The information below has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the travelers.
Internet and Wifi
WiFi is available for free at most of hotels and also in cafes, restaurants, shops … even in some public areas in tourist cities
If wifi is not available, you can buy a cheap Vietnamese mobi sim such as Viettel, Mobiphone or Vinaphone … to use 3G service everywhere.
Note: Viettel network signal is stronger in outskirt or remote and mountainous areas
Saigon’s (Ho Chi Minh City) Tan Son Nhat International Airport is just 8 kilometres out of town. If you are finding your own way into town, a metered taxi will cost around 150,000 VND (approx US$8). Please insist with the taxi driver that they turn their meter on. Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport is located 40 kilometres from town. If you are finding your own way into town, metered taxis generally cost around 600,000 VND (approx US$10.50) and the journey takes about 50 minutes.
See transfer services
The international dialling code for Vietnam is +84. Telephone calls, especially international calls, made from hotels, often attract significant service charges, even when the number dialled is not available. Where possible, endeavour to make calls from local telephone offices, which are usually situated in or near the post offices.
It is always advisable to confirm the rates you will be paying before you make your call. Should any extra assistance be required when you are on tour, please contact our local offices first. If you have a mobile phone it should be a relatively simple procedure to arrange ‘global roaming’ with your service provider; however, charges are generally very high so be sure to check this option thoroughly. You should also check with your service provider to see if your mobile phone is compatible with the networks used in Vietnam.
The electricity supply in Vietnam is rated at 110/220 volts, and appliances requiring 240 volts will work normally.If you bring electrical appliances you should also bring an international adaptor. Plug design varies, depending where you are; however, two flat pins (USA style) or three-pronged angled pins (Australian style) are fairly common.A torch (or flashlight) is useful when travelling in more remote areas. Note that whilst trekking, and in more remote areas, electricity will not be available. Here, the best option is small, battery-operated appliances.
With over 500 local dishes and a very heavy French colonial influence, you will find Vietnam a gourmet’s delight. Not only is the food less spicy than Thailand, making it a little easier on a Western palate, it is also incredibly good value. Vegetarians are not forgotten here. Because the local version of Buddhism dictates that monks should be vegetarians, the local cuisine has developed accordingly. Seafood is available throughout the country and is very good value. Bottled water is available throughout Vietnam and it is important that you drink this and not tap water.
Vietnam has some great bargains for the discerning shopper. Lacquer ware is probably the most notable purchase, but do not miss other ‘goodies’ like silver, jade, porcelain, local handicrafts and Vietnamese silk. Most shops work on the barter system and will generally accept US dollars too! There are a couple of government-run shops in Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) where prices are fixed. There is also a lot of ivory available, BUT please do not purchase these items. Not only does it promote further killing of endangered species, but also you will not be allowed to bring them into many countries such as UK, USA and Australia.
You will need to obtain your Vietnam visa in advance. When obtaining your visa for Vietnam you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approx USD$20 to USD$50 (subject to change and depend on nationalities). Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance.
Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.