Vietnam

Capital City: Hanoi
Timezone: UTC+7
Country Calling Code: +84
Currency: VND

1 CNY = 3419.33 VND

1 USD = 21370.81 VND

1 EUR = 26302.54 VND

1 GBP = 31084.82 VND

1 AUD = 21370.81 VND

These rates were valid at time of writing.
Please check www.xe.com for exact exchange rates.

Weather & When to Visit

 

Due to the diverse typography and length of the country, the weather in Vietnam tends to vary depending on the season and the region. North of Vietnam is generally cooler than other South East Asian regions in the same longitude.

Two seasons in Vietnam are winter (November to March) with an average temperature of 17.2°C (62.9°F) and summer (May to October) with hottest temperature in June and July of 37°C (98.6 °F).

Because of the monsoons, May through June is hot and humid, with occasional typhoons and tropical storms. Despite the long lasting rains, November and December are the best times to visit.

Two biggest towns in the central highlands, Dalat and Pleiku, are refreshingly cool throughout the year. Southern coastal cities, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, on the other hand reach temperatures of 21°C-32°C / 70°F-90°F all year round, making them perfect beach destinations.

North of Vietnam is at its hottest and driest weather from February to April and cools down with first rain. From May to November it rains heavily almost every afternoon, occasionally flooding the streets around Saigon. December through March is the most pleasant time to visit this region. For more information, please visit: http://www.asiantrails.travel/guides/vietnam.html

Events & Festivals

 

There are many festivals throughout the country celebrated year round. Locals revere by engaging in colorful activities such as puppet shows, folk, traditional and local music singing and dancing, wrestling as well as rowing, rope pulling and climbing. Other activities include cooking rice, playing chess, cock and buffalo fighting and pigeon races.  For more festivals and their celebrations please see http://www.vietnamtourism.com/e_pages/tourist/festival.asp

Visas

 

Visas are required to enter Vietnam for all nationalities except for citizens of Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Service fee is USD $20 for processing an approval letter which is picked up upon the arrival to the airport, but does not include the stamp fee. Other option is to purchase a regular tourist visa before heading to Vietnam. For visa on arrival, please visit http://www.visavietnamcenter.com/ For more information, please vist http://www.vietnamembassy.org.uk/

Airports

 

Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), the largest airport in Vietnam, is located 4 miles (6 km) north of the center (District 1) of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Domestic Terminal 1 and International Terminal 2 are connected by a walkway (bus between terminals provided for transit passengers only).

Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), the biggest airport in northern Vietnam, is located 28 miles (45 km) from the capital city of Hanoi. It has one terminal consisting of a domestic wing and an international wing.

Those traveling to Da Nang may fly directly to Da Nang Airport (DAD), located in the heart of the city. Note, airport departure tax for domestic flights is $2 and for international flights - $14 (already included in the airfare).

Things to Consider

 

  • English among locals is very limited; however hotels, restaurants, shops, airlines offices, and service offices speak it well.
  • Unlike in other Asian countries, tipping is common in Vietnam. VND 15,000-20,000 per bag per porters, 5%-10% of the total bill in restaurants and USD $2-$5 for drivers and tour guides is appreciated.
  • Arms and legs must be covered when entering temples and pagodas, showing bare skin is improper and rude.
  • Staying hydrated is important, especially when sightseeing. Local vendors are always around selling bottled water.
  • Theft is prevalent, therefore being cautious and safe is important. Most hotels offer in-room safes, however for stronger security there are deposit facilities available at the front desk.
  • Local cab drivers do not speak (sometimes can’t even read) English, to avoid complications, pick up hotel’s business card as it will have the address written in the local language.
  • Before entering someone’s house, be sure to leave your shoes at the front door.
  • Also, avoid carrying extra money on the streets and wearing a lot of jewelry. In Vietnam it is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public and more importantly, flashiness attracts pickpocketers and bag snatchers. For more tips, please visit http://vntraveltips.com/while-youre-in-vietnam/do-a-dont/68-general-dos-a-donts-for-vietnam

 

Important Note:
Whilst Classic Travel does our best to keep information updated, it is always advisable for you to double-check details for your specific trip as information can change without notice, particularly in regards to arrival & departure airport terminals, visa requirements and airport/port fees.