Vietnam Travel Tips

When to go :  There are no good or bad seasons to visit Vietnam. When one region is cold, or steamy hot, there is always somewhere else that is sunny and warm. The south has two seasons: the wet (May to November, wettest from June to August) and the dry (December to April). The hottest and most humid time is from the end of February to May. The central coast is dry from June to October.

The north has two seasons : cool, damp winters (November to April) and hot summers (May to October). The highland areas are significantly cooler than the lowlands, and temperatures can get down to freezing in winter. There is the possibility of typhoons between July and November, affecting the north and central areas. Travelers should take the Tet new-year festival (late January or early February) into account when planning a trip. Travel (including international travel) becomes very difficult, hotels are full and many services close down for at least a week and possibly a lot longer.

Visa :

Most visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries which have signed a bilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam. Tourist visas may be valid for 15 to 30 days.

Tourist visas can only be obtained in Vietnamese embassies or consulates abroad. You can only get a visa at the border gates if you are invitees of some Vietnamese government organisation. To apply for a visa, the requirements are as follows :

Entry permit form (which can vary from one Vietnamese embassies or consulate abroad to another) - There are two categories of this form: for foreigners and for Vietnamese overseas.

Two photos (4x6 or 3x4)

Original passport

Visa fee

You should send your application, photos and passport to the Vietnamese embassy or consulate which is most convenient to your location. If you require, the reply will be returned by post (you must provide stamped envelopes with your name and address).

It is easier to get your visa from a Vietnamese travel agency. The necessary information to the travel agency includes:

Full name

Birthday and place of birth

Nationality

Job

Number of your passport

Entry and exit dates

Country you plan to receive your entry visa from the Vietnamese embassies or consulates

Vietnamese overseas are required to provide more information:

Year and reason to leave Vietnam

Leave Vietnam by means

Full names and addresses of relations in Vietnam

Visa extension: this service is available at all travel agencies.

Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries, which have signed a bilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam, including Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Laos. Vietnam also made a unilateral decision on visa exemption for citizens of Japan and Korea.

Viet Value Travel will be happy to arrange Visa applications on personal contact with the company at additional expense. Please contact us for further detai

Currency :

The currency of Vietnam is the dong (VND). Notes are available in paper denominations of 500,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 VND, and also in metal denomination of 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 d. Throughout the country, American dollars are widely accepted. However, the bills must be relatively new with no markings or tears. Several big cities  use Euro currency. Traveler’s cheques are easily exchangeable in banks. Credit cards are becoming more popular, especially in the major hotels and restaurants of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Health :

Bring your own medicine and prescription drugs. When it comes to inoculations, be conservative and be thorough.

Water: Remember to drink a lot of non-alcoholic liquids, it's easy to dehydrate in Vietnam's hot climate. In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, ice is generally fine. Chlorinated tap water should be well boiled (20 minutes to kill amoebic cysts) before drinking. In other areas, stick to bottled water and avoid ice.

Food: Vegetables should be peeled, thoroughly cleaned and preferably cooked. All meats and fish should be well cooked. To be safe, peel your own fruit. Yogurt, if refrigerated, is generally fine but avoid fresh milk and be wary of other non-sealed dairy products, especially home-made ice cream. Err on the side of caution; if you are unsure, avoid it.

Malaria: Malaria is not a problem in big cities, but care should be taken in rural areas, especially in the rainy season when mosquitoes breed. If spending time in the countryside (below 1,200 meters), contact a doctor about anti-malarial drugs. Try to avoid getting bitten, cover up after dark, wear repellent, burn mosquito coils and sleep under a net.

Diarrhea: This malady is common. If it occurs, maintain a diet of bland foods of fluids only. If severe, consult a physician.

Pharmacies: Many of the drugs sold in small pharmacies are copies of have expired. Stick to reputable Pharmacy that are easy to find in main cities around Vie nam.

Have immunizations updated for tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, gamma globulin and polio.

You might want insurance that provides medical evacuation in the event of a serious emergency.

Telecommunication:

How to make long - Distance calls

To provinces & cities within Vietnam:

0 + Area code + Tel. Number or

171 (177, 178) + 0 + Area code + Tel. Number (economic call)

To other countries:

00 + Country code + Area code + Tel. number

171 (177, 178) + 00 + Country code + Area code + Tel. number (economic call) or

171 + 1 + Waiting for connective tone + Country code + Area code + Tel. number

For more information visit the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications web site athttp://www.vnpt.com.vn/

Weather Chart:

Hanoi

Danang

Ho Chi Minh city

Month

Average
Temp

Rain
(mm)

Average
Temp

Rain
(mm)

Average
Temp

Rain
(mm)

JAN

12/30

26

17/25

21

21/32

26

FEB

13/21

26

18/26

22

22/32

10

MAR

16/23

60

20/28

23

23/33

15

APR

20/28

110

23/30

75

25/35

50

MAY

25/32

220

25/35

200

25/35

200

JUNE

28/33

280

29/36

280

24/33

325

JULY

28/33

350

29/36

300

24/33

300

AUG

28/33

340

25/34

280

24/33

275

SEPT

28/33

280

23/30

260

24/33

325

OCT

23/28

160

23/28

260

23/32

225

NOV

18/27

80

21/28

80

23/32

100

DEC

15/21

10

20/27

40

22/32

50