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Useful Information

Vietnam Visas

Most visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries which have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreement with Vietnam.
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Individuals entitled to visa exemptions:

Vietnamese people that hold foreign passports and foreigners who are their husbands, wives and children are exempt from visa requirements to enter Vietnam and are allowed to stay for not more than 90 days. In order to be granted visa exemption certificates at Vietnamese representative offices abroad, overseas Vietnamese need conditions:

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Bilateral visa exemption agreement

Citizens of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia holding valid ordinary passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 30 days; Philippines is allowed to stay for not more than 21 days; Brunei citizens are allowed to stay for not more than 14 days. Citizens of China, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, and Romania holding valid ordinary passports for official mission.

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Unilateral visa exemption

Visa with 30-day validity is exempted for officials from ASEAN secretariat holding dif-ferent kinds of passports.
Citizens of Sweden, Norway, Denmark,Finland, Japan, South Korea and Russia holding different kinds of passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 15 days.

Individuals not entitled to visa exemption:

All others wishing to enter Vietnam must obtain a visa.

Visa applications

Visa applications must include a printed appli-cation filled in completely and accurately; two 4 x 6 cm photos, a passport and visa fee.
Visas are issued at Vietnamese diplomatic offices and consulates in foreign countries.Visas may be issued at the border gates to those who have written invitations from Vietnamese agencies or tourists participating in tours organized by Vietnamese travel com-panies.
• Tourist visas are valid for 30 days,
• Visa extensions are available at all travel agencies.

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Customs

Customs procedures in Vietnam are quick and simple. To enter and exit Vietnam, visitors are required to complete form, available in Vietnamese and English. A reasonable amount of clothing and personal belongings for the purpose of the trip may be brought into Vietnam. Items listed below must be declared on entry.
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Trasportation

How to get to Vietnam?

Air

International Airports

There are six international airports in Vietnam: Noi Bai (Ha Noi), Phu Bai (Hue), Da Nang (Da Nang), Cam Ranh (Khanh Hoa), Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City), and Can Tho (Can Tho). Noi Bai Airport is about 35km from the north of the Ha Noi City. There cire Vietnam Airlines minibuses, bus, and Airport Taxi going there. Vietnam Airlines Office is at 1 Quang Trung Street. Phu Bai Airport is 14km from the centre of Hue City.Da Nang Airport is close to the centre of the city.Tan Son Nhat Airport is 15km from the centre of the Ho Chi Minh City.

Direct flights to Vietnam

Vietnam Airlines is the state-owned carrier, and joint operations with many foreign airlines to offer direct flights to/from over 40 international destinations in the Asia, Europe, Australia, and USA. Almost flights are offered from/to Ha Noi and from/to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Here are direct flights to Vietnam by Vietnam Airlines and some other airlines

From Asia

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From Europe:

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From Oceania:

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From America:

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Departure tax
: The tax for international flights from Vietnam is including in the ticket (children under 2 are exempted).

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Land

Over Land Routes to Vietnam

It is now possible to enter Vietnam overland from either China, Laos, or Cambodia. From China: The Beijing-Ha Noi trains enter Vietnam at Dong Dang, north of Lang Son; at the border crossing known as Huu Nghi Quan (Friendship). Read More

Sea

There are several marine routes to international ports in Vietnam: Hon Gai (Ha Long), Hai Phong, Chan May, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Sai Gon, Con Dao and Phu Quoc Ports. Among them Sai Gon, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Ha Long welcome a lot of tourists. There are some reputable cruises such as SuperStar Virgo, Costa Romantica, Diamond Princess, etc. have been welcomed at ports of Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Ha Long.

Organized Tours

Packaged tours to Vietnam are served by many travel agencies worldwide. It is quite easy to travel to Vietnam and make all of your travel arrangements after arrival. You can contact one tour operator in Vietnam (see Tour Operator in each province).


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Leaving Vietnam

From Vietnam, tourists can travel to other Asian countries, and also to many countries worldwide. Obtaining visas to these countries is quick and convenient. Tourists should contact travel agencies in Vietnam.

Getting Around

Visitors can travel to various provinces, cities, and towns by air, car, train, or boat. Domestic flights are available everyday. The train from Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh City stops at various stations along the way and provides an exciting and unforgettable trip. Air-conditioned express trains take 30, 33, and 39 hours to complete the trip. Taxis, motorcycles, and bicycles can be easily hired. Cyclo, a three-wheeled vehicle, is perfect for those who wish to move slowly and enjoy a city tour

Air

Airports:

Beside the number of international airports, domestic airports include Gia Lam (Ha Noi), Cat Bi (Hai Phong), Dien Bien Phu (Dien Bien), Na San (Son La), Vinh (NgheAn), Chu Lai (Quang Nam), Pleiku (Gia Lai), Phu Cat (Binh Dinh), Tuy Hoa (Phu Yen), Buon Ma Thuot (Dak Lak), Lien Khuong (Da Lat), Con Son (Ba Ria - Vung Tau), Phu Quoc, Rach Gia (Kien Giang), Ca Mau (Ca Mau).

Domestic flights

Vietnam Airlines serve domestic flights to over 20 cities throughout the country, and Jetstar Pacific Airlines also offers a limited range of internal flights

For Domestic airline schedules of Vietnam Airlines

Vietnamairlines Flight Schedule

Jetstar Flight Schedule

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Train

A railway line links Ha Noi with Ho Chi Minh City, passing through many towns and cities worth visiting, including Dong Hoi, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet. The train offers a very comfortable way to travel. For more information, please refer to website: www.vr.com.vn

Ha Noi

Train to the Southern provinces:

Ha Noi Railway Station: 120 Le Duan St., Tel: (84-4) 3942 3697, Fax: (84-4) 3747 0366 Every day, there are express trains from Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh City, passing through other Southern localities and may stopover with few points. These trains have hard seats, soft seats, six-bed compartments, four-bed compartments (air-con). For sleeping berths, travellers may book ticket several days before the trip. Do not forget to bring your passport when buying train ticket. Otherwise, may hotels and travel agencies have a ticket reservation. There are also local trains departing from Ha Noi to Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Vinh.

Train to the Northern provinces:

Tran Qui Cap Station: Tran Qui Cap St. There are several return trains from Ha Noi to Hai Phong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh. There are 2 express-trains to China and return:
Ha Noi - Lang Son (via Friendship Border Gate) to Beijing (Train M1: Tuesday and Friday every week).- Beijing - Lang Son - Ha Noi (Train M2: Thursday and Sunday every week).

Ho Chi Minh City

Sai Gon Railway Station: 
1 Nguyen Thong St., 
Tel: (84-8) 3844 3952
There are daily express trains from Ho Chi -Minh City to Ha Noi and several local trains from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Hue.

Bus

There are various kinds of express-coaches that transport passengers in the cities and provinces. All cities and provinces have at least a station to offer the coaches to go around; see in each province's Transport section.

Car

Cars for rent with driver are available at travel agencies. They offer 4 to 45-seat cars with drivers. It is easy for service in big cities.

Boat

Visitors can travel by sea from the big harbours, such as Ha Long, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City, etc. From Ho Chi Minh City, there are cruises to several provinces. Ferries sail year round to the three major islands located off the coast of Vietnam, including Phu Quoc, Cat Ba and Con Dao. In addition, a ferry runs from Hai Phong to Ha Long City, and there is a hydrofoil service between Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau. You will encounter passenger services in the Mekong Delta, where river ferries haul from bank to bank of the various strands of the Mekong from morning to night.

Other Means Of Trasportation

Taxi service is available in the big cities and provinces. 
Cyclo available all day (and night) and very popular in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue, and Hai Phong. 
Motorbike taxifaster and no more expensive than a cyclo (available at any time of day).Bicycle cycling is perhaps the best way to sightsee around towns. Motorbikes for rent are available in most towns and cities regularly frequented by o tourists. Puttering around on a motorbike can ra be a most enjoyable and time-efficient method of sightseeing.

Reasonable Time For Travel

In the North, the climate is divided into four seasons: Spring, summer, autumn, and winter, so it influences to the tourism activities. Period from October to April is suitable for travel.and enjoy festivals because 70% festivals are organizing in spring. The lunar New Year festival (Tet) in Ha Noi allows tourists to enjoy the bustling atmosphere at food vendors and flower markets. Tourists visiting Vietnam from November to April are advised to bring warm clothes. May to October is suitable for those who like swimming and sunbathing, or mountaineering. In the South, the temperature is warm throughout the year, so tourism activities can operate all year round. The period from April to October the average temperature approximately 27°C (80.6°F), sometimes it rains. There are cultural, ecological and aquatic tours available in the Southern provinces.

Language

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. Learning foreign languages, particularly English, is now in vogue among young people in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang, and other cities. Tour guides speaking English, French, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese are available. It seems Vietnamese is not a easy language to master. Many Vietnamese don't speak English.

Electricity And Water Supply


Electricity
The standard electricity supply in Vietnam is 220 volt, 50 Hz, AC.Most plugs are two-pin with rounded pins, except in international-standard hotels.

Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households
  Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households
   
Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households
  Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households
   
Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households
  Here are a few pictures of electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households

Electrical plugs commonly found in Vietnam's hotels and households.


Water
Tap water is already filtered and sterilized, but it should be boiled before drinking. Drinking tap water and un-boiled water is not recommended.

Accommodations

There are a wide variety of accommodations for visitors. Most of the hotels in the larger cities meet international standards.

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Health

In Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, there are some international clinics and hospitals open to foreign tourists for medical consultations and treatments.
Before leaving for Vietnam, ail travellers should make sure to receive the appropriate vaccination (especially against typhoid and hepatitis A).


Post & Comunications

Postal service

• Express mail service (EMS): takes from 24 to 48 hours for delivery.
• International EMS: is exchanged with over 50 countries ail over the world. Delivery takes from 2 to 10 days.
• Express money delivery: Service takes within 24 hours from receiving money to time of delivery.
• Flower telegram: money or presents (goods allowed to be circulated) attached to a telegram of congratulations or condolences. Telecommunications. Local calls are generally free of charge. For public telephones, a phone card can be bought at the post office to make inter-provin-cial and international calls. Fax services are also available in most post offices and tourist hotels.

Useful telephone numbers

113 Police
114 Fire
115 Health emergency
116 Local call assistance
1080 Information directory & English service
117 Time information

Internet access

It is worth buying a SIM card for your Phone. You receive twice as much credit as the cost of the SIM card - when purchasing a new Sim card. SIM cards are widely available. Google Maps for tracking your trip or just for browsing the web for information on you iPad or phone been connected is a venture by itself. Imagine all the beautiful photos you get to upload to your social website Facebook or whatever you use.

Since the end of 1997, Vietnam is connected to the Internet network. E-mail & Internet (including wifi) are available in most urban areas throughout the country. Website of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (www.vietnamtourism.com) , travellers always have access to precious information on the country, its history and its people, as well as useful tips for their journey. However social media website such as Facebook.com are baaned but having siad that it not difficult to find a way around that.

Internet Service Providers in Vietnam

  1. Vietteltelecom.vn
  2. Mobifone.com.vn
  3. Vinaphone.com.vn
  4. Sfone.com.vn
  5. Vietnammobile.com.vn
  6. Beeline.vn
  7. EVNtelecom.com.vn

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Radio And Television

Radio

The possibility for english radio station is a market you can grow in but Vietnam has a strangle on freedom in these areas. You will not find any dedicated english radio stations but random english songs played on Vietnam stations. Even xmas songs in July.

Radio the Voice of Vietnam to be one of the most effective means of media in Vietnam, as well as a close friend of domestic and foreign listeners. At present, the broadcasting system of the Voice of Vietnam including:
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Television

Vietnam Television Station broadcasts on six channels daily.
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Bookshops

It is possible to find books in foreign languages (mainly English and French) in the Xunhasaba bookshops and also on Trang Tien Str., Hoan Kiem Dist. in Ha Noi, and Nguyen Hue Str., Dist. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Among them the tourist guidebook edited by TITC is useful for your trip around Vietnam.

Newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines are mainly written in Vietnamese. However, there are some newspapers and magazines available in English and French, such as the Vietnam Investment Review, Vietnam News, Saigon Times, Investment News, Vietnam Economic News, Vietnam Today, Vietnam Pictorial, and Le Courrier du Vietnam... Street vendors and big hotels also sell foreign newspapers and magazines, including the Bangkok Post, New Nation, Business News, News-week, Vietnam cooking and'Times, Indochina, Asian Weekly, etc.

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Shopping

Vietnamese arts and crafts products have been displayed at many international fairs. Articles made of lacquer, rattan, bamboo, and palm are quite popular. Vietnamese are also experts in making items out of wood, animal hide and horns, tortoise and oyster shells. Other items such as embroidered articles, objects inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ceramic objects, gold and silver jewellery and paintings are also very popular. These can be purchased in shops or directly from the manufacturers.

Time And Business Hours

Vietnamese Time: GMT plus 7 hours 

Business Hours

All government offices are open from 7.30am to 4.30pm (with a one-hour lunch break) from Monday to Friday. Banks are open from 7.30am to 5.30pm. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Shops typically open and close late.

Public Holidays

Saturdays and Sundays are holidays. There are nine public holidays in a year:
January 1: New Year's Day, one-day holiday.
10th day of the third lunar month: anniversary of the Hung Kings, one-day holiday.
April 30: Sai Gon Liberation Day, one-day holiday
May 1: International Labour Day, one-day holiday.
September 2: National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, one-day holiday.
Vietnam Traditional Lunar New Year Festival (Tet Nguyen Dan), 4-day holiday. This holiday usually falls between the end of January and middle of February by the solar calendar. The holiday begins on the eve of the lunar New Year and lasts through the first three days of the first lunar month.

Other major anniversaries

Solar Calendar
February 3: Anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party
May 19: Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh 

Traditional events (lunar calendar)
Tet Khai Ha on the 7th day of the 1st lunar month heralds the coming of spring. This is a sign of bumper harvest and prosperity.
Tet Thuong Nguyen (or Tet Nguyen Tieu) on the 15th day of the 1 st lunar month. Devout Buddhists celebrate at Buddhist Shrines. This is also called the anniversary of Buddha's death.
 Tet Han Thuc (cold goods) takes place on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month. People make offerings of banh troi and banh chay (rice flour doughnuts stuffed with bean paste or lumps of brown sugar).
 Tet Thanh Minh (serene sky) falls on the 5th day of the 3rd lunar month. This is an occasion for people to visit and tidy the burial mounds of relatives.
 New Year of Khmer people in the Mekong Delta on the 2nd day of the 4th lunar month.
Buddha's Birthday on the 8 day of the 4th lunar month.
Tet Doan Ngo, also called "Exterminating pest Day", is on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. It is tradition to get up early, bath, eat fruit and drink sticky-rice wine.
Tet Trung Nguyen (or Xa toi vong nhan) on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.
Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn festival) on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.
 Kate Tet is celebrated by the Cham people of the Brahmanist group on the 29th day of the 8th lunar month.
Tet Ha Nguyen (New-Rice Tet) falls on the 1st day of the 10111 lunar month.
Lantern Festival is celebrated by the Khmer population in the south-west of Vietnam in honour of the moon, on the 15th day of the 11th Unar month.
Tet Tao Quan (Household Gods) is on the 23rd day of the 12th month. It ends a year of working and heralds the coming of Tet Nguyen Dan.

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