Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country in the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, pagodas, cities. Vietnam houses a population of around 9.5 crore people.
This vacation spot is known for its dark past including the war of Vietnam. But now Vietnam is encouraging tourism as there are many wonderful places to visit. It is just like Thailand but less costly. It is now known for its busy streets, architecture, culture, and food. You can enjoy traveling in this country but you have to keep a lot of things in mind before exploring this beautiful Vietnam country in Asia.
We research and made this Vietnam travel guide to make Vietnam travel easy for explorers.
Visa Requirements for Vietnam:
The first and most important thing that you should know in the Vietnam Travel guide is about Visa Requirement. Here are some visa requirements that you must know before booking your tickets for Vietnam:
Most citizens from the ASEAN countries don’t require a visa for 30 days. The countries include Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos.
- For the Philippines, citizens don’t require visa for 21 days.
- Myanmar citizens don’t require visa for a span of 14 days.
- Brunei citizens don’t require visa for 15 days.
- Countries Korea, Japan, Russia and Scandinavian nations (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland) don’t require visa for 15 days.
- A special exception was made for countries like France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The citizens of these countries don’t require a visa for a stay of fewer than 15 days regardless of the type of visa. Citizens of all the other countries are required to get a valid visa or a pre-approved letter for picking up an entry visa at Vietnam’s International airport.
- Foreigners and Vietnamese who hold a foreign passport and enter through an international border gate to Phu Quoc Island are exempted from visa application for a stay of 15 days. The only condition is that the passport should be valid for 45 days.
- You also don’t require a visa if you have APEC Business Travel Card.
How to get Vietnam visa
There are two ways for obtaining the Vietnamese visa:
1. Online way (Convenient)
It’s a very easy and convenient way of obtaining the visa. You just have to go to the website and submit all the required documents and pay the fees. You can do it from any corner of the world. However, the citizens of Afghanistan are advised to try out the second method given below. If an emergency situation arises, the visa is processed within 30 minutes to a maximum of 4 hours. You get an approval letter for boarding the plane and you get the visa at the airport.
2. Offline way (Less Convenient)
This way is harder and time-consuming. You have to contact the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country. This way is not advised because of the above-given reasons. You have to submit all your documents in the Embassy itself.
Documents for Vietnam Visa:
The following documents are required for obtaining a Vietnam Visa:
- Passport with a validity of at least 6 months from the date of travel. The temporary passport may or may not get declined.
- Two passports sized photos with no glass wear.
- M3 entry/exit form (for visa on arrival)
- Stamping fee of 25$ for a single visit and 50$ for multiple entries. This cost is for visa on arrival.
- Approval Letter if you want to obtain visa on arrival at the airport.
Culture, Food, Lifestyle in Vietnam
The Vietnam travel guide is complete without discussing its culture, food, and lifestyle. This country is a mixture of different cultures. The country was ruled by many civilizations like the Chinese, French, Americans, and Russians. Thus the culture was quite influenced by the ruling civilizations. There are around 60 distinct groups of people inhabiting Vietnam. Vietnamese occupy the lowlands of the country. The majority of people are into agriculture. With a literacy rate of 88 percent, the national script of the country is Quoc Ngu. The Vietnamese culture is also rich in music, food, rituals, and calligraphy. Calligraphy is a noted feature of the Vietnamese culture.
Another great feature of the country is its typical cuisine. The food type varies from region to region in the country. like for example, the central region has spicier food than that of the northern region. Staple food consists of tropical fruits, stir-fries, rice, and soups. Rice is the main grain in the country. Its served plain, sweet and fried along with vegetables. Its also added to rice cakes, or into flour to make rice noodles. Fried rice is used in Vietnamese egg rolls. Rice paper is also eaten. Rice is consumed with almost every meal. Meat and beef are uncommon and seafood is preferred.
Vietnamese food is gaining popularity nowadays and is now included in almost every other restaurant. The lifestyle is almost the same as it used to be. The family is the main point of Vietnamese life. Unlike nuclear families of the urban world, large joint families are found in the country. The average number of children is 4 per couple. Eighty percent population is centralized in rural areas. Most people practice ancestor worship. They believe in the existence of spirits of ancestors in the real world. Buddhism is also practiced along with Christianity. Traditional clothing has now been replaced by modern clothing. The Vietnamese have huge respect for their ancestors. The people are generally quite superstitious.
Vietnamese music is basically in the form of sad poetry and there are three main types of music: folk, classical and choral. Classical music is based on Chinese opera and Choral music is basically a chorus sung with an instrument. Folk music is basically songs dedicated to occasions like birth, death, festivals, etc.
Things to take care while in Vietnam:
1. Beware of fake taxis and travel companies
There are two main taxi companies in Vietnam – Vinasun and Mai Linh. They have white and green cars respectively. But some fraudsters fake these taxi colors to fool passengers and especially foreigners and trick them into sitting in their taxis. Their taxis contain tampered meters and charge double or triple the money. Similar is the case with fake travel companies. After the success of any kind of travel company, fake businesses open shops very alike in the layout of the real ones in order to fool non-Vietnamese people.
2. The money switch scam
Often due to similar colors of banknotes, people switch the notes with smaller denominations when you pay. It is often seen in taxi services and during shopping from various street sides. To avoid this, it is advised to shop with cash in smaller denominations.
3. Driving motorbikes
If you are navigating the country on a bike, ensure to have proper measurements. Wear a helmet, remove any kind of jewelry and avoid miniskirts and flip flops.
4. Proper dressing sense
Although you can roam freely in any type of garment in the country, while visiting historic and religious places, ensure to cover your body properly.
5. Don’t settle for the initial price
In Vietnam markets, the bargain is expected and you may not settle for the quoted price as it’s a common thing and not at all rude.
6. Public behavior
The public might want to get a photograph with you or your kid because they consider foreigners special. Also, they like to get photographed, so don’t hesitate if someone stops and asks for a photograph.
7. Be cautious before getting into things
Being a good vacation spot, you can easily get trapped if you are not cautious enough. Don’t fall prey to beautiful girls who purposely flirt with men to rob them or scam them. Also, think twice before doing any monetary transaction as most people try to make fool of you by claiming things that don’t even sound to be true. Also, avoid street dogs.
Read More, Must visit places in Vietnam
Vietnam is a nice and attractive tourist spot. Plan your trip wisely and you will end up achieving your life’s most refreshing moments. Also, beware of things mentioned above. Do take the weather seriously as its hot in Vietnam. I hope this Vietnam travel guide will help you out in planning your trip to Vietnam.