Travel tips help make visits to a new place a little easier. Hopefully these travel tips for Vietnam will assist with a smoother, seamless and more enjoyable visit.
Travel Tips Vietnam
If you require permission to travel to and enter Vietnam (based on your country of residence), you will require a Visa.
There are two things that you need to know. There’s a letter of approval for a Visa and there’s an eVisa. These are two different things and both are approximately the same price (eVisa being slightly more). Also, both of these can be completed online.
If you apply for a letter of approval for a Visa, you will get just that, an approval letter that will be emailed to you once approved which basically means you can then apply for a visa at the airport in Vietnam (aka a visa on arrival). Once you land in Vietnam, you will need to present the letter along with a passport photo to the Visa desk and they will process your Visa. This stamping fee will be an additional cost of around $25 USD or Vietnamese Dong equivalent and the only form of accepted payment is cash. Please also note that the visa on arrival is only applicable for air travel only.
Moreover, it’s important to note that there is no official website for the visa on arrival service. All the websites online are private agencies. We had an agent complete this process for us and paid a fee of $10 USD each.
We actually suggest that instead of getting an approval letter and then paying a stamping fee on arrival, you complete and obtain an online eVisa. With an eVisa, you only complete one form and pay one fee. Once completed, it takes approximately two days for approval. And once you have your approval on arrival you can go straight to immigration rather than the Visa desk. A much simpler and less costly process.
For transportation from the airport to you hotel, we suggest ordering a car service prior to your arrival. For the best deal, join a Facebook group for the city you’ll be visiting and search for “car service”. We did this for car service from our hotel in Hoi An back to the airport. It cost us $10 USD (as at Dec 2018).
Also, using Grab (similar to Uber) is your best bet for commuting around Vietnam. It’s very reasonable and super efficient. We also noticed that most of the time, the driver will try to see if you’d be interested in a ride back to the airport on your departure date. You could also negotiate with them for the ride back to the airport.
At the local markets and food stalls, you will need local currency. However, if you ask prior to ordering or buying an item, some would more than likely happily accept USD.
In restaurants, malls and at hotels, credit cards are accepted.
If you need currency exchanged, the local jewelry shops will provide currency exchange at a very reasonable rate (better than the banks and/or currency exchanges).
We even exchanged with a local. They are more than happy to get USD. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Very inexpensive and conveniently located at the airport when you pickup your luggage. After obtaining our luggage, there was a counter before exiting. We paid $8 USD for 7 days of unlimited data. This includes a sim card; they’ll pop it in and set it all up for you in under 5 minutes.
Crossing The Road
You may think it’s chaotic, but it’s organized chaos (if there’s such a thing). Just make sure you’re not second guessing yourself and stop in the middle of the road. Drivers here will navigate around you, so just walk with confidence and calmly walk to the other side of the road at a steady pace.
Hoi An is such a small quaint town that you could bike everywhere. Most hotels offer free bike rentals so take advantage of this and take a nice stroll through the Ancient Town. Each bike also has a lock, so not to worry about how to lock it up.
Make sure you negotiate for everything (other than at the restaurants or food stalls). Vietnam is known for haggling, so it’s a must! Set a price that you’re comfortable paying and negotiate for it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Vietnam from it’s food to the people and the quaint town of Hoi An. In our opinions, it’s a place that you must visit and we hope these travel tips Vietnam helps with your travels there.
To read more about our first impressions of Vietnam, click here.