Beneath all the chaos is hidden some natural and cultural treasures. Vietnam is a country in South East Asia and is neighbors on the west are Lao and Cambodia, and China to the North. In 2012 Vietnam has been visited by just less than seven million people. Vietnam would be a great place to start your South East Asian expedition. Above this all, with Webjet exclusives, you are bound to have the best time in Vietnam.
General Facts about Vietnam
Capital – Hanoi
Currency – Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Language – Vietnamese
Major International Airports – Tan Soh Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Da Nang International Airport.Search flights to Vietnam.
Where to Spend Your Time
Beaches – Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Mui Ne, Doc Let
On the Hills – Sa Pa, Da Lat
Nature – Halong Bay, Tam Coc (near Ninh Binh), Phong Nha Ka Bang
History/Culture – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Hue, Hoi An
Wildlife – Cat Tien National Park (Wild Gibbon Trek)
Urban Nightlife – Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Da Nang
Getting A Vietnam Tourist Visa
Getting in and around
The best way to arrive in Vietnam is through Tan Son Nhat International Airport which has many international connections. It’s the biggest airport in Vietnam. If your tour starts from Hanoi then arrive at Noi Bai Airport and if you want to start in Central Vietnam, choose the Da Nang International Airport.
Vietnam has around 24 airports which are domestically well-connected.
The national carrier is Vietnam Airlines.
Vietnam have land border crossing with Laos, Cambodia and China. The major crossing and which is most preferred by the tourists is Bavet / Moc Bai which connects HCMC to Phnom Penh. More information on land border crossings to Vietnam.
Train – The only major train line which connects the North to South is from Hanoi to HCMC. Major destinations can be reached easily by train from either sides. There are different classes and seating options available like – air con sleeper hard or soft berth, sleeper hard or soft berth and sitting seats.
Open Tour Buses – Open tour buses are very popular among tourists. What is open tour bus? For example, you buy a ticket from HCMC to Hanoi and there are other tourist attractions in between like Nha Trang, Da Lat, Hoi An, Hue, etc.. then you can get off at these destinations at your will and board the bus again after 2 or 3 days depending on your choice. They are cheap and the most popular open tour bus route is HCMC – Mui Ne – Da Lat – Nha Trang – Hoi An – Hue – Hanoi which could cost anywhere from 25 USD to 50 USD or more depending on the company.
Buses – The major tourist destinations are well-connected by inter city buses which are run privately. Most of them are comfortable and offer seating or sleeping seats. Locals buses connect local destinations and are available in plenty.
Taxis – The major reliable taxi operators are Mai Linh and Vinasun. Other local companies are available but you have to be cautious with faulty meters running in some taxis. The average cost is 15,000 VND a kilometer within the city and for long distance the cost is 10,000 VND a kilometer.
Motor Bikes – Motor bikes are available for rent in major tourist destinations. But they might not be safe to drive in cities because there are 33.4 million motorbikes running on the roads in Vietnam and for a foreigner it is a very difficult to drive on the traffic clogged streets. Motorbike taxis known as Xe Om are available where is sit on the back of a motorbike and the driver sits in the front. It is a very efficient way to travel within the city and very cheap.
Vietnam is a Wi-Fi friendly country. Most of the restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls and hotels offer free Wi-Fi and the internet speeds are average. SIM cards are sold everywhere on the streets for about 5 USD. Major telecommunications operators are Mobifone, Viettel and Vinaphone. There is 3G coverage almost everywhere. Alternately you can VOIP services like Eva Phone or Local Phone to make calls.
Food in Vietnam
A lot of posts have been written about food in Vietnam. Just make a search or go to the page discover the food of Vietnam.
Accommodation in Vietnam
Vietnam has every kind of accommodation ranging from few dollars to few hundred dollars. Discover the hotels in Vietnam.
Money in Vietnam
The currency of Vietnam is Vietnamese Dong. Approximately 1 USD = 20, 000 VND. Most of the upscale restaurants and hotels accept credit cards. ATM’s are found in plenty in major cities and few in smaller towns. Currency exchange facilities are available and will exchange USD, Euro and Pounds.
Bank notes come in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000,10000,20000,50000,100000,200000 and 500000 VND. Coins come in 500, 1000 and 5000 VND but they might not be accepted everywhere.
We advise you to buy a travel insurance when traveling in Vietnam. Violent attacks have been reported on tourists in places like Nha Trang and tourists are targets of robbery. Unexploded mines still exists in the Ho Chi Minh Trail and it is advisable not to travel on your own in these areas.
Finally, if you are scared of traveling alone in Vietnam, you can find Vietnam holiday deals online and travel in this beautiful country with an agency.