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
Head to DaNang for blissful sea breezes and exhilarating water sports alongside lush National Parks and a look into the unique history of Vietnam
- Three UNESCO World heritage Sites in the surrounding area
- Free shuttle bus to historical Hoi An or buzzing Danang
- Beachfront resort with a backdrop of verdant mountains
Wander through the hectic streets of Ho Chi Minh City before basking in the sunshine on the beachfront in Danang
- Stylish and modern accommodation in both destinations
- Dine on dishes from across Vietnam in Saigon
- Complimentary shuttle to Danang and Hoi An from Non Nuoc Beach
Feel at one with the surroundings at the beautiful Mango Bay Resort
- Mango Bay has been supporting wildlife at risk (WAR) since 2006, and has even discovered many new species on Phu Quoc Island
- Revitalise your mind, body and spirit with Yoga and Tai Chi on the beach
- Snorkel and scuba dive around the nearby islands with Flipper Diving Club and discover the truly stunning and beautiful world underwater
Combining exciting excursions and activities with the stunning heritage sites of central Vietnam, this trip has it all
Enjoy a beach side retreat with a variety of exciting activities that is also surrounded by three incredible UNESCO sites in the Da Nang area of Vietnam
- Stunning beachside accommodation with a modern Asian influence
- Golf courses designed by golfing legends and professionals a matter of minutes from the resort
- Resort activities including jet skiing, ocean kayaking, Tai Chi and many more
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
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
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Experience the beauty of southern Vietnam with its stunning landscapes, rural villages and fascinating history. This...
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...
See all the most iconic sights of Indochina on this trip of a lifetime through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Explore the...
Discover some of the most amazing and iconic sights in the world on this simply stunning trip through Vietnam, Cambodia...
Discover the beauty of a superb Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort Danang, located by the pristine stretch of beach and...
The Merperle Sea Sun hotel is set in the heart of the picturesque seaside city, Nha Trang. Surrounded on all three...
A short walk from the impressive Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon opera House, the stylish Muong Thanh Saigon...
Explore the rich heritage of Hanoi with a stay at the luxurious Golden Silk Boutique Hotel, ideally located in the...
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The Furama Resort Danang resort in Vietnam has been awarded as one of the 25 best family hotels in Asia in the 14th edition of the SmartTravelAsia.com’s 2017 Best In Travel Poll. The hotel was awarded for its luxury beachfront accommodation and facilities and activities that cater for both adults and children. The five-star resort sits on the pristine Da Nang beach, and has 198 guest rooms that offer views of the ocean, gardens or pools.
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi has been ranked in first place in a list of Top Ten Five-Star Hotels in Vietnam by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The luxury hotel is located in Hanoi’s central business district, and it has been recognised by several other associations, including Grand Luxury Hotel of the year 2016- 2017 by the Luxury Travel Guide Awards.
The government of Vietnam has announced that it has extended its visa exemption programme for UK passport holders for another year. The policy, which was first introduced in 2015, applies to British, French, German, Spanish and Italian nationals, and it will allow visitors to take single-entry stays in the South East Asian country for up to 15 days, and will be valid until June 2018.