Why Travel to Vietnam?

There are a few people who still think that Vietnam is not safe for travelling. In fact of reverse thinking, Vietnam is a developing country with significant growth in economy, positive changes in society and education. Especially on tourism field, Vietnam is recently named “Asia’s Leading Destination” with 15.5 million international arrivals in 2018. So first time to Vietnam – where to start?

Mai Chau - an alternative to Sapa

Mai Chau – an alternative to Sapa

Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a friendly destination with a high level of safety, modern amenities, excellent hospitality services and light-hearted people. Therefore, a trip to Vietnam not only doesn’t cost too much money but also will be worth every penny because of guaranteed good experiences. Moreover, the beautiful S-shaped country is famous for long-lasting cultural values as well as the traditional construction and defense of the nation. Besides, Vietnam has a lot of marvelous mountains, breath-taking long-coast beaches, tasty cuisine and other stunning unique sceneries to discover.

Best Time to Travel to Vietnam

Characterized by a subtropical climate in the North and a monsoon climate in the South, Vietnam’s weather is different from North to South. The best time to visit Vietnam is from November to April.

  • Northern Vietnam: There are four seasons in this region (spring from March to April, summer from May to August, autumn from September to November, winter from December to February). Due to the difference in altitude, the temperature in mountainous areas is lower than in the delta region.
  • Central Vietnam: This region has warm to cool weather year-round. From February – August is the dry season in Central Vietnam, which is suitable for your swimming, snorkeling and diving activities.
  • Southern Vietnam: Similar to the central region, the south of Vietnam is warm year-round.
Vietnam weather - Vietnam Travel Guide

Weather in Vietnam

How Much Does It Cost to Travel to Vietnam?

  • Backpacker’s Budget: About $50 or less per day
  • Mid-range Experience: From $60 to $100 per day
  • Five-star Experience: About $200 or more

In general, the amount you need for a trip to Vietnam is almost equal to the quantity for a trip to Thailand.

What to Prepare to Travel to Vietnam?

Packing tips

What you can prepare at home

  • Clothing: Vietnam is hot and humid year-round. As a result, you had better pack light clothing. Cotton T-shirts and pants should be included in your luggage. You would rather stay away from heavy fabrics because they will make you sweat. However, if you travel to the Northern area during winters, coats, sweaters, and hoodies are needed.
  • Medicine: Bring prescript medicines and common medicines such as flu tablets, allergy medicine and diarrhea drugs.
  • Bug spray: There are many mosquitoes in Vietnam’s rural areas and wetland forest, hence this is a must-pack item on your list.
  • Sun-protection items: Prepare sunglasses, hats, sunscreen and aloe vera in case you have sunburn. Sunscreens and sunblocks are widely available at Vietnam’s convenient stores, but in case you have a sensitive skin, bring your own. As it is said, whether it’s a jaunt or a junket, just remember sunblock!

What you can buy in Vietnam

Above all, don’t go crazy on packing! Because there are many supermarkets and convenient stores (Circle K, Shop & Go, Family Mart, etc.) around Vietnam, especially in tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City. You can easily find some essentials for your trip while in Vietnam:

  • Towels, shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel: These things take you a lot of space in your luggage, and you can buy them in travel-size at a convenient store.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush, nail cutters and nail fines
  • Disposable nappies: Of course if you have toddlers.
  • Dry and wet tissues
  • Umbrellas and raincoats
  • Mineral water, milk, soft drink and light snacks: Summers in Vietnam are hot, so keep yourself hydrated every time. Buy some extra snacks if you travel with kids.
  • Sun hats: You can buy a beautiful bamboo sun hat on our beaches.
  • Travel-size hand sanitizers

Packing-checklist-to-Vietnam-1

Passport & Visa

Traveler’s passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Vietnam. Passport holders from the USA, Europe, Australia, and Canada can travel to Vietnam without a visa for 15 days. If you wish to enter Vietnam at least two consecutive times without visa, the next entry must be at least 30 days after the previous exit. Otherwise, you still need a visa to enter Vietnam.

If your trip is 30 days or less and if you are traveling by air to Vietnam, you could apply for a Visa on Arrival. Firstly, you need to submit an application form online to apply for a Letter of Approval. Vietnam Immigration Department will email you the Letter of Approval. Secondly, take your approval letter and passport on your trip and have it stamped at the immigration office at one of Vietnam’s international airport. Most noteworthy, remember to bring enough cash to pay for Visa fee at the airport in USD and no other form of payment is accepted.

Besides, you can apply online Vietnam visa on arrival with us! Depending on the method you choose, you can get a visa within 3 to 5 working days. The e-visa is valid for 30 days after arrival. The single-entry visa cost $25 and a multiple-entry one costs $50.

For more information, read our visa to Vietnam page.

Vietnam Currency

Vietnam-Money-currency-1

The official currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong (VND) which comes in different denominations: 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; 20,000; 50,000; 100,000; 200,000 and 500,000.

Also you can exchange money at our airport or at some national banks (Vietcombank, Techcombank, TP Bank, etc.) or international banks (Shinhan Bank, Public Bank, ANZ, HSBC, etc.). Unofficial exchange places such as jewelry stores are not recommended. ATMs are easy to be found in major cities, but if you travel to rural areas, bring enough cash.

Travel Insurance

When you make your decision to travel to Vietnam, or any other country; you might concern two main issues: how to get there and where to stay. However, you probably need to answer one even more important question: Should I buy travel insurance? Let us troubleshoot this problem!

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.

Is Travel Insurance Necessary or Compulsory?

Yes, it is. Travelers are required to have international travel insurance while traveling to Vietnam.

By having an international coverage, you do not need to worry about emergencies that can happen anytime, anywhere, before or during your travels such as having to rush home to a family member or having a tour changed or canceled because of a natural disaster.

When to Buy Travel Insurance?

According to insurance policy, you have to buy travel insurance within 15 days of your trip booking so that you can have your full coverage.

You also need to inform the insurance provider within 3 days (72 hours) about your cancellation, or else you will probably miss your chance to cancel and file a reimbursement travel expenses claim.

In case of the fact that you’ve already booked a tour, there is no worry – you can still buy travel insurance up to one day before your depart.

Where to Visit and How Long for?

As noted above, there are 2 ways for foreigners to apply for a visa to Vietnam. In this part, you will find out one more different point between both of them so that you can make the most suitable decision for your trip:

  • With the new 30-day visa, you can arrive in 8 international airports in Vietnam:

 

From Northern to Southern VietnamCity
Noi Bai International AirportHanoi
Cat Bi International AirportHai Phong
Phu Bai International AirportHue
Da Nang International AirportDa Nang
Can Tho International AirportCan Tho
Cam Ranh International AirportNha Trang
Tan Son Nhat International AirportHo Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Phu Quoc International AirportPhu Quoc

 

  • With only an approval letter, you will be provided a visa which allows you to arrive at only 3 international airports:

 

From Northern to Southern VietnamCity
Noi Bai International AirportHanoi
Da Nang International AirportDa Nang
Tan Son Nhat International AirportHo Chi Minh City (Saigon)

 

For those who travel to Vietnam for the first time, 10 days is fine enough to discover across Vietnam with main destinations from North to South; with the flow from old times to modern days through a lot of wonderful activities and experiences.

Here are our suggested itinerary for your first time in Vietnam:

  • Start from Hanoi: After arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, have a day tour to explore the capital of Vietnam with beautiful scenery, join traditional games and activities, and explore cultural cuisine, etc.
  • Try rowing a boat and admire majestic mountains, emerald water, rare birds, reefs, etc. in Ninh Binh.
  • Take an excursion to Halong Bay, enjoy breath-taking scenery, amazing caves and beaches of the World Heritage Site on a cruise. Experience kayaking, scuba-diving, ziplining, mud-bathing, etc.
  • Slow down and get immersed into the romantic and poetic atmosphere in Da Nang – Hoi An with beaches, islands, ancient town, tasty cuisine, etc.
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh City – the centre of economy and commerce of Vietnam with modern skyscrapers, local markets, famous museums, colonial buildings and amazingly delicious cuisine, etc.
  • Relax and participate in interesting activities at the most beautiful beach of Vietnam – Phu Quoc. The Emerald Island offers not only majestic and breath-taking scenery but also adventurous experience including snorkeling, scuba-diving, going fishing, paddling, etc. Finally, depart from this pearl land at Phu Quoc International Airport.
Dazzling lanterns in Hoi An

Dazzling lanterns in Hoi An

If you have more than 10 days, you should not miss a chance to explore the neighborhood area with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar!

Read more:

Where to Stay?

There are a lot of accommodations such as hotels, homestays, guest houses, resorts, etc. in every city to choose from, with various styles, structures and view out of scenery. Furthermore, each level of accommodations also offers good options for travelers.

Suggested accommodations at some highlight destinations:

 

DestinationSuggested Accommodation
HanoiHotels at the Old Quarter area
Halong BayCruise / Junk
Sapa / Da LatHomestays / airbnb
Da Nang / Nha Trang / Phu QuocHotels / resorts close to the beach
Hoi AnCozy hotels / hostels / homestays / airbnb
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)Hotels close to the markets / rivers
JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay - Phu Quoc Travel Guide

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

Read more: Best 10 Hotel Brands in Vietnam

First Time to Vietnam with Paradise Travel

Paradise Travel appreciates every chance to help you customize your trip to Vietnam. Our knowledgeable travel consultants not only are always supportive, ready to listen to you at any time but also answer all questions and provide you suitable services that meet your expectations the most!

Check out our best-selling tour packages:

Diving in Nha Trang

Diving in Nha Trang

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Start planning your tailor-made Vietnam tour by contacting one of our specialists…

Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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