Destination fact
Vietnam
 
Vietnam facts

VIETNAM FACT

 

Introduction

Vietnam has surged in popularity since it opened its doors to tourism at the start of the 1990s and is now one of the leading destinations in Asia. One visit is never enough with such a range of attractions and many of our guests like to concentrate on the north or south, often linking together a trip to neighboring Laos or Cambodia. Vietnam has everything to offer the visitor, from the colorful highland minorities of the north to some of the best beaches in the region in the south, not forgetting the natural wonder of Halong Bay, the charming architecture of Hoi An, the dazzling greens of the Mekong Delta, and, of course, two of the region’s most dynamic cities in the shape of Hanoi and Saigon. A visit to Vietnam is a visit to the best of Asia.

 

Arrival in Vietnam

By air: There are now three international gateways to Vietnam, Hanoi in the north, Danang in the centre and Saigon in the south. Airlines currently serving Vietnam include national carrier Vietnam Airlines, local Jesta Airways & Mekong air . International carriers Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Siem Reap Air, Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Dragon Air, Lao Aviation, Air China, China South-west, China Yunnan Airlines, Eva Air, Korean Air, Air France, Lufthansa, Qantas and JAL. Direct flights to Vietnam are available from Bangkok, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Macau, Seoul, Taipei, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney and Paris.

 

By  land: Clients can  visit  Vietnam by  land via so many km bounder sharing with  China , Laos &  Cambodia. Please note if you enter Vietnam by land, you must obtain the visa before arrival. You cannot obtain a visa on arrival at land border-crossing points.

 

Business hours & local time

Offices are usually open from Monday to Friday from 07:30 or 08:00 until 17:00 or 17:30 and often close for lunch between 11:30 and 13:00. Some offices also open Saturday morning. Shops open early and close any time between 18:00 and 22:00. Most shops are open 7 days a week. Local time is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus seven hours.

 

Clothing

Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for traveling in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia & Laos. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months, warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. Visitors to Buddhist countries should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.

 

Departure airport taxes

International Flights: Included in the airfare.  
Domestic Flights: included in the airfare.

 

Electricity

220V in the towns and 110V in country areas.

 

            

 

 

Food

Although Chinese and French influences are discernible, Vietnam has its own distinct and healthy cuisine. Rice is the most popular food and a typical meal comprises rice, pork, beef, chicken, vegetables, fish and seafood. Desserts are typically sweet, such as sticky rice cakes and pastries, sweet corn or bean soup, fresh fruits, etc… Due to the strong Buddhist influence in Vietnam, vegetarian food is widely available.

 

Health Precautions

No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio. Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten track.

Medical facilities are rather limited in all countries and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

 

Language

Because Vietnamese has six different tones, it is a difficult language for most foreigners to speak despite the fact that the Roman alphabet is used in modern Vietnamese. The same word can have six different meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. In the cities and larger towns English is becoming popular and is now spoken by many younger people while some of the older generation still speak fluent French. Some people also speak Russian and Chinese. 

 

Money

 The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong although US Dollars are accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some are open Saturday morning. In the major cities there are bureau de change and most hotels will change US Dollars although for other currencies it is usually necessary to visit a bank. Visa Card and MasterCard are now accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.

There are some ATM machines appearing now in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. ATMs for withdrawing Vietnamese Dong are available in major airports, hotels, towns and capitals of provinces throughout  Vietnam.  Most  ATMs  have  an  English language version. Ask your tour guide for help when you need to locate an ATM.

 

       

 

Public Holidays

        January 1                       New Year's Day

        January/February         Tet or Vietnamese New Year. *

        April 30                           Liberation of Saigon Day

        10 April lunar                Anniversary of 1st King's death

        May 1                              International Labour Day

        September 2                              National Day

*The actual dates vary from year to year according to the lunar calendar. Officially, three days holiday but many businesses close down for a full week. This is the busiest time of the year for traveling in Vietnam and hotels, flights and trains are often full. 

 

Post , Telecommunication & internet

Most hotels now have IDD phones in rooms and it is possible to send faxes from hotels and post offices although be warned these services are expensive in all four countries. Away from the major cities it may not always be possible to make international calls. Internet cafes are becoming popular in the major cities in Vietnam, Cambodia , Laos &  Myanmar. So  many travelers now prefer to keep in touch by e-mail. Postcards can be bought at all the main tourist sites and stamps are available from post offices and some hotel reception desks. If you have worldwide coverage, you can bring  your own mobile phone and use it to make domestic or international calls. Check with your mobile phone provider for the costs before using it abroad - it may be expensive. Simcard for cell phone is so cheap in Vietnam, our tour guide will recommend it  to you upon arrival day  if  you request.

 

Religion

Vietnamese spiritual life has been influenced by four great religions or philosophies: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. With the passage of time, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism have been mixed together to create Tam Giao or the Triple Religion, a sort of Vietnamese Buddhism. Catholicism came to Vietnam with the French and is now followed by about 10% of the population. There are also perhaps one million Muslims between the Cham and Khmer communities. Finally there is the synergetic religion of Caodaism, which blends all the religions above with philosophy and is popular in the south.

 

Safety

Vietnam was recently voted one of the safest destinations in the world. The people are very friendly. Women and independent travelers have found it relatively hassle-free and easy to travel throughout the country. Incidents of petty theft and bag snatching are more widespread in Ho Chi Minh City and to a lesser extent Hanoi. it is recommended to leave your belongings such as passports, jewelry, big money at your hotel’s safety box whilst on tour. Never leave your belongings unattended and always maintain eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags. Do not take cyclo  at night and choose reliable metered taxi companies as: Vina Sun Taxi, Mai Linh taxi …, they are really cheap and air-conditioned.   It’s best not to take unknown brands on the street. 

 

Shopping

As many guests say: "Vietnam is best place for shopping……” . Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Hoi An in the centre of Vietnam is also a very good place to hunt for bargains. Tourist can find conical hats, lacquer ware, silk, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, marble, ceramics, antique watches and paintings.

Tipping

Tipping for good service is always appreciated in these developing nations. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Boat man, cruse, hotel and station porters should also be tipped a small amount for their troubles.

      Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is not included in all of our tours/service. We highly recommend you purchase your own one including air evacuation in your country before traveling.

Visas

Visa is required to all foreigners before entering Vietnam except those who bear nationality of Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia …whose traveling to Vietnam and staying for 15 days

If their passport is valid for at least three months and they can show their return ticket. Those who wish to stay longer than 15 days will need to apply for a visa. Tourists holding ASEAN passports do not need a visa for a visit up to 30 days. Philippines passport holders do not need a visa for a visit up to 21 days. Japanese and South Korean passport holders do not need a visa for a visit up to 15 days.

A one-month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors though it is possible to arrange 3-month and 6-month multiple entry visas for regular visitors. All visitors must obtain visa approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department before a visa is issued. 

 

A tourist visa is normally a single entry visa, if you go more  trip to Cambodia, Laos or other ones , after  trips you  back to  Vietnam to  get  your  flight to  home. You will require a new visa to re-enter (or apply for a Multiple Entry Visa) The validity of a Tourist Visa  is 30 days and normally a single entry visa is given unless a multiple entry is requested.

 

All visitors, whose are not in list countries above required having a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one-month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors

 

Visitors should get visa at your country before departure:

If your hometown has Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate, you must obtain visa approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department before a visa is issued. VIET LEGEND TRAVEL can arrange for visa authorizations to be sent to the Vietnamese embassy or consulate where the visa is to be collected once the following information has been forwarded by scan passport or send us details :

         Full Name,

         Date Of Birth,

         Nationality,

         Passport Number

         Date of issued

         Place of  issued

         Date  of expiry

         Sex.

         Arrival date , flight  number & arrival time

This information should be forwarded at least one month before departure. One copy of the visa authorization will be sent to the embassy or consulate where the visa is to be collected and a second will be forwarded to the person collecting the visa. A fee is payable to VIET LEGEND TRAVEL for the visa authorization and to the embassy or consulate for the visa stamping.

For more convenient, the person collecting the visa must complete two application forms and hand these in with two passport photos when collecting the visa.

 

Visa landing upon arrival:

If your hometown has no Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate, VIET LEGEND TRAVEL is also authorized to issue visas on arrival at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Danang International Airport in Danang and Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

The same authorization procedure and a minimum of 5 working days notice is still required.

 

In emergency cases, VIET LEGEND TRAVEL can arrange a visa on arrival if notice of 3 working days is given.

On entering Vietnam, all visitors must complete an entry/exit form including a customs declaration (white/yellow color). It is important that the bottom copy (yellow sheet) of this form is kept safe with your passport while in Vietnam and is presented to the customs and immigration officials on departure.

 

Importance note before departure:

·         Visa pick  up-Visa approval  letter, show it to  airline if not , the  airline  may  refuses your boading

·         Prepare some bank notes in US Dollars (25$/per person-Single entry /50$/per person for multiple entry) to pay the visa stamping fee on arrival.

·         Fill form  application form for  visa  on arrival  (  It will send by  us with  visa approval)

·         Two lasted pictures 4*6 passport size

 

        

 

Water

Please do not   drink tap water in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar, bottled mineral water is cheap, safe and available everywhere. it is also best to avoid it on street stalls or in country areas. Always take your medicines if your get problem of stomas.

 

Weather

Hanoi and the north of Vietnam have a distinct winter and summer season with the mainly dry winter lasting from November through to April with average temperatures of 18-20 oC.  Summer lasts from May to October and is hot and humid with temperatures around 30 oC. Hue and Danang in the centre of the country have very hot, dry weather from February to August with temperatures reaching the mid 30s-Celsius, but can experience some quite heavy rainfall between September and January. Ho Chi Minh City and the south have a hot, dry season from December till April with average temperatures around 28 oC and a rainy season lasting from May through till November. It rarely rains for long periods even in the rainy season with most rain coming in short, heavy bursts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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