800 342 1957  or  enquire now

Home

About Us

Travel tips

Facts

Population

91,500,000

Capital City

Hanoi

Another fact

Answer

Plug types

Voltage: 127V/ 220V, Frequency: 50Hz

Religion

Buddhist

Currency

Dong (VND) exchange rates

Timezone

UTC +7 hours

Find a tour

  • What to expect

    Vietnam is home to unforgettable landscapes, from idyllic beaches to beautiful mountain scenery. The cuisine is fresh, fragrant and flavorsome, and the people are friendly and welcoming. Delve into fascinating cultural and historical sites, explore bustling markets, cruise stunning waterways, or trek to colorful hilltribe villages.

    Accommodation ranges from beautiful colonial-era hotels to comfortable, well-priced options, and eating options run the gamut from fresh and budget-priced street food stalls to decadent high-end restaurants. Learn to cook local dishes at a cooking school, have a new wardrobe whipped up at one of Hoi An's famed tailor shops, or explore the compelling Cu Chi Tunnels.

    Get to know fascinating Vietnam by train, or use domestic flights to reach your destinations. Whichever way you traverse Vietnam, you will encounter hospitable people, unforgettable scenery and historical sites sure to make an impact.

    Find a tour

Flight times

From Los Angeles

approximately 16 hours

From New York

approximately 19 hours

Find a tour

Events

Banks, public offices and some tourist sites will be closed on the vacations listed here. As major vacations are set according to the lunar calendar, dates change every year. Please check with our USA-based Asia specialists for details.

Find a tour

  • 1 January is International New Year's Day

    . Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • January/February (last day of last Lunar month) is Lunar New Year’s Eve

    , the beginning of Tet or the Vietnamese New Year period. The Reunification Palace will be closed in Saigon.

  • January/February (first day of the first Lunar month) is Tet, or Lunar New Year

    , Vietnam's major annual vacation. Banks & public offices will be closed, as will most businesses. Cao Dai temples will be closed six days before the Lunar New Year, and floating markets in the Mekong Delta will not operate.

  • March/April (10th day of the 3rd lunar month) is the anniversary of Hung Kings

    , Vietnam's ancient rulers. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 30 April is Independence Day

    , commemorating the fall of Saigon and reunification of the country in 1976. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 1 May is Labor Day

    , marking the contribution made by workers. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 2 September is National Day

    , marking the day Vietnam declared its independence forming the Democratic Republic of Northern Vietnam. Banks and public offices will be closed, as will some businesses.

  • 31 December is International New Year's Eve

    . While not a public vacation, it is celebrated in Vietnam with festive meals, parties and fireworks as it is in most parts of the world.

  • Health & Fitness

    Travelers to Vietnam should take care with their health and personal safety as they would anywhere else in Asia. Vietnam's major cities now feature international level medical facilities, while in smaller centers medical care can be more basic. Diseases that can be found in Vietnam include Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A and B, polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, rabies, typhoid and HIV/AIDS.

    To lower your risk of exposure to these and other health risks, we recommend you take sufficient preventative measures. We strongly advise that you consult your doctor for current health advice at least a month before departure.

    Find a tour

  • Visa Information

    Citizens of the US, UK, EU Countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada must hold a visa to enter Vietnam. All other nationalities need to consult with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in their country of residence. A visa must be organized before departing your country of residence (unless you have gone through the official channels to obtain a visa on arrival service). It can be arranged up to 6 months before your planned arrival date in Vietnam. For US residents we have partnered with CIBT visa service who can assist in obtaining a visa, click here for more information.

    You must possess a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date from Vietnam. You can obtain a tourist or business visa from your nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate.

    All Vietnam visas are SINGLE ENTRY unless you have specifically asked for MULTIPLE ENTRY and this is stamped into your passport. Please ensure you have a multiple entry visa if you are entering Vietnam twice. The status of a tourist visa cannot be changed from SINGLE ENTRY to MULTIPLE ENTRY once you have arrived in Vietnam.

    Please be aware that Vietnamese visa regulations and arrangements are subject to change and it is your responsibility to make sure your visa is in order before departure. We strongly advise that you check with the relevant embassies in your country of residence that these guidelines are applicable to you.

    Find a tour

  • Safety and security

    Vietnam is a comparatively safe country by world standards, but the usual common sense health and safety precautions apply. Petty street crime levels have risen in recent years as visitor numbers have increased. We recommend you use taxis to get around at night, with the aid of a hotel address card to show drivers. Taxis are metered, inexpensive and numerous in Vietnam.

    During your time in Vietnam, always keep a photocopy of your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers. These copies should be kept in a safe place apart from the originals. You should keep valuables in hotel safety deposit boxes wherever possible.

    In major cities, such as Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Hanoi, we recommend you wear minimal jewelery and keep money concealed close to your body when in public places. Read our safety guidelines for further information.

    Find a tour

Reading

 

Find a tour

  • Ho Chi Minh by William J. Duiker

    provides insights into Ho Chi Minh, the man recognized as the modern father of Vietnam. It also touches on the roles of the Soviets and Chinese in the Vietnam War.

  • A Bright Shining Lie by John Paul Vann & America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan

    is a historical biography of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann, who witnessed arrogance and self-deception amongst the US military in the 1960s, and tried to convince his superiors the war should be fought another way.

  • Shadows and Wind by Robert Templer

    looks at the problems facing modern Vietnam after a century of conflict. It examines its contradictions, secrecy and corruption, and its rampant capitalism despite its Communist government.

  • Once Upon A Distant War by William Prochnau

    tells the stories of some of the Vietnam War's prominent correspondents, such as Neil Sheehan and Peter Arnett.

  • In Retrospect - The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam by Robert McNamara

    is a controversial book telling the inside story of America's descent into Vietnam.

  • World Food Vietnam by Lonely Planet

    is a definitive guide to Vietnam's fresh and fragrant cuisine, complete with tantalizing photographs.

Useful words & phrases

  • Hello

    Xin chao

    (sin chow)

  • Goodbye

    Tam biet

  • What's your name

    Ban ten gi

    (ban thane zee)

  • My name is...

    Toi la

    (thoy la...)

  • Thank you

    Xin cam on

    (xin gahm un)

  • You're welcome

    Khong go gi

    (khom go zee)

  • Hello

    Xin chao

    (sin chow)

  • Goodbye

    Tam biet

  • What's your name

    Ban ten gi

    (ban thane zee)

  • My name is...

    Toi la

    (thoy la...)

  • Thank you

    Xin cam on

    (xin gahm un)

  • You're welcome

    Khong go gi

    (khom go zee)

  • Hello

    Xin chao

    (sin chow)

  • Goodbye

    Tam biet

  • What's your name

    Ban ten gi

    (ban thane zee)

  • My name is...

    Toi la

    (thoy la...)

  • Thank you

    Xin cam on

    (xin gahm un)

  • You're welcome

    Khong go gi

    (khom go zee)

  • Getting around

    Arrival and departure transfers

    When traveling by road in Vietnam, 25-40 seat air-conditioned Hyundai are used for groups of six or more travelers. Modern sedan cars and minibuses are used for smaller groups. A mix of boats, bicycles, cyclos and your own two feet are used to explore Vietnam's towns, while domestic flights are sometimes used, with modern Airbus 320 or Fokker 70 aircrafts. Flight schedules often change in Vietnam, which may alter travel plans.

    You can use metered taxis to get around Vietnam's larger centers, however it is important to use reputable taxi companies to minimize the risk of scams. if being met by a transfer driver, check that they are wearing a Travel Indochina t-shirt and carrying a Travel Indochina signboard featuring your name to avoid scams, especially at Hanoi's airport.

    Find a tour

  • Internet

    Internet access is prevalent throughout Vietnam, and is very affordable. Free Wi-Fi can now sometimes be found in hotels, bars, restaurants and café in the cities. International phone calls can be quite costly, with rates from 4-6 USD per minute. It is not possible to make reverse charge calls.

    You can use your cell phone in Vietnam, although you will need to contact your service provider prior to traveling to enable global roaming. You can also opt to purchase a local SIM card when you arrive. It usually takes 7-10 days for international post to reach its destination, with rates similar to those in Western countries.

    Find a tour

  • Food & drink

    Vietnam's famous cuisine is a feast for the senses, with deliciously fragrant herbs and fresh local produce used in abundance. The fresh seafood is a highlight, and the variety of dishes found in Vietnam's different regions is a revelation.

    Rice and noodles are staples, and a French influence can be found, particularly with the freshly baked baguettes found in every local market, often used to make a delicious local sandwich called banh mi. Be sure to sample the fresh, tasty spring rolls with their varied fillings, experience the fragrant, nourishing soup dish, pho, and try regional dishes such as the Hanoi fish dish, cha ca.

    It is important to be aware that uncooked ingredients pose more of a risk of stomach upsets than cooked dishes. Tap water should be avoided, though bottled water is available everywhere and often provided free in hotel rooms.

    Find a tour

  • Tipping

    Unlike the US, tipping is not obligatory in Asia. It is an accepted practice, however, as an optional way to show appreciation. At the start of each trip, your Western tour leader or local guide will request a small amount (approximately 50 cents per day) to be used as tips for service providers such as boat crew members and hotel porters used along the way. This helps prevent excessive tipping and the need to always have small change.

    We do not expect compulsory tipping for Travel Indochina representatives, as we are confident you will be extremely satisfied with the service levels provided by our guides, tour leaders and drivers. It is up to you whether you decide to tip these staff.

    Find a tour

  • Swimming

    Swimming in various locations throughout Vietnam is most often considered safe. Occasionally, jellyfish can be found in the waters around Vietnam, most likely from June to August in the north, and in August and September in the south. It is still possible to swim in these months, but is best remain alert and cautious.

    Find a tour

  • Responsible travel

    As Insider Journeys has a long presence in Vietnam, it is inevitable we have decided to fund several projects in the country. Our itineraries also offer the opportunity for travelers to get involved in supporting several sustainable projects. In Mai Chau and the Mekong Delta, experience a rewarding homestay for an insight into the rural way of life, and to distribute tourist dollars to off the beaten track communities.

    In Central Vietnam, we work with non-profit organizations such as STREETS vocational training restaurant and The SPIRAL Foundation. Embark on an informative market tour with student trainees from STREETS, where those involved can improve their hospitality and English language skills.

    Tour SPIRAL's disabled artisans' workshop, visit the Wildlife Animal Rescue (WAR) Center, try delicious cuisine in Hanoi's KOTO training restaurant, or enjoy a stay at the idyllic Topas Eco lodge in mountainous Sapa. Learn more about our focus on responsible travel.

    Find a tour