with China in the north, Laos and Kampuchea in the West, and the Pacific Ocean
in the east. Its lies in the centre of South-East Asia. Vietnam's territory
stretches from Lung Cu village (Ha Tuyen province) in the north to Rach Tau
hamlet (Minh Hai province) in the south. It is a S-shaped pennisula, with
thousands of off-shore islands and archipelagoes; the biggest of which are the
Hoang SA (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes. Vietnam's mainland
covers 331,689 square kilometers.
Country & population
Despite Vietnam's ongoing economic liberalization and the pressures of rapid
development, this dignified country has managed to preserve its rich
civilization and highly cultured society. Most visitors to Vietnam are
overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country's natural setting: the Red
River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire
coastal strip are a patchwork of brilliant green rice paddies tended by women in
conical hats. There are some divine beaches along the coast too, while inland
there are soaring mountains, some of which are cloaked by dense, misty forests.
Vietnam offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare
beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world.
Passport & visa
Visa is required by all nationalities. Visa is usually delivered by Vietnamese
Embassies who require the original passport and 2 photos for two full working
days in order to stamp the visa. If Visa approval is arranged by Huong Viet
Travel upon the client request, the personal data (full name, passport number
with date of issuance and expiry, date and place of birth, nationality) must be
supplied to us at least 10 days before arrival to Vietnam.
Visas can also be obtained upon arrival at Vietnam international airports such
as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang airports, in which case the stamping fee
will be quoted separately. Apart from required details above we further need
arrival/departure flight information Huong Viet Travel will send a confirmation
letter to show to the airport staff at the departing airport, confirming that
clients will get the visa on arrival. Visas can only the requested via Huong
Viet Travel in connection with the booking of travel arrangements to Vietnam.
It could be the quickest way to get Vietnam visa because the formalities takes
only two full working days (except Saturday and Sunday).
Customs & formalities
Arriving in Vietnam, all visitors must fill in declaration forms and show their
luggage to customs officials on request. There are no limited amounts of foreign
currency, objects made of gold, silver, precious metals and gemstones or plated
with silver or gold but visitors must declare these in detail on the customs
The local currency is the dong (abbreviated "d" or VND). Bank notes are 500d,
1000d, 2,000d, 5,000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d and 500,000d. The
rate of exchange at updating time is approximately dong 16.500 to one US.
Dollar. Credit cards are generally only accepted in major cities. Visitors are
recommended to carry US Dollar in small denominations. Travelers can change
their money for Vietnamese dong (VND) at banks, hotels and jewelry shops
throughout the country.
Vietnam shares borders with Cambodia, Laos and China, and features 3,200 km of
coastline bordering the Eastern Sea. With an area of 332,000 square km,
Vietnam’s topography varies from coastal plains to mountain ranges. Vietnam
stretches over 1,800 km from north to south; therefore weather patterns in the
principle cities are very different. The North: Winter lasts from November to
April, with temperatures averaging 16oC but little rainfall. Summer begins in
May and lasts until October, with temperature of 30oC, heavy rainfall and the
occasional violent typhoon. The Center: Central Vietnam experiences a
transitional climate, halfway between those of the north and south. The South:
Temperature are fairly constant through the year; 25oC 30oC, Seasons are
determined by the rain – the dry season lies from November to April and the wet
season from May to October. The hottest period is March and April, before the
rain have broken. Typhoons are quite common in coastal areas between July and
November. The Highland Areas: In the hill resorts of Dalat (1,500m) , Buon Ma
Thuot and Sapa , nights are cool throughout the year, and in the winter months,
October to March ,it can be distinctly chilly with temperature falling to 4oC.
Even in the hottest months of March and April the temperature rarely exceeds
No actual vaccinations are officially required. Malaria prophylaxis is no longer
recommended but visitors are advised to check with their doctor or travel
immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid,
tetanus, hepatitis A & B.
Vietnam has three international airports: Hanoi/Noi Bai , Danang/ Danang and Ho
Chi Minh/Tan Son Nhat. Cities with directs flight to Hanoi / Noi Bai Airport are
Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Nanning, Paris, Singapore,
Taipei, Vientiane and Seoul. Airline Companies currently serving Hanoi are
Vietnam airlines, Air France, Cathay Pacific Airways, China southern Airlines,
Malaysia Airlines, Laos Aviation, Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot, Thai Airways.
Cities with directs flight to Ho Chi Minh City/Tan Son Nhat Airport are Bangkok,
Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Melbourne, Osaka, Paris, Phnom Penh,
Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Vienna, Vientiane and Zurich. Airline
Companies currently serving Ho Chi Minh City are Vietnam airlines, Air France,
Cathay Pacific Airways, China southern Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Lao
Aviation, Singapore Airlines, Vladivostok Airlines, Aeroflot, Thai Airways,
Korean Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Lauda Air, Asiana Airlines, and Royal Air
Cambodge. Since November 1, 1999 Thai Airways has commenced direct flights from
Bangkok to Danang on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The other way to get into Vietnam is by land , from China, Laos and Cambodia but
the visas must be indicated clearly by Vietnamese Embassies with one or two of
the below entry points. Tourists can pass the border at the following entry
* From China: Huu Nghi, Lao Cai.
* From Laos: Cau Treo, Lao Bao.
* From Cambodia: Moc Bai.
Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam but there are various dialects
spoken by hill tribe people in remote areas. Leaning foreign languages ,
particularly English and French, is currently in vogue among young people in
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang and other cities.
* January 1 - Western New Year's Day
* January or February - Tet; Vietnamese and Chinese New Year celebration; this
most important Vietnamese festivity of the whole year is celebrated an entire
week from the first to the seventh day of the new year according to the
traditional moon calendar; as the celebration depends on the phases of the moon,
not the sun, it is celebrated on different dates of the Western calendar;
traditionally, during the Tet days large amounts of food are consumed, because
the Tet days are considered an omen for the course of the entire year; the
belief is that if you eat a lot during the Tet days, there will be enough food
during the whole year.
* February 3 - Founding Day of the Communist Party of Vietnam; national holiday
* March - day to commemorate the Trung sisters, who in the year 41 of Christian
reckoning led a rebellion against the Chinese rulers; movable holiday, as it
depends on the moon calendar.
* April 30 - Liberation Day of South Vietnam and Saigon; national holiday
* May 1 - Labour Day; national holiday
* May 19 - Ho Chi Minh's birthday; national holiday
* May 28 - Holiday in commemoration of the birth, the enlightenment and the
death of the Buddha; national holiday
* August - Trung Nguyen; Day of the Wandering Souls; on this day the souls of
the dead are believed to wander to the habitats of their offspring; celebrations
in Buddhist temples; food is spread on house altars for the souls of the
deceased and fake money is burnt in honour of them; moveable holiday, as it
depends on the moon calendar.
* September 2 - National Holiday
* September 3 - Day to commemorate the death of Ho Chi Minh in 1969; national
* September - Trung Thu - autumn celebration at which children parade through
the streets with lanterns; for this celebration moon cakes are baked; moveable
holiday, as it depends on the moon calendar.
* November - Birthday of Confucius; moveable holiday, as it depends on the moon
Widely practiced, in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges shown on
bills ( Porters, VND 10.000 -15.000 per bag)
Airport tax is US$ 1,5 per passenger on domestic flights (normally it is
included in the airfare), US$ 14 (at Noibai airport/Hanoi) and US$ 12 (other
airports) per passenger on international flights.
GMT + 7 hours
8:00 am – 16:30 (except Saturday and Sunday)
ElectricityMainly 220V but in some areas 110V is also used.
Tourist AttractionHo Chi Minh City Dalat Sapa
Hanoi Nha Trang Dien Bien Phu
Hue Da Nang Bienhoa Town
Hoi an Haiphong Tuy Hoa