Before Travel to Vietnam


Things to remember

Things do not to miss

·         It's in your best interests not to drink the tap water, especially after flooding!

·         Avoid cyclo ride after dark.

·         Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwellings and religious sites, etc.

·         Leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.

·         When crossing the road, especially in Ho Chi Minh city, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly!

·         Do not offer money directly to minority people - instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens.

·         Try at least once the delicious, local street food.

·         Always ask permission first before taking photographs, especially in minority areas.


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·         Sleeping out on deck on a boat in Halong Bay

·         Ordering custom-made clothes from the local tailor shop

·         Taking a slow cyclo ride through the French Quarter of old Saigon

·         Eating pho ga (chicken noodle soup) at a street side noodle stalls.

·         Watching the traditional water - puppet performance in Hanoi.

·         Experience the full moon festivities in the ancient town of Hoi An.

·         Drinking rice-wine in the minority villages of the north

·         Taking a boat along Hue's Huong (Perfume) River, visiting the Royal Mausoleums.

·         Overnight in a home stay in the Mekong Delta's riverside orchards.

·         Bartering for a bargain at Saigon's largest market, Ben Thanh Market

·         Taking a stroll through Hanoi's Old Quarters.

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- Governmental agencies work 8 hours/day from 7.30am to 4.30pm (excluding one-hour lunch). Saturday and Sunday are close

- Banks are open from 7.30am or 8am to 11.30am and from 1pm to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday are close.

- Private shops are open from 8am or 8.30am to 9pm or 10pm.

Public Holidays

January 1

New Year's Day, (one day holiday)

April 30

Saigon Liberation Day, (one day holiday)

May 1

International Labour Day, (one day holiday)

September 2

National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, (one day holiday)

Vietnam Traditional Lunar New Year Festival - Tet Nguyen Dan: (Four day holiday). Tet holiday usually falls at the end of January or middle of February by solar calendar. The holiday begins on the last day of the last lunar month and lasts through the first three days of the Lunar New Year (Tet Nguyen Dan)

The 10th day of the third lunar month (in April 26, 2007; April 15, 2008; April 5, 2009; April 23, 2010)
The ancestors' death anniversary of the whole nation (one day holiday)



Vietnamese dong (VND) is the official currency in Vietnam.

- Bank notes include: VND 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 and 100. Coins include VND 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500 and 200.

Cheques with value as Vietnamese dong include: VND 1,000,000 and 500,000.

- Foreign currencies and tourist cheques can be exchanged into Vietnamese Dong at banks or foreign exchange agencies.

- Credit cards are popularly used, especially in cities and big tourist centers.

Before leave Vietnam, Vietnamese dong can be changed into foreign currencies at the airport.




- Vietnamese is the official language.

- Almost tourist guides speak languages: English, Chinese, French, Russian and Japanese.



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Dear Mr. Thang, Happy New Year!! We have now returned back to Australia and the chores of work! – We have very pleasant memories of the sights, sounds, food and people of Vietnam….. We shall treasure for a lifetime I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our
Robert Mariotti