|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
|Religion||Buddhism, Christian, Catholic|
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.
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.
Buddhism is the most common religion in Vietnam, and about 8% of the population is Catholic.
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.
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.
For emergencies call 113 (local police), 115 (ambulance), 114 (Fire brigade), 116 (directory assistance ), International operator (110)
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
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.
Vietnam’s official monetary unit is Vietnamese Dong (VND). The currency consists of notes and coins.
You can exchange foreign currencies into VND at a bank, exchange service center, or an authorized currency exchange
Visa, American Express, Master Card and other major credit cards are accepted in Vietnam. Cash advances are also available at select bank 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.
|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 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 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!