First time Vietnam – Visa & Drone

Unraveling the Great Airbnb Trek: A Tale of Rookie Errors in Vietnam

1. The Excitement Builds

Planning the “Great Airbnb Trek” to Vietnam was brimming with excitement and detailed preparation. However, amidst the anticipation, unforeseen challenges arose, leading to rookie errors.

2. Visa Woes

Changing our Vietnam itinerary for convenience inadvertently led to overlooking crucial visa requirements. Australians must obtain a visa to enter Vietnam, a detail missed due to assumptions drawn from previous travels.

3. Panic Mode Engaged

Realizing the oversight just a week before departure triggered panic. With no prior visa and an incomplete online application, time became a pressing concern.

4. Passport Predicament

Applying for a visa in Australia proved challenging, compounded by the requirement to send original passports via mail. This decision added a layer of anxiety so close to the travel date.

5. A Timely Turnaround

Opting for expedited processing provided a glimmer of hope amid the frenzy. Swift processing and secure delivery brought relief as passports returned promptly with visas enclosed.

6. Drone Dilemmas

Contemplating the use of a drone in Vietnam sparked research and cautionary tales. Despite witnessing drone footage online, uncertainty loomed over legality and potential repercussions.

7. Weighing the Risks

Balancing the allure of aerial photography with the risk of legal complications became paramount. Tales of arrests and airport seizures urged reconsideration, ultimately leading to a cautious decision.

8. Airport Adventures

Navigating airport security at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh Airports with drone equipment proved uneventful, yet the looming possibility of legal repercussions lingered.

9. The Decision

Opting to forgo drone usage in Vietnam, prioritizing adherence to regulations and avoiding potential legal entanglements, concluded the dilemma.

10. Conclusion

In hindsight, navigating the Great Airbnb Trek through Vietnam unearthed valuable lessons. From visa requirements to drone regulations, each challenge provided insights for smoother future travels.


1. Do Australians need a visa for Vietnam? Yes, Australians require a visa to enter Vietnam for any duration of stay.

2. Can I obtain a visa on arrival in Vietnam? While possible, obtaining a visa on arrival typically requires a pre-approved letter and is advised for travelers transiting through other countries.

3. How long does it take to process a Vietnam visa application? Processing times vary, but expedited services may offer quicker turnaround, typically within a few days.

4. Are drones legal in Vietnam? While drones are not explicitly illegal, regulations and enforcement vary. It’s advisable to research thoroughly and adhere to local laws.

5. What are the consequences of flying a drone illegally in Vietnam? Flying a drone illegally in Vietnam can result in fines, confiscation of equipment, and potential legal repercussions, including arrest.


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