General Tips When Travelling to Vietnam
What should you prepare before coming to Vietnam? This are some general tips that help you prepare for your adventure when travelling to Vietnam.
To enter Vietnam, you most likely need a visa. Vietnam offers visa exemptions ranging from 14-90 days for citizens from 24 countries (check your nationality)
If you’re not eligible for visa exemptions, you can get e-Visas which are available for citizens of 80 countries (https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt) or you can apply for a visa on arrival online or in person at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. From March 2020 until further notice, Vietnam suspended all entry for international tourists. They only allow Vietnamese citizens, experts, investors, and other special cases to enter Vietnam. However, Vietnam is gradually opening for tourists at the end of 2021, all nationalities traveling directly to Phu Quoc Island can visit the island for 30 days visa-free. To do this you will need to show an outbound ticket on arrival in Vietnam. Need help obtaining your visa? Click here
Best time to visit
In terms of weather, the best time to visit Vietnam is from October to April because of moderate temperature and minimal rainfall. You will enjoy not only the weather but also many festivals and beautiful flowers from north to south of Vietnam. If you don’t mind hot and humid weather, you can go up north to Moc Chau, Sa Pa, Ha Giang to see magnificent green mountains or go down south Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Da Nang to enjoy the sunshine at the beach in summer. Fall in Hanoi is absolutely beautiful with perfect weather, warm street food, and young rice season. Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet) is one of the most important holidays for Vietnamese people, and it usually falls in late January and early February. Therefore, if you have any Vietnamese friends who can host you, you can experience Vietnamese traditional food, customs, and culture. However, if you are a first-time traveler who goes to Vietnam during Tet, you’ll be shocked that almost everything will be closed because everyone goes home and gathers with their family and friends (just like Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Northern Vietnam has four seasons: Spring starts from February to April when the weather is chilly. The summer months of June, July, and August are the hottest months, with daytime temperatures can reach up to 35°C. Make sure you bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent since it’s hot and humid during this time of the year. Drizzling rains and more pleasant temperatures come in the fall, August-November. During the months of December-February, it may dip down below zero in mountainous areas, such as Cao Bằng, Bắc Kạn, Lạng Sơn, Hà Giang, and Lào Cai. Pack wisely! Central Vietnam has been heavily affected by natural disasters and has the hottest months in the middle of the year. From September to November, storms and floods occur in several provinces including Huế, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Quảng Ngãi, and Đà Nẵng. However, the weather is cooler and drier from November to April Southern Vietnam has 2 main reasons: The dry season is from November to April and the wet season is from May to October. Don’t forget to bring your raincoat or an umbrella when visiting Vietnam during this time
Currency: Vietnam Dong ($1 USD
23k VND / £1 GBP 30k VND / €1 EUR ~ 25k VND.) Vietnamese people often use “k” to denote thousands. Tip: Don’t confuse between 20,000VND and 500,000VNDDebit card: Yes, you can open your bank account in Vietnam if you meet the requirements. I recommend these international banks: Vietcom BankCitibankHSBCANZ Bank ATM: Open 24/7 with limited withdrawal. Avoid taking out money during peak times (Vietnamese New Year, National Holidays, etc) because they might run out of money bank office hours: Monday to Friday 7h30am – 11h30am, 1 pm – 4:30pmSale taxes are included: Don’t worry about calculating your sale taxes after your purchase because VAT is included Tipping is greatly appreciated but not mandatory. Make sure to leave your tips directly to the server, don’t leave them on the table
Plugs and Voltage
In Vietnam, the power plugs and sockets are of type A (flat two-prong pins), C (round two-prong pins), and D (3 prong pins). The standard voltage is 110 / 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. You can find the travel adapter in Vietnam or you can order one on Amazon. Click here. PhoneEven though WIFI is almost everywhere in Vietnam, you need a SIM card to stay connected while traveling. You can buy a SIM card with different data plans which cost you on average about $5-$30 at the airport on arrival, at SIM kiosks, or at local grocery shops. I recommend you use Viettel or Mobifone because they have the best 4G/5G network in Vietnam. The SIM card might not work with your locked phone which is directly purchased from the carrier, you can visit Thegioididong or Viettel store to ask for installation. Also, don’t forget to check your international roaming because it can cost you a fortune if you use it overseas. Tip: Check call balance Dial *101#https://xotours.vn/blog/how-to-use-a-mobile-phone-in-vietnam/
You can easier find WIFI from the airport, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and bars, to roadside stalls. However, Wifi is less reliable if you use it in mountainous regions or remote areas. If you need to be connected to the Internet all day (like me), you can buy portable wifi. Click here
Where to stay
We have luxury hotels, convenient Airbnb, cozy and dreamy homestays, fun hostels and ethnic homestays. Check out Agoda and tips before booking
What to eat
A lot! Like a lot!
What to do
There are 63 provinces in Vietnam for you to travel to. If you’re not sure where to go yet or you have a plan and don’t know where to start. I can help you choose your local buddy who can help you hidden gems and delicious food in Vietnam
Unfortunately, Uber cannot survive in Vietnam, you can use Grab, Be, gojek to travel around the cities. For traveling long distances, you can go by bus, train, and flight. You can book buses and train fares through Baolau https://www.baolau.com/en/?source=sotheadventurebeginsYou can book your flight tickets on Traveloka or Vietnam Airline website. The main airlines operating in Vietnam are VietJet, Bamboo Airways. Vietnam Airlines. If you want to transfer your international driver’s license to ride motorbikes in Vietnam. You fill out this form