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Essential things to know when traveling to Vietnam

Travel advice for Vietnam

Before you go to Vietnam, make sure you have a good preparation for the trip. From the weather to places to visit, what to eat or where to stay, etc. Our Vietnam travel guide by local will give you the best advice to cover all information you need to know.


Vietnam’s unit of currency is the DONG, which you’ll see abbreviated as “đ”, “d” or “VNĐ” after an amount. In Vietnam, there have some places also accept to pay by dollar so it’s a good idea to carry some for your trip.

If you do not have time to exchange VNĐ in your country, don’t worry you can easily do it in Vietnam. For exactly the exchange rate from currencies to VNĐ to can check here. Here are some locations that you can exchange money

Exchange money to VNĐ in Saigon

1.Saigon Jewelry Center: No. 40-42 Phan Bội Châu, District 1, Ho Chi Minh

2.Kim Chau Goldshop: 784 Điện Biên Phủ, ward 10, Quận 10, Hồ Chi Minh

3.Kim Mai Goldshop: 84 Cong Quynh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh

Exchange money to VNĐ in Hanoi

Accommodation cost in Vietnam

It depends on places to visit in Vietnam, room type, and seasonal factors. For example, I would say the hotel’s price in Hanoi totally different to Phu Quoc Island. But here are average accommodation cost in Vietnam for your reference

Dormitory in Vietnam

The usual price for a dorm bed ranges from $6 – $15 per bed depending on the water and the number of beds in 1 room. The fewer beds the room has, the higher the price

Hostel & hotel price in Vietnam

For budget accommodation expect to pay between $15-25 for a simple private room; allow between $35-$80 for mid-range accommodation

Resort & Villa in Vietnam

Most resort & vila are in beach cities like Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Danang. The average cost you may pay around 1.000.000 – 3.000.000 VNĐ/night (434$ – 1300$). This price often included buffet package


It is essential to have a good travel insurance policy to cover against theft, loss, and illness or injury. It’s also advisable to have medical coverage that includes evacuation in the event of serious illness, especially if you’re doing any motorbike touring. Check your policy specifically covers you for motorbiking in Vietnam and ascertain whether benefits will be paid as treatment proceeds or only after you return home, and whether there is a 24-hour medical emergency number). If you’re planning on doing any ‘dangerous’ sports, check your policy for cover.

In the event that you have anything stolen, you must obtain an official statement from the police.

Internet and email

As Vietnam travel guide 2020, wifi are covered in most of the tourist destinations in Vietnam. Beside most cafés and hotels provide high-speed free wi-fi, as well as shopping malls & restaurants. So It is really for you to access internet and do online things in Vietnam.

Business working hours

The most common hours of business are 8 am–12 am and 1.30–5.30 pm. For service companies working hours from 8h30 am to 5h30 pm, government organizations are a bit earlier from 7h30 am to 4h30 pm. So if you have any problem with a credit card, or your personal information make sure you are there before 4h30 pm.

Shops and markets open seven days a week and in theory keep going all day. Some convenient stores open 24/7 such as Circle K, Family Mart… in big cities

Vietnamese people often use English

Many foreign tourists coming to Vietnam think it will be very difficult to communicate, exchange or simply ask for directions. In fact, many Vietnamese people can speak a few common English sentences. The students are quite interested and want to talk to foreign tourists to hone their language skills, not for any reason. Especially if the visitors go through the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake …

Mobile phones & SIM card

The simplest & cheapest way to use your mobile in Vietnam is to buy a local SIM card. You can buy it right away after landing at the arrival terminal. There have 3 major network operators included Vinaphone, Viettel, and Mobifone, you can pick one of them. If you don’t have time you can buy at your hotel or location nearby, they are also sold across vendor street.

The most suitable vehicle: Motorbike

Transportation in the heart of the major cities in Vietnam is mainly motorcycles, taxis, buses … For the first time in this country, visitors can use the vehicles mentioned above. However, for convenience and ease, to avoid the tight guillotine when riding a service, you should rent a motorbike package at hotels, motels, and accommodation. Renting a motorbike is usually not too expensive, ranging from 150 – 200,000 VND / day. At the same time, many backpackers will feel this advice is wise because it can be easily “wriggled” when having traffic congestion during rush hour in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City …

Travelling with children

The Vietnamese adore kids and make a huge fuss of them. The main concern will probably be hygiene, as Vietnam can be distinctly unsanitary. So avoiding spicy foods will help while their stomachs adjust. Bear in mind that healthcare facilities can remain basic outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so make sure your travel insurance includes full medical evacuation.

There are reduced fares for children on domestic flights, trains and open-tour buses. On trains, for example, it’s free for under-5s (as long as they sit on your lap) and half-price for children aged 5 to 10.

Working and studying in Vietnam

Without a prearranged job and work permit, you shouldn’t bank on finding work in Vietnam. English-language teaching is probably the easiest job to land, especially if you have a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA qualification. You’ll need to apply for a work permit, sponsored by your employer, and then a working visa.

The main English-language teaching operations recruiting in Vietnam include the British Council, ILA Vietnam Language Link Vietnam, and RMIT International University. The TEFL website and Dave’s ESL Café also have lists of English-teaching vacancies in addition to lots of other useful information.

There are also opportunities for volunteer work. Check the websites of the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre and Volunteer Abroad.

Travel visa requirements for Vietnam

According to the regulations, foreigners who enter Vietnam must have a passport (or valuable papers in lieu of a passport) and must have an entry visa issued by the competent authority of Vietnam, except for schools. eligible for a visa exemption.

To save time and cost when applying for Vietnam visa, you should perform the following steps:

  1. Choose your nationality from the list to see if you need a visa to enter Vietnam or no
  2. Follow the simplest way to get a Vietnam visa if you are not eligible for a visa exemption.

The following is a list of the procedures and documents required when applying for a visa to Vietnam for citizenship that is not exempted from visa. You can see the details at: list of countries exempted from Vietnam Visa.

Procedures and documents required when applying for a visa to enter Vietnam:

Passport: valid for at least 06 months, not torn or blurred, and have at least two blank pages for visa stamping. Temporary passports are not accepted.

Visa approval letter: required if you get a visa at Vietnam international airports.

Photos: Two (02) passport photos (4 × 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months without glasses.

Declaration form: The entry and exit declaration form for customs procedures at Vietnam airport

Stamping fee: to be paid upon arrival at Vietnam airport

Visas are generally valid for thirty days, though longer durations can be arranged; make an application in any Vietnamese embassy or consulate, or through a specialist agent, although it’s quicker (a few days, as opposed to around a week) to get a “visa on arrival” online. There are several reliable websites offering this service, such as the Vietnam Visa Center.

Travel safety in Vietnam

Vietnamese are generally welcoming to foreign visitors. Generally our country is safe for you to travel. The biggest problem is fraud and theft. It shouldn’t be a problem if you take common-sense precautions. Here are some advises for a safe trip in Vietnam

  • Don’t wear expensive jewellery such as diamond ring, luxury watch…
  • Always carry your passport and other important documents concealed in a money belt
  • Keep a close eye on your bags when travelling on public transport, particularly if they’re on a luggage rack, or on top of a bus.

Also, If you are in Saigon be aware with “cyclo service”. They are always solicit, soliciting foreign tourists in Ben Thanh market area, Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office (District 1) with soft rates but at the end of the trip then ‘nice slash’.

The place you are most likely to encounter street crime is in Ho Chi Minh City, which has a fairly bad reputation for bag-snatchers, pickpockets and con artists. Be wary of innocent-looking kids and grannies who may be acting as decoys for thieves – especially in popular tourist hangouts.

For solo female travelers, Vietnam is generally a safe country. However, it’s best to take the normal precautions if you’re a woman traveling alone; avoid taking a cyclo by yourself, and use taxis from a reputable agency.

Prepare to cope with the weather

Vietnam is a tropical monsoon climate. Summer is very hot, you should prepare personal items such as umbrellas, sunscreen or sunglasses. In the North, the winter is often very cold, do not forget to wear thick coats, scarves, and closed-toe shoes. Particularly in Saigon, the weather is bright, sunny and rainy, so do not forget to bring an umbrella or a raincoat just in case. Because of the weather division between regions, depending on your destination, the experience for foreign guests is the luggage brought to Vietnam, so there are enough suitable costumes to protect your health.

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