Vietnam Travel Resources
Best time to travel
Unlike the rest of Southeast Asia, there is no one distinct “best” time of year to visit Vietnam. The low season (April-June & September-November) is considered the best time of year to tour the whole country, though travelers should bear in mind that typhoons can hit the central and northern coastlines. Prices tend to rice during the shoulder season (December-March), but travelers will find cooler temperatures in the south and it will be downright cold in the mountainous north. July and August also see a dramatic price increase, especially in coastal areas. The temperatures at this time of year will be hot and the humidity will be at its peak, one should also prepare for the intermittent downpours that come with the summer monsoon.
Exchange rate and currency
The currency in Vietnam is Dong.
1 Dong = .000045 USD, .000037GBP,
.000059 AUSD, .000041Euro
Budget travelers: Up to $40/day
Mid-range travelers: Up to $80/day
Top-end travelers: $100+/day
The visa requirements for Vietnam change frequently and drastically depending on your country of origin. Check with the Vietnamese Consulate in your country for details about obtaining a visa before traveling to Vietnam.
Traveling around Vietnam
There are several options for traveling within Vietnam to fit all kinds of schedules and budgets. Here is some general information about the different modes of transportation that can be found in Vietnam.
Flights are usually relatively cheap if you book in advance. Most domestic/budget airlines provide flights between major cities and tourist destinations. Make sure to keep checking the schedule though, as cancellations have been known to happen.
Bus run frequently between major cities and tourist destinations on main highways. However, if you plan to travel out into the countryside, some of the private bus companies use older, out of date vehicles and you would probably be better off traveling with an open tour bus.
Car travel (private taxi) is a fast, efficient, and reliable way to travel overland in Vietnam. Though it is usually a more expensive option, you will have the added luxury of choosing what days and times you would like to leave for each leg of your journey.
Train travel is quite reasonable in Vietnam and there are a number of different routes available. Carriages are air-conditioned and there are sleeper cars available for longer journeys. The routes are scenic, but bear in mind (if you have limited time) that the trains are slow.
Dangers and Annoyances
Vietnam is, overall, a very safe country to travel in. Law enforcement does its job in terms of keeping order within the country.
If you are traveling by bicycle or moto, be careful. Vietnam is notorious for low driving standards, hectic traffic, and lots of accidents.
If you plan to spend time snorkeling or scuba diving, familiarize yourself with the marine life in the areas that you plan to do so in. Creatures like jellyfish, stonefish, scorpion fish, sea snakes, and stingrays can pose a threat to humans.
When trekking or traveling “off the beaten track”, be aware of the presence of UXOs. Though well-traveled paths and roads as well as urban areas are safe, UXOs still pose a threat in Vietnam.
Drugs are a big problem in Vietnam and, though they are readily available in certain areas of the country, local authorities will come down hard on foreigners found in possession of narcotics. The result can be a hefty fine, a long prison sentence, or both.
The law in Vietnam is fickle and often appears to be open to interpretation by local authorities; resulting in most legal disputes being settled outside of the courtroom.
Anyone traveling from Africa or South America within six days of entering Thailand will be asked to provide proof of a yellow-fever vaccination. The World Health Organization also recommends the following vaccines.
Measles, mumps, and Rubella
For long-term travelers
Japanese B Encephalitis
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