VIETNAM TRAVEL FAQs


Our Vietnam Travel FAQ covers everything you and your family may need to know about your tour of Vietnam such as visas, money, language, time difference, climate, food, and places to see, etc....
 
Q.What is the best time of the year to visit Vietnam?
A.The climate in Vietnam is varied, that means the best time to travel to the country in terms of the weather will depend on where precisely you want to go and what you want to do. Broadly speaking, Vietnam has 3 regions: North, Central and South and climate in each region is different. The winter monsoon that runs from October to March typically makes the north of the country cool and damp, while the south is dry and warm. From April or May to October, the summer monsoon generally leads to the whole nation becoming quite humid and hot - except for around the mountains.

Q. Is it safe to travel to Vietnam?
A. You know, Vietnam’s vibrant cities welcome thousands of visitors every year. This number is also a proof that Vietnam is a friendly and safe place for people to travel. The incidence rate of violent crime is quite low, therefore Vietnam is an ideal destination for women who want to travel alone. We are happy to say that Vietnam is one of the safest country all over the world. This is relatively safe for both men and women to travel: no violence, no disease, no starvation. 
 
Q. When is the best time to travel in Vietnam?
A. There really isn’t a bad time to visit Vietnam. When the region is wet, cold or steaming hot, there is always somewhere else that is sunny and pleasant. From October to April we enjoy our winter and spring in Vietnam. In the North, it is cool. Many travelers enjoy the flowers that bloom and especially the boisterous atmosphere of Tet in Vietnam. From December to January we experience our coldest time of the year. The average temperature is from 12-16º C or 53-60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a great winter!
 
Q. What is the Vietnam time zone?
A. Vietnam is 7 hours ahead of London, UK, 12 hours ahead of New York, US and 3 hours behind Sydney, Australia.

Culture shock:
 
Q. Will I experience a major culture shock?
A. Before travelling to Vietnam it is worth the effort to learn the basics of the local culture to avoid any misunderstandings with the locals.
 
Here are a few things to consider:
 
At Temples and other religious sites – Conservative dress and shoes removed should be standard practice when visiting a religious structure, such as a Buddhist pagoda. It is seen as impolite to sit in a temple or elsewhere with your back towards a Buddha statue. Also, make sure to get permission before taking photos of the place of worship or local people in attendance.
 
Dress code – Local dress codes should be respected. This can include tops that cover the shoulder area and shorts to the knees, which is especially important on a visit to religious sites. Additionally, if planning to enter the house of a local make sure to remove your shoes.
 
Meet and greet – The most typical method to meet and greet is with shaking hands much like the Western custom. Also, the traditional Vietnamese method is still present and based on pressing the hands together and positioning in front of the body while also giving a slight bow.
 
Foods:
 
Q. What is the food like in Vietnam?
A. Vietnam's food reflects its period of French colonization, climate and geography. Rice is a typical staple of many dishes, including a variety of noodle and cake dishes. The basic ingredients for most dishes have a combination of meats (fish, prawn, chicken, beef, pork, etc.), herbs (kefir, lime, lemon grass, etc.) and vegetables. Additionally, many dishes are served with a dipping sauce or flavouring, such as soy sauce and fish sauce.
 
The street food scene is very affordable and it benefits to eat out and enjoy the local dishes in Vietnam. Also, the restaurants are great for the affordable Vietnamese dishes.
 
A few of the local specialities include Egg coffee (coffee with egg), Pho (the most popular Vietnamese soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), Bun Cha (soup with meat, noodles and vegetables).
 
Luggage:
 
Q. What type of clothes should I pack?
A. Basically, the preferred clothing choice for the warmest month are likely to include synthetic or light cotton trousers, shorts, or tops that will quickly dry. Additionally, on visits to religious temples or monuments, there is a need to cover up so it helps to pack a shawl or scarf for the shoulders and head area.
 
Q. Is there a suggested limit on the amount of luggage?
A. While a commercial airline will likely accept a higher limit, an ideal volume of luggage is in the region of 20 kg. Packing light will make your travel experience more enjoyable, especially if constantly travelling on the Vietnam tour. Also, the lighter load will leave space for souvenirs for friends and family.
 
Q. What is the electrical current in Vietnam?
A. The electrical outlets in Vietnam are in the 220V – 240V range, which is typical in European, African and Asian countries, as well as Australia. 

Q. Do American need an electrical converter since in the U.S uses 110V - 120V? 
A. Yes, you will need to bring along an electrical converter as in Vietnam we use 220V, otherwise this can be bought from electrical stores nearby your hotels. 
 
Money:
 
Q. What is the preferred currency?
A. The local Vietnamese Dong and American Dollar are both accepted in Vietnam. However, the Dong is a closed currency and only available to exchange on arrival in the country. Use the local banks and ATMs to get this currency. The American Dollar is useful in a variety of situations, such as paying the cost of visa on arrival or tipping drivers, guides, bell boys, etc.
 
Q. Are credit cards widely accepted?
A. Major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City accept credit card (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express) payments in upmarket establishments intended for the tourist market, such as high-end restaurants and mid-level or above hotels. Credit card payments are likely to attract a surcharge of 5% or more. Make sure to travel with enough cash when travelling outside the major cities. Additionally, there is the option to carry travellers’ cheques which can easily be converted to cash in any decent size city.
 
Q. Is travel expensive in Vietnam?
A. Vietnam is a relatively cheap country to visit on a tour of S.E Asia. Food and accommodation is particularly low. A local dish costs about $2 to $3, while the Western cuisine is available, but will be a lot more expensive. A stay in a mid-range Hanoi hotel with private bathroom, AC and Wi-Fi is likely to cost approx $12 to $15 per night.
 
Q. How about tipping in Vietnam? When should we tip?
A. Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but will be greatly appreciated. Smart hotels and restaurants nowadays add a 10-15% service charge (which should be indicated on the bill) but else where it’s up to you. It’s a good idea to tip guides, drivers and anyone else that has provided excellent service.Q. Is it better to use dollars or dong for daily expenses?

Q. Is it better to use dollars or dong for daily expenses?

A. Despite government attempts to outlaw the practice, the US$ still acts as an alternative currency which is almost completely interchangeable with the dong. Many prices, especially for hotels, tours and expensive restaurants, are still quoted in US$, though you can pay in dong if you’d rather – just check what exchange rate they’re using.
 
For everyday expenses, I recommend carrying a mix of US$ cash and dong. For larger items (hotel bills, train tickets, etc.) or when the exchange rate works in your favor, use dollars. For cyclos, local food stalls and small purchases, it’s best to use dong. In either case, make sure you always have a stock of small notes so that you don’t have to worry about change.
 
Q. Can I get by only speaking in English?
A. Generally, it should be okay to travel in Vietnam while solely relying on English. Travellers in the touristy areas or major cities are like to find more locals that speak English to an acceptable standard, but will find things more difficult in the remote, rural regions that aren't on the tourist trail. However, it can benefit the travel experience to pack a local phrase-book and use a few of the common local words, such as how much is that, hello, goodbye, thank you, etc.
 
Q. Does Vietnam have a reliable internet service?
A. Internet access is widely available in many parts of Vietnam except for towns in the most remote regions. The majority of guest houses and hotels can provide internet access – although this can be subject to an extra fee. Internet cafes are plentiful throughout the towns and cities and relatively inexpensive to use. Big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will have the fastest connection speeds.
 
Q. Will my mobile phone work in Vietnam?
A. Using your mobile phone shouldn't be a problem while travelling in Vietnam. Simply visit one of the many mobile stores to pick up a pre-paid SIM card. While it is possible to rely on roaming, the charge for this is quite expensive. A useful method to save money is to make use of Wi-Fi networks while travelling. Most of the coffee shops, restaurants and hotels in the big cities will have Wi-Fi available.
 
Q. Is it advised to organize travel insurance?
A. Travel insurance is suggested for travel in Vietnam, especially for situations like medical coverage for illness or accident, as well as evacuation expenses. Other benefits include trip interruption and unexpected trip cancellation.

For any further information, please feel free to reach us anytime, we can be reached via email: rickshawtravelindochina@gmail.com or Phone/whatsApp: +8489 825 9929, we are always at your service.
 
 

 
 

 
 

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