Vietnam Travel Tips

Vietnam tourism has come a long way in the last 15 years. The travel industry is still evolving but these days you will find that services and facilities are similar to what you would find in your country. Traveling in more remote areas could involve bumpy roads, noisy trains, and overnight stays in clean but basic accommodation.

Health & Fitness
As with traveling to other parts of Asia, you need to take precautions when visiting Vietnam. Some of the diseases known to exist in Vietnam include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rabies and HIV/AIDS. We strongly recommend you consult your doctor with regards to vaccinations and up-to-date health advice at a month before you depart. International standard medical care facilities are available in Hanoi, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Danang. In other areas, medical care facilities are more basic.

Visa Information
All travelers are required a visa to visit Vietnam. You must organize your visa before departing your country of residence, unless you have gone through the official channels to obtain a visa on arrival service. You can arrange your visa up to six months before your scheduled arrival date into Vietnam. In addition, your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your departure from Vietnam. All Vietnam visas are SINGLE ENTRY unless you have specifically requested MULTIPLE ENTRY and this is stamped into your passport. If you are entering Vietnam twice or more you will need to ensure you have a MULTIPLE ENTRY visa before you leave home. The status of your tourist visa cannot be changed after you arrive in Vietnam.

Safety & Security
Though it Vietnam is considered safe by world standards, you should apply common sense when traveling as you would anywhere. Petty crime in Vietnam’s major cities has risen along with rising numbers of tourists. We advise you to take a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers, and keep these in a safe place separate from the originals. In large cities, such as Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi, it is advisable to keep valuables in your hotel safe, and wear as little jewellery as possible when you are out. Keeping your money and other valuables close to your body in a secure place is also a good idea. We recommend you take taxis rather than cyclos when traveling at night; taxis in Vietnam are numerous, metered and inexpensive. To assist in finding your way back to your hotel, make sure you obtain a hotel address card to show drivers. Read our safety guidelines for further information.

Getting Around
Arrival and departure transfers: Our driver will greet you once you have cleared the Customs area at your Vietnam arrival airport. After claiming your baggage and going through the Customs, you should look for our Welcome Sign with your name in the crowd. If you cannot find our guide in the crowd, you need to STAY AT THE EXIT AREA, WHERE OUR GUIDE IS WAITING FOR THE PASSENGERS. Please call  +84913011410. This will help you to avoid scams, especially at Ho Chi Minh in Saigon and Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi.

+ Road: For six travelers or more, air-conditioned Hyundai with 25-40 seats are used. If you are traveling in a smaller group, travel will be by air-conditioned minibus or modern sedan car. Metered taxis are cheap and plentiful in most towns and cities throughout Vietnam.
+ Air: Modern Airbus 320, 321,350 or Boeing 777, 787 planes. Flight schedules frequently change in Vietnam, which may impact travel plans.
+ Train: The Reunification Express travels the length of the country, and there are also overnight trains to and from Sapa. We travel in shared, four-berth soft bed sleeping compartments. Earplugs are advisable.
+ Other: Cyclos, boats of varying sizes, bicycles and your feet.

+ Internet: Internet is inexpensive and widely available throughout Vietnam. You will also find free WiFi at many hotels, cafes and restaurants.
+ Phone: There is extensive mobile phone coverage in Vietnam, though you will need to contact your service provider to enable roaming before you leave. Purchasing a local SIM card on arrival is another option. International phone calls can be very expensive in Vietnam, with rates from 2-4 USD per minute. Reverse charge calls cannot be made.
+ Mail: International post generally takes 7-10 days to reach its destination, with the cost basically similar to charges in your county.

Food & Drink
Vietnamese cuisine is real highlight of any journey in Vietnam, with fresh, fragrant flavors, wonderful use of seasonal, locally grown produce, and a French influence apparent. Rice and rice noodles are staples, along with baguettes. Fresh seafood is in abundance, and vegetarians are well catered for. Vietnam’s famous soup, pho, is a must to try, and there are many more delicious dishes on offer from pork cooked in clay pot to succulent lemongrass prawns and fresh spring rolls.
In Hanoi, try the local fish dish cha ca, and in Hue, enjoy the country’s famed imperial cuisine. There are also many places serving cuisines from around the world, particularly in the cities. Travelers should be aware that eating raw, cold food has a higher risk of stomach upset than cooked dishes. Tap water should be avoided, however bottled water is readily available and provided free in most hotel rooms.

Tipping is often confusing for the traveler. Your local guides and drivers are professional, conscientious, and are most thankful for your acknowledgment. When traveling, tipping has now been adopted as a general practice in Vietnam. You are advised to give some tips for the excellent services.

Shopping is always a part of the travel experience. Vietnam is known as bargain shopper’s paradise, offering a marvelous selection of arts and crafts such as jade, silk, rugs, cloisonne, ceramics, antiques, paintings, furniture and more. Purchasing an item in the area where it is “noted for” has proven to be the best value. Your local guides will be glad to assist you with detailed shopping information.
It is wise to use credit cards for large purchases. Retain all receipts. Purchase insurance for items that you have shipped. A supply of small bills is very handy when shopping with street vendors. Always keep in mind that a purchase is between the buyer and the seller. Viet Holiday Travel is not involved in and is not responsible for any purchases you make during your tour, whether that merchant is part of the scheduled itinerary or not.
We do not recommend you purchase medicines or medicinal herbs unless prescribed by your own physician. Even in Vietnam there are no miracle cures.