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Key information before discovering Vietnam
Follow this practical guide on Vietnam to help you prepare for your trip! You will find in this section all the important elements and information you should know about Vietnam, before leaving on your trip.

The formalities

To be able to enter Vietnamese territory, you will need a passport that is still valid within 6 months after the end of your stay.  You must have at least one blank visa page. You will also need to have a ticket proving your exit from the country.

To obtain a tourist visa in Vietnam:
You need the original passport valid for another 6 months after arriving in the country, 1 form duly completed in two copies (forms available at the Embassy of Vietnam), and 2 identity photos.
Most visitors will need a visa to enter Vietnam. People in many African countries and parts of Asia are exempt from Vietnam Visa requirement. Citizen of North America and European countries will need to obtain a visa. 
Vietnam visa requirements are actually a combination of two approaches. Visitors must apply in advance for a visa approval letter, and then obtain the official visa stamp in their passport upon arrival in the country. Fortunately, the application for a visa approval letter can be completed and submitted online.

Vietnam (Visa Online)
Click this click for Vietnam Visa online:
1.    Apply online and complete form
2.    Online payment – Pay the service fee & receive confirmation
3.    Receive visa confirmation – The authorities will send you an official visa approval letter via registered email
4.    Get visa – At the Vietnamese airport, you get your visa stamped.
Vietnam (Visa on Arrival)
This means you will get a visa upon arrival entering at the Vietnam international airport (NoiBai International airport in Hanoi Capital, Tan son Nhat International airport in Ho chi Minh City and Da Nang International airport in Da nang city.) 
Click here for more information.



The main airports in Vietnam are Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang International Airport.
International companies flight to Vietnam is: Singapore airlines, Turkish airlines, Korean Air lines, Air France, Eva air flights, Qantas and ANA.


Time Difference

New York (-11 hours)
London (-7 hours)
Click and see the time here:

Weather and geography

The country Vietnam is located in an intertropical zone; the climatic conditions vary from the cold winter in the most northerly mountains, to the subequatorial heat in the Mekong Delta. Most of the country enjoys a temperate subtropical climate.

Take light clothes, sunglasses, and a hat in summer, warm clothes in winter for the north and light for the south.


Vietnam stretches over 1,600 km (994 miles) along the Indochinese peninsula. Its official capital is Hanoi but the economic capital is Ho Chi Minh City.
Its area is approximately 329,566 km², its coastline extending over 3,451 km (2144 miles) over the entire eastern part of the country. Vietnam shares borders with Laos to the west, China to the north, and Cambodia to the southwest.
The Vietnamese often describe their country as a bamboo stick carrying a basket of rice at each end. Its shape is reminiscent of a large S, with two large plains to the north and south, separated in the center by an isthmus (50 km at the widest point).
There are two main growing areas: the Red River Delta in the north of Vietnam and the Mekong Delta in the South. Mountains and hills cover three-quarters of the country, with the highest peaks located in the far northwest. Vietnam has a variety of amazing geological features, the best known of which are karst formations, such as the famous Halong Bay.


​​​Population and languages

Vietnam is the 15th most populous country in the world with 95 million inhabitants. It has a high population density with 294 inhabitants / km².
The population includes 84% Vietnamese, 2% Chinese, to which are added Khmer and sixty ethnic minorities. Vietnam has one of the most complex ethnolinguistic mixtures in all of Asia. The majority of these ethnic groups reside in the central highlands and the mountainous regions of the northwest.

The official language is Vietnamese. English is not often understood and spoken by the local population. French is mostly spoken by older people who experienced the French colonial period. The writing differs from other Asian countries since it was romanized in the 17th century by the French Alexandre de Rhodes, so it is a Latin writing.


Four major philosophies and religions have shaped the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. When asked about the practice of their religion, the Vietnamese generally replied that they were Buddhists, even if they rather followed Confucianism for their family and civic duties and if their understanding of nature and the "cosmos" was part of the Taoist system. With 8-10% of practicing Catholics, Vietnam is the second Catholic country in Asia.

When to go ?

There is no good or bad season to visit Vietnam, as it enjoys a remarkable climate year round. You can travel there all year round without any problem. Depending on the area where you are, the climate will be different.

In the south, it is warm most of the year with a tropical climate. December to April is the best time to go with a dry, sunny climate. The rainy season takes place from July to September with rains in the late afternoon. Floods can occur suddenly in the Mekong Delta between mid-August and mid-September, stay on your guard.

In northern Vietnam, winter takes place from November to the end of April. The temperatures are much milder than in the south with an average between 15°C (59°F) and 20°C (68°F) in Hanoi during the day for example. It can even be cold at night (sometimes less than 10 degrees). The best time to go to northern Vietnam is between the end of September and December, where you will avoid typhoons from the China Sea, the hot weather in spring and the period of heavy rain in July and August.

Money and Electricity

It is useful to have American dollars (USD) in small denominations before departure. The monetary unit is the Dong. In many places, prices are displayed in USD. It is recommended to change currency in hotels, or at Vietcombank or in jewelry stores.
The use of the international Visa card is now much more common in the country.

There are also many automatic withdrawal points in the big cities, but a little less in the countryside.
The current is 220 volts. Most sockets in the North are round, and adapt to French electrical devices. The South is mainly equipped with American type flat sockets. As the power sockets are differentiate within the country, it is recommended that you travel with a universal adaptor.

​Traditions and customs

A. Clothing


As in all Asian countries, it is frowned upon to dress lightly: avoid shorts, tank tops. When you enter a temple or a place of prayer, take off your shoes. In general, the Vietnamese are very conservative in terms of clothing, especially in the countryside, and nudism and topless are to be absolutely prohibited.


B. Gestures and Attitudes in Society


We traditionally greet each other with a slight bow. The western habit of shaking hands, however, has taken precedence over old habits. However, the monks and nuns can greet the old-fashioned way, in which case it is better to answer them in the same way.
When things go wrong, don't get upset! Keep calm, smile and try to solve the issue. Raising the tone is considered rude, regardless of the situation.
A pair of chopsticks planted vertically in a bowl of rice is very similar to the incense sticks that are burned for the dead. It is therefore a powerful symbol of death which is hardly appreciated in Vietnam. Never stick your chopsticks in food!

C. Head and feet

The feet are spiritually the most impure part of the body. Never point them at anything or anyone. Do not put your feet on a chair or table while you are sitting. Never touch someone with your foot.
In the same way, the head being spiritually the purest part of the body, there are certain taboos: never put your hand on someone's head, and never touch a child's hair (or d 'an adult). If this happens to you, immediately apologize, at the risk of appearing to be an extremely ill-mannered person. Never step over a person, even in a very crowded place. Try to bypass the person or ask them to move.


D. Local negotiation rules

A wide variety of handicrafts and souvenirs are available in Vietnam, at very reasonable prices. For those who do not have much time and who want to avoid haggling, some items are on sale in stores where the prices are displayed. However, everything is bargainable in Vietnam, even the prices displayed.
For those who prefer to bargain, patience and a smile will generally suffice to bring the price down. Humor and good humor are always good assets to establish a friendly contact with the seller. Do not get upset and do not announce too low a price, the seller can in this case refuse the sale. Don't make him lose face either. In this case there too he will refuse the sale.

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