Vietnam is a popular travel destination and we share tips for planning a trip to Vietnam, so you can plan the perfect trip.
Vietnam offers diverse landscapes, a rich history, and a vibrant culture. Our travel guide can be treated as a key to unlocking the treasures of this captivating nation. From the beautiful streets of Hanoi to the serene waters of Ha Long Bay, from the historic depths of Hoi An to the energy of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam promises an unforgettable adventure for every traveler.
What do I need to visit Vietnam?
If you decide to go to Vietnam, you should consider all the requirements of entry in order to avoid unpleasant and stressful situations. Check all the necessary information before your trip and prepare all the documents.
Firstly, think about a valid passport that won’t expire within the next 6 months. Then, apply for a Vietnamese visa. The best option is an electronic visa that can be obtained online on the VisaFly.com website. The process of application is very easy; you just need to:
Complete the application form by providing the necessary information such as name, surname, date of birth, etc.
Cover the service fee via one of the available methods of payment.
Wait for the confirmation and receive your Vietnam eVisa in PDF form via email.
Now, you don’t need to visit the embassy or consulate to get your visa. It is a very convenient and intuitive method.
What is more, it is advisable to get travel insurance. It can be treated as an additional protection in case of emergencies or canceling the trip because of events beyond your control.
Also, you may need a yellow fever certificate in case you are traveling from a destination of risk. When it comes to the COVID-19 restrictions, they were lifted, so no vaccination proof or testing is necessary anymore.
Preparing for your trip to Vietnam
Remember about earlier preparation for a trip to Vietnam. Besides the required documents, think about a travel itinerary and what you would like to see. The best time to visit Vietnam is the Winter when the weather is milder and you can avoid the rain during the monsoon season.
Check everything twice, and don’t forget to pack necessary things, such as sunscreen or comfortable clothing. Plan ahead and be flexible in case of any changes to enjoy the trip fully. Also, be open to new experiences that Vietnam provides.
Budget your Vietnam trip
Another thing that you should take into account is how much money you need for a trip to Vietnam. Usually, you should prepare around $63 per day, as it is the average daily cost of being there. For meals, you will pay around $14 and $13 for local transportation. In many cases, the hotel price for a couple is around $56. What is more, a one-week vacation in Vietnam costs more or less đ10,546,839 per person.
Note that it is best to prepare cash in the local currency (the dongs); one USD dollar converts to around 24190 VND. You won’t have a problem exchanging money at the major airports or in big cities, but you could come across some difficulties in payment in the rural areas, so keep that in mind.
Save money in Vietnam
What to pack for a trip to Vietnam?
As a traveler who wants to visit Vietnam, you may wonder what you should pack. Firstly, consider clothing. Loose-fitting clothes are a very good option. The weather can be chilly, as humidity, monsoons, and rain are quite common, so prepare a few layers of clothing. Better don’t wear pants or skirts that are very short, as locals don’t do it either, even when the weather is hot.
Furthermore, don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses. During the rainy season, it is good to have a rainy jacket and umbrella. The bug spray can be useful as well.
Besides, pack all the things you need, such as a phone, a charger, a camera, a laptop, and toiletries (tissues, wipes, shampoo, toothpaste, makeup/hair products, deodorant, etc.).
What to eat and drink in Vietnam
When it comes to cuisine, Vietnam is divided into three regions: the North, which combines various flavors like pepper, lemongrass, or chili; the Center, with spicy dishes, and the South, distinguished by sweetness. Generally, the most essential point of Vietnamese food is rice and noodles with meat, seafood, fish, or vegetables.
Spring rolls, also called cha nem, cha gio, nem ran, or nem, pho soups, or cha ca (fish dish), are the most popular Vietnamese meals that all travelers should taste. Besides, visitors can enjoy grilled meats, bao buns, or shrimp salads. In the case of spirits, rice wine, whiskey, rum, and wines are popular. And if you avoid alcohol, you can try a variety of fruit juices, coffee, or tea.
Vegans and vegetarians can find delicious food in Vietnam too. Establishments run by Buddhists offer com chay (burned rice) but note that they are usually opened during lunch. It is worth knowing that some vegetarian food can be prepared with a fish sauce/shrimp paste, so be aware of that.
Is Vietnam safe for tourists?
Vietnam is treated as a safe country for visitors, but it is advisable to take common-sense precautions. Keep your documents, like your passport, in a safe place and be careful with your belongings, as pickpockets are a problem in crowded areas.
Sometimes, personal attacks may occur, so be aware of your surroundings. What is more, former battlefields can be full of unexploded mines, so avoid these regions, as well as violent protests regarding political situations.
Best places to visit in Vietnam
Vietnam is a country full of traditions and modern aspirations. It is a perfect place for tourists who want to enjoy breathtaking landscapes, a tapestry of history, and exciting culture. This diverse nation has much to offer, including cities such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, and Hoi An. But you can also visit one of the best beaches in Vietnam and spend time in the quieter towns and villages to get a local feel for the place.
You can start your journey by exploring the bustling streets of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. If you are spending 3 weeks in Vietnam, starting your trip in Hanoi is a great choice, as you can then work your way down the country to the various cities along the coastline. Rich with historical significance, Hanoi consists of a unique blend of French colonial architecture, ancient temples, and vibrant markets.
The Old Quarter, with its labyrinthine streets and traditional buildings, is a treasure trove of local craftsmanship and culinary delights. Don’t miss the chance to witness the solemn grandeur of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a tribute to the leader of modern Vietnam.
Then, Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perfect choice for tourists when it comes to Vietnamese attractions. You can see thousands of limestone karsts and islets rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, creating a surreal seascape that offers endless opportunities for exploration.
Whether you’re cruising on a traditional junk boat, kayaking through hidden caves, or simply gazing at the sunset from a tranquil beach, Halong Bay promises an experience that is both serene and awe-inspiring.
It is also recommended to visit Hoi An, a trading port, where the Thu Bon River flows. You can admire the marvelous architecture of Old Town, taste traditional dishes, like Cao Lau or white rose dumplings, cycle in the countryside, or relax on Bang Beach there.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly called Saigon) should also be taken into consideration while planning a trip to Vietnam. The place gives an opportunity to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and Opera House. Besides, you can explore Cholon, a Chinatown, or try street food.