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Vietnam - Tips for Visitors

 The most temperate months of the year in the south are November through to January. Tet (Lunar New Year, which is also celebrated as Chinese New Year in many parts of the world) is always a peak travel time. While the exact date changes each year, Tet is normally celebrated in February.

Local guides are available through Vietnam Tourism, a state-operated tour operator.
Virtually all hotels can arrange for these guides, who charge about US$25 a day, not including transportation or meals. Most guides are trained at the government tour guide school and are worth the fees.

Getting There

International flights are available to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from numerous cities, including Bankok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou, Moscow, Paris, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and others. Several airlines operate to and from these cities, such as Thai International Airways, Singapore Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Aeroflot, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines, and Garuda.

Vietnam Airlines serves the following international flights:
Bangkok, Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul, Sydney, Berlin, Jakarta, Manila, Taipei, Guangzhou, Vientiane, Amsterdam, Moscow, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Dubai, Osaka, Kaohsiung, and Phnom Penh.
Cruise ships stop in Viet Nam at Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, but arriving by sea on a freighter or private vessel is not recommended without prior authorization from the Immigration Office in Hanoi.
Land vehicles are permitted to enter Vietnam from certain border points with China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Cambodia with the proper authorization.

Passports and Visas

A valid passport and visa are required of all foreigners visiting Vietnam. Vietnamese embassies and consulates issue visas, and some travel agencies, particularly in Bangkok, and overseas offices of Vietnam Tourism are able to issue tourist visas. Tourist visas are good for 30 days and may be extended after your arrival in Vietnam. Fees vary from embassy to embassy, and are about US$50 in Bangkok.
A double entry visa is also available for tourists making side trips from Vietnam to destinations in Thailand, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. You are required to state your intended ports of arrival and departure, changing either of these upon or after your arrival will result in much red tape.
Business visas are good for six months and allow for multiple entries. Sponsorship by a licensed Vietnamese enterprise is required.

Travel within Vietnam

While there is an extensive network of train and bus services within Vienam, it is easier and more comfortable to fly. Vietnam Airlines and Pacific Air serve most major cities between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, including Nha Trang, Dalat, and Hue. It is cheaper to buy domestic air tickets once you arrive in Vietnam.

From Hanoi:
Daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang. There are periodic flights to Na San and Vinh.

From Ho Chi Minh City:
Daily flights to Hanoi and Danang. There are also periodic flights to Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, and Phu Quoc.
Additionally, Northern Airport Flight Service Company has flights to Halong Bay by helicopter. There are two flights per week, Saturday at 8:00 and 15:30, departing from Gia Lam Airport. Tickets can be purchased at the Metropole Hotel.
For those travelling by rail, tickets can be purchased at stations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hue, and Danang.
There are inter-province and inner-province bus stations in each province with convenient passenger services. Taxi services are available in many big cities and provinces. In addition to
public transport services, using motorbikes, cyclos, bicycles, and other vehicles is common in Vietnam.

Health

Vaccinations are not required to enter Vietnam, unless you are coming from an infected area. However, it is wise to ask your own physician about prudent health precautions before you travel as vaccinations for cholera, typhoid fever, and tetanus may be in order. If you plan to travel outside major cities you may also want to consider taking an anti-malaria drug.

Money

Vietnam’s official currency is the dong. Vietnam’s unofficial currency is the US dollar and in major shopping areas, hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you can use dollars and dong interchangeably and in practically any combination.
You can exchange foreign currency and travelers’ cheques at banks throughout Vietnam, although some banks charge a commission of as much as four percent. Most merchants and hotels will not accept travelers’ cheques.

Embassies and Consulates

There are 16 foreign embassies in Vietnam and dozens of consulates, with the latter in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Algeria
13 Phan Chu Trinh St
Hoan Kiem District Hanoi
Tel: 825-3865
Fax: 826-0830
Belgium
48-50 Nguyen Thai Hoc St
Hanoi
Tel 845-2263, 823-5005
Fax: 845-7165
Czech Republic
13 Chu Van An St
Hanoi
Tel: 845-4131-2
Fax: 823-3996
Australia
Van Phuc Compound
Badinh District
Hanoi
Tel: 831-7755
Fax: 831-7711, 831-7733
www.ambadane@hn.vnn.vn
Brunei Darussalam
4 Thien Quang Street
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Tel: 826-4816, 826-4818
Fax: 822-2092
Denmark
19, Dien Bien Phu Street
Hanoi
Tel: 823-1888
Fax: 823-1999
Cambodia
71 Tran Hung Dao Street
Hoan Kiem District Hanoi
Tel: 825-3788, 825-6473
Fax: 826-5225
Canada
31 Hung Vuong Street
Hanoi
Tel: 823-5500
Fax: 823-5333
Egypt
26 Phan Boi Chau Street
Hoankiem District Hanoi
Tel: 846-0220
Fax: 846-0218
France
57, rue Tran Hung Dao Hanoi
Tel: 825-2719
Fax: 826-4236
Germany
29 Tran Phu Street Hanoi
Tel: 840-245
Fax: 845-3838
Great Britain(UK, Ireland)
5th Floor, Central Building
31 Hai Ba Trung Street
Hoankiem District Hanoi
Tel: 825-2510, 825-2349,825-2350
Fax: 826-5762
Hungary
43-47 Dien Bien Phu Street
Badinh District Hanoi
Tel: 845-2858
Fax: 845-2748
India
58-60 Tran Hung Dao Street
Hoankiem District Hanoi
Tel: 824-4989
Fax: 824-4998
Indonesia
50 Ngo Quyen Street
Hoankiem District Hanoi
Tel: 825-3084
Fax: 825-9274
Lao People's Democratic
Republic
22 Tran Dinh Truong
Tel:
United States
7 Lang Ha Street Hanoi
Tel: 831-4580, 843-1500
Fax: 831-4601
 

Hotels

There are several business quality hotels in the country, but most are in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Hotel rates are charged in US dollars, although some smaller hotels outside of the main cities may accept payment in dong.
Some of the main business hotels include:
 

In Hanoi


Hilton Hanoi Opera
1 Le Thanh Tong Street
Hotel Nikko Hanoi
84 Tran Nhan Tong Street
Tel: (844) 822-3535
Fax: (844) 822-3555
Website:www.hotelnikko.com.vn
Melia Hanoi
44 Bly Thuong Kiet Street
Tel: (844) 934-3343
Fax: (844) 934-3344
Sedona Suites Hanoi
96 To Ngoc Van Street Quang
Ba Tay Ho District
Tel: (848) 718-0888
Fax: (848) 718-0666
E-mail sedonahanoi@fpt.vn
Sofitel Metropole Hanoi
15 Ngo Quyen Street
Tel: (844) 826-6919
Fax: (844) 826-6920
E-mail:
sofitel@sofitelhanoi.vnn.vn
Sunway Hanoi Hotel
19 Pham Dinh Ho Str,
Hai Ba Trung Dist,
Hanoi
Tel: (844) 971-3888
Fax: (844) 971-3555

In Ho Chi Minh City
 

The Caravelle Hotel
19 Lam Son Square, District 1
Tel: (848) 823-4999
Fax: (848) 824-3999
E-mail:
caravellehotel@hcm.vnn.vn 
Website:
http://www.caravellehotel.com
Hotel Sofitel Plaza
17 Le Duan Blvd., District 1
http://www.accor-hotelvietnam.
com/sofitel-plazasaigon
Majestic Hotel
01 Dong Khoi St., District 1,
Tel: (848) 829-5514/829-
5517
Reservations: (848) 822-
8750
Fax: (848) 829-5510
E-mail:
hotelmajestic@sgtourist.com.vn
Website:www.majesticsaigon.com
Omni Hotel
251 Nguyen Van Troi Street,
Phu Nhuan District
Telephone: (848) 844-9222/ 9333
Fax: (848) 844-9198
E-mail:
omnires@marcopolohotels.com
Website:
www.marcopolohotels.co
m/saigon/index.html

 

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