 days, which requires ample time to prepare in Hanoi beforehand and relax there afterward.”

Justin said Vietnam is his favorite country and he has been waiting to go back, but with a 30-day maximum limit, he decided he would rather wait until the policies are relaxed further.

In the next two months, he will visit Thailand instead.

Justin is among many foreign tourists who want the Vietnamese government to issue longer duration visas and add countries with tourism potential to its visa exemption list.

Another American tourist, Jim Bresnahan, said current visa policies were “unfriendly” and that Vietnam should return to the old three-month visa policy.

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