Vietnam is easily one of the leading travel destinations in South East Asia. It’s not hard to understand why: dramatic limestone landscapes, verdant green rice paddies, delicious street food, and a rich cultural history. A visit to Vietnam will shake your senses in every way. Be prepared to be shocked, surprised and even delighted.
I have been traveling to Vietnam since 2003 and during every visit, the country never ceases to amaze me. As an overseas Vietnamese, Vietnam will always be my 2nd home and a place of endless discovery.
Before you go
It’s true that some countries do not need a visa, but for other nationalities it is necessary.
There are 2 main ways to obtain a Vietnam Visa.
- At the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country.
- A pre-approved letter for picking up an entry visa (issued on arrival at Vietnam’s International Airports) at the airport. See here.
It’s likely that you might get stomach upset eating street food or any foods in Vietnam. Be prepared with diarrhea tablets such as Imodium or other medicinal treatments. Be sure to drink only from bottled water!
Although not necessary by law, it is still recommended to get vaccinations for Vietnam. Many travelers choose cover against Typhoid and Hepatitis A, which can be contracted through contaminated food or water, regardless of where you are eating or staying in Vietnam. Check here for more information.
Vietnam a relatively safe city for travelers, but you should be aware of petty crime.
Take care of your valuables at all times. Travel insurance is strongly recommended, so why not check out World Nomads insurance. They’re my favorite!
It’s better to be safe than sorry! Keep your bags padlocked at all times. You can keep your valuables locked in the Hotel safe in your room.
Vietnam Airlines | Click here
Fly Vietnam| Click here
Jet Star Pacific | Click here
Viet Jet | Click here
You need two of these Apps. Grab or Uber.
These ride-hailing apps will save you from being scammed by local taxi drivers. They’re also cheaper and you can pay by cash in VND. Do download the apps well before you land, so you can leave the airport right away.
You can easily get a sim card from the airport and it’s very cheap.
*Make sure your phone is unlocked and that you have a paper clip to remove your sim card and start using your Vietnamese one.
*Viettel, Vinaphone, Mobifone and Vietnamobile are well-known companies. However, most travelers find that Viettel, the government-owned sim card is the most reliable which provides the best coverage and speed even in extremely rural areas.
Cost: At the time of this article, Viettel’s 5GB data plan with 4G/LTE costs around 125,000 VND. (US$5-7)
* You can get a simcard anywhere in Hanoi, but be careful buying from street vendors as the simcards may not work!