Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Vietnam at a Glance

Tropical Vietnam is an exciting place to visit. Its great beaches, deep-green jungles and elegant cities provide travelers with an exciting backdrop for whatever activities they enjoy. 

City life in Vietnam is a fast-paced mix of motor scooters, teeming markets and burgeoning modern shopping and entertainment districts. Wander the streets of ancient cities and watch vendors hard at work or monks disappearing around a corner. Inhale the spicy-sweet scents of food cooking almost everywhere. In the same breath, catch the smell of freshly baked baguette that's been filling up the streets since French colonization. In the modern areas, leave traditional life behind and embrace the new. Shop, drink, dance and dine in a long series of fashionable locations. You won't be wanting for things to do.

In the countryside, tourists can either explore the mountainous interior, or lay themselves out on the beach for some sunbathing.  Scuba and snorkel in the coves and reefs of the coast. Hike along limestone ridges to find caves and hill tribe villages. Visit national parks and get to know the jungle. Sample the food, which varies from Chinese influenced to Indian influenced as you cross the countryside. 

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Popular Places
  • Hanoi Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
Getting There
Major Airports
  • Major Airport Tan Son Nhat International Airport
  • Major Airport Noi Bai International Airport
  • Major Airport Phu Bai International Airport

Passport / Visa Requirements

Tourists to Vietnam need a visa, which is valid for up to thirty days. The paperwork and requirements are often difficult to sort out so it is best to do this ahead of time. Contact a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country to start the process. American citizens can learn about the application process at the U.S State Department website

Need to Know

Severe Weather: Monsoon winds bring rain to the country basically year round. July - November is typhoon season and a good time to avoid due to the violence and unpredictability of these storms. 

Safety Concerns Beggers, scam artists and pickpockets will be persistent, especially in Vietnamese cities. This doesn't have to ruin your trip if you use a few precautions. Keep money, passports and valuables touching the skin with a money belt. Leave some petty cash handy for small purchases.  Know where you are going and insist taxi drivers leave you there instead of a different hotel or restaurant where they might get a cut. Don't leave your bags unattended and hang onto them while at restaurants and in museums. Keep food and drink close to you to avoid it being drugged by thieves. 

Health Concerns Ask around about beach safety and rip-tides when you head to the beach. Jelly fish and other stinging sea-creatures are also a good thing to ask about. Travelers to Vietnam may want to speak with their doctors about health concerns and vaccinations. While in Vietnam, avoid drinking un-purified water. Bringing your own water filter can reduce the hassle of purchasing bottled water. 

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Language: Vietnamese
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