Vietnam Travel Guide
Vietnam is a country located in Asia with name that begins with letter V. In geography, Vietnam is described as a “bamboo pole with two rice bowls”: in the north there is a rice-growing area in the fertile river delta of the Red River, in the south the Mekong flows into the Chinese Sea in several watercourses; in between lies the narrow, rather barren Annamite highlands. The dominant city in the north is the capital Ha Noi with approx. 6.5 million residents; Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the south with 7 million residents has now overtaken him economically. A total of 92 million people live in communist Vietnam, which has become one of the most popular travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter V.
European tourists need a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be applied for at the Vietnamese embassy in the respective home country.
In the south of Vietnam it is tropical-warm to hot all year round. Most of the rain falls from May to October. Typhoons can cause flooding in the Mekong Delta. The climate in the north is more moderate: the average maximum temperatures in Ha Noi range from 20 °C in January to 33 °C in July; Most of the rain falls in the hot season from May to October.
Due to the large north-south expansion of the country, the climate between north and south Vietnam is very different. In the north there is a moderate tropical alternating climate, with seasonal climatic changes being observable. From November to March the weather is usually cooler (during the day around +20 degrees C, at night it is possible to cool down to +10 degrees C). In the remaining months (April to October) hot temperatures are predominant. In the south there is a tropical climate, but without any real seasons. There is only one alternation between dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season lasts from June to October. In the south it is warm to hot all year round, only between November and January it can get a little cooler. In central Vietnam, typhoons occur increasingly in October / November.
Food and drink
Most dishes are based on rice, which is served in the bowl with meat, fish and vegetables. In addition, soups and stews are typical of Vietnamese cuisine, which loves it a little less spicy than, say, Thai. The basic seasoning is the intensely fragrant fish sauce N ướ c mắ m, which is served with practically all dishes.
Restrained, calm and polite behavior characterizes public life in Vietnam and is also expected from guests. Particularly when visiting temples and places of worship, it is important to wear appropriate clothing.
Vietnamese children should never be touched by the head, as the head is considered to be the most precious part of the human body and should not be touched by strangers. In return, it is considered very rude to stretch your feet towards someone while sitting – especially Buddha statues and monks are to be spared.
Outside the two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, medical care does not meet European standards. No vaccinations are compulsory for entering Vietnam. It is recommended that you contact your general practitioner or another suitable facility about 8 weeks before you travel to find out about recommended vaccinations.
- Military and radio systems, airports, train stations, traffic hubs, customs and police stations, ministries etc. as well as people in uniform may not be photographed!
- There are sometimes dangerous ocean currents on the coasts of Vietnam. Bathing bans should be obeyed.
All about money
Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Cash may only be changed at official exchange offices with clear instructions. There you can exchange euros and US dollars for the local currency. Credit cards are accepted in many places. For cash withdrawals, it is advisable to bring a credit card (with PIN) with you, withdrawals with Maestro cards are only possible in the larger cities. In addition, you should bring a cash reserve in euros with you in order to be prepared for all eventualities.
In restaurants and bars in tourist regions, around 10% of the total invoice amount is expected as a tip. In rural areas, tips are not expected, but certainly appreciated.
It is common, but not mandatory, to tip the guide and driver at the end of a tour for good service. Appropriate payment for our local guides and partner agencies is part of our sustainability guidelines. So please be aware that tips do not replace wages. It is therefore not an absolute must, but an (expected) recognition for good service.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET
Time difference to CET + 6 hours, time difference to CEST + 5 hours
The voltage in Vietnam is 230 – 240 V alternating current. Different sockets are used, so it is advisable to take a travel plug set with you.