Vietnam

Inspiration beyond your dream

Useful information

GENERAL INFORMATION

GENERAL INFORMATION

General facts

Population Up to 93,000,000 people (2014)
Size 331,210 square kilometres (128,565 square miles)
Temperatures 17-22C (Jan- Mar-Northern Vietnam)
25-35 C( Year round- Southern Vietnam)
Time zone Indochina time
Electric city Main power outlets: 220V
Some area: 110 V
Area code +84
Religion Buddhism, Christian, Catholic
Language Vietnamese

 

Climate

The seasons vary from the north to the south. Generally, the dry season in the north lasts from November to April, and during this time the weather can be quite cold and damp. A good time to visit is between May and October. In the south, the rainy season starts around May and can extend to November and sometimes into December. However, it does not rain all the time. During these months
the land becomes fresh and bright with the rice fields turning emerald green. The warm sunny days return in December and usually last until the onset of the rains in April/May.

People

Approximately 85% of the population are Viet Kinh. The remainder are ethnic Chinese, Chams or members of the ethnic minority people who live in the central highlands and in the mountainous northern regions close to the border with China.

Religion

Buddhism is the most common religion in Vietnam, and about 8% of the population is Catholic.

Language

Vietnamese is tonal language that uses the Roman alphabet, and can be quite difficult for foreigners to master. Nowadays, English is widely understood and used, especially in tourist areas and hotels.

Telecommunications and power

The main power outlets are 220V, but in some areas 110V is still in use (Power adaptors are always useful). There is an abundance of Internet Cafes, and the service is usually reliable. There is a good mobile phone network throughout the country and SIM cards are readily available.

Safety and security

For emergencies call 113 (local police), 115 (ambulance), 114 (Fire brigade), 116 (directory assistance ), International operator (110)

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

The Lunar New Year known as “TET” is the most important festival of the year, and is celebrated by all Vietnamese whether at home or abroad. The holiday officially lasts for 3 days but often extends well beyond that.  All public transport, including flights, rail, and road transport are fully booked well in advance of the holiday.
January 01st : New Years Day
3rd day of the first lunar month: Lunar New Year 2014 (Tet holiday)
10th day of the 3rd lunar month: Anniversary of the Hung Kings responsible of creating the Nation
April 30th: The South Vietnam Liberation Day
May 01st : International Labour Day
September 02nd : Vietnam National Day
December 24th and 25th Christmas

HEALTH

HEALTH

It is strongly recommended that you have Travel & Health Insurance before leaving your country. Also, bring with you a supply of medicines that you may need. There are currently no requirements for mandatory vaccinations to-date. Please discuss with your GP. It is not advisable to drink the tap water.
Only bottled water should be used.

MONEY

MONEY

Currency

Vietnam’s official monetary unit is Vietnamese Dong (VND). The currency consists of notes and coins.

Exchanging Money

You can exchange foreign currencies into VND at a bank, exchange service center, or an authorized currency exchange

Credit Cards

Visa, American Express,  Master Card and other major credit cards are accepted in Vietnam. Cash advances are also available at select bank machines.

ATMs and Cash Machines

Some ATMs accept most major international bank cards, such as HSBC Visa, Citibank, JSB and others. Most ATM/ bank machines operate 24 hours a day, while others are opened from 8am to mid night.

GENERAL BUSINES HOURS

GENERAL BUSINES HOURS

Government Offices 8 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday)
Closed on weekend
Banks 8 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday)
8 am to 11:30 am (Saturday)
Closed on Sunday
Restaurants & Retail Stores 9 am to late mid night (depend on each store)
Major Convenience Stores Shop& Go, Circle K, Family Mart,
(24 hours, 7 days a week)

 

VISA

VISA

visa should be obtained from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country of origin prior to
departure. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from
Vietnam. You should also be in possession of a return flight ticket. A tourist visa will be
valid for 30 days. If you are intending to visit other countries, and exit and enter Vietnam
again, you will need to apply for a “Multiple Entry Visa”. It is now possible to obtain a “Visa
on arrival” which may result in some delays at the airport due to high demand.

Note, always check with the Embassy first, as conditions for entry can always change.

DRIVING

DRIVING

Driving in Vietnam is extremely challenging and the chaotic traffic is quite daunting.
Vehicles generally drive on the left side, but motorcycles are a law unto themselves!