Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More preparation

Yesterday, I went to the travel medicine clinic. I got my jabs for Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Because, you know, something unsanitary might happen or be eaten in Cambodia. My arm hurts terribly today, to the point of one-handed typing and skipping of gym classes. Am I a weakling? Maybe. I'm just glad I got my Hepatitis B vaccine back in high school (anyone else remember that "Get the facts then get the vax!" slogan?). Also, I got a prescription for Malarone because Siem Reap is a known malaria zone. I was issued a warning about the Dengue Fever upswing, too, but apparently the only protection against that is loads of bug repellent. It was very interesting to chat with the clinic's doctor as he explained which insects carry which diseases and what time of day they bite. Tropical diseases: a fascinating topic that I've never much considered before. I'm no hypochondriac and I don't expect the worst but I am a sensible person. I take risks but not with my health.

My Vietnam visa is in order now, too. I had some frustrations: the website listing travellers' information for the Vietnamese consulate does not post the dollar amount for the visa fee. "Call us for the fee!", suggests the website. I called them. No one answered. I called the consulate every 20 minutes for four straight days. No one answered. I searched elsewhere on the web for the fee amount, I called travel agents and tour operators. I got answers varying from $20 to $100. On my fourth day of calling, someone bothered to picked up the phone at the consulate and I got the official answer. I am posting this to aid anyone else looking for this data: as of July 2007, the fee for a Canadian tourist's single-entry one month visa for Vietnam is $79 CAD. I hope this information will save someone else from the trouble I had!

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