I am retired, and like to travel Vietnam for more than 30 days

June 6, 2022 | 12:22 am PT
I am retired, and like to travel Vietnam for more than 30 days
A tour guide (R) with foreign tourists at the HCMC Post Office in the city's downtown in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Nam
Retirees with money to spend have actual demand for tourist visa that lasts more than one month, and Vietnam should serve that market, readers said.

"There are many well-heeled retirees and digital nomads who would like to travel the country for longer than four weeks. Other countries have special pensioner and digital nomad visas and are very successful with them. For the long journey from Europe, the two-week visa exemption is too short. This should be extended to four weeks. It is also standard worldwide to issue three-month tourist visas. A six-month visa would be ideal so that pensioners and digital nomads can also come to Vietnam."

"In the past I would get the three or six-month visa and travel gently from north to south spending sometimes a month or two in a place. I don't work, am retired, and find moving slowly through Vietnam for me provides the spirit, mind, soul a lift. In the past I traveled by train from Hanoi to Saigon or would fly to a destination like Da Nang, then visit Hoi An, return to Da Nang and go on. I'd visit Saigon for a while and see Vietnamese friends, reach Can Tho and see someone there. Perhaps go on to Phu Quoc. I did not target a set number of months or days in any one place and I just went. This seemed for my type of retirement and living somewhere else like Cambodia that has a retirement extension, a wonderful way to just slowly see the cities and country, travel by rail to Ninh Binh from Hanoi. Not feel rushed to do a thing or two in 30 days.

That was then. Now I will be living in Cambodia in September after returning after a year of a wonderful life in Mexico. What I am trying to say is 30 days is not enough for some of us that are retired, wish to see friends, travel slowly. I don't work, teach, pay taxes. I just go. Now I will just go for a month and I'll feel the loss. I don't know the number of people that get longer visas. Vietnam has more than I can see in a month and it always has no matter how many times I visited or even lived there during the pandemic times. So consider the visa as something that frustrates people perhaps like me. I am probably a small minority. That is okay. We all have voices. In the most beautiful of all worlds, Vietnam would have a retirement visa I could buy into. Perhaps a scope like Cambodia or one like Portugal or Panama. I doubt that will ever happen though so I will return for a month in October. Such is life."

"From 2014 to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, my wife and I spent the winter in Vietnam every year as pensioners. Whenever our three-month visa expired, we would fly to Malaysia or Thailand for a few days and return with a new visa-on-arrival. Many of our friends and relatives are also retired and emulated us and started spending the winter there too. We brought a lot of money to Vietnam.

When Vietnam opened its borders, we flew back there on a 30-day e-visa, hoping to extend it. But that hope was soon taken from us. So after 30 days we flew to Malaysia for a few days and returned with new e-visa. Vietnam got 25 USD per person for the new e-visa. We spent around USD 1,000 on flights and hotel stays in Malaysia. Money that we would rather have spent in Vietnam. At the moment we are still hoping that we will be able to get three-month visas again in October. If that is not the case, we will either have to go to Thailand or Malaysia for the winter. There are at least long-term visas for pensioners. But then Vietnam should openly say that we pensioners with enough income are not wanted as long-term guests."

"I am retired with a good monthly income and I would like to live in Vietnam, but with only a 30-day visa it is impossible. I have already made two major financial efforts to extend my stay here, the first time I went back to my country in Europe, reapplied for my visa and bought another plane ticket back to Vietnam spending a total of 1,000 Euros. Now I'm back in Vietnam and at the end of the 30 days I'll be forced to go to Thailand for a week, spending about 700 Euros for flights, hotel and other expenses, in order to redo a new 30-day visa.

However, this will be the last time I do this because I don't want to have to throw money away like this only to have to renew my visa every 30 days. I will only go back to Vietnam when there is a visa for foreign pensioners or at least a three-month renewable visa in place. Otherwise, to my great regret, I will opt for another destination. It is incomprehensible that there is no visa for foreign pensioners who would like to live in Vietnam and spend their pensions here. I do not understand what the problem is... several countries in Southeast Asia have visas for foreign pensioners... it would be good for the Vietnam national economy."

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