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VIETNAM
 

 

 
 
 
WEATHER
Ha Noi
24 - 32oC
Lao Cai
26 - 34oC
Lang Son
23 - 31oC
Vinh
25 - 34oC
Hue
24 - 34oC
Da Nang
25 - 34oC
Qui Nhon
26 - 28oC
Nha Trang
25 - 33oC
Phan Thiet
26 - 32oC
Ho Chi Minh
25 - 36oC
My Tho
27 - 36oC
Can Tho
25 - 35oC
Ca Mau
25 - 35oC
 
 
 
EXCHANGE RATE
AUD
12'675,00
EUR
23'162,00
GBP
25'685,00
HKD
2'267,00
JPY
174,00
SGD
11'583,00
USD
17'780,00
CAD
14'290,00
CHF
15'148,00
THB
490,00
 
 
Visitors: 1211735
 
 
Untitled Document
  TRAVEL TIPS >> ESSENTIAL INFORMATION  
 
Passport and visa What to bring in and out of the country
Currency and Banking Immigration
Customs Health
Telecommunication National Holidays
Business hours Religion
Time Electricity
Clothing Taxi
Airport Tax Weather
Emergency Telephone Numbers Other useful Tips
 
ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
NATIONAL FLAG:
 
+ PASSPORT AND VISA
A passport with a minimum of six months remaining validity and a visa are required to enter Vietnam. A regular tourist visa is valid for up to 30 days. Vietnam Vacations will obtain visa approval prior to entry even for ‘visa on arrival' application. Vietnam Vacations offers visa processing service for individuals and groups. The normal procedure is as follows:
1) Passport details for each individual are sent by e-mail or fax us no later than 14 working days prior to departure date to Vietnam: Arrival and departure dates; Full name as in passport; Passport number, date of issue and expiry date; Date and place of birth; Nationality; Occupancy, Place to pick up Visa.
2) Vietnam Vacations submits the details to the Immigration Department, which usually takes 3-5 working days for processing.
3) The Immigration Department notifies Vietnam Vacations of the visa approval and sends a fax/telex approval code to the Embassy or Consulate of the applicant's home country.
4) Vietnam Vacations sends a faxed copy of the approval to the agent or directly to the individual concerned.
5) The agent should submit the client's passport, photographs and faxed copy of approval to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate of the client's home country. In cases where Vietnam has not diplomatic representation and therefore has no means of issuing visas locally, the agent should inform Vietnam Vacations at the time of initial application with the preferred alternative location for visa issue.

6) In case of no Embassy in your country, you are able to get visa upon arrival.

+ What to bring in and out of the country

Light, comfortable, easy to launder clothing is recommended. Winter months in the northern region and the rainy season in the central region can get cool so a sweater or light jacket will come in handy. Rainy season in the south required to bring rain coat for convenience. Good walking shoes and sandals that can be easily removed are recommended especially when entering temples and people's homes. Most major hotels have blow dryers and toiletries if you choose not to bring your own.

ENTRY: Tourists are authorized to bring in the following items duty-free:
Cigarettes: 400 - Cigars: 50-100 - Tobacco: 100 gr. - Liquor: 1.5 l.
Personal effects of a reasonable quantity. Small gift items valued at not more than US$ 300.

Note: There is no limit to the amounts of cash, precious metals and gems one can bring in, but amounts of over US$ 3000 must be declared.

It is prohibited for any visitor to bring the following into Vietnam:
- All kinds of weapons, ammunitions, explosives and inflammable objects, military equipment and tools.
- Opium and other narcotics.
- Toxic chemicals.
- Cultural materials unsuitable to Vietnamese society such as pornographic and subversive materials.

EXIT:
- All kinds of weapons, ammunitions, explosives and inflammable objects, military equipment and tools.
- Opium and other narcotics.
- Toxic chemicals.
- Goods of commercial nature and articles of high value require export permits issued by the Customs Office. Antiques, some precious stones and animals listed in Vietnam's red-book may not be brought out of the country.
- Documents relating to national security.

+ CURRENCY AND BANKING
The official currency is the Vietnam Dong. The exchange rate (at time of writing) is USD 1.00 = 15,750 Dong (approximately). Traveler's cheques can only be cashed at major banks and usually incur a 3-5% transaction fee. Most major hotels, restaurants and some shops accept Visa and MasterCard. There are automated teller machines (ATM) in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and every center of provinces for cash advance. In general the best advice is to bring US dollars in cash, which is widely accepted.

Coins are VND 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000.
Notes are in denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000 and 500000.

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 AM to 04:30PM.

+ IMMIGRATION
All visitors must already possess a valid visa at Immigration desk upon arrival. Besides, there is requirement for all visitors to complete another form titled ‘Vietnam arrival and departure card'. At immigration desk, this form must be presented along with the Passport and the visa. From here the visitor goes to pick up the luggage, and then proceeds towards customs. Please remember to get back the ‘Vietnam arrival and departure card' for customs procedure.

+ CUSTOMS
The customs form is already in ‘Vietnam arrival and departure card'. The customs form and the passport should be placed on the desk in front of the customs officer. Once he has stamped the form, the passenger should collect their (yellow) copy and proceed towards the x-ray machine. After passing all lug gages (including hand luggage, handbags, etc.) through the machine the passenger will leave the airport building. Please remember to get back the ‘Vietnam arrival and departure card' (yellow) for Immigration and customs procedures when going out.

+ HEALTH
No vaccinations are officially required to enter Vietnam. However, visitors are advised to have up-to-date inoculations for Cholera polio, meningitis, Tuberculosis, TABT (Typhoid, Paratyphoid A&B and Tetanus), Hepatitis A&B, and Japanese Encephalitis. Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness and is usually not a problem in big cities but caution should be taken in rural areas, especially during the rainy season when mosquitoes breed. The most frequent vaccine-preventable infection in travelers is Hepatitis A, which is transferred through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B, transmitted through contact with infected blood or saliva, is of high incidence in Vietnam, and Tetanus remains a concern. The most common illness for travelers is diarrhea, which can be treated by maintaining a diet of bland foods or fluids only.

There are international standard hospitals and clinics in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi with qualified Vietnamese and foreign doctors to treat foreign patients. Over the counter prescription drugs are widely available in major cities. It is not recommended to drink tap water and fresh fruit and vegetables should always be peeled or washed thoroughly with purified water. Bottled water is readily available but remember to check the seal for possible contamination.

+ TELECOMMUNICATION

From abroad, the country dial code for Vietnam is (84) followed by a 2 or 3-digit code for individual provinces and municipalities. Hanoi's code is (4), Ho Chi Minh City (8); Hoi An (510); Danang (511); Hue (54); Nha Trang (58); Phan Thiet (62), Can Tho (71). Telephoning when in Vietnam, add a zero in front of each city code (no need for the country dial code 84).

International telecommunication charges in Vietnam are among the highest in the world. An international call for the first minute cost an average of USD 04.00 and USD 03.00 for every minute afterwards. Telephone cards are available and can be used at phone booths in major areas of the Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The cards are issued in four denominations ranging from 30,000 dong to 300,000 dong. Fortunately, a number of internet cafes have sprung up recently in most major cities enabling travelers to communicate much more cheaply than a telephone call or fax. The cost range from 400-800 dong per minute.

+ NATIONAL HOLIDAYS:
- 01 January: New Year's Day.

- February: Lunar New Year (Tet)
The Tet Holiday, also known as Lunar New Year's Day. Its actual dates vary from year according to the lunar calendar. Officially 3 days holiday but many business 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.

- 30 April: Liberation Day.
- 01 May: International Labor Day.
- 02 September: National Day.
- 25 December: Only Christians celebrate Christmas

+ BUSINESS HOURS
Government offices generally open from Monday to Friday from 08.00 AM to 50.00 PM and close for lunch between 12.00 AM and 01 PM. Shops open early and close any time between 06 PM and 09 PM. Most shops are opened 07 days a week.

+ RELIGION:
Viet Nam guarantees freedom of religion in its constitution. Buddhism is the most commonly practiced religion (55%). About 12% of the population is Taoist and 07 % is Roman Catholic. Also communities of Protestants and Muslims. Almost every Vietnamese family has an altar for ancestor worship. Incense is burned and prayers are made to ancestor for support in overcoming misfortune and achieving good health and good luck.

+ TIME
Vietnam is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 7).

+ ELECTRICITY
Standard electricity is usually 220 VOLTS (50Hz) AC. Most plugs are two-pinned with rounded pins, except in international-standard hotels.

+ CLOTHING

Throughout the year, it is advisable to wear summer clothing: thin clothes in light color. From November to March, warm clothes are recommended for visits to the northern provinces.

+ TAXI

In Hanoi, Airport taxis from Noi Bai Airport to central Hanoi charge a flat rate of US$10,00. The drive takes about 45 minutes. A minibus makes the trip for US$4,00 per person.
In Ho Chi Minh City, a metered cab from Tan Son Nhat Airport to downtown costs around US$5,00. The trip takes about 20 minutes.

+ AIRPORT TAX

- International Airport Tax at Noi Bai airport (Hanoi): USD 14.00/person
- International Airport Tax at Tan Son Nhat airport (HCMC): USD 12.00/person
- International Airport Tax at Danang airport (Danang): USD 10.00/person
- Domestic Airport Tax: Included in air fare.

+ WEATHER
Vietnam is affected by the monsoon, that's why the average temperature is lower than the other countries which are located in the same longitude in Asian. In comparing with these countries, the temperature in winter is colder and in summer is less hot in Vietnam.
Under influence of monsoon, and further because of the complicated topography, the climate in Vietnam always changes in one year, between the years, or between the areas from North to South and from low to high). The climate in Vietnam is also under disadvantage of weather, such as typhoons (advantage there are 6-10 storms and tropical low atmosphere in year), floods and droughts are threaten the life and the agriculture of Vietnam.)
The temperature in Vietnam is high. The annual average temperatures range from 22oC to 27oC. However, the average temperature is different in every place. In Hanoi the average temperature is 23oC, in Ho Chi Minh City 26oC and 25oC in Hue. Some places like Dalat and Sapa have a maximum temperature of 20oC in the summer.
Every year there are 100 rainy days and the average rainfall is 1,500 to 2,000mm. The humidity ranges around 80%. The sunny hours are 1,500 to 2,000 and the average solar radiation of 100 kcal/cm2 in a year.
The monsoon climate also influences to the changes of the tropical humidity. In general, in Vietnam there are two seasons, a hot and rainy season (from May to October), and a cold season (from November to April the next). However the four distinct seasons are most evident in the Northern provinces (from Hai Van Pass toward to the north): Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

+ EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS:


Police
113
Fire Brigade
114
Ambulance
115
International Direct Dialing Access Code
00
National Domestic Direct Dialing Access Code
0
Directory assistance for long distant domestic telephone calls
102
Operator-assisted long distance domestic telephone calls
103
International Telephone Service Rate
112
Time Inquiries
117
Vietnam Paging Service
107 / 105
Paging Service Enquiries
106
Vinaphone Paging Service
141
VNN/INTERNET Access Number

1260

VNN Access Number (Local)
1268
VNN Access Number (International)

1269

General Information Service
1080
 
++ OTHER USEFUL TIPS:
 
- Tipping: It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of tours. Hotel porters and restaurant waiters should also be tipped.
- Don’t miss Vietnamese food when traveling to Viet Nam. Some of famous dishes are steam rice (Com), noodle soup (Pho or Hu Tiu), fried spring rolls (Cha Gio).
- Be at the airport 02 hours before departure time for International flights and 01 hour before departure time for domestic flights
- Taxi with meter on always required. If not, amending another cab is necessary.
- Do not exchange money on the street.
- All other currencies except US dollars as EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, BAT, AUD, CAD, and SGD are available to exchange to VND.
- Printing and developing films are available at cheap price and high quality. Digital is also available but it is more expensive a bit than regular films.
- Please bring with you an umbrella and raincoat in rainy season.
- Pharmacy is available everyday from Monday to Sunday.
- Antiques are easy to buy in Viet Nam but It does not allow bringing out of Viet Nam.
 
 
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