Before Your Trip
Do I need visa to enter Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia?
You can get a Cambodia visa stamp upon arrival without pre-arrangements. You only need to pay a USD$25 fee (this fee maybe differ depending on the nationality of passport holder) and 2 pictures for each traveler. You can then expect about 15 minutes for processing at the airport.
You can get a Laos visa stamp upon arrival without pre-arrangements. You only need to pay a USD$25 fee (this fee maybe differ depending on the nationality of passport holder) and 2 pictures for each traveler. You can then expect about 15 minutes for processing at the airport.
Unlike Cambodia or Laos, before entry into Vietnam, you must have a Vietnam visa stamp or a Vietnam visa approval letter. S Vietnam Travel can help you to arrange this letter to get a visa upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City), at Danang airport or Noi Bai international airport (Hanoi). Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa.
- Full name on passport.
- Passport number.
- Date of birth.
- Date of arrival.
- Flight number and time.
- Fax number where we can fax you or your email address forward to you.
We will process the visa within 3 working days. After approval, we will fax or email you a Vietnam visa Approval Letter as an attachment. You can receive your visa at the visa desk of the arrival airport for Vietnam visa on arrival or receive your visa at Embassy or Consulate in your country for Vietnam Visa Approval Code.
What if I have special needs for the tour?
If you have special requirements - for example, if you have young children, or you have infants or the olds in your group, or if you are handicapped or have physical limitations, if you have special transportation needs, or if you are vegetarian or have other food allergies - please let us know. We can work with both you and the service provider ( restaurant, hotels, transportation ...) to ensure that we can meet your needs.
What about travel insurance?
We strongly recommend that all travelers should have travel insurance covered before the departure. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment should any problems occur such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind. Please also make sure your travel insurance covers all activities planned on your trip.
Do I need to have some vaccine shots before the trip?
No vaccinations are officially required by the Vietnam authorities; however immunization against malaria, cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis is advised. Please consult your doctors for further medical advice. Also plan to bring mosquito repellent. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and slacks from dusk onward and avoiding perfume is also recommended. In addition to an ample supply of any prescription drugs you are taking, bring medicines for: Headaches, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites, sore throats, eye drops, cuts, etc.
Do you have e-tickets in Vietnam?
Almost airlines in Vietnam offer electronic ticket. We will issue an electronic ticket through email or fax to you.
- Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos operate on 230 volts.
- Vietnam uses Types A, E, or F plugs with two flat pins, two round pins, or three round pins, respectively.
- Cambodia uses Types A, C, or G plugs with two flat pins, two round pins, or three flat pins, respectively.
- We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
- Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Local Time & Climate
What is the time difference in Vietnam?
Vietnam is fifteen hours ahead of Los Angeles, twelve hours ahead of New York and seven hours ahead of London, one hour behind Perth and three hours behind Sydney (give or take an hour during daylight saving time).
What is the climate like in Vietnam?
Hanoi and northern Vietnam have a distinct winter and summer season. A dryer winter lasts from November to April with average temperatures of 18 - 20ºC. Summer lasts from May to October and is hot and humid with temperatures around 30 - 35ºC. In areas like Sapa, prepare accordingly for the winter months as it has been known to snow on occasion. Hue and Danang, in the center of the country, have very hot, dry weather from February to August with temperatures reaching over 35ºC. The region can experience quite heavy rainfall between September and January. Ho Chi Minh City and the south have a hot, dry season from December till April with average temperatures around 28ºC. The rainy season lasts from May through till November. It rarely rains for long periods, even in the rainy season, with most rain coming in short, heavy bursts.
Local Money & Expense
Where can I find current exchange rates for Vietnamese money?
Current dong exchange rates are available on the internet. Please try one of the links (www.xe.com, www.vietcombank.com.vn). Note: You can not buy or exchange dong outside Vietnam.
Can I get cash on my credit card in Vietnam?
Cash advances on credit cards are available at the central Vietcombank in Hanoi, HCMC and other major cities, for which you will be charged around 4%. Hanoi and HCMC also boast 24hr ATMs where you can withdraw cash on MasterCard, Visa and other cards in the Cirrus/Plus networks. In Hanoi, go to the ANZ Bank beside Hoan Kiem Lake; in HCMC both ANZ Bank and HKSB have ATMs.
Is it better to use American dollars or Vietnamese dong for daily expenses in Vietnam?
For everyday expenses, I recommend carrying a mix of US$ cash and dong. For larger items (hotel bills, train tickets, etc.) or when the exchange rate works in your favour, use dollars. For cyclos, local food stalls and small purchases, it's best to use dong. In either case, make sure you always have a stock of small notes so that you don't have to worry about change.