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Сan i bring my drone to vietnam?

I flew my Phantom 2 Vision Plus in Vientiane 2014 and Luang Prabang 2015. I had no major problems taking the drone into the country but one minor problem on the airplane flight itself.

In the pre-Mavic days, my drone backpack was quite large and though it would fit in the overhead compartments of a 737 or A320, most of the flights I took were smaller turboprop ATR-72s. The backpack just barely fit under the seat and definitely not in the overhead. An older French lady in the seat next to me wasn't happy about that.

In Vientiane I flew over the night market and the Mekong River. I rented a motorbike and flew at Buddha Park as well. No issues in Vientiane.

I had one major problem flying at a temple in Luang Prabang. My friend Sisouk was the CEO of Lao Treasure Group, which owned a bunch of hotels in LP and an elephant camp just outside. I created commercial drone videos for two of his hotels and the elephant camp, back in the days when aerial videos were still pretty new.

He drove me to a temple called Wat Phon Phao and asked the two tourism police stationed there if we could take some drone photos/videos. They weren't sure what he was talking about, so we actually showed them the drone. They said yes and I launched and flew. After I landed, they police came back to us and said we were to follow them back into to town to the local office of Ministry of Tourism. Turns out they didn't know what they had given us permission to do.

Drones were still very new back then and I think they just wanted to cover their butts. The Tourism Police treated us well. A cute, tiny, policewoman served us hot tea. I don't speak Lao so didn't understand any of the conversation between Sisouk and the chief, but in the end we were there about 45 minutes and had to leave the Phantom with them.

Once we were back in Sisouk's truck, he told me not to worry and called the Lieutenant Governor of LP. When he hung up, he told me we'd have the Phantom back in two hours along with a document giving me permission to fly anywhere I wanted within Luang Prabang for the rest of my three day stay. It pays to have a friend who manages eight hotels in the city and a direct line to the governor. Once I got the drone back and the blanket permit, my Phantom was all over that city like gap-year backpacker.

This was back in 2015. I haven't been back since, so please consider the staleness of this information.

The Mavics and Minis are much less conspicuous than the Phantoms. If I was going back to Laos today, I wouldn't hesitate.
Thanks for your extensive reply with very helpful information (sorry for the delayed thanks - I didn't know you had replied, as I expected to get an email alert, but none came in!).

My drone is a small DJI, so I shouldn't have any problem with luggage. I was just concerned that it might be taken from me on entry, but from your experience, it seems unlikely. I'll be heading to Vietnam afterwards, leaving from the same airport as I enter, so if the worst were to happen and they were to take it from me, I assume I'd be able to collect it when leaving the country.

Just one other question, do you normally take a fire-proof bag on the plane for batteries?
Thank you
 
Hello, I'm going to travel to Vietnam in the next weeks, I have a DJI mini 3. I have read on the internet that you need a permission for each flight and that it it almost impossible to get it. Have you been flying in Vietnam? With or without permission? Did you have any problems?thanks for the information
 
Just one other question, do you normally take a fire-proof bag on the plane for batteries?
Thank you
I've never used fire-proof bags for batteries. Safe travels and happy flying!
 
Have you been flying in Vietnam? With or without permission? Did you have any problems?thanks for the information
1. Yes, for about 10 years now.
2. With permission from various folks, including monks, security guards, police, etc. Never with a document.
3. Only once. In 2016 my Phantom 3 was confiscated in Vung Tau by soldiers from the Army. Strangely, they let me keep the camera/gimbal assembly thinking it was a GoPro and only confiscated the drone's airframe. It was returned to me two weeks later.

See my post on Page 1 of this thread for more info about my experiences flying in Vietnam.
 
Take your drone to Vietnam. The Vietnamese say "flycam." Despite the laws on paper, Vietnam is perhaps the most drone-friendly country I regularly travel to. I've never filled out a drone-related document in Vietnam.

Starting in 2014, I've always had a drone with me when I traveled, starting with my Phantom 2 Vision+. I've visited Vietnam once or twice per year, often with multiple entries at Saigon or Hanoi.

Back around 2015, there was talk about the customs confiscating drones at Danang. I've never flown internationally into Danang but have brought drones with me numerous times on domestic flights there.

From 2017 up until the pandemic in 2020, I lived in Vietnam about 6 months out of every year. Prior to that, I'd travel there at least once per year, often more.

Places I've flown: Hanoi, Saigon, Halong Bay, Dien Bien Phu, Khe Sanh, Ninh Binh, Buon Ma Thuot, Dalat, Danang, Hoi An, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc, Can Tho, Hue, Ban Gioc, and more I've probably forgotten.

My next trip to VN is in 2 weeks. I wouldn't think about going without a flycam.

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Hello, have you travelled to Vietnam since the new laws went into effect? Did you have any problems bringing your drone into the country?
 
Hello, have you travelled to Vietnam since the new laws went into effect? Did you have any problems bringing your drone into the country?
I flew in and out through SGN on 12 December and 25 December with no issues.
 
Regarding your move to Da Nang and the use of your DJI Mini 3 Pro, it’s important to note that Vietnam has specific regulations for drones. Each drone flight requires a special license, and applications must be submitted at least 14 days before the planned flight. Drones cannot carry hazardous materials and have altitude and area restrictions. To avoid issues with customs, ensure you’re familiar with these regulations and obtain the necessary permits before your move. Safe travels!
 
Hey ! I'll be going to Vietnam soon and I'm considering getting a drone to take some shots there. So can we bring a drone to vietnam without any problem ? I just don't want to buy one and have it confiscated there...
 
Hey ! I'll be going to Vietnam soon and I'm considering getting a drone to take some shots there. So can we bring a drone to vietnam without any problem ? I just don't want to buy one and have it confiscated there.
You probably won't have any problems, but there are no guarantees. I feel like you haven't read the preceding discussion if you're asking the question like that.
 
You probably won't have any problems, but there are no guarantees. I feel like you haven't read the preceding discussion if you're asking the question like that.
I did, but since it started, people have been there so I was hoping to have their answer back as this kind of regulations keep changing but thanks for your answer !
 
Hi Bruno. Fair enough. I'll sum up my perspective for you. There are regulations for drones in Vietnam, but I have rarely encountered problems. It's one of the most drone-friendly places I've flown. I keep a low-profile and tend to fly from out of the way launch sites. I lived in Vietnam for 6 months each year from 2017 to 2020.

It's one of the most drone-friendly places I've flown and the scenery is stunning. Go for it.
 
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Hi there i am currently living in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam and was wondering where are the best places to fly my drone without any problems
 
I used to fly my Phantom 3 across the river from the Bitexco Tower, but that was a while ago. Security guys kept riding up on motorbikes and telling me I couldn't fly from there.

I haven't flown over HCMC since before Covid in 2018. I launched my Mavic Platinum off the roof of my (rented) home in District 3. If I was flying over HCMC today, I would look for a good rooftop with a good line of sight, or along a river bank.

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