|Area:||331,210 sq. km|
|Time zone:||UTC +7|
|Currency:||Vietnamese Dong (VND)|
|Religion:||Buddhism, Christian, ancestor worship and others|
|Plug types:||2-pin outlets, flat and round pins|
THE BEST Vietnam Holiday Packages
Cuisine and Travel
Simplicity and balance are the key to the tasty dishes served in the northernmost parts of Vietnam. You’ll find fish sauce in many Vietnamese recipes, but in the north, soy sauce, prawn sauce or lime are more prevalent in creating those tangy notes. And because temperatures are cooler in the north, many spices – like the chili pepper – don’t grow well, so traditional cooks adapted, and local cooks carry on the tradition with popular dishes you just gotta try such as: Beef Noodle (Pho Bo), Spring Roll (Nem ran), Cha Ca La Vong, Bun Cha…
Complex cuisine in areas like Da Nang and Hội An reflect an influence of ancient Vietnamese royalty and is best known for vibrant colors and sophisticated presentations. Dishes are served in smaller portions and garnished with chili peppers and spicy shrimp sauces. You can try some famous dishes: Banh Xeo, Mi Quang, Cao Lau, Vietnamese bread, Banh beo…
Sugar and spice and everything nice is what southern Vietnamese food is all about! With a bountiful supply of fruits, vegetables, livestock and seafood, southern cuisine is loaded with flavor. Rather than spicy, however, dishes in the south tend to be sweeter, as more sugar and coconut milk are added to recipes.
THE BEST Vietnam Holiday Packages
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What is crucial for you to choose AFS Travel as your tour operator?
We believe that high competence, quality and flexibility and good customer service are key factors that we as a tour operator have.
WE ARE 100% TAILOR-MADE
At AFS Travel – we build all our trips from the ground up – just like the tailor who fits your suit and the chef who prepares your meals – with thoughtfulness, care, and attention to detail.
The love for nature, the strength of culture, our planet, have led us from the beginning, to embark on a journey of exploration and discovery in order to search together the true “spirit of places”.
WE ARE FLEXIBLE
With AFS travel’s cancellation terms, we look to secure the most flexible terms available. We know first-hand how plans can change suddenly, and give you total peace of mind and absolute flexibility.
We have good knowledge of exotic destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar. Come with your travel wishes and we will set up a trip according to what is desired.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Of course, we want all our travelers to feel that they are getting value for money. It is therefore important for us to offer content-rich travel at the right and competitive prices.
We will provide the best possible customer service to new and old customers both before and after the trip. The customer’s needs are central and we always do what we can to fulfill the wishes you may have.
Know Before Go
To help you plan the perfect trip, here are my top Vietnam travel tips so that you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying this fascinating country!
If you are visiting Vietnam, your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.
Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you want to stay in Vietnam, you should only do so legally and with the right visa and permission to stay. If you wish to remain in Vietnam as a tourist for longer than 15 days there are two visa options:
1. Book a tour with a travel agent in Vietnam requesting that the agent applies for a visa pre-approval letter for your travel to Vietnam.
Visa on Arrival to be handled by AFS Travel
To arrange for a visa on arrival, please send AFS Travel via e-mail the following information:
Arrival date; Flight number; Full passport details (number/name/gender/nationality/issued and date expiry)
It takes three to five (3-5) working days to secure a Visa authorization letter, which AFS Travel will email to you. You must present this letter when boarding your flight. Keep this form as you will need to present it again upon departure. At the airport, your Visa on arrival stamping will cost US$ 25 by cash.
2. Apply for an e-visa online through the online portal.
E-visas are issued for stays of up to 30 days, single entry only. Use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points which you must select at the time of application. You cannot make any amendments once your application is completed.
Tourists to Vietnam can only apply for 30-day tourist visa. Tourist visas currently cannot be extended. Paid or volunteer work, missionary work, or other activities not related to tourism are not allowed under tourist visas.
If you are travelling to Vietnam for business, or are an expert and/ or a high-skilled worker you will need to contact your business partner/ employer/ sponsor in Vietnam to work with relevant authorities of Vietnam to arrange the issuance of your visa.
Vietnamese visit visas are issued to foreign nationals for a limited duration and on the basis that visitors must leave on or before the date of expiry, which is printed on your visa. Those who come to Vietnam to work are required to apply for a work visa / permit. You should check the visa validity and conditions carefully. Overstaying your Vietnamese visit visa or working illegally is a serious matter and you may be delayed from travel until a fine is paid, deported and may be prevented from visiting Vietnam in the future.
Temple Etiquette: When visiting pagodas, temples or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi, shorts and tank-tops are unacceptable as your knees and shoulders should be covered. Footwear and socks must be removed in some pagodas. Shoes are usually removed upon entering private accommodation.
In terms of behaviour, public displays of affection between men and women are considered a bit shocking. On the other hand, it’s perfectly normal for a pair of men or a pair of women to link arms or hold hands, which does not imply any signal of lesbian or gay relations. Upon meeting someone new, people may simply nod to each other or may shake hands. Using both hands to shake someone’s hand while greeting “Xin chao” is a warm gesture of respect.
Beckoning someone by crooking your finger is very rude. The correct way to call someone over is to wave at them or call their name. Never mind if the locals sometime look at you and laugh or giggle, they simply curious about your ages and why you travel if you are a senior traveler. To ask for the bill in a restaurant or shop, pretend to write on your palm with the other hand. You ‘ve got it.
Taking picture for a close up one should be asked prior to your click, other than that, don’t aks if you like other photo opps. People are normally a bit shy when a foreigners turn to them and ask something with a camera in hand and they simply turn away. That is why the trick is not to ask if it is not a personal close up picture.
Packing for a trip to Vietnam can be a bit hard, as the climate varies so much depending on when and where you go. When the weather is not ideal in one area, it must be great in another. While Hanoi is cold enough to bring a coat from December to February, this is an excellent time to visit HoiAn, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.
From April to October, most of the country is affected by south-western monsoons. The rains, which tend to be concentrated in the late afternoon, provide comfort relief to the heat. Travel to very remote areas may be affected by the rains, but overall they should not interfere with your trip. The summer months and up to November are the perfect time to visit Ha Long Bay, as for the blue sky and the water is warm enough for swimming.
In terms of weather, northern Vietnam is at its loveliest from September to December, when there’s a good chance of clear skies and low humidity. The hottest months in Ho Chi Mink City are April and May, although there is generally a decent breeze. The central highland town of Dalat is moderate all year round, earning it the reputation “City of Eternal Spring”.
Most visits to Vietnam are trouble free but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings in big cities and tourist areas.
Don’t hand over your original passport to third parties as a guarantee (e.g. to motorcycle rental shops, landlords) as there have been many instances of companies holding on to passports against claimed damage.
You should remain alert and take care of your belongings, particularly in crowded areas and places visited by tourists where pick pockets and bag snatchers operate, including on motorbikes. Consider splitting key items between bags.
There have been reports of arguments over hotel, restaurant or taxi bills turning violent or abusive. It is well worth researching places to stay before you arrive. To avoid potential disputes, make sure you are clear about the level of service you can expect to receive and any associated charges.
2. Road travel
Be alert at all times on the roads. When crossing the street on foot, move at a slow and steady pace with eyes contact. Never stop and step back suddenly since the motorist watching your pace from a far and measure their own speed. Just walk slowly and traffics will flow around you.
If you’re planning on travelling as a passenger on a motorbike, please wear a good quality helmet and make sure your medical insurance is comprehensive. It’s illegal to be on a motorbike without a helmet.
If you wish to drive cars or ride motorbikes in Vietnam you will need to present your international driving licence and an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Don’t use your passport as a deposit for hiring vehicles or in place of a fine in the event of a traffic offence.
Driving cars or riding motorcycles when your blood alcohol concentration is more than zero is illegal. This is enforced rigorously.
Metered taxis from larger firms are generally reliable. Where possible get hotels or restaurants to book you a reputable taxi. Always make sure the driver identifies themselves before setting off. If you book a taxi online or through an app, make sure the details of the vehicle and driver match those provided by the company.
3. Rail travel
Rail travel in Vietnam is generally reliable. Be aware of the risks of petty theft, particularly while asleep on overnight trains.
4. Sea travel
Piracy in coastal areas off Vietnam is very rare. Mariners should, however, report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities. See Piracy and armed robbery at sea.
5. Political situation
Vietnam has a single party political system, which does not welcome dissent. Some protests in recent years have turned violent, or been violently suppressed by the authorities. You should avoid all protests.
- COVID-19 is under-controlled in Vietnam but stil remains a risk. Wearing the mask and keep your hands clean always to protect yourself and others.
- Use insect repellent. Get vaccinated before you travel. Consider taking anti-malarial medication.
- Rabies occurs in Vietnam, especially in the north. If you’re bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help immediately.
- Foodborne, waterborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases include cholera, hepatitis and typhoid. Wash your hands well and often. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
The currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND).
When you arrive or exit Vietnam, you must declare if you have:
- Foreign currency in excess of $US5,000, including cash and traveller’s cheques
- More than 15 million Vietnamese dong in cash
- More than 300 grams of gold, including jewellery, gold bar and raw gold
You must also present one of the following documents:
- Written confirmation of carrying foreign currency or Vietnamese dong in cash abroad, issued by an authorized Vietnamese credit institution in accordance with the laws on foreign exchange control
- Written approval to carry foreign currency or Vietnamese dong in cash abroad, issued by the State Bank of Vietnam- Credit cards are widely accepted throughout major cities in Vietnam.
ATMs are widespread in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
Check with your bank to confirm if your ATM (eftpos) card will work in Vietnam.
If you go shopping in Vietnam, bargaining is necessary and actually full of funs. It is also recommended to check prices of the same items in the neighbor hood shop before coming to a deal. If you choose to ship items home, we highly recommend that you buy shipping insurance and check the policy details. As shops are not responsible for damages incurred en route, it is better to be safe than sorry. Beside local post offices’ services, DHL, UPS and FEDEX have their hands in every big cities.
Knock off products or genuine fake i.e. Luis Vuiton… is of a variety in Hanoi, Hue and Saigon, make sure if there is any problem at your country’s customs before you purchase them home.
High-end restaurants will often add a service charge of five to ten percent to the bill. While tips are not expected in more casual restaurants and bars, they appreciated with thanks since waiters earn low wages. Indochina Voyages suggests tipping drivers about US$4 – US$6 per day, tour guides about US$8 -US$12 per day.
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Gallery Vietnam Tour
A fascinating destination full of diversity and amazing experiences, Vietnam is a hidden charm of the Southeast Asia. From primitive coastline to the Indochina’s highest mountains, from bustling city nights to endless rice fields, Vietnam has it all to offer. With its own unique cultural identity, this S-shaped country is also the land of world-famous ancient natural and architectural wonders. Vietnam is certainly an exciting blend of adventure and culture.
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