Before Departure

Passport and Visa A passport with more than 6 months of validity remaining is essential.
You will almost always be required to leave your passport with the hotel reception or immigration control. Most of visitors to Vietnam are required to obtain a Vietnam visa. Visa on arrival (VOA) is often recommended for tourists entering the country by airplane. Ensure that you have obtained a multiple entry visa if you wish to re-enter Vietnam. Information and guideline about Vietnam visas are available at our vietnam visa website. Customs and Formalities When you arrive in Vietnam you must complete a customs declaration form. You should complete the form and hand it to the customs officer as you leave the airport arrivals hall or pass through a customs post. Customs formalities are straightforward and the duty free allowances are printed on the customs declaration form. If you are bringing in prescription drugs ask your doctor for a note detailing the drugs you are taking.

​Music CD's and DVD's may be subject to inspection. Heath Requirements No actual vaccinations are officially required. Travelers are advised to check with their doctor or travel immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A & B and Malaria. It is recommended that all travelers take out comprehensive Personal Travel Insurance to cover personal belongings, in case of accident or illness, etc. Electricity The usual voltage is 220V, 50Hz. Two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more popular than three-pin one. If you have any devices needing a special outlet, please bring its adapter kit. The best investment is a universal AC adapter, which will enable you to plug it in anywhere without frying the innards. Currency, Exchange and ATM The local currency is the Dong (abbreviated "d" or VND). Bank notes are 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2,000d, 5,000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d & 500,000d. Coins are 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2000d and 5000d. Exchange rate can be checked at : Money and traveler’s checks, particularly U.S. Dollars, can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money- exchangers. Most retailers do not accept traveler’s checks. Visa, MasterCard and JCB cards are widely accepted. Some merchants also accept Amex. 3%-bank fee charge on every transaction (4% for AMEX) is pretty common, due to bank’s policy. ATMs are very popular in most of tourist destinations. Withdrawals are issued in Dong. Climate & Weather Vietnam stretches over 1,800 km from north to south, with an area of 332,000 square km, Vietnam's topography varies from coastal plains to mountain ranges, therefore weather patterns in the principle cities are very different. North: Winter lasts from November to April, with temperatures averaging 10 - 16C, fog and drizzle in January - March. Summer begins in May and lasts until October, with an average temperature of 30C, heavy rainfall and the occasional violent typhoon. Center: Central Vietnam experiences a transitional climate, with heavy rainfalls between November and December, dry hot summer months hot between April and June . Typhoons are quite common in coastal areas between September and November. South: Temperatures are fairly constant through the year; 25C - 30C. Seasons are determined by the rains - the dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October. The hottest period is March and April. Highland areas: In the hill resorts of Dalat (1,500 m), Buon Me Thuot and Sapa, nights are cool throughout the year, and in the winter months, October to March, it can be distinctly chilly with temperatures falling to 0C. Even in the hottest months of March and April the temperature rarely exceeds 26C. What to bring Be a smart traveler. Before heading overseas, make a list of things to bring. You are recommended to “travel light” as much as possible. Ostentatious displays of money, jewellery, luggage and dress can encourage the wrong type of attention. When travelling be aware of where your luggage, particularly hand bags, are at all times. Do not leave them unattended or hanging on the back of chairs in restaurants. Petty theft is also common on crowded trains, buses and at supermarkets.