Vietnam Travel Tips & Tricks
Vietnam is one of the most amazing countries on earth. When you visit this country, you’ll fell in love with the hearty people, the vibrant culture, and the diversity of its wonderful landscapes. The following list of tips and tricks will help you to have a safe and a worry-free travel experience in Vietnam.
1. Visa issuing
Always ensure to apply for your visa well in advance especially if you’re obtaining it from outside Asia. Ask for a multiple entry visa (not always granted), or at least a double entry visa. Fortunately, you can process your visa online, or alternatively please contact us, and we’ll process it for you at a reasonable small fee.
Upon arrival, please make sure that you’ll have all of your documentation (including the visa-upon-arrival pre-approval letter), personal passport-size photos (2×2 inches, or 4x6cm/ white background/ NOT over 6 months old), and cash (USD, or EURO will do). Please be aware that many airlines refuse to fly passengers without valid papers, because they will be held responsible for flying you out again if there is a hitch and you don’t get your visa.
On the flight, or upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be asked to fill in an entry/exit form. Then, you’ll be asked to keep the “yellow” copy. Please don’t lose this form as you may need it to open a bank account, or you might need to show it to an officious hotel receptionist. If you lose it, and before you can leave the country, you may have to fill another form.
If interested, you can extend your visa from within Vietnam. To renew your visa, you’ll need to contact the Immigration Police in Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City. You can obtain a long-term visa, or in special circumstances, your visa can sometimes be extended for only a few days.
If you’re planning to leave Vietnam to visit a neighboring country, to return to Vietnam you must have a multiple entry or double entry visa, or you won’t be able to go back to Vietnam without getting a fresh visa. If you’ll be traveling overland, there now quite a few Vietnamese land borders open to foreigners traveling to and from Laos, Cambodia, and China. If you know your travel plan very well, don’t forget to specify these border crossings so that they can be added to your visa. Otherwise, you’ll need to get them added from within Vietnam, but of course with a little more hassle and money.
2. Don’t bite more than what you can chew!
Vietnam covers an area of 331, 212 km², so don’t underestimate the size of the country. Moving from A to B always take longer than you can expect. As a good example, to travel by train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City; takes roughly between 32-37 hours! So, plan your trip accordingly, and consider the vast distances among cities.
3. Include less, and explore more!
Overall Vietnam can be divided into 3 main regions – North, Central, and South – and as a rule of thumb you’ll need to consider one week for each; otherwise, you’ll be rushing it, and you’ll get yourself forced to take flights which will add an extra cost to your trip, and take away a bit of the experience. So, it is always good to include less sightseeing, Customize Your Trip in a smart way, and explore more at ease.
4. When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
Unlike it looks on the map, Vietnam is a spacious country with varied geography. The weather also can be different, depending on which part of the country you’re visiting. Accordingly, the best time to visit Vietnam depends on which part of the country you want to visit?
Between December and March, the weather is quite pleasant throughout the entire country, apart from the northern parts, where it gets quite cold. The rainfall is very little during this period, so this is the best time for you to visit Vietnam especially if you don’t want to catch up with much rain.
Between April-June, and September-November (the low tourist season), it is also a good time to visit Vietnam if you want to explore the entire country without missing a single region especially the South of Vietnam; however, please be cautious about the typhoons that might hit the north and central parts of the country.
Between July-August (the high tourist season), when everybody travels for Holidays around the world, the weather is usually quite hot in Vietnam, so it is not the best time for you to travel unless you want to get some real tan.