Vietnam - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Where are the best beaches?
- Is it cheap to eat out?
- What is transport like and is it expensive?
When is the best time to go?
Vietnam's climate is varied, which means that the best time to travel to the country in terms of the weather will depend on where precisely you want to go and what you want to do. Broadly speaking, though, Vietnam's weather patterns can be split into north and south, with two monsoons affecting the climate. The winter monsoon that runs from October to March typically makes the north of the country cool and damp, while the south is dry and warm. From April or May to October, the summer monsoon generally leads to the whole nation becoming quite humid and hot - except for around the mountains.
Do you need a visa?
British citizens and those of most other nationailities (except from a few neighbouring Asian countries) need to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam before travelling. Tourist visas for Vietnam are valid for a single 30-day stay. It's best to organise this through your nearest Vietnamese Embassy ahead of your holiday, although if you travel to Cambodia first as part of a multi-centre holiday you can obtain a Vietnamese visa on the same day and for a cheaper price. If you plan to leave Vietnam and re-enter the country on the same trip, make sure you get a multi-entry - rather than a single-entry - visa. Your passport needs to be valid for at least one month from the date that your Vietnamese visa expires.
How can I get there?
Vietnam Airlines is the only airline that offers direct flights from London to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are many other international carriers that operate services from continental Europe, such as Lufthansa and Air France. The average flight time on a direct service to Vietnam is around 12 hours.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency is the Vietnamese dong, although U.S. dollars are widely accepted and easy to exchange. In the main cities, it's not hard to change most common foreign currencies, though. There's also an extensive network of ATMs throughout the country's big cities and towns. Major credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted in many cities and main tourist attractions, although be aware that there's usually a three per cent charge for using a credit card.
What is there to see and do?
Vietnam is a fantastic all-round holiday destination, with plenty of natural and cultural attractions to keep you entertained. There is a wonderful variety of landscapes, from mountains and waterfalls to sweeping beaches and stunning islands. Among the must-visit natural attractions are Halong Bay, with its amazing limestone islands and towers, the Cao Bang mountains and the picturesque Phong Na National Park that's home to an impressive cave system. The country does, of course, have a fantastic coastline too, where you can soak up the sun on glorious beaches or try water sports like kite surfing and scuba diving if you're looking for a bit of adventure. In terms of cultural and historical attractions, you'll be spoilt for choice in cities like Hoi An, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There's an incredible blend of local culture and outside influences from places like France and China. As well as discovering the various monuments in these destinations, you can also visit sites like the Cu C
Where are the best beaches?
Vietnam is home to a number of stunning beaches, with everything from hidden coves to developed stretches of coast available. Nha Trang is one of the most famous and is close to a range of amenities, while the Con Dao islands offer something a little quieter and less developed. Likewise, Phan Thiet, Danang, Quy Nhon, Phu Quoc and Mui Ne are excellent coastal destinations.
Is it cheap to eat out?
Eating out in Vietnam can be very cheap if you stick to local places. There are a host of restaurants where you can sample traditional Vietnamese dishes at very affordable prices.
What is transport like and is it expensive?
There's a good transport network in Vietnam, with buses, boats and domestic flights connecting much of the country. Travelling around in Vietnam is generally inexpensive, making it affordable to see different areas of the country on a single trip.
Vietnam Holidays Browse all
Combine the bustling streets of Hanoi with an idyllic beachfront stay in Danang
- Range of water sports available on Non Nuoc Beach
- Complimentary shuttle from the beach to Hoi An and Danang City
- Charming boutique hotel set in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
An indepth exploration of Vietnam taking in Saigon, the Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi with time left over to relax on the beach
- Overnight cruise on a traditional Junk boat on Halong Bay with meals included
- Time to relax on the picturesque beaches of central Vietnam
- Local guides in each destination and entrance fees for all included sightseeing
Get under the skin of Vietnam with an adventurous tour taking in the classic sights as well as getting off the beaten track
- Overnight train to Sapa - hike through the hills and meet remote communities
- Overnight cruise down the Mekong River on a converted rice barge with all modern amenities
- Spend the night in Halong Bay and see the sun rise over the remarkable karst landscape (includes meals)
Enjoy the sights and sounds of everything Vietnam has to offer followed by a restful stay in the heart of Hong Kong to catch your breath again
- Visit the most popular sites in Vietnam all in one memorable and hassle free trip
- Ideal Harbour side location in the heart of Hong Kong
- Opportunity to stay on an authentic Junk Boat in Halong Bay
Experience the best of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Indochina
- Expert local guides in each country
- Breakfast included daily and three dinners
- Spend the night on Halong Bay on a traditional Junk boat with meals included
Explore the most iconic sites of Indochina during the unforgettable Highlights of Indochina, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - Deluxe Tour
You will visit historical sites of Vietnam, discover the heritage of Laos, and explore the beautiful Angkor Complex in Cambodia.
- Tour around Ben Tre River in Vietnam and enjoy a variety of activities, including a visit to any of coconut processing workshops and riding a motocart through rice fields and vegetable plains.
- Watch the sun rise over the blue waters of tranquil Halong Bay, and then cruise through emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
- Participate in Baci Ceremony, an integral part of the Laos culture, and explore the Luang Prabang Night Market with its handmade textiles and local street food
Explore the rich heritage of Hanoi with a stay at the luxurious Golden Silk Boutique Hotel, ideally located in the...
Exotic and compelling, Vietnam is one of the most remarkable travel destinations in the world. Take in all the classics...
Wander from exciting cities to astonishing scenic beauty via peaceful beaches and the best preserved old towns in...
An in-depth tour of Vietnam seeing everything that makes the country so marvellous from cruises on the Mekong Delta and...
Discover the beauty and unique heritage of Vietnam with this incredible tour across some of its most famous sites and...
See all the most iconic sights of Indochina on this trip of a lifetime through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Explore the...
The Merperle Sea Sun hotel is set in the heart of the picturesque seaside city, Nha Trang. Surrounded on all three...
Discover the beauty of a superb Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang, located by the pristine stretch of beach and...
A short walk from the impressive Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon opera House, the stylish Muong Thanh Saigon...
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Melia Hotels International has signed a new brand property to its portfolio in Vietnam. The Spanish hotel group will add the Melia Cam Ranh Bay Villas & Resort to its collection in the country. Scheduled to open 2018 in Cam Ranh Bay on the Southeastern coast of Vietnam, the hotel will have 200 guest rooms with sea views and 100villas with private infinity pools.
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