Travel Guides

Do’s and Don’ts, Emergency contact information, Embassy when Travelling Within Vietnam

Vietnamese people are very gracious, polite, and generous and will
make every effort to make guests feel comfortable. These are the experiences that will enrich your visit to Vietnam.

DO

* Store your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place. Most 4-star hotels have in-room safes; otherwise ask the reception to keep your valuable things in their deposit facility.
* Always be careful of the belongings you carry with you during your holiday.
* Take care of all your valuables. Never leave your bags unattended
* Vietnamese dress conservatively. Despite the heat, it’s best not to show off too much skin. If you do, especially girls, you’ll only draw stares from the locals.
* Dress discreetly while entering temples and other religious places.
* If invited into a home, always remove your shoes at the front door when entering.
* Ask for permission when taking a photograph of someone. If they indicate that they do not want you to, then abide by their wishes. DO NOT offer money or push the issue.
* Use waterproof sun cream if you plan to spend a good amount of time in the water when you travel to Vietnam.
* Change money from a recognized moneychanger.
* Indulge in some haggling while buying goods without price tags whenever you go shopping in Vietnam.
* Travel with recommend tour agencies. Even if you plan to buy tickets when in country, research your journey a little first on the Internet.

DON’T

* Never carry more money than you need when walking around the streets.
* Do not wear large amounts of jewelry. There are two reasons for not doing this: (1) It is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public; (2) It is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher.
* When taking a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) make sure your bag, if any, is not on display or easy to grab. Bag snatches, although still rare, are probably the most likely crime a tourist would encounter, and it raises the probability immensely if you are tailing a camera or a laptop in the wind.
* Don’t wear singlet, shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas. To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.
* Avoid giving empty water bottles, sweets and candies or pens to the local people when trekking through ethnic minority villages. You cannot guarantee that the empty bottles will be disposed of in a correct manner, and the people have no access to dental health. If you want to give pens, ask your guide to introduce you to the local teacher and donate them to the whole community.
* Never sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar when in someone’s house.
* Do not try to take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security. Never take video cameras into the ethnic minority villages. They are considered to be too intrusive by the local people.
* Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon. That’s why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing.
* Losing your temper in Vietnam means a loss of face. Keep a cool head and remain polite, you’ll have a greater chance of getting what you want.
* Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things don’t quite work as you are maybe used to. Don’t be paranoid about your safety; just be aware of your surroundings.

The above advice is meant to help you have a perfect trip to Vietnam.

Do not be overly paranoid though. Generally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if they see you trying to abide by their customs, and very forgiving if you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded.

Most visitors still need to apply for a Vietnamese visa in advance to enter the country. Vietnamese visa is inexpensive in comparision to any other countries’ visa fees ranging from US$45 – 85 if application is sent directly to the Embassy or US$25-55 if your visa has been pre-approved. A fairly convenient visa on arrival process has recently been introduced, but this requires a pre-arranged application to Hanoi Immigration Department and is generally helpful to nationals of countries without Vietnamese embassies.
Read who need visa for the visa exemption information.

Who need Visa to Vietnam?
Only citizens of certain countries can visit Vietnam without an entry visa (valid for visit within 30 days). Those countries include: most Asean countries, Korea, Japan & Scandinavians (2005). All other citizens are required to get an entry visa before departure (visa issued prior to departure by Vietnamese consulates or embassies) or a pre-approved entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam’s International Airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam.

VISA EXEMPTION INFORMATION
– No visa required for travel less than 30 days: Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.
– No visa required for travel less than 15 days: Citizens of Japan and South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland.
– No visa required for travel less than 90 days or several visits within 6 months: Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports

– No visa required for travel less than 60 days: Citizens of [updating] holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
– No visa required for travel less than 60 days: APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies
– Special Phu Quoc Exception: Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be exempt from visa application. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot.
– No visa required for Japanese citizens who hold valid diplomatic or official passports
When entering Vietnam to implement diplomatic or Government’s official tasks without concerning about the time of stay. For those who entering Vietnam not for the diplomatic tasks but hold valid diplomatic or official passports can be exempted from entry visa and permitted to stay within 90 days.using an international or local mobile phone.
The cheapest way to make international phone calls is at any of the various Internet cafes around Vietnam, although the quality varies. Two options to save money when calling from a land line (for example, in your hotel) are to either dial 171 or 178 (and then 00) before the country code or to buy a prepaid 1719 phone cards from the post office (prices between 30,000 VND to 500,000 VND).

Vietnam Money and Currency
Currency

Vietnam’s currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the Dong (VND). Vietnamese use both coins and paper notes. But as Vietnam is currently changing its money system, there exists parallel two different money systems (old and new) which can cause confusion.

Emergency Contacts

Emergency contact numbers for foreign tourists in Vietnam. The importance of good preparation and getting useful travel information before making a trip to Vietnam ensures safety of tourists under unforeseen circumstances

  • Vietnam Country Code: +84
  • International Call Prefix: 00
  • Trunk Prefix: 0

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

  • Police: 113
  • Fire: 114
  • Ambulance – First Aid: 115
  • Weather forecast: 1080
  • Domestic long distance telephone service: 101
  • International telephone service: 110
  • General information service: 1080
  • Law Consultancy service: 1088
  • Phone number enquiries: 116

 Note: When you make a phone call to above emergency numbers from a telephone, you just dial the number without adding any area code

In case, you call by a mobiphone, you need to dial your current area code number ( For example: You are now in Hanoi, you call 1088. So please dial 04-1088

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS FOR HOSPITALS

Hanoi:

International SOS ( 24/24h):

Add: 51 Xuan Dieu

Tel: (84-4) 3934 0666

Regional health care group offering full medical treatments including 24-hour emergency service, dental care and medieval

Vietnam International Hospital ( 24/24h):

Add: Phuong Mai Road, Dong Da, Hanoi

Tel: (84-4) 3574 0740

Da Nang:

Danang Family Medical Practice

Add: 50-52 Nguyen Van Linh, Nam Duong Ward, Hai Chau Dist

Tel: (84-511) 358 2699

Email: danang@vietnammedicalpractice.com

24-hour professionally managed and staffed family health clinic with full emergency medical services including dental care and medieval.

Ho Chi Minh City:

International SOS ( 24/24h):

Add: 167 A Nam Ky, Khoi Nghia, Dist 3

Tel: (84-8) 3829 8424 – 3829 8520

Regional health care group offering full medical treatments including 24-hour emergency service, dental care and medevac

Colombia Asia Saigon (24/24h):

Add: 8 Alexandre de Rhodes, Dist 1

Tel: (84-8) 3823 8888

24-hour accident & emergency unit with professional foreign & local doctors

Foreign Embassy and Consulates in Vietnam