Obtaining a Vietnam visa is a fairly easy process for most countries. Residents of several countries have visa exemption and several more countries can apply for e-visa, which they then obtain upon arrival in Vietnam. Check out or complete guide to getting a Vietnam visa.
It is not mandatory to get travel insurance before visiting Vietnam but it’s highly recommended and more so if you plan to be riding a motorcycle. That are cases in Vietnam were people have been refused hospital care if they have not been able to show adequate travel insurance, or unable to pay the fee upfront.
The best currency to bring to Vietnam is US Dollars. USD can be easily exchanged in any of the big cities in Vietnam. Many stores and tour operators also take USD as payment but be careful to double-check the exchange rate. It is also worth checking if you get a better exchange rate withdrawing from ATM using debit or credit card.
Using credit cards in Vietnam can be difficult although it’s improving every day. Most upscale stores, bars and restaurants take credit cards with more and more outlets catching on. But we do recommend having some cash with you as most taxis, street food vendors and local bars will not accept credit cards.
Tipping in Vietnam is in most cases not mandatory but it is appreciated. In many tourist areas, it has even become expected. There is no fixed rate to tip but rate of 5-15% is suggested in restaurants while for services such as taxi, you can round up to the next tenth.
It’s a good idea to tip guides, drivers and anyone else who has provided good service.
Even though WIFI is readily available in hotels, coffee shops, restaurants and bars throughout Vietnam, we highly recommend traveler to buy a SIM cards. It is both affordable and easy to do.
You can purchase SIM cards almost everywhere, including at the airport, mini marts, street vendors and travel agencies but price and reliability will vary. Your best option for officially registered SIM card are the mobile network stores and large chains such as thegioididong.
The electricity supply in Vietnam is 220 volts. Plugs generally have two round pins, though you may come across sockets accepting two flat pins and even some that take three pins. Power supplies can be erratic in the sticks, so be prepared for cuts and surges.
Almost everything is negotiable in Vietnam (with the notable exception of meals) and bargaining is very much part of the Vietnamese way of life. All tourists are regarded as wealthy – which we are compared to most locals – but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be quoted an outrageous price; small shopkeepers and restaurateurs will often charge you the local rate.
When bargaining it helps if you know some Vietnamese numbers and have a general idea of the going rate for the item. Otherwise, the trick is to remain friendly, be realistic and make the process fun. If you manage to reduce the price by 40%, you’re doing well. In most cases it’ll be more like 10-20%. A common ploy is to start moving away if you’re on the verge of agreement. But don’t bargain just for the sake of it – if your price is agreed, then you are honour bound to purchase. And always keep a sense of perspective: don’t waste time and energy haggling over what only amounts to a few cents.
Vietnam is a delightful place to visit to experience an all-round holiday. It is rich in both cultural and natural attractions that can keep the entire family entertained.
In respect of historical and cultural sights, you won’t be disappointed when you have cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hoi An to explore.
Vietnam’s landscape is absolutely stunning with its stunning islands and sweeping beaches to rice terraces and mountains.
A few of the must-see attractions include the fascinating Phong Na National Park with its amazing cave system, the Cao Bang mountains and Halong Bay, which is one of the country’s most popular sights with its limestone towers and emerald waters.
For the adventurous, the fantastic coastline is perfect for not only relaxing, but also engaging in a variety of water sports, such as scuba diving and kite surfing.
A Vietnam holiday gives families access to many beautiful beaches that range from long stretches of coastline to hidden coves.
One of the most famous is Nha Trang which is appreciated for its offshore islands and diving sites, while a quieter destination can be found on the Con Dao islands
Other worthwhile coastal resorts include Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Danang and Phan Thiet.
The most convenient travel option to arrive in Vietnam is to book an international flight that will land on one of the major airports. The biggest airports are based in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Also, for travellers in this part of Asia, the train or bus is an option when travelling from a a neighbouring country like Laos, China or Cambodia.
Vietnam has a useful transport network with the option to use domestic flights for long-distance travel or boats, buses, minibus, taxis, etc. for easy connection throughout the country. The actual cost of travelling in Vietnam is very affordable which makes it possible to explore a vast area of the country on a single tour.
Most big cities – Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi – have huge problems with traffic jams. It will be difficult to ride solo on a motorbike in the major cities, but is a popular option when travelling in the less crowded places. Also, when riding a motorbike it is important to remember that road conditions and traffic are likely to be a lot different to what is seen at home.
Regardless of whether you’re in Hanoi, Da Nang or Saigon (HCMC), the best way to travel from the airport to city center is by taxi. Traveling from Saigon airport to city center, you can expect to pay VND 150,000 ($6,5) to 200,000 ($8,5). Traveling from Hanoi airport to city center you can expect to pay VND 400,000 ($17) to 500,000 ($21,5). Make sure to pick either Vinasun Taxi or Mai Linh Taxi.
Vietnam is well worth visiting at any time of the year with no good or bad season. If one region of the country is cold or wet, there are other parts that are pleasantly warm and sunny.
The climate in Vietnam is so diverse because of its landscape and variation in the altitudes and latitudes. In the far north the conditions can be very cold and frosty in the winter, while the south in a region like the Mekong Delta can have sub-equatorial warmth. At sea level, the average temperature in the extreme north is in the region of 21° C and increasing in the south to 27° C.
In the north of the country, the months of May to October are the summer months and November to April the winter months. Additionally, for the south of the country, it is split between a dry and wet season. The dry season runs from December to April and the wet season runs from May to November.
Vietnam is a large S shaped country so the climate varies considerable between regions. The rainy season in Vietnam also depends on the monsoons, which hit different regions at different times.
The rainy season in Vietnam’s North and South provinces last from May until November, while the rainy season in central Vietnam lasts from August to December.
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