Vietnam Travel Guide
What are the most important things to consider before a Vietnam vacation? What should you pack for your tour? What currency is accepted in the country? Find answers to all your questions in our Vietnam travel guide.
Vietnam is a youthful nation fueled by the desire for modernization and commercialization while protective of its traditional past. It is the contrasting characteristics of the country, from its historical past to its modern developments and diverse landscapes and people that will leave a lasting impression.
Packing for your Vietnam tours can be a challenging task, and depends on where you plan to be visiting. Your Travel Consultant is happy to answer all your questions.
Larger cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi offer upscale bars and restaurants, so be sure to pack some clothes and shoes for a nice evening out so you can easily enjoy a bit of both big city life as well as remote, untouched destinations on Vietnam holidays. It’s not advisable to bring your flashy jewelry or expensive cell phones for your Vietnam tour. You will find few restrictions on the dress code in the bustling metros, but as you move further away you will notice that people are dressed more traditionally.
From visa to currency, health and more, find the top tips about the country below in our Vietnam travel guide.
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Visa and entry
Visas for Vietnam travel can be applied for by mail or in person at the Embassy of Vietnam as early as six months prior to the date of entry. Visas are valid for a one time stay of 30 days. We can assist you in obtaining a visa-on-arrival if you are arriving to Vietnam by air. For this, a separate ‘stamp fee’ of $25 is charged. We require: Arrival date with arrival flight information, full passport details, and occupation. The effective date will be on the entry date (mentioned in the approval letter). You are not allowed to enter Vietnam before the authorized date of entry. Effective December 15th 2016, US citizens can now also apply for a short-term visa as before, instead of a compulsory one-year multiple entry visa. Please note that there is a recent development on the Vietnam Visa exemption for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens. Government of Vietnam has agreed to extend a 12 month Visa Exemption period which will come into effect from July 1, 2017 and run until June 30, 2018. This unilateral visa exemption is being granted by Vietnamese Authorities to citizens from these countries in order to promote tourism in Vietnam.
Find more information from your consulate here.
It is advisable to visit your doctor at least six months before you travel as some vaccinations may take time. Don’t forget to get your regular shots, such as typhoid, measles and Hepatitis. Also carry mosquito repellent no matter where you travel in Southeast Asia.
There are excellent hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and health care centers in all provinces, but facilities are limited and there is a lack of medicines. Health insurance should ideally also include cover for emergency repatriation by air. Upfront cash is expected for services rendered.
Please avoid drinking water from outside in Vietnam, even if it is sealed and of a good make. Avoid eating vegetable salads, fried foods, and beverages from the many roadside vendors frequently seen everywhere, unless you are on specific Vietnam food tours with us that we have already hygiene vetted. Your tour escort and drivers will know reputable restaurants in Vietnam, and all of your hotels with restaurants will be a good choice for dining. When ordering for food, feel free to request non-spicy.
Currency and cards
The official currency in the country is the Dong, (d or VND). Vietnam’s unofficial currency is the US$ Dollar. Carrying a suitable amount of petty change enough for tips, in markets and for transport is recommended– about 50 UK Pounds or 70 USD is sufficient. Besides US Dollar, British Pound and Euro, many other currencies can be exchanged but some smaller destination currencies may have difficulty.
Watch out when dealing with currency – 10,000 and 100,000 notes look the same as 50,000 and 500,000 rupee notes.
Vietnam has very strict regulations about exporting real antiques. Most “antique” and art pieces sold to tourists are fake or copies of the original. As you travel in Vietnam, be careful and check your sources for certificates if they claim to sell you an original or antique piece.
Our destination experts are happy to share their personal travel tips during your free consultation and help you plan your private Vietnam tours. Contact us for your personalized and obligation-free itinerary.
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