Welcome to Vietnam!
In the cities, you will find ancient pagodas just around the corner from sleek rooftop bars; and in the countryside, life still follows the rhythms of the rivers and the rice harvest. This contrast between old and new Vietnam is a big part of its appeal.
Another great reason to visit Vietnam is its diverse natural beauty. The capital of Hanoi is your gateway to the treasures of the north: spectacular mountains and bays studded with karsts. Right in the centre, up-and-coming Danang gives you easy access to photogenic riverside towns, national parks and long, sandy beaches.
In the south, Ho Chi Minh City will entice you with its captivating streets (just watch out for those motorcycles.) Nearby, the water world of the Mekong Delta as well as islands big and small, are just waiting to be explored!
When to visit
Vietnam is home to several distinct climate patterns from north to south.
- Northern Vietnam: From December to March, Northern Vietnam has cool weather. April brings sunny skies until the monsoon rains arrive in June.
- Central Vietnam: Central Vietnam has lots of sunshine most of the year, but November and December can be wet and overcast.
- Southern Vietnam: Southern Vietnam is always warm, and temperatures soar mid-year. You can expect daily downpours from June to August.
A visa is required to travel to Vietnam. Please contact the Vietnamese Consulate for more information on whether your passport requires a visa.
Getting to Vietnam by Plane
There are 22 airports in Vietnam: 11 domestic and 11 international. The three main gateways are Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN), Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Da Nang International Airport in Danang (DAD).
All of our packages are private guided tours, however just like the diversity of its landscapes, Vietnam offers a variety of ways to get around. You may favour windswept motorbike rides, fly straight from point to point, or take the overland routes of trains and buses, soaking in the sights along the way.
With a little planning (and an adventurous spirit), you can usually get where you want to go easily and comfortably. Within the cities there are plenty of taxis, buses, and cyclos; and out in the countryside, cycling is often an appealing option.
Vietnam has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world for travellers, however it always pays to be prepared.
Before you go
Before traveling to Vietnam, be sure to purchase insurance for your trip. Two months before you leave, you should also consult your doctor or local travel clinic for the latest information on health risks in Vietnam and to receive any vaccinations you may need.
Pollution in Vietnam
Air pollutants may aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms. Symptoms include scratchy throat and nasal drip. For anyone with respiratory ailments, invest in a small mask while travelling around metropolitan areas, or plan to spend more time in the countryside if possible.
The risk of contracting malaria is heightened in the rural highlands. Consider taking anti-malarial medication if you plan to travel to any remote destinations in Vietnam. Dengue fever has become increasingly problematic in Southeast Asia and occurs mostly in the Mekong Delta, including Ho Chi Minh City. With no vaccines available, the best preventive measure is to wear bug spray during the hours of sunrise and sunset.
Vietnam tends to be hot and humid year round. Don’t underestimate the strength of the sun. Sunburn can happen quickly: it's best to wear sunscreen throughout the day. Be vigilant with reapplication, especially at beachside destinations. Dehydration is another concerns, as well as heat exhaustion, which may show up in symptoms such as headaches and irritability. Drink plenty of water. Heatstroke is a more serious consequence of overexposure to sun and may require hospital treatment. If you're feeling weak, dizzy, nauseous, and have a temperature of over 41°C, get medical help immediately.
Traveller’s diarrhoea is a common concern when in new countries. Stick to bottled water and avoid ice in rural areas. To avoid contracting bacteria, look for restaurants with a high turnover of customers and those that prepare freshly cooked food. Generally street food in Vietnam is quite safe, but always use your own judgement when choosing from vendors. If you experience stomach upsets or diarrhoea, take rehydration salts and stay hydrated. If the problems persist, seek medical attention.
- Xin chào /Sin chow!/ Hello
- Khỏe không? /kweh kohng?/ How are you?
- Khoẻ, cảm ơn. /kweh, gauhm uhhn/ Fine, thank you.
- Cảm ơn. /gauhm uhhn/ Thank you.
- Tôi tên là ___. /Toy ten la ___./ My name is ___.
- Đúng /doong/ Yes (correct)
- Không /kaumng/ No
- Không sao đâu /kohng sao dwoh/ You're welcome.
- Tạm biệt /tam byet/ Good bye