Steeds meer mensen reizen en steeds vaker zijn de effecten van toerisme lokaal voelbaar. Maar je reis draagt ook op een positieve manier bij! Denk aan werkgelegenheid wat een boost geeft aan de algehele economie, bescherming van de natuur door het creëren van nationale parken of UNESCO-Werelderfgoed, bijzondere ontmoetingen met andere mensen en daardoor het waarderen en leren van andere culturen, etc.
You need a passport that is valid at least 6 months at the date of departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.
Although the Vietnamese calendar is the same as our Gregorian calendar, some Vietnamese holidays are based on the lunar calendar. The exact dates are different every year, depending on the position of the moon.
Tet Nguyen Dan (usually abbreviated to Tet) is celebrated in January/February and is the Vietnamese New Year, the biggest annual celebration. The Tet celebrations are officially three days long, but many Vietnamese have the week off. Festivities such as processions, dragon dances, fireworks and flower parades are organised, but in the main it is a family celebration and is not targeted at tourists.
Trung Nguyen is the day of wandering souls (July/August), where gifts are offered to spirits forgotten or neglected by their surviving relatives.
Tet Thrung Thu is the mid-autumn festival, held at the end of September, when ‘moon cakes’ are sold everywhere and children with beautifully shaped lanterns walk through the streets.
The official currency is the Dông (VND). Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureau de change, hotels and on the black market. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are becoming more widely acceptable in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but it is best not to rely on them elsewhere.US currency acts as unofficial tender and is useful as a back-up. Euro and Pounds are widely accepted and changed, in the major cities banks. Dông can be withdrawn from ATMs, but they are limited to major cities and tourist areas. Withdrawing is almost always possible with Maestro, Cirrus, Visa and Mastercard.
What voltage and plugs are in used in Vietnam? Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in this country. You could consider taking a universal electric plug.
Please check the World Clock in order to find out the exact time difference.
Don’t bring too much baggage. Vietnam is a subtropical country, so thin, cotton clothing is advisable. A sweatshirt can be useful in the cooler evenings, especially in the winter. All you need for your feet are a pair of good walking shoes and a pair of flip flops/sandals (easy to be removed before entering temples). An umbrella will come in useful. Headgear, sunglasses and sun cream are useful against the sun . Other important items include swimwear, insect repellent and T-shirt with long sleeves, toiletries, a beach towel, a first-aid kit, a (video) camera and sufficient film and batteries, a torch, a pocket-knife, an alarm clock, writing equipment, books, your passport, all relevant travel insurance details and documents.
We ask you to bring a frameless backpack or a strong weekend bag to carry your luggage. Don’t bring a suitcase, as these are very tricky to transport. We find that 12 kilos is the maximum weight for your requirements. A small backpack or shoulder bag is best for your hand luggage. For the storage of valuables or important documents we advise that you bring a thin money belt that you can wear under your clothes.
The Vietnamese are very friendly people, especially in the South.
Do not criticize anyone in public. Being criticized in the presence of others is seen as a severe loss of face and is one of the worst things that can happen to a Vietnamese person. Getting angry is counter-productive.
If you enter a house or temple, you will be expected to remove your shoes.
Like us, men shake hands as greeting, although women usually only nod their head. Nuns and monks often greet each other in the traditional way by folding their hands in front of them and bowing slightly. It is polite to return this sort of greeting.
Caution: women are not allowed to touch Buddhist monks. Public displays of affection are frowned upon.
Do not expect that Vietnamese people will have the same concept of time and being on time. They live more in the here and now, worry much less than us about the future, and have much more patience.
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.
In Hoi An and in the Ha Long Bay area you will have the opportunity to go on the beach. Snorkelling or diving is possible in these areas, but not particularly interesting.
Yes, you have the option to pre-book airport transfers (arrival only) and secondly the option to pre-book pre and post tour nights.These extra services should be added to your booking.
Since we use hotels, a sleeping bag is not necessary. If you go trekking in Sapa, sufficient bedding (blankets) will be provided.
You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. Please check the embassy if you need a visa for Vietnam and check out the current situation right here. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure so that you do not run into time problems.
*From 1st July 2015, nationals of UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are exempt from needing a visa to travel in Vietnam.
The international country code is +84. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code City/area codes are in use, e.g. Hanoi is (0)4 and Ho Chi Minh City is (0)8. GSM 900 mobile networks cover the major urban areas. Internet cafes are available in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Internet access is often available at post offices in rural areas.
In the main cities and tourist places internet café are widely available. Post service is generally quite reliable and most international forwarding companies have office in the bigger cities.
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveler unless you have booked a single room. Sometimes it means that you need to share your room with someone of the opposite sex.
Theft occurs in Vietnam as in any country. Pay good attention to valuables. Money and important documents are best not stored in handbags or wallets, but worn on the body in a money belt or bag attached to the inside of your clothes. Pickpockets in Ho Chi Minh City are increasingly targeting tourists. However Vietnam is definitely not a country where you should feel threatened.