Vietnam: Travel Info & Transport

The Basics

  • Currency: Vietnamese Dong
  • Exchange rate: See www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates.
  • Capital city: Hanoi
  • Main religion: Tam Giao (Triple religion – Confucionism, Taosim, Buddhism)
  • Main language: Vietnamese (official)
  • Telephone code: +84
  • Time: GMT + 7 hours
  • Emergency numbers: Ambulance: 115, Police: 113, Fire: 114

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Vietnam Language Essentials

  • Hello: Sin chao (Hello)
  • Thank you: Cam on (thank you)
  • Oh my God!: Oy zoy oy!

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Vietnam Visa Information

Visa: Visas for entering Vietnam must be arranged in advance. You can do this at the Vietnamese embassies in whichever country you are in and some travel agencies also offer the service. Depending on where you apply for it and how long you mind waiting, (on average from 1 day to 4 days), it can cost anywhere between $35 and $65 for a 30 day visa. You will need 1 passport sized photograph and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.

Visas can also now be obtained in advance through Vietnam Airlines online. The initial application for a single entry visa will cost $18, then a further $25 “stamping fee” will be charged on arrival in the airport, when you collect the visa. The $18 gets you a letter of approval, which must be printed out and taken to show the Airlines when boarding the plane. The letter, along with two passport photos and $25 in cash, must then be given to the Immigration Office upon arrival in return for your visa.

Visa extension: Maximum 30 day extensions can be obtained from travel agents in Hanoi, HCMC or Danang. The process can take up to 5 days and the fee is US$30 for extensions up to 30 days.

Climate

The climate of North and South Vietnam differ greatly, with generally a hot tropical climate in the South and hot summers and cold winters in the North. The monsoon season is between May and October which brings rain to most of the country. The central coast can experience typhoons between August and November.