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Travel Information

Vietnam

Ha Long Bay

  • Ha Long Bay

  • Sapa

  • Saigon City

  • Ho Chi Minh City

  • Hue 77

  • Ben Thanh

  • Rice Paper

  • Japanese Bridge in Hanoi

  • Mekong Delta

  • Rice Field

  • Trade Village

  • Water Puppets

  
VIETNAM GENERAL INFORMATION
 
NATIONALITY                                            Official Name: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam
                                                                      Population (2010): 89.5 million inhabitants with 54 ethnic groups
 
 TIME DIFFERENCE                                    Vietnam (GMT +7) is 1 hour behind Singapore (GMT+8)
 
 GEOGRAPHY                                             Mainland territory: Vietnam is a long country stretching 1,600km from north to south. It has a land area of 330,991 sq km, divided into 61 provinces. It shares land border with China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west. In addition, Vietnam has a 3,450km coastline along  the South China Sea in the east. National capital: Hanoi.
 
 CLIMATE                                                   Hanoi: the average temperature is 23% Celsius with 4 distinct seasons.
                                                                     Hue: the average temperature is 25% Celsius
                                                                     Ho Chi Minh (HCMC): the average temperature is 26% Celsius with 2 seasons:
                                                                     Dry season (from November to April) and rainy season (from May to October)
 
 RELIGION                                                  The major religious traditions in Vietnam are Buddhism (which fuses forms of Taoism and Confucianism), Christianity (Catholicism & Protestantism), Muslim, Caodaism and the Hoa Hao sect.
 
 ETHNIC GROUPS                                     At present, there are 54 ethnic minority groups inhabiting in Vietnam.   The Kinh (or Viet) people accounts for nearly 85% of Vietnam’s total population. Major  ethnic minority groups include the Tay, Thai, Muong, H’mong, Dao and Khmer.
 
 LANGUAGE                                               The Viet language is recognized, however, as the official language and serves as a universal  means of communication for all inhabitants of Vietnam.
 
BUSINESS HOURS (GMT+7)                  Government office: 0800hrs to 1700hrs (with 1 hour lunch break). Closed on Sunday.
Office: 0800hrs to 1200hrs & 1330hrs to 1700hrs. Closed on Sat afternoon & Sunday.
Banks: 0800hrs to 1500hr. Closed on Sat afternoon & Sunday.
 Private Shops: 0830hrs to 2200hrs.
 
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS                                  January 1 – New Year’s Day (one day)
April 30 – Saigon Liberation Day (one day)
May 1 – International Labor Day (one day)
September 2 – National Day of Socialist Republic of Vietnam (one day)
Vietnam Traditional Lunar New Year Festival – Tet Nguyen Dan (four day holiday). Tet  usually falls in January or February. The holiday begins on the eve and the first three days of of the Lunar New Year.
 
CURRENCY                                                The currency of Vietnam is the Dong; The US dollar is also widely accepted. Credit cards and  Traveler’s cheques are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, departmental stores and shops. The exchange rate of USD1 = VND16000 (approximately).
 
ELECTRICITY                                             110 – 220 volts A.C.
 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS                        Telephone networks, including landlines and cellular are readily available and accessible in the capital city as well as in most of the provinces.
 
VISA                                                            Foreigners cannot enter Vietnam without a visa except those who bear passport from  Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Finland, Norway and  Sweden. Tourist visas are usually granted at Vietnamese embassies and consulates broad.  Business travelers should apply for a visa through a Vietnamese sponsoring agency, providing them with the following details: full name, date & place of birth, profession, passport number – date of issue and expiry, nationality (original & present), date and point of entry to Vietnam. The sponsor will forward these details to the Vietnamese Immigration Authorities. Approval for the visit may  take 5 – 7 working days. 
 
CUSTOMS & IMMIGRATION Entry         On arrival in Vietnam, you must complete in duplicate a white and   yellow declaration forms.   The yellow copy is to remain with your passport until departure. Do not lose it. Hotels, guest Houses and private hosts must register overnight guest with the local police and these forms are essential for this purpose.
 
Duty Free                                                   -     Cigarettes: 440 sticks, cigar: 100 sticks & tobacco: 100 grams
                                                                     -        Liquor: 1.5 litres
                                                                     -        Perfume & jewelry for personal use
                                                                     -        Small gift items valued at not more than usd300
                                                                     -        Personal effects of a reasonable quantity
 
Note: There is no limit to the amount of cash, precious metals and gems one can bring in, but amounts of over USD7000, or other foreign currencies of the same value, must be declared.
 
Banned Materials                                    -    Weapons, firearms, explosives and flammable objects
                                                                     -   Opium and other narcotics
                                                                     -    Anti-government literature
                                                                     -    Pornographic literature
 
 Exit                                                             Goods of commercial nature and articles of high value require export permits issued by the custom   authorities. Therefore, to these groups of articles, ask the retailer, when you buy them, for a receipt and declaration that the item may be exported. Antiques, some precious stones and animals listed in Vietnam’s red-book may not be brought out of the country.
 
AIRPORT TAX                                           Effective 01November06, airport taxes are all included in the tickets.    
 
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT                    Hanoi is about an hour ride from the airport.
                                                                     Ho Chi Minh city is about half an hour from the airport.
                                                                     Taxis are available from the airports to the cities centre.
 
SHOPPING                                                -     Superb and unique Vietnamese objects d’art: lacquer ware, conical hats, rattan and bamboo articles, bronze and wooden bric-a-bracs and ceramics.
                                                                     -    Special products of Vietnam: silk, embroideries, brocade and hand-woven items.
                                                                     -     Haute fashion apparel.

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