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About Vietnam

About Vietnam


General Information


Vietnam is a diverse country with fertile rice growing regions and farmland, the lush waterways of the Mekong Delta in its south, and picturesque mountains in the far north. The long coastline is home to white sand beaches, holiday resorts and traditional fishing villages, and there are charming towns from historic Hue to must-see Hoi An. Saigon is a modern, bustling city with vibrant markets, a fantastic dining scene and interesting sites like the Reunification Palace, while Hanoi retains the feel of old-world Asia.
Tourism is growing at a rapid pace in Vietnam, and many facilities and services are on par with those found in Western countries. However in remote parts of the country, conditions may be more basic. Train journeys can be noisy, and road travel may feature bumpy conditions. Busy traffic in the cities may also take some getting used to, particularly in Saigon and Hanoi.




What to Expect


Vietnam offers friendly people, a delicious cuisine featuring fresh, fragrant herbs, stunning landscapes, idyllic beaches, historic sites and vibrant, action-packed cities. Whether it is culture and history that you seek, trekking in mountains amongst hilltribe villages or indulging in some of Southeast Asia's best shopping, Vietnam has it all.

There are fantastic Replica Cartier Watches UK hotels from comfortable, mid-range stays to deluxe, colonial-era hotels, and fabulous eateries from pho stands in local markets to high-end restaurants. You can partake in a cooking school, explore the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, see the Mekong Delta by boat stopping at fascinating floating markets, or have clothes made at one of picturesque Hoi An's many tailor shops.

You can traverse Vietnam by train, or catch domestic flights between its major centres. You will find Vietnam a feast for the senses and an unforgettable place to explore, from its scenery to its cities; its historical sites to its people.




Flight Times


From Australia: Flight times range from 9 hours (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth) to 12 hours (Adelaide, Brisbane)
From New Zealand: 13 hours from Auckland
From UK: 14 hours from London
From USA: Flight times range from 16 hours (Los Angeles) to 19 hours (New York)





  • 1 January is International New Year's Day. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.
  • January/February (last day of last Lunar month) is Lunar New Year’s Eve, the beginning of Tet or the Vietnamese New Year period. The Reunification Palace will be closed in Saigon.
  • January/February (first day of the first Lunar month) is Tet, or Lunar New Year, Vietnam's major annual holiday. Banks & public offices will be closed, as will most businesses. Cao Dai temples will be closed six days before the Lunar New Year, and floating markets in the Mekong Delta will not operate.
  • March/April (10th day of the 3rd lunar month) is the anniversary of Hung Kings, Vietnam's ancient rulers. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.
  • 30 April is Independence Day, commemorating the fall of Saigon and reunification of the country in 1976. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.
  • 1 May is Labour Day, marking the contribution made by workers. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.
  • 2 September is National Day, marking the day Vietnam declared its independence forming the Democratic Republic of Northern Vietnam. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.
  • 31 December is International New Year's Eve. While not a public holiday, it is celebrated in Vietnam with festive meals, parties and fireworks as it is in most parts of the world.




Visa & Passport


Citizens of Australia, UK, US, EU Countries, New Zealand and Canada require a visa to visit Vietnam. All other nationalities should check with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in their country of residence. A visa must be obtained before departing your country of residence (unless you have gone through the official channels to obtain a visa on arrival service). It can be arranged up to 6 months before your scheduled arrival date into Vietnam.Fake omega Watches UK

A full passport is required, valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your departure from Vietnam. You can acquire your tourist or business visa from your nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate.

All Vietnam visas are SINGLE ENTRY unless you have specifically requested MULTIPLE ENTRY and this is stamped into your passport. Please ensure you have a multiple entry visa if you are entering Vietnam twice. The status of a tourist visa cannot be changed from SINGLE ENTRY to MULTIPLE ENTRY once you have arrived in Vietnam.

Please note Vietnamese visa regulations and arrangements are subject to change and it is your responsibility to ensure your visa is in order before you travel. We strongly suggest that you check with the relevant embassies in your country of residence that these guidelines are applicable to you.

Most visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visa can be applied directly at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate in your country with an application form, original Passport and 3 photos. Generally, the application takes about 4-10 working days. Besides, travelers may also obtain visa upon arrival at the airport with special requirement. The fees do vary depending upon the country.

SPECIAL NOTEFor our clients, we will process the visa authorization with the Vietnam Immigration Department in advance, and then forward to you the pre-approval letter either by fax or email. This will facilitate you to get Vietnam Visa stamp from the Embassy in your country in a very shorter time - generally within 2-3 days (Submit this pre-approval letter with the signed application form, Passport, 2-3 photos, and visa fees).

The most important document that you need to have before travel is the special pre-approval letter to authorize visa upon arrival at the airport in Vietnam. We are able to provide this pre-approval letter if the tour was booked with us (min. 3 days). Extension of your own stay is possible.

NOTE: For our clients, we will provide this special pre-approval letter, however, you will need to pay USD 45 per person to the immigration for the visa stamp fee upon arrival. This is highly recommended as it is time-saving - you do not have to travel at least twice to the embassy. It takes us at least 5 working days to process this letter. (You can find specific procedures at Vietnam Visa Procedure).

Visa Fees
Single Entry Tourist Visa: USD 45        Multiple Entries: USD 90 - USD 180

NOTE:Although the official rates announced by Vietnam Authority are posted as above, we experienced that these rates are quite inconsistent and might be varied in different country. For more specific fees, you can call to the Vietnam 
Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Visa Validity
Vietnam Visa only valid for a single 30-days stay. It specifies your arrival and departure dates. Therefore, you should plan your travel schedule well in advance as, for example, if you arrive 10 days later than your specified arrival date, you will be able to stay in Vietnam only for 20 days. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days then you will need you leave the country and then enter again in order to extend your visa. 

Vietnam Visa Approval Latter On-Line Service
To get pre-approval letter for Vietnam visa, we require the following information, which can be sent to us by E-mail or by Fax:
+ The fullname as in your passport
+ Gender (Male, female)
+ Nationality
+ Passport Number
+ Date of Passport Issued
+ Date of Passport Expiry
+ Date of Birth
+ Occupation

+ Date of Arrival in Vietnam

You also have to specify - WHERE you would like to get your visa stamp - either at the airport upon arrival or at the Embassy in your country. Once processing starts, it could not be changed without extra cost, and more delay. Once approved, we will fax or email to you this pre-approval letter. 

Visa Exemption
Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries, which have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam, tourist visa may be valid for 15 to 30 days.

They include:
Most citizens of ASEAN member-countries: Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Lao citizens do not need a Vietnam visa if they are visiting the country within 30 days; passport holders from the Philippines do not need a visa for 21 days; Brunei passport holders are not required to get a visa toVietnam for 15 days. 
They could apply for popular passport type with return tickets. Citizens of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste are all required to get a visa to 
travel Vietnam.

Passport holders from Korea, Japan, and the Scandinavian nations (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland) do not need a visa to Vietnam if they intend to stay in the country within 15 days. They could also apply for popular passport type with return tickets.

Russian passport holders are no longer required a visa to travel in Vietnam for 15 days as long as they have return tickets.

Vietnamese overseas for less than 90 days staying if they are holding Vietnam visa exemption certificateCitizens of China, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, and Rumania holding valid ordinary passports for official mission and citizens of 52 countries holding valid diplomatic or official passports are exempt from visa requirements. The duration of staying is stipulated in certain cases. For more information, please visit the website of Ministry of Foreign Affaires.




Money and Local Exchange


Exchange rate can be referred to at
- In general, 1 USD is approximately 21,000VND and 1 EUR approximates 28,000VND
- You can exchange your money at the airport before leaving, or at banks and official exchange centers in Vietnam.  It is strongly recommended that you do not exchange money in the black market.

Method of payment
Direct payment of cash is most popular in Vietnam. Small shops, restaurants and markets usually do not accept any other payment.
- Major credit cards (such as Visa, Master Charge and to some extent American Express) are increasingly being used, especially in big cities and tourist places, but only in restaurants, hotels or big shopping malls with a transactional fee (3%-5%).
- Traveler’s cheques are an easy method of carrying money around, and can be cashed at major banks (but not small banks in small towns).

ATM machines
For those hesitant to carry a large amount of cash around, ATMs (automatic teller machines) have become increasingly popular in Vietnam (mostly in cities) and have attracted many foreign visitors.

Most banks offer this service and the registration for an account is simple and fast. All ATMs are locally interconnected. However, ATMs only give in VND




Health and Safety


Travelers to Vietnam should take precautions as they would elsewhere in Asia. There are now a number of international standard medical care facilities available in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Danang and Hanoi. Outside these cities, medical care facilities are more basic.

Some of the diseases known to exist in Vietnam include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rabies and HIV/AIDS. We recommend you take adequate preventative measures to minimise your risk of exposure to these health risks. We strongly recommend you consult your preferred doctor for the most up-to-date health advice at least one month prior to travel.

***Be aware, as with other parts of South-East Asia, your health can be put at risk due to lack of effective medical treatment facilities and poor sanitation. In Vietnam, rural areas can have a lack of pharmacies and hospitals so be sure to have any drugs that you regularly take already with you.

- If you feel particularly ill, you should return to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City 
Each traveler is responsible for his or her health. First and foremost make sure that you have travel insurance for your trip. Also, consult your doctor or local travel clinic before departure for the latest information on travelling to Vietnam.

Vietnam has been voted one of the safest destinations in the world. Women and independent travelers have found it relatively hassle-free and easy to travel throughout the country.

- Health care in Vietnam varies in quantity and quality. Big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have very good private and state-owned hospitals and clinics, while it is often hard to see a doctor in rural areas.

Pharmacies, however, can be found in almost every town. Write down the name of the medicine you want to buy, or use body language to explain, as not many pharmacist can communicate in English.

Prior to departure, you may want to consult your doctor on vaccination and get well-prepared for a small first-aid-kit. The following vaccines are recommended: Polio, tetanus, yellow fever, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis. Your personal kit must have solution to stomachache, headache and such.

- The sun shines over half of a day along the country, so make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen. Additionally, the dust rate in the air is quite high in industrial cities; it is advisable you buy a small mask just like the local in case you are allergic.
- Vietnam is a tropical country, which entails many kinds of dangerous bacteria and insects. Mosquito repellents are essential. If there are cases of malaria or dengue fever, you should go to doctor immediately.

Sexual health: Unprotected sex can spread HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and warts.

The bottom line is having your travel insurance ready before the trip

Safety issues
- Emergency contact number: Police (113) - Fire (114) - Ambulance (115)
- Vietnam is generally a safe place for tourists. Pick-pocket is reported to be decreasing significantly. If you are robbed, do not hesitate to contact the local police.




Travel Insurance (Compulsory)


Explore Vanishing Culture will do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, certain risks are involved and should be recognized by participants. Thus, we require all guests to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment in the event of problems due to cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind for your trip.

Travel insurance is intended to cover medical extenses and finacial ( Such as money invested in non refundable pre-payments) and other losses incurred while traveling. It is also mandatory to obtain visas to a number of destinations, such as Europe, Australia , or USA for instance.

If you plan a trip abroad and do not have a personal insurance , please contact us and we shall arrange temperary travel insurance at the time of booking of your trip to cover exactly its duration, or a more intensive , continuos insurance.

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