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Vietnam Travel Information

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Vietnam at a Glance

vietnam-at-a-glance

Vietnam has become one the most worth-visiting Asia countries for international travelers thanks to several breathtaking landscapes, sun-drenched beaches, and ancient culture. Have a look at the overview of Vietnam and our suggestions for what to expect on Vietnam travel.

About Vietnam

vietnam at a glance about vietnam

Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam calls to visitors’ mind street vendors selling tasty food, beautiful paddy fields, streets crowded with motorbikes and colorful floating markets on the Mekong River. To many, the country was known for the conflict with two Western countries France and America which also called the Vietnam War in the 19th and 20th century. However, those days are long gone, and modern life with businesses of all size is now conducted in all corners where you can often see locals chatting with a glass of bia hoi along the streets at night or enjoying a bowl of Pho in the morning.

Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south are two main cities of Vietnam. Hanoi is known as the place where contains and remains Vietnamese traditional values with several ancient towns and pagodas, while Ho Chi Minh City is the economy central with hectic trading and many services including education and finance.

Vietnam Key Facts

Area 330,967 sq km (127,787 sq miles) (UN estimate, 2014)
Population 94,444,200 (UN estimate, 2016)
Capital Hanoi
Government Socialist Republic
Provinces 58 provinces and 5 municipalities
Currency Vietnam Dong (VND)
GDP US$ 224 billion (World Bank, 2017)
Language Vietnamese
Ethnic groups 54 groups, the majority is Kinh (Viet)
Major religions Folk religion (69.1%), Buddhism (11.7%), Christianity (8.5%), Caodaism (2.7%), Hoahaoism (1.4%), and Islam (0.1%)

Read more on Where is Vietnam and An Overview on Vietnam Tourism.

Weather in Vietnam

The weather in Vietnam is quite different across the country. Northern Vietnam can be quite cold (under 10 degrees Celcius) during some months of winter (November to January), and extremely hot in the summer. Raining and typhoon season is also what you should notice because they may prevent some services from operating and delay your journey.

Read more on When is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam.

Culture in Vietnam

As Vietnam is a country in the Eastern cultural sphere, you should expect to experience slight differences if you are from Western countries. The general rules are respecting the elder, wear appropriate clothes when visiting religious and cultural attractions, not showing too much affection in public places, and not making big arguments in public places because it may cause the other to lose face.

Read more on Vietnamese Culture and Religions in Vietnam.

Safety and Security in Vietnam

Traveling to Vietnam is fairly safe, but you should take reasonable precautions to protect yourself and your belongings alike. It is advisable for you to leave the original personal document including passports in a safe place and carry a photocopy of your passport when going out. It is the case that visitors’ personal belongings are often snatched when traveling to Vietnam, especially in crowded areas such as major cities and tourist attractions. You should also not flash your jewelry and valuable items in such places. Being alert to pickpockets and bag-snatchers as well as taking care of your belongings should always be given priority.

There is no history of terrorism as well as violent rebellion in Vietnam. Besides, personal attacks such as rape and other sexual assault rarely take place in Vietnam. However, you should take sensible precautions and avoid walking alone at midnight.

Read more on Is it Safe to Travel in Vietnam.

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Vietnamese Currency

vietnam at a glance vietnamese currency 1

The official currency in Vietnam is Vietnam Dong (VND), but US Dollars can be accepted in some tourist areas. It is advisable to change your money at official exchange money counters to avoid the risk of losing money. ATMs are available in almost all tourist areas and major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Read more on Vietnamese Currency and Vietnam Budget Travel.

Vietnam Entry Requirements

vietnam at a glance entry requirement

Apart from those coming from some countries and regions having visa exemption arrangements with Vietnam such as Singapore, Denmark, and Germany, most foreign travelers are supposed to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam. You can also use the visa on arrival or e-visa which will considerably save your time and effort compared to getting the visa at Vietnam Embassy in your own country. Have a look at How to Obtain a Vietnam Visa and Vietnam Visa on Arrival for further information.

What to Pack for Vietnam

Light and comfortable clothes for a tropical country like Vietnam are reasonable, but warm clothes should also be in your luggage if you are going to cold climate areas like Sapa during the winter. You should also prepare the sunscreen and repellent to avoid sunburnt and insect bite, and other medication of your own. And last but not least, camera, phones, the charger, and travel adaptors to keep the memory of experiences you have in Vietnam.

Read more on Things to Bring to Vietnam.

Road Travel in Vietnam

vietnam at a glance road travel

As the motorbike is the main transportation in Vietnam, many foreign visitors may find it challenging to get accustomed to the Vietnam transportation system. Traffic accidents appear to take place frequently in Vietnam. Therefore, if you are planning to drive a motorbike, you are supposed to understand the roads and be an experienced motorcycle rider. If you don’t have a motorcycle license, you can still have the experience by choosing professional motorbike city tours.

Read more on Can Tourists Ride in Vietnam and Vietnam’s Bikelihood.

Apart from motorbikes, taxis and buses are considered good choices for foreigners. It is advisable for you to check the published fares before booking a taxi in case the taxi drivers overcharge you.

Find your bus/train ticket online:

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Read more on Different Types of Transportation in Vietnam.

What to Do in Vietnam

Explore natural beauty

vietnam at a glance explore natural beauty

Being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is considered one of the most worth-visiting places in Vietnam with beautiful landscapes and several marvelous caves. Nha Trang and Phu Quoc are also good choices for those who love stunning beaches. If you prefer to go trekking in mountainous areas, Sapa is highly recommended.

Read more on 12 Beautiful Places in Vietnam.

Visit pagodas

vietnam at a glance visit pagodas

As Buddhism is the main religion in Vietnam, there is a wide variety of pagodas to visit in the country. Anyone is welcome in a pagoda in Vietnam. However, proper clothes are always required. Have a look at 8 Amazing Pagodas You Have to See in Vietnam.

Enjoy Vietnamese food

vietnam at a glance enjoy vietnamese food

One of the top worth-tasting Vietnamese cuisines that food lovers cannot miss when coming to Vietnam is Pho which is a kind of soup with rice noodles and beef or chicken. Besides, Vietnam is widely known as a street food paradise in which Vietnamese pizza, papaya salad, banh mi, and banh xeo are top famous food. If you are a coffee lover, you must want to explore Vietnamese coffee culture and try Vietnamese coffee which is known for its strong and flavorful taste.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle

Summary of Vietnam at a Glance

As a beautiful Asia country, Vietnam is worth-traveling with several natural landscapes and ancient cultures. Before you travel to Vietnam, make sure to have enough essential information and a list of what to do in this wonderful country.

Check out our insider’s Vietnam travel tips.

Find where to stay in Vietnam:

 
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Comments

Guest - Dewey Thomas on Saturday, 26 October 2019 14:21

so excited to travel this beautiful country next month

so excited to travel this beautiful country next month
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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

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This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

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Half-day City Tour

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Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

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First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

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Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

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