A long and narrow country, Vietnam shares its borders with China, Laos and Cambodia and has tall mountains
01.12.2014 - 30.09.2015 15 °C
A long and narrow country, Vietnam shares its borders with China, Laos and Cambodia and has tall mountains, rice paddy terraces on rolling hills, white sandy beaches and beautiful waterways. Most travellers decide to start off their Vietnam trip in the capital city of Hanoi and then end their trip with a few days at the beach. It's also possible to fly into the country's former capital, Saigon. These days the city is known as Ho Chi Minh City, after the people's hero ‘Uncle Ho’.
Time difference: It's 6 hours later in Vietnam than here in the UK. An additional hour is added to that during our winter time.
Best time to travel: Generally the best time to travel to Vietnam is from December through to May, although you can travel at any time of year.
Language: Vietnamese is the official language, however many people understand English as well. When a guide and driver are travelling with you they will speak English. Menus and books are also available in English. In some areas you may even hear people speaking French, since Vietnam was once a French colony.
Currency: The local currency is the Vietnamese Dong, though many places accept and quote prices in US$. The exchange rate fluctuates on a daily basis, but to give you some indication £1 is about 34,270 Vietnamese Dong (correct as of Oct 2014).
Local girl playing with binoculars
Time difference, language tips & currency
Local Sapa tribewomen chatting
Making calls and using the internet
Telephone calls: You shouldn't have any problem using your mobile to call back home during your Vietnam trip, but depending on your provider this could be quite expensive. It's possible to buy an international phone card that you can use from a telephone box. If you would like to call our local agent using your mobile during your trip, you'll need to dial the Vietnamese country code +84 first.
Internet: You can find Internet access almost anywhere in Vietnam. At times you'll have Internet access from your hotel room, in other hotels you'll have access to an Internet lounge, otherwise you should be able to find an Internet café in larger cities. Keep in mind that the connection may be a little slower than you're accustomed to back home.
Photography: Most Vietnamese are honoured to have their pictures taken (especially in less touristy areas) - but don't forget to ask their permission and keep in mind that you might not be able to take pictures all over Vietnam.
Voltage: Electricity in Vietnam is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you're travelling in Vietnam with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. The electrical sockets are different from what you're accustomed to, so it's best that you bring along a universal plug adaptor.
January 1-2, 2014 – New Year's Day
January 22 - 26, 2014 - TET Festival
January 27, 2014 – Vietnam Day
February 3, 2014 - Communist Party of Viet Nam Foundation Anniversary
March 31 – April 2, 2014 – Hung King Festival
April 30, 2014 - Liberation Day
May 1, 2014- Labour Day
May 19, 2014 - Ho Chi Minh's Birthday
September22, 2014 - Independence Day