CHARMING VIETNAMThe shape of Vietnam is like a bamboo pole with two baskets of rice perfectly balanced at either end. Coastal Vietnam is famed for its beautiful beaches, breathtaking bays and sun-kissed islands. Inland Vietnam boasts rugged mountain ranges and misty tropical forests where wild secrets and traditions of this historical land lay undiscovered. First and foremost, however, historically rich Vietnam is identified by a myriad of rich traditions and cultures of the 54 different ethnic peoples that call Vietnam their home. A combination of all these elements makes for a truly unforgettable holiday.
Vietnam is the ideal multi-activity destination for your vacations. Whether you are looking for a cultural holiday, luxury vacation, beach break, trekking and adventure tour, family trip or a combination of all those elements, Vietnam has it all!
Vietnam, with a coastline of 3,260km, is located on the eastern margin of the Indochinese peninsula. It has been seen massive and rapid developments in Vietnam in the last 20 years. However, the country still keeps within its unique, charming traditions and culture which make it such an appealing travel destination. History has left its mark on Vietnam by way of Chinese, French and American influence.
Northern Vietnam is famous for its overwhelming landscapes with soaring mountains, forested limestone karsts and ladder rice terraces. Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa are must-to-visit cities.Historical sights, beautiful long white sandy beaches, and luxurious resorts are what the Central Vietnam offers. Highlighted destinations in the Centre are Hue, Hoi An ancient town, and Danang. The Mekong Delta boasts the lush gardens and sweeping rice fields. To delve into the local life, you just wear a traditional conical hat and rowing the bamboo boat along small, green canals to visit local garden houses. Ho Chi Minh City’s wartime past is displayed at the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum but this vast metropolis is also full of modern bars, shops and restaurants.
VIETNAM VISA EXEMPTIONS
Travelers from the following nations might enter visa-free, and remain for the demonstrated number of days. The full rundown of nations with visa exceptions is beneath.
To remain past this number of days, you might apply for a visa augmentation upon your appearance in Vietnam.
Notes on visa exemptions:
- Citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Russian Federation, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Finland and the Republic of Belarus entering Vietnam for a sojourn of 15 days, counting from the date of entry, regardless of their passport types and entry purposes, provided they meet all the conditions prescribed by Vietnam’s law.
- In addition, the policy on entry visa exemption for citizens of the above-mentioned countries shall be implemented for 3 years from March 15, 2022, to the end of March 14, 2025, and will be considered for an extension in accordance with Vietnam’s law. For further details of Resolution 32/NQ-CP.
VIETNAM ELECTRONIC VISA (E-VISA)
Vietnam's e-Visa is now available to nationals of 80 countries:
- Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Chile, China (including Hong Kong and Macau passports), Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Salomon Islands, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Western Samoa.
Click here for a full guide on how to apply for Vietnam's e-Visa.
You can enter Vietnam on an e-Visa at any of the country's eight international airports, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, as well as 14 land crossings and seven seaports.
How to apply for Vietnam's e-Visa:
Step 1: Prepare the required materials:
- One 4x6 passport photo in .jpg format with a white background, without glasses
- One photo in .jpg format of your passport data page
- Passport valid for at least six months
- Your temporary address in Vietnam and points of entry and exit
- Debit or credit card for payment
Step 3: Upload your .jpg images (passport data page and passport photo) and fill out the required fields on the form completely. Submit your form.
Step 4: Pay the e-Visa fee of 25 USD. Copy down the document code provided.
Step 5: Within three working days you should receive news of your e-Visa application via email. If not, you can also run a search for your e-Visa at this link.
Step 6: Use your document code to locate your e-Visa online. Download and print the e-Visa in two copies for extra safety.
Purchase medical/travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment with a minimum of $10,000 cover. This typically costs about USD 40.
VIETNAM VISA ON ARRIVAL
If you are planning a multiple-entry visit or a stay of more than 30 days, you will want to apply for a visa on arrival. To do this you'll need:
- A 4x6 passport photo with a white background and no glasses
- A filled-out visa application form
- A passport or substitute ID valid for six months from the date you plan to enter Vietnam
- Payment (25 USD to 50 USD) for visa fees, and
- A Letter of Approval from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate (if you are picking up your visa at the airport)
Best time to travel to Vietnam
The Social Republic of Vietnam comprises of three different areas. Then, the best time to visit Vietnam somehow will depend on the areas you like to go.The North, from Chinese border to the city of Hue, includes the capital of Hanoi, the mountainous area by the Chinese border and the famous city of Sapa, as well as Halong Bay on the eastern coast. The center, stretching from Hue to the city of Nha Trang comprises the imperial, cultural city of Hue, and the beach cities of Danang and Hoian. The South counts numerous beach cities such as Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne, but also the islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao, as well as the mangroves of Mekong Delta and the busy city of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
Those three areas have very distinctive climates and while sometimes the weather can be freezing in the mountainous areas near the Chinese border, the beaches of Phu Quoc, in the South can be very sunny.
Best time to get a Vietnam beach holiday
Hence, if you come to Vietnam for a beach holiday, anytime of the year is absolutely fine. Indeed, we can divide the beach areas of Vietnam into four areas. The Center, and the cities of Hue, Danang and Hoian (those two last cities being on the coast) is sunny from March to June, and the month of July and August are usually warmer and more humid as well. The area further South to those cities and the beach cities of Nha Trang and the less frequented Quy Nhon have a perfect weather for a tan from January to September, with a higher humidity rate from may to September. Further South, the coastline with the cities of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne, Vung tau and Ho Tram, know a pleasant weather, perfect for a beach vacation in Vietnam from November to April. Finally, the two most beautiful islands of Vietnam, Con Dao and Phu Quoc, have a very specific climate, and most probably the most beautiful coastline scenery in the area, and the weather is perfect from November to April.
2 seasons of traveling to Vietnam
• In general, the best time to visit Vietnam is from October to April and is the high-season in Vietnam. The reason why the months of October, November, December, January, February, March and April are the best months to visit Vietnam is because those months correspond to the dry season in South Vietnam and the end of the wet and extremely warm summer of North Vietnam. This period is then considered the best time to travel to Vietnam because travelers have high chances of crossing the whole country and have a nice weather everywhere.
• The “low season”, also called the “green season” is now becoming more and more popular for tourism to Vietnam since the prices to visit the country are generally lower than during the high season, the touristic attractions are less crowded and as the country is divided into three regions with distinctive climates, if you choose the right destination at the right time, you will definitely have a beautiful experience in Vietnam (please refer to the weather section of our website for more information on the weather).
The best time to visit or the best travel interest & destinations in Vietnam?
But visiting Vietnam is not only about having a sunny weather and beach holidays. If you are interested in admiring the stunning green terrace rice fields in North Vietnam, the best time to visit the country is from June to September. Also, some major cultural events happen in Vietnam, such as the Tet or Lunar New Year, Vietnamese celebration of the new year in late January or February, depending on the year, or also the Festival of Hue, usually in April, hosting numerous art and traditional performances.
To conclude, there is no best time to visit Vietnam, but there is a best travel interest and destination to visit Vietnam for every month.
No actual vaccinations are officially required. Noted in our Vietnam travel tips, travelers are advised to check with their doctor or travel immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A & B and malaria. It is recommended that all travelers take out comprehensive Personal Travel Insurance to cover personal belongings, or in case of accident or illness, etc.
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.
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% bank charge on transactions (4% for AMEX) is pretty common, due to bank policies. ATMs are very popular in most tourist destinations.
Be a smart traveler. Before heading overseas, make a list of things to bring. You are recommended to “travel light” as much as possible. Please refer to the weather section of the website to identify what you should pack (sunblock, appropriate clothes, hat, mosquito repellant etc.)
Ostentatious displays of money, jewelry, luggage, and dress can encourage the wrong type of attention. When travelling, be aware of where your luggage is at all times- particularly your hand bag, camera, etc. Do not leave them unattended or hanging on the back of chairs in restaurants. Petty theft is also common on crowded trains, buses, and at supermarkets.
ETIQUETTE - one of the important part of Vietnam travel tips
• Vietnamese society is an interesting blend of modern and traditional. Rural areas are known to be more traditional than big cities, hence it is appropriate to dress modestly in rural areas as well as in temples, museums and historical heritage sites.
• It is worth noting that in Vietnam, pointing at something or somebody with your finger is considered impolite, as well as touching people, especially on the head
• Vietnamese society is very respectful of its elders and while nobody would say a thing in any circumstance, it is again appropriate to respect elderly people, help them cross the street and keep your voice low when talking to them.
• Ask to the person you want to take a picture of if it’s okay to do so.
TIME ZONE & WORKING HOUR
Local time is GMT + 7 hours. Most government offices are open from 8:00 / 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 / 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but are closed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch. Banks are closed after 4:00 p.m. Some foreign companies or private enterprises are open Saturday mornings. Most shops and department stores are open every day until 8.00 or 9.00 p.m.
MUSEUMS OPENING TIME
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is open every morning (except for Mondays & Fridays) and is closed in the afternoon and during the months of October and November for maintenance. Most museums and mausoleums are closed on Mondays except for the War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (now called the Museum of Vietnamese Revolutionary History) and the Ho Chi Minh Trails Museum which is closed on Mondays and Fridays. The Fine Arts Museum is open to the public every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. English is widely used in business. Other popular languages include French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Russian.
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.
Free WIFI is also available in some international airports.
A regular international postal service is available. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available to more than 50 countries worldwide with a delivery time of 2 to 10 days.
Vietnam has high international telephone charges. It is important to check the exact amount with the hotel before making a call, as hotel surcharges are often imposed. VOIP calls help reduce call charges. Pre-paid internet & mobile cards can be bought in the major cities so if your phone is unlocked, this solution is cheap (around USD5) and will allow you to call in case of emergency, call your driver, your hotel and even home if you need! Service providers for mobile phone networks are GSM of Vinaphone, Mobile Phone and Viettel, while CDMA are EVN Telecom and S-Phone, HT Mobile etc.
Also, buying a phone in Vietnam is really cheap and you can get a basic phone for USD15, with a prepaid card.
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS & 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 and international flights is included in the airfare issued.
FOOD AND DRINKS - Vietnam travel tips
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.
SHOPPING & BARGAINING
Shopping in Vietnam is a fun and interesting experience, and guarantees good bargains to those who know what to look for. It is true to say that you can find nearly anything in Vietnam. Markets vary from high class shopping malls and supermarkets to bustling open markets, galleries, boutiques, and street stalls. Vietnam is most famous for its handicrafts, war souvenirs, art, antiques and gems. To make your trip even more enjoyable, you should know something about the art of bargaining in this country. People will probably overcharge you, but rather than becoming irritated, join the game and bargain with a smile! Before going to Vietnam you should do some research for a general idea about prices in Vietnam.
If you are being followed by street vendors and do not wish to make a purchase, often the best course of action is to say “no” politely and firmly and continue on your way. Do not hesitate or linger, as this will encourage the seller to try and engage you further