Vietnam FAQ

Got a question about Vietnam? Here are a series of frequently asked questions visitors to Vietnam tend to ask.

Just click on a question below to see the answer!

Is it safe to visit Vietnam right now what with the Corona virus on your doorstep?
It has to be said, Vietnam is doing a great job of keeping the virus at bay. Only some 16 people have been diagnosed, and most of them have now been discharged. Find out more HERE.
When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
Because of the sheer length of Vietnam – it spans some 1650 km from north to south – it can be a good time to visit Vietnam at any time of the year! For a complete guide and a look at some of the seasonal factors you need to consider, see our post on the best time to visit Vietnam.
Is it safe to visit Vietnam?
Absolutely! Well, what other answer were you expecting?! Seriously though, on our numerous visits to Vietnam we’ve never felt under threat or unsafe, even when being left at the side of the road at 4am in the center of Ninh Binh… of course, there are scams everywhere, and the driving in Vietnam scares the bejesus out of us every time, but overall, Vietnam is one of the safest countries we’ve ever been to…
Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam?
Short answer – probably. Long answer – it will, of course, depend on your nationality and how long you intend to visit. For a full guide, see our post on whether or not you need a visa for Vietnam.
What are the must-sees in Vietnam?
There are many, many sites we can point you in the direction of, but this list of the top 10 must-sees in Vietnam is a great place to start.
What should I pack?
In short, most of the year it’s going to be fairly tropical down south, and a lot cooler up north over the winter months (November-March). We’ve never packed a coat, but always have a handy fold-up rain jacket at the ready. Here’s our guide to the essentials you should bring on a visit to Vietnam – and a look at the best time to visit Vietnam might also give you some pointers on what to pack.
Do they speak English in Vietnam?
Yes! If you’re in the big cities, you can usually find someone who speaks some decent English, though maybe with a heavy accent. In the smaller towns it can be a lot trickier to find someone to communicate with! So we highly recommend learning some basic Vietnamese, and start brushing up on your animated hand gestures!
How cheap is it in Vietnam?
You might already be aware, but South East Asia can be very budget friendly. And Vietnam can be especially budget friendly, if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. As Vietnam gets more and more popular, prices are steadily rising, but you can still stretch those dollars a loooong way. Here’s our guide to enjoying Vietnam on a budget.
Where's a good place to change my money?
You’ve basically got 3 good options, including local banks (flat, standard rates), your accomodation (a bit more expensive), and gold or jewelry shops (your best option). For more details, check out our guide to the best places to change money in Vietnam.
How do I say Cheers in Vietnamese?
One of the best ways to meet locals is at some of the local street drinking joints. Here you’ll be toasting like a pro within minutes – but here’s how you say Cheers in Vietnamese, for those of you willing to put in the practice (along with a few practice shots, of course…).
Should I do the HaGiang Loop or visit Sapa?
This is one of the essential questions to traveling in the north of Vietnam, and it basically boils down to whether or not you have the time. Basically, the HaGiang Loop is all about motorbiking through some breathtaking mountains, while Sapa is more about the homestays and some trekking. If you can, squeeze them both in!
Is Vietnamese food really as good as they say it is?
I’ll be honest, it took me a couple of visits before I really warmed to Vietnamese food. And that was all because I didn’t really know where to eat. But yes, when you discover how to kick off your day in style with an Op La fryup, or enjoy the evening delights of a crispy Banh Xeo pancake, you’ll know that Vietnamese food really does rock! And yes, once you find the right, clean (hugely important!) street vendor, you can enjoy some excellent dining for little more than a dollar! Perhaps one of the key factors for me in discovering local food was when I took a Saigon street food tour – highly recommended!
Where is the best beach in Vietnam?
There are a number of great beaches all along Vietnam’s 3000+ km of coastline, from the southern island of Phu Quoc to Cat Ba in the north. But the beach that had me drooling most was Sao Beach on Phu Quoc, especially on a hot March morning. Wow, just wow!
Do they celebrate Christmas in Vietnam?
Yes they jolly well do! OK, it’s not an official holiday, but you can expect some very decent decorations and festivity in the main cities, especially Saigon and Hanoi. Check out our full guide to celebrating Christmas in Vietnam.
Check out our Travel Tips section for more essential tips!
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