Time to go back
For some time now I was getting emails and text messages on my phone to register for covid vaccination. The problem with this is that I would need to be in my home country in the first place. That made us think. Is it possible for us to get a vaccine in Vietnam? It would make so many things easier for us. Most countries started to open for tourists this year but they require proof of 2 doses of the jab.
Vaccine in Vietnam
After a day of research, we found out that Vietnam has received so far only a bit over 1 mln vaccines. All of that went obviously for medical staff as they are the most exposed. Unfortunately, vaccine supply in Asia is very limited and while western countries started to vaccinate teenagers already, here supply is not enough even for those most vulnerable. Vietnam tries their best to secure funds for vaccines but no matter what it is still not enough. So far they secured around 90mln vaccines to be delivered by the end of this year.
They also want to start producing their own vaccination with help of WHO specialists but this process will take another year to finish. Vietnam currently has a population of around 110 mln so it will take some time to get all people vaccinated. That obviously means there is no chance we can get a jab here.
Tightening visa requirements
Another problem showed with a new covid outbreak that started in April this year. The government found out that many new cases came with people who bought an illegal work permit through an expert visa. That led to tightening visa requirements as well as massive deportation of illegal immigrants.
For us, that means that our free visa extension might be now even more problematic. We were already stressed at the end of each month waiting for news if we get the extension or not. Now it is even more stressful because more and more news show that people who work and came here with tourist visa are also deported. There is a small chance that someone finds out we were working here but the possibility is there. Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone could think that people who stayed here with tourist visa are not working this way or another. After all, people stranded here have to pay bills and buy food just like in any other country. If you don’t have massive savings you need to work. It is obvious.
Time to go back home
With all those recent information we decided it’s about time to go back home. We are from that privileged part of the world where we can get a vaccine within a few days and go back to travelling again. Also, we like Vietnam and we will want to come back here again. We don’t want to risk being deported and blocked from returning for many years. With that in mind, we started to look for some reasonable flights back home. It’s just our luck that the next day we decided we’re going back all airports in Vietnam got closed. It’s very frustrating. In the end, we decided we’re going to book a flight max a week before the departure date. Tickets are extremely expensive and we don’t want to risk another flight cancellation and waiting for a refund for ages.
Right now we’re waiting. Checking flights nearly every day to make sure that there is no sign of cancellations… We’re still waiting for this to happen. Right now most of the flights are unfortunately still cancelled. We’re getting ourselves into an exhausting 26-hour journey with at least 3 layovers. We can’t risk a situation that at some point of this journey we stuck in another country, this time involuntary.
I see on forums that many tourists, nomad and expats are leaving Vietnam now. Government needs to sort out visa shitshow they had for years. It’s been long coming.
Yes, visa situation here is and was for years a bit messy. It is annoying though that it happens now when we have a new covid wave and flights are very limited.
Sorry to hear that you have to leave Vietnam and that your plane tickets were super expensive, but good call to be proactive. Fingers crossed you won’t have to deal with any cancellations, especially since it’s such a long journey with multiple layovers.
Yeah. We’re digital nomads so we constantly travel. Staying in one place like now is not our cup of tea. We’re very excited to go back home country (not home because we don’t have one), get a vaccine and restart our nomadic life!