Before you go

Conclusion of Vietnam Travel Tips

Mu Cang Chai - VIetnam
Mu Cang Chai – VIetnam


There is no neither ideal nor bad time to visit Vietnam as there are distinct regional weather variations between the Northern, Central and Southern regions.

January & February
The weather in north and along the coast of Vietnam in Jan and Feb is very comfortable, and among best months to travel of the year.

March, April and May
March/ April are pretty good too and less busy. It will start to rain more in May, but not all day. Phu Quoc Island is pretty pleasant up till September, when it rains all day. March is one of the best month to travel as it is one of the driest times of the year, although there can be occasional rain showers around Hue and Hoi An.

June-Aug are summer months and extremely hot in northern & central cities. It’s also the wet season in HCMC and the central highlands (and Phu Quoc in the south) and it’s the hottest time of year in Hanoi.

November & December
Nov and Dec are good months to visit Vietnam. not so cold in northern Vietnam at that time, Hanoi about 15-25oC, while Sapa about 10-20oC. The coldest months are Jan and Feb. Central and southern Vietnam are great at that time (except typhoon). The November visit was by far the most comfortable in terms of temperature and humidity (or lack of).

South Vietnam (HCMC and Mekong Delta, Can Tho, Chau Doc), the weather is fine, a little warmish and sticky, but not at all oppressive. No rain, only a few evening dry thunderstorms, very beautiful over the Mekong.

Throughout the year, it is advisable to wear summer clothing: thin clothes in light colour. In December and January, warm clothes are recommended for visits to the northern provinces.

It is advisable to bring umbrellas or raincoats in the rainy season from May to November in southern and northern Vietnam, from August to January in central Vietnam.

The wearing of suits for business is now common in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Dress should be respectable, especially if entering religious premises such as temples and pagodas.



In big cities, do not bring along valuables as going shopping or sightseeing in the street. It is dispensable to give alms to beggars and to buy souvenirs from street vendors.

Foreign currencies should be exchanged at banks or authorized exchange bureaus. Do not exchange money in the street. It is advisable not to ride on pedicabs or “honda-om” by oneself.


English, French, Cantonese and Japanese are spoken by hotel staff. Guides and interpreters speaking English, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, etc.



Fresh negative film is widely available. Popular brands are Fuji, Kodak, Agfa and Konica. Positive colour print film is only obtainable in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

One-hour service photo shops are ubiquitous in tourist areas. Positive film and digital card can be processed and printed only in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.



The following items are preferred by foreign travellers:

  • Carved wooden furniture, fine lacquerware (these can be shipped home on request).

  • Traditional Vietnamese hand-made silk dresses, kimonos, embroideries, etc.

  • Simulated antiques, fine ceramics, old watches or Zippo lighters, etc.

  • Copies of famous paintings.


No vaccinations are presently required for visitors to enter Vietnam. However, it is advisable that precautionary measures be taken for cholera, malaria, hepatitis A & B, typhoid and tuberculosis.

Although international medical centres are available in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it can be expensive for emergency care. Therefore, health and emergency medical insurance prior to visiting Vietnam is highly recommended for foreigners.

Clinics with qualified Vietnamese and foreign doctors to treat foreign patients:


+ Viet Duc Hospital
40 Trang Thi St., Hoan Kiem District
Tel: (84.4) 8253531
+ Asia Emergency Assistance
31 Hai Ba Trung St., Hoan Kiem District
Tel: (84.4) 9340555
Ho Chi Minh City:
+ Asia Emergency Assistance
65 Nguyen Du St., District 1
Tel: (84.8) 8298520
+ Columbia International Healthcare
08 Alexandre de Rhodes St., District 1
Tel: (84.8) 8238455



1 Jan

New Year’s Day

1 Feb 2003 and 22 Jan 2004

Lunar New Year (Tet)

30 Apr

Saigon Liberation Day

1 May

International Labour Day

2 Sep

National Day




  • Business hours: (GMT + 7)
    – Offices: 8: 00 a.m to 11: 30 a.m and 1: 00 p.m to 5: 00 p.m, closed on Saturdays & Sundays.
    – Banks: 8: 00 a.m to 3: 00 p.m, closed on Saturdays & Sundays.

  • Airport tax for every passenger on every departure
    – International flights: US$ 14 at Noi Bai Airport, US$ 12 at Tan Son Nhat Airport, US$ 8 at Da Nang Airport.
    – Domestic flights: already including in airfares.

  • Electrical current: 110-220 volts A.C.

  • Long distance calls should be made at post offices, hotels or telephone booths (phone cards are available at post offices).

  • A tip for good service might be about 5% of the bill.

  • Bottled water and mineral water are obtainable at any shops in most cities. It is advisable to drink boiled water and not to drink ice and tap water.

  • Travel permits are only required for trips to off-limit areas such as border provinces, military bases and remote islands.


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