Things to remember before travelling to Vietnam

Asia becomes more and more popular holiday destination. One of the most-visited countries is Vietnam, fascinating, exotic but totally different than European countries. That is why a travel to Vietnam should be prepared well. What should you pay a special attention to when planning a trip to Vietnam?

Vietnam is one of the places on the map of Asia that you undoubtedly must see in your lifetime. This country has unique and extraordinary culture, history, religion, customs and traditions. Before visiting Vietnam it is worth to explore them in order not to have your stay spoilt by anything and to stay safe and comfortable while travelling.


Preparing for a trip 

First, the weather. When planning a trip to Vietnam you should remember that it is the country where tropical heat and very high humidity level prevail, so it is good to be well prepared for it. From April to November there is a wet season and in August the country is often hit by floods, so it is better to avoid visiting Vietnam in these periods of time. For visitors from Europe much more pleasant than the southern part of Vietnam will be the northern part of the country, where weather conditions are much milder.

Applying for a visa to Vietnam is not a problem at all. ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days without a visa. But even if you need the visa, you can get it at the nearest Vietnamese embassy or at Vietnam airport. The cost of a single entry tourist visa is about 40 USD but it can change depending on visa type. 

Before visiting Vietnam you have to get yourself vaccinated against tropical diseases, such as hepatitis A (mandatory vaccination), typhoid, tetanus, rabies or Lyme disease. A good travel insurance is also important. Don’t forget to take a mosquito repellent and basic medicines with you just in case.


List the places you want to visit 

When preparing your travel itinerary we recommend to start from the northern part of the country in order to relax and take sunbaths in the south at the end of your stay. When you are in Vietnam try to find a local guide who can show you the beauty of the country and help you discover many secret, unique places. Discover non-touristy Vietnam and see everyday life of its inhabitants.


Things to be careful with while travelling

In Vietnam you should be extra careful when crossing the street – don’t run or hurry as buses and cars can drive really dangerously. Be careful when doing shopping – there are many souvenir sellers who want to cheat tourists. Another problem can be huge traffic jams – when heading off to the airport it is better to leave much earlier. Actually, at the airport you should also be prepared for long queues and slow check-in progress. When booking a hotel room be careful about its location – in Vietnam it often happens that there are no windows in hotel rooms or, if there are any, they offer a view of the hotel corridor.    


Transportation and communication 

Interesting fact about Vietnam is that plane tickets are very often cheaper than train tickets, so we recommend to look for a convenient flight when moving for example from the north to the south. Coach transportation is not a good idea because of long distances – couch trip takes a lot of time and is rather uncomfortable.

In case you want to speak Vietnamese during your stay in this country be careful about the tone you pronounce certain words with – quite often words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently change their meanings, which can be confusing as well as dangerous, for example in case you accidentally offend someone.


What to pack for a trip to Vietnam?

Apart from a rain jacket and comfortable shoes, some things may be very useful, for example a waterproof backpack cover, a money belt and passport holder, especially a neck pouch that can be always with you. For everyday sightseeing it is better to take just some pocket money with you and hide the rest in a safe place. The best currency to take is US dollar, also euro can be exchanged practically anywhere. In many popular tourist spots there is no need to have local currency.


Must-try dishes and best souvenirs

In Vietnam you must try iced coffee – traditional Vietnamese drink. Among famous dishes very popular are soups: bamboo, tofu, snail or bacon soups and a famous green banana soup in Kinh Bac region. Interesting fact is that the best fish sauce in the world comes from Vietnam. Its authentic taste results from specific climate conditions. As a souvenir from Vietnam we recommend to bring crafts made of rare Vietnamese wood species like ironwood or rosewood.


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