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Vietnam Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to get a Visa & Who need a visa?
Most of Asian citizens are officially allowed to enter Vietnam without applying a visa, they can stay in Vietnam at least 15 days up to 30 days (if with return ticket) depends on ASEAN member-countries. Nationals of 5 Western European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and Italy, do not need visa if they stay less than 15 days regardless of their purpose or type of visas.
The Passport Holders from Korea, Japan, Russia and the Scandinavian nations (as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland) do not need a visa to Vietnam if they stay in the country less than 15 days if with return ticket.
For APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are allowed per time to enter Vietnam for less than 60 days without a visa require.
No visa is required for the citizens of France & Chile who holds valid diplomatic or official passports, can travel in Vietnam for less than 90 days or several visits within 6 months.
All other citizens can get a Vietnam entry visa (issued prior to departure by local consulates or embassies) upon your arrival at the international airports (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang & Danang) unless you apply to get an approved letter and bring it you. You can apply visa online;
Vietnam visa stamping fee:
* $25 USD for single entry visa, from 1 to 3 months single visa
* $50 USD for less than 6 months multiple entries visa.
* $95 USD for 6 months multiple entries visa to less than 1 year multiple entries.
2. Do I have to use local currency in Vietnam?
Since the government enhanced all business, vendors, shop owners to use Dong in the business exchange/trading etc in the country, there still people accept US dollars. Overall, you don’t have to exchange to the local currency as you travel in Vietnam. Most places take USD currency and US dollar is widely used in restaurants, hotels, super markets, malls, boutique shops, souvenir stores and so on. However, you should exchange a small amount of US dollars to local currency ($1 = 22750) in case you want to buy drinking water or street food from a small store at street side.
3. What’s the weather like?
Vietnam is entirely located in the tropical belt lying between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. While there are slight variations in temperature, depending on the season and the altitude, the primary seasonal changes are marked by variations in rainfall. In the north, the best time to visit the region is from Nov – the end of Mar and the humidity is not too high. The central coast from Hue to Nha Trang is perfect from Dec – May when it’s very less rain, fully sunshine& warm while the south of Ho Chi Minh & Mekong Delta are suitable to be explored in the dry season occurring from Nov – Jun.
4. Drinking water in Vietnam
It’s not recommended to drink the tap water in Vietnam. Filtered water is a better option; try to use a refillable canteen or water bottle rather than buying bottled water. Remember to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating. Bottled mineral water can be found and purchased at local stores and many at the street sides.
5. What kinds of clothing is suitable?
People should wear whatever they are most comfortable in, but a fair amount of modesty should be exercised. It can be extremely hot and humid and while some are comfortable in loose-fitting cotton, others feel better in quick-drying synthetics. Remember not to wear revealingly when you visit religious sites and highly recommend to dress appropriately to show your respect to the locals.
6. What’s an ideal budget?
That depends entirely on your style of travel and level of comfort that you are accustomed to. Here are some examples of basic costs (Costs are quoted in US dollars, or USD). You can find guesthouses from as low as USD10-15, to suite at 5-star western chain hotels from USD200 while local 4-5 star hotels are from USD60-160. Dinner at a street stand for USD1.5 – USD3, at an affordable local restaurants for USD4-6.
– Budget traveler- USD 18-25
– Flash-packer- USD 30-45
– Mid-range- USD 60 -80
– Deluxe- USD 100 and up
7. What’s the best way to get around?
Motor taxi or “Xe Om in Vietnamese” is popularly used by the locals, it’s a bit faster and cheap as you travel in the central city, you barely find a Xe Om driver who can speak good English but you’re better to bring along a city map with you as always. For a safe comfortable option, taxi or a private car is the best ideal to get around, a better local English speaking driver and high quality of service.
8. Is a visitor required to have a guide?
To get the deep insight of Vietnam history & culture, you should hire an experienced local English speaking tour (other languages are available) as you make your day tour around. The tour guide service is very useful for your journey, it helps you save your time, assist to manage your trip plan plus giving additional suggestions and you will experience the journey in meaningful.
9. What should one bring to give to the kids?
Bringing things to hand out at random is never a good idea, as it just encourages begging. Purchasing items from street children just encourages them to stay on the streets, missing school and missing out on an education. If you wish to help out children in Vietnam, arrange to visit a school or an orphanage, and bring supplies directly to them. You can buy school supplies and toys at the local market. If you want to visit a family’s home, bring them some household items (soap, shampoo, cooking oil, salt, soup base, etc) which will be more useful than a decorative object.
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