If you are going to Vietnam, be prepared for a fusion of traditional culture and metropolitan vibe. Experience their vibrant streets, exhilarating nightlife, breezy landscapes, cultural treasures, beaches, and delectable cuisines.
But there are other things you should know about Vietnam. Cities like Ho Chi Minh have a lot of alleyways. Weather varies in different regions. Not everyone speaks English. And they observe certain etiquette rules. For your hassle-free travel, we compiled your Vietnam travel essentials:
Things to Pack
The first things to bring on a trip are your passport, plane tickets, IDs, and your itinerary that has the details of your flight, hotel reservation, and even vouchers you purchased in advance. You can print them out or save this to your phone.
Make sure that you have an easy-to-carry small bag where you can place your toiletries, such as travel soap, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, tissues, toothbrush, insect repellant, sunscreen, and towel. Don’t forget your umbrella, hat, and sunglasses.
The clothes you will bring and wear in Vietnam depend on your itinerary and the month you are traveling to the country. Vietnam is generally hot and humid but also heavily wet from rains during the monsoon season. Here’s a quick view of the weather in Vietnam:
November – April: winter
May – October: summer with rains in the middle (July – September)
January – July: hot and dry
October – November: rainy season and the possibility of typhoons
Early May – November; July/August: wettest
November – late April: dry
Cash and Cards
You can exchange your money for Vietnamese dong (VND) at banks, hotels, and gold and jewelry shops. A common joke among travelers is that you can be an instant millionaire in Vietnam. One US dollar is equivalent to 20,000-23,000.
There are Vietin Bank and Exim Bank currency exchange stalls at Tan Son Nhat Airport (HCMC) and Noi Bai Airport (Ha Noi) but their exchange rate won’t be favorable. Meanwhile, ATMs in Vietnam can only dispense VND, and they can be found in big cities like Saigon, Ha Noi, and Da Nang.
In Vietnam, tourist sites and places like hotels, high-end restaurants, and shopping malls are the ones that usually accept common credit cards and debit cards.
Gadgets and Gears
Don’t forget to pick up your Vietnam 4G SIM Card from KKday at Da Nang International Airport to enjoy high-speed Internet on your phone.
If you are taking adventures that may require both your hands and full attention, you can place your camera and phone in a small waterproof bag you can hang around your neck and inside your shirt for security reasons.
Transfer to Hotel
To skip the long queues and public transpo after a long flight upon arrival at the airport, you can book a direct private transfer from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) to your chosen location in Ho Chi Minh City.
There is also a 24/7 direct, one-way private transfer between Da Nang International Airport (DAD) to your hotel in Hoi An.
Transportation in Vietnam
There are different ways to travel around Vietnam:
Take a taxi – The most recommended taxi companies are Mai Linh (white and green) and Vinasun (white)
Riding the bus – Public Bus 152 runs from 6:00 AM to 6:00 AM and will take you to downtown Ho Chi Minh. Yellow Bus 109 serves passengers from 5:30 AM to 1:30 AM Shuttle Bus 49 has drop-off points and also runs the same schedule as Yellow Bus.
To experience how locals commute, try Xe Om (the motorcycle taxi) or the Vietnamese cyclo (similar to the rickshaw).
Book your tours in advance to avoid the hassle of phoning establishments, identifying your itineraries, or negotiating with them when you’re already in the country. Here are some of the most recommended travels in Vietnam:
Basic Vietnamese Greetings
Here are some basic greetings in Vietnam you may want to learn before your trip:
- Hello: Xin Chao
- Thank you: Cam on
- Sorry: Xin Loi
- Goodbye: Tam Biet
- Can you speak English?: Ban noi tieng anh duoc khong?
- What is your name?:Ten ban la gi?
- My name is ___: Ten toi la ___
Have a fun trip to Vietnam. Tam biet!