To enter Vietnam, a passport valid for at least one month after the visa expiration date is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
2. Passport note
For security reasons, it is advisable to carry copies of documents rather than originals when in Vietnam.
Visas for Vietnam are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except:
1. Nationals of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, who may visit without a visa for up to 15 days.
2. Nationals of France, Germany, Italy and the UK, who may visit without a visa for up to 15 days between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016.
4. Visa note
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Vietnam.
5. Vietnam Health Care and Vaccinations
Title Special precautions Diphtheria Yes Hepatitis A Yes
Malaria Sometimes Rabies Sometimes Tetanus Yes Typhoid Yes Yellow Fever No*
*A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from areas with risk of yellow fever tranmission.
There are excellent hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and health care centres in all provinces, but facilities are limited and there is a lack of medicines. Health insurance is essential and should include cover for emergency repatriation by air. Immediate cash payment is expected for services. Call 115 in the case of a medical emergency.
Travellers who stay longer than three months need a negative HIV-test.
6. Food and drink
Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. However, bottled water is widely available and cheap; make sure the seal is unbroken before drinking. Unpasteurised milk should be boiled. However, pasteurised milk is widely available now. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
7. Other risks
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. Dengue fever continues to be a problem; guarding against mosquito bites is advised. Japanese encephalitis is found in Northern Vietnam, including Hanoi.
8. Popular Festivals & Holidays in Vietnam
There are many holidays in Vietnam with each month bringing another festival or occasion. Western holidays are also celebrated but are not an official holiday.
Tet Holiday is the most important holiday of the Vietnamese calendar normally falling between the mid January – mid February.
The festival marks the Vietnamese New Year marking the arrival of the spring based on the Chinese calendar and literally means “Feast of the First Morning”. It is the same day as Chinese New Year on the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar. A time for family reunions; forgetting about ones troubles and look forward to a better year.
The official holiday is 3 days but normally lasts a lot longer. Visiting Vietnam during this time can be quite difficult with lots of shops closed and transport and hotels often fully booked.
9 Internet and phone usage in Vietnam
It is very easy to buy a local SIM card in Vietnam. Though this does have a minimal cost of US$5, but you have however a large amount of Internet, telephone calls and messages at your disposal. WIFI is also very common, only 4 and 5 star hotels could possiblycharge for its usage.
10. Time Zone
GMT + 7
The local currency in Vietnam is the dong (abbreviated “d” or VND) which is used throughout the country. Bank notes in domination of various denominations are presently in circulation from 100 dong to 100,000 dong. The exchange rate is roughly 21,500 dong to the US Dollar so ask for the larger denomination bills unless you want another suitcase to carry around.
The other alternative is to keep a small amount of local currency and also $US dollars which are widely accepted.
Traveller’s cheques and most credit cards can be used to withdraw Vietnamese dong or $US dollars in all major banks. Major credit cards can also be used in travel agencies, hotels, major restaurants and stores. When leaving Vietnam be sure to exchange or use your remaining dong these can be exchanged back to $US if you keep your receipt from when you received them. This is because the dong is still a closed currency and outside Vietnam you will have a very tough time trying to exchange them back into $US dollars or another currency.
Electricity in Vietnam is 220 volts; this means for those arriving from the UK you will not need a Voltage adapter. You will probably need an adapter as most plugs in Vietnam have 2 prongs missing the third grounding / earthing prong.
Tipping is generally becoming expected in Vietnam. In some upper class restaurants or accommodations they will directly charge you with a 10% service charge, you should clearly see that on the bill. Feel free to leave a tip for good service of between 5-10 %, it is of course up to you and dependant on the service received.
Guides are usually tipped $5 – 10 USD/day, and drivers about $2-5 again all dependant on the level of service received.
14. Things to remember when you are in Vietnam
* It’s in your best interests not to drink the tap water, especially after flooding!
* Avoid cyclo ride after dark.
* Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwellings and religious sites, etc.
* Leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.
* When crossing the road, especially in Ho Chi Minh city, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly!
* Do not offer money directly to minority people – instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens.
* Try at least once the delicious, local street food.
* Always ask permission first before taking photographs, especially in minority areas.
- Where To Go