Vietnam General Information

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Vietnam General Information

Vietnam now open and welcome all travellers and business people to Vietnam. Thanks to that, getting visa to Vietnam now very easy and simple. There is a new way to get visa to Vietnam very simple and easy but rarely one know about it. That is getting "Visa approval letter" with code for picking up visa upon arrival Vietnam at international airport (Tan Son Nhat int'l airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Noibai int'l airport in Hanoi Capital city and Danang int'l airport in Danang city).

With simple and easy way for getting Vietnamese visa, why you don't take a trip to Vietnam for discovering the hidden charm of Vietnam, a beautiful country and friendly people.

1. At the Airport - Vietnam

The Taxi price from the airport to city very depend on the distance from Airport to center of city.

City - Airport to City (km) Taxi to City Airport Tax
Ha Noi - Noi Bai airport 35 US$ 25 US$ 14
Ho Chi Minh - Tan Son Nhat airport 05 US$ 20 US$ 14
Danang - Danang airport 02 US$ 10 US$ 7
Hue - Phu Bai airport 10 US$ 18 US$ 12
Nha Trang - Cam Ranh airport 30 US$ 14 US$ 12


2. Vietnam Language and Country

Vietnam is not a war country, but a peaceful and nice country. After the liberalization and re-unification "Doi Moi" from 1986, Vietnam has become an attractive spot for tourism and business. From North to South of Vietnam, you can feel and see many beautiful differences in topography, history, cultures, and people as well as sightseeing.

Looking at a map, Vietnam is located in the center of the Southeast Asia and is shaped like the letter S. it lies on the Indochina Peninsula - the country borders on China, Laos, Cambodia, the East Sea and Pacific Ocean to the east and south with a long coastline of 3,260 km, land area of 330,991 sq. kilometers and the country's total length is 1650 km from the northernmost point to the southernmost.

Some great philosophies and religions have shaped the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people. Vietnam natural resources offers unspoiled landscapes, virgin beaches, soaring hills and mountains, peaceful rivers and springs. On the other hand, its long history and distinctive culture serve as additional magnets for first-time and returning visitors alike.

Population of Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is more than 80 millions with urban population consisted of about 19.7. There are 54 ethic minority groups inhabiting in Vietnam. The "Kinh" people (or Viet) account for nearly 90% of the population. Major ethic minority groups include the Tay, Thai, Muong, H'mong, Dao and Khmer.

Vietnamese language is the main language but English, French, German and Russian can be communicated in major cities. Vietnamese language uses the Latin alphabet!

E.g.: Xin chào (hello, good morning)


3. Vietnam Climate & Weather

Vietnam has tropical climate, which is characterized by lots of sunshine, high rainfall, humidity with two distinguished seasons in general: the cold and dry one from November to April and the other hot and wet from May to October. The annual average temperature is from 22ºC to 27ºC. But weather usually different between North and South, between land and mountains.


4. Vietnam entry visas

Only citizens of certain countries can visit Vietnam without Vietnam entry visa. Those countries include : most citizens of ASEAN countries are no need Vietnam visa for visit Vietnam within 30 days, except Myanmar, Cambodia & Timor Leste; citizens of Korea, Japan & Scandinavians (citizens of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland) are no need Vietnam visa for visiting Vietnam within 15 days if having return tickets. All other citizens are required to get Vietnamese entry visa to Vietnam.

From 1 Jan 2009, Russian passport holders are not required visa to Vietnam for 15days if having return tickets.

Hereafter Vietnam Visa exemption information you should know:

  • No Vietnamese entry visa required for travelers less than 30 days: Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos. Please note that citizens of Myanmar, Cambodia & Timor Leste are required visa to Vietnam.
  • No Vietnam entry visa required for travelers less than 15 days: Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. From 1 Jan 2009, Russian passport holders are not required visa to Vietnam for 15days if having return tickets.
  • No visa required for travelers less than 90 days or several visits within 6 months: Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
  • No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 60 days: Citizens of Chile holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
  • No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 60 days: APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economie.
  • No Vietnam entry visa for traveling to Phu Quoc Island – Vietnam : Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be exempt from Vietnam visa application. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot. 
  • No visa required for Vietnamese overseas less than 90days staying if holding Vietnam visa exemption certificate.

That’s some information on Vietnam exemption we would inform you know.


5. Vietnam Time

Time zone: GMT/UTC +7 (the same zone with Thailand, Laos, Cambodia) Working days from Monday to Friday.

Office hours
Morning: 08h00 - 12h00
Afternoon: 13h30 - 17h30.

Opening hour for most restaurants and shops is at about 08:00 till 23:00 in 7 days/week


6. Vietnam Currency

The currency is Dong (VND). Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the bank, exchange bureau or hotel reception desk. Traveler cheques and most of credit cards are accepted in the most of hotels and in the major cities. But we recommend you to bring with you some cash.

Small bank notes and coins: 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 VN Dong.
Bank notes: 10.000, 20.000, 50.000, 100.000, 500.000 VN Dong.


7. Internet and Phone in Vietnam

Email & Internet in Vietnam: e-mail and Internet services are available in most hotels and posts as well as the internet cafes in Vietnam. And nowadays, the technology ADSL (high speed internet) is used in some hotels in major cities. But we recommend you should not use public internet for your bank account because of many virus and spywares!

Phone in Vietnam: in Vietnam, currently GMS only works partially, so your mobile phone could be used here by roaming service. Another easy way is to rent a mobile phone and buy a pre-paid card (1 card from. VND 50.000 = USD 3). (This service is available at your hotel or at a Mobile Phone Service Center in the street.)


8. Vietnam Electricity

Standard 220 Volts AC (at 50Hz cycles).


9. Weights & Measures in Vietnam

Using the international metric system. In addition, there are two weight measurements: the tael and the catty.


10. Vietnam Specialities

Vietnam has abundant food supply and elaborate food preparation techniques. As food preparation has become an art of the Vietnamese people, some Vietnamese dishes are world famous. People can find countless restaurants throughout the country.

In Vietnam, you will have an opportunity to enjoy some surprisingly good dishes, some of which can be found nowhere else in the world. On the table of a traditional banquet, you can find dozens of such specialty dishes pleasingly and elaborately presented. Some dishes are prepared from sea foods such as lobsters, fish, crabs and squids... which are relatively rare and expensive in some Western countries but abundant and cheap in Vietnam. Besides enjoying traditional foods such as beef noodle soups (Pho), pork sausages (Gio lua), spring rolls (Nem ran), fish balls (Cha ca), etc..., Vietnamese also adopt a number of dishes from countries that are well-known for their food preparation and cooking techniques.


11. Health & Hospital in Vietnam

No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio. Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten track. Medical facilities are rather limited in all countries and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

HaNoi-Vietnam capital city

International SOS: 24 hour alarm center & medical emergency teams.
31 Hai Ba Trung St., Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (04) 3934 0555 - Fax: (04) 3934 0556
French Hospital: 24 hour emergency clinic
1 Phuong Mai road, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (04) 3577 1100, emergency: 3574 1111
Vietnam Korea Friendship Hospital: 24 hour emergency
12 Chu Van An, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (04) 843 7231
Medex: 24 hour emergency (090401919)
A1 Van Phuc, Suite 109-112, Kim Ma St, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (04) 3843 0748 - Fax: (04) 3846 1750

Ho Chi Minh city - Vietnam

International SOS: 24 hour emergency
65 Nguyen Du St., Dist.1., Ho chi Minh city, Vietnam
Tel: (08) 3829 8424 / 3829 8520 - Fax: (08) 3829 8551.
Alain Carpentier Foundation- IMC-Heart Institute: 24 hour emergency
520 Nguyen Tri Phuong St, Dist.10, Ho chi Minh city, Vietnam
Tel: (08) 3865 4025
Colombia Asia Saigon: 24 hour emergency
08 Alexandere de Rhodes, Dist.1, Ho chi Minh city, Vietnam
Tel: (08) 3823 8888

12. Vietnam Custom Regulations

* Cigarettes: 400, cigars: 100, tobacco: 100 gr
* Liquor: 1.5 litres
* Perfume and jewellery for personal use
* Small gift items valued at not more than US$ 300
* Personal effects of a reasonable quantity

Materials Under Declaration
* Foreign currency: in excess of US$ 7,000
* Gold and jewellery not for personal use
* Video tapes,CDs,...
* CDs and tapes are often retained for screening, and will be returned after a few days.

Banned Materials
* Weapon, firearms, explosives and inflammable objects
* Opium and other narcotics
* Anti-government literature
* Pornographic literature

Articles of high values
Goods of commercial nature and articles of high value require export permits issued by the customs authorities. Therefore, to these group of articles, ask the retailer when you buy them for a receipt and declaration that the item may be exported. Antiques, some precious stones and animals listed in Vietnam's red-book may not be brought out of the country.


Since customs regulations are subject to change at any time, our brief summary above is used for reference only. We can not be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

For more detail about Vietnam custom regulations, please click here

Hope that these above info is useful for who plan a trip to Vietnam in first time!


Vietnam Immigration Support