Are you looking for Vietnam Travel Guides for your Vietnam vacation? Here, we provide key information about traveling in Vietnam that you may need. If you would like to need more other specific information, kindly to contact us:
Sales Team - Vietnam Best Holidays
WhatsApp: +84972256969 (during working hour, GMT+7)
Address: Room 2106, CT1 Building, Hyundai Hillstate Zone, Ha Cau Ward, Ha Dong district, Hanoi, Vietnam
1. Vietnam In General
Located on the eastern part of the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam is a strip of land like the shape of “S” letter which borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. Its natural borders include the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin to the eastern and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The country’s total length from north to south is 1,650 km. Its width, stretching from east to west, is 600 km at the widest point in the north, 400 km in the south, and 50 km at the narrowest part, in the center, in Quang Binh Province. The coastline is 3,260 km long and the inland border is 4,510 km. Vietnam is also a transport junction from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Here are some key information of Vietnam:
+ Located in: South East Asia
+ Acreage: 331,210 km²
+ Population: 95 millions
+ Capital City: Hanoi
+ People: 54 ethnic minorities
+ Language: Vietnamese
+ Currency: Vietnam Dong (VND)
+ Time Zone: GMT +7 Hours
+ International Dialing Code: +84
Your passports should be valid for at least 6 months (six months) from the date of entry into Vietnam.
Note: Please make sure none of the pages in your passport are torn off or missing as you will not be allowed to enter the country.
Travelers must have a visa before entering Vietnam, and a visa on arrival can only be obtained with a letter of approval. A visa on arrival is granted to many nationalities for stays 15 days or less. Vietnam Best Holidays can arrange this for you. Otherwise, you must apply online or at the embassy for all 30-90 day single or multiple entry visas.
Nowadays, some nationalities are eligible for visa exemption. Please check the below link:
If you are not close to a Vietnamese Embassy to personally apply for your visa, please share with us and we will support you to get the on arrival visa to Vietnam.
+ What we need document from you
- Your copied passport
- Your copied international flights itinerary
After receiving your information above we will process the visa application. In 3-5 working days, we will send you our visa clearance letter by email. You will print out the letter and put it inside the passport to make sure you have the visa on arrival letter with you.
On the arrival date, you will show the visa on arrival letter and passport with 02 photos (3x4) and get your travel visa.
+ The stamped fee at the airport is 25 USD/per person - You will pay directly at the airport
- Visa on arrival may result in waiting in long lines to get your visa before you can move to the regular line to process your entry.
+ Visa Services
- Business visas (multiple-entry visas) are available for 3- 6 months at a time.
- Rush visas can be processed within 12-24 hours within the working days prior to entering Vietnam.
4. Phone & Internet Services
Nowadays, Telephone connections to the rest of the world are easily & widely available. A Vietnamese SIM card is a less expensive way of calling other countries. However, your phone will need to be unlocked in order for it to work. 200,000VND (USD10) worth of phone credit can last for up to 25 minutes to the US, and able to access Internet (4G signal). You can access the internet at hotels, cyber cafés & Internet/Computer Service Centers. ADSL technology is widely used in major cities. Also, WIFI internet is available at some cyber cafés, restaurants, and most hotels in major tourist destinations.
5. Public Transportation Policy
At first, glance, crossing the road in Vietnam may seem impossible. Newcomers can spend a considerable amount of time trying to find a gap in the stream of motorcycles, only to be led across the road by a sympathetic local. After a bit of practice, most travelers realize it is much easier than it looks. There is a rhythm to Vietnamese traffic that, with a predictable stride and a bit of bravery, will flow around you like water as you cross to the other side unscathed.
6. Taxi, Grab
Taxis can be easily found in Vietnam’s major cities and are a popular means of transportation for visitors. The most reputable companies include Taxi Group in the north, and VinaSun, Mai Linh in the south, or Grab (Tech Taxi).
Motorbike taxis, or “xe oms” are not recommended for tourists. Pricing is unregulated and commutes are often dangerous. This mode of transport is not recommended by Vietnam Best Holidays and there is no travel insurance policies with this option.
Vietnam locates in the South-East Asia inter-tropical monsoon zone. There are neither good nor bad seasons to visit. When one region is wet, it is sunny and warm somewhere else. The average temperature ranges from 20°C/68°F to 32°C/90°F. The hottest seasons are March and April in the south (Ho Chi Minh City), and June and July in the north (Hanoi). The rainy season is from May to October in the south. The Central Highlands enjoys a milder climate year-round. Vietnam is a long and narrow country in a tropical region, and the climate can be different between Northern, Central and Southern regions. Therefore, don’t expect the same weather while traveling in the country. You may have warm, beautiful weather in the South, but it can be cold in the Northern border regions, so please pack properly before traveling to Vietnam.
8. Clothing & Miscellaneous
Know where you are traveling and the weather you should expect. Traveling to a tropical area you will expect to see mosquitoes, so bring some long sleeve shirts and long pants for evenings.
Traveling to Asia it is frowned upon to wear shorts that are 6 in. above the knee, especially when visiting temples or places of worship. Wearing a dress is fine if you plan to dress light.
9. National Public Holidays
There are many National Public Holidays in Vietnam, almost one for every occasion. Such as below:
+ New Year's Day: Jan 1
+ TET or Lunar New Year: In Jan - Feb (At 01st Jan as Lunar Calendar)
+ Reunification Day: Apr 30
+ Labour Day: May 1
+ Independence Day of Vietnam: Sep 2
TET: Lunar New Year
The celebration of the Lunar New Year falls in In Jan - Feb (At 01st Jan as Lunar Calendar) every year on the Western calendar and changeable date year after year.
Officially four days long, but Vietnamese will spend for weeks. It is a time for the spirits of ancestors home and makes temple pilgrimages. TET holiday is also a time for Family reunion to eat, drink and cheering for the best luck of the upcoming year.
We suggest you visit Vietnam before or after TET a week. Because the actual date of the TET celebration as most stores and shops are closed and food, or service’s prices are much higher than usual and fewer choices services.
10. Food & Drink
Foreign visitors consider Vietnamese food quite healthy. It is neither spicy nor oily. It has a very distinctive style, although it is also clearly influenced by Chinese and to a lesser extent, French cuisine. Vietnamese eat mainly rice and noodles. Bread is not a daily family food. Here are just a few examples of the fantastic dishes you can expect to find in Vietnam: Pho (noodle soup), Cha cuon (spring rolls), Goi cuon (fresh spring rolls), earthen pot-cooked rice and fish, etc.… Tropical fruit varieties are diverse and available all year round. Mangosteens, rambutans, or dragon fruit should not be missed.
Coffee and draft beers are good but often strong. Drinking tap water is not advisable. Bottled drinking water is widely available for a reasonable price. Hotels and restaurants will use hygienic ice. However, if eating at a market or on the street, it may be best to avoid ice.
Travelers are advised to be up-to-date on tetanus, typhoid, and polio immunizations. Bottled water is available throughout the country. Always keep hydrated as you are traveling in a warm humid region where you can lose fluids quickly from perspiration. There are still some issues regarding sanitation and tropical diseases, such as dengue fever in some periods of the year, but Vietnam is less susceptible to malaria due to the local government’s constant educational awareness of malaria prevention. Tap water is not potable anywhere but it’s safe for brushing teeth. Bottled water is abundant and can be purchased anywhere in the country (foreign and local brands). Avoid eating raw (uncooked) vegetables for the first 2 days until your body adjusts to local cuisine. In sit down restaurants in the larger cities like Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), food preparation is to world standards.
The usual voltage is 220V, 50Hz. The two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more popular than the three-pin one. If you have any devices needing a special outlet, please bring its adapter kit. The best investment is a universal AC adapter, which enables you to plug it into any outlet without damaging your appliances.
13. Domestic Fligts & Airport Taxes
Flight times may vary from day to day. Schedules are subject to change without prior notice. You should allow an hour at the airport for the check-in process prior to your flight departure. Baggage allowance is 20kg per person in economy class. Hand luggage should not weigh more than 7kg. You are recommended to reconfirm your intention to travel at least 24 hours prior to departure from all your points on your itinerary, even if you have a confirmed reservation.
Airport departure tax for domestic flights is included in the airfare issued.
14. Currency, Money Exchange & ATM
The local currency is the Dong (abbreviated "d" or VND). Money, particularly US dollars can be exchanged at banks, hotels, and authorized money exchangers. Most retailers do not accept checks. But Visa, Master & JCB cards are widely accepted. Some merchants also accept AMEX. A 3-4% bank charge on transactions (4% for AMEX) is pretty common, due to bank policies. ATMs are very popular in most tourist destinations.
15. Shopping & Bargaining
Vietnam is a shopper’s paradise. Here are a few tips before making purchases: Wood products are better purchased in the south, ceramics in the north. Fine handicrafts, embroidered articles, rattan and bamboo products, lacquerware and marble carvings of high quality can also be found. Silk in Vietnam is of some of the highest quality in the world. Women and men can have clothing custom-tailored in a day or two. Jewelry can also be made to customer specifications. Precious stones should only be bought from the government jewelry company (SJC) as they have certification of origination, which you will need when you leave Vietnam and reenter your home country. Please let us know if you would like recommendations. If fine jewelry is too cheap to be true, then it’s too cheap to be true!
Negotiation is part of the culture in Asia, mostly in the markets or small shops (start at 20-30% below). It can be fun to negotiate on items without a price tag. In the end, it comes down to what the seller is willing to sell and what the buyer is willing to pay, so don’t stress over good deals or bad deals. But do be aware that precious stones should be purchased from a government certified shop with the certification of authentication.
16. Travel Insurance
Emergency Travel and health insurance are not included in our tour package
. This is an important requirement when you travel with us for your safety and peace of mind in the unexpected event that you need urgent international standard care. You should buy travel insurance in your country as it will be more convenient for you to deal with any claims and adjustments upon your return home. AIG
, or John Hancock
have good travel coverage and respond very quickly to emergencies. We do not endorse any one travel insurance company but suggest you consider www.travelguard.com
, as past clients of ours have had good experiences with them in times of need. Also, check with your insurance provider to see if they cover:
+ Emergency evacuation during your travels, and
+ Emergency airlift to an international hospital or provide professional medical care to transport you home. The cost alone for airlifting a person home can cost up to the 100’s of thousands of USD. Travel more safely with fewer worries.
Tipping is always a sensitive matter for visitors to a country with different cultural expectations than the country you are from. You don’t want to over tip, but at the same time not under the tip. Some countries don’t accept tips. Our philosophy for tipping in Vietnam is, if someone had done a good job it’s always nice to acknowledge their service.
Our friendly suggestions tips to tour guide & driver together:
+ Group with 1-2 Persons: 5 USD/person/day
+ Group with 3-5 Persons: 4 USD/person/day
+ Group with 6-up Persons: 3 USD/person/day