1. Visa Requirements:
- Ensure you have the necessary visa before arriving in Vietnam. Options include e-visas, visa on arrival, or obtaining one from the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Good news: If you are the citizens of the following countries, visa is not required: https://www.vietnam-visa.com/vietnam-visa-exemption/
2. Currency and Payments:
- The official currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). While cards are widely accepted in urban areas, it's advisable to carry cash, especially in more remote locations. Guests are advised to carry either US Dollars (to be exchanged) or Vietnamese Dong (VND) for spending.
- Individuals entering or exiting Vietnam through international border checkpoints with a passport carrying foreign currency, or Vietnamese dong cash exceeding the specified limits, must declare to Customs at the border gate: a) 5,000 USD (Five thousand US Dollars) or equivalent in other currencies. b) 15,000,000 VND (Fifteen million Vietnamese dong).
- Transactions in Vietnam can be conducted using VND or US Dollars (although it is recommended to exchange in advance for a favorable exchange rate).
- When shopping, it's a good idea to carry a small calculator. When your tour guide suggests shopping, be sure to consider and compare prices before making a decision to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings. After making a purchase, remember to keep the receipt to avoid any potential inconvenience or theft.
- Bargaining is common in markets. Approach it with a friendly attitude, and remember that a smile goes a long way. Don't be afraid to negotiate, but do so respectfully.
3. Local Transportation:
- Explore Vietnam's diverse landscapes by using a combination of transportation options. Domestic flights are efficient for longer distances, while trains and buses offer scenic routes and budget-friendly choices.
- For a more adventurous and flexible travel experience, consider the local "XE OM" (motorbike taxis). These motorbike rides provide an intimate and immersive way to navigate through both urban centers and off-the-beaten-path areas, offering a unique perspective on Vietnam's vibrant culture and bustling streets.
4. Health and Safety:
- Prioritize your health by staying hydrated and using sunscreen. It's advisable to drink bottled or boiled water and consume food from reputable establishments.
- When traveling, please bring essential personal items such as toothbrush, hairbrush, medication, cold medicine, toothpaste, etc. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes or sandals that you are accustomed to; avoid changing to new shoes, as extensive walking may cause discomfort or swelling.
- Responsibly manage your personal luggage and passport throughout the trip. Keep all relevant documents related to immigration procedures such as flight tickets, passports, immigration forms, cash, and valuable personal belongings with you at all times.
5. Weather Considerations:
- Vietnam has diverse climates. Research the weather for your specific destinations and pack accordingly. Tropical rain showers are common, so a light rain jacket and umbrella can be useful.
6. Stay Connected:
- Purchase a local SIM card upon arrival for easy navigation and communication. Wi-Fi is prevalent in urban areas, but having mobile data ensures you stay connected in more remote locations.
Embrace the charm of Vietnam by incorporating these practical tips into your travel plans. With a blend of preparation and an open mind, your journey through this captivating country will be both seamless and enriching.