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FAQs

1. Where can I go for a walk in Hanoi?
2. How do addresses in Vietnam work?
3. I’m moving to Vietnam in a few days and I need some information about the cell phone. So which network provider should I choose?
4. What is the weather of Hanoi like in January?
5. How much does airport taxi cost from Noi Bai airport to Hanoi Old Quarter?
6. What is Vietnam currency and what is the exchange rate with dollars?
7. Hello! I am planning my trip to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh area in particular, for october and i would like to know if you had any ideas for visting the countryside out of the city for a couple of days
8. Where can I find a cozy café with nice music in Hanoi?
9. What is the best way to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City?
10. When is the best time to book cheap flights to Vietnam?
11. Independent travel in Mekong Delta?
12. What qualifications do I need to teach English in Vietnam?
13. Paintball place in Ho Chi Minh City?
14. What medication should I bring along?
15. Where can I get custom-made silk clothes in Hanoi?
16. How do I get from Hoi An to Hue?
17. What to do on the long plane trip to Vietnam?
18. How much do people generally tip in Vietnam?
19. How to get a Vietnam visa from Singapore?
20. How to get from Hanoi to Nha Trang?
21. I am an Australian with a Singapore permanent resident status, do I need a visa for Vietnam?
22. How long does it take to get from melbourne australia to vietnam?
23. We are a Canadian couple who want to adopt a Vietnamese child. Where do we start? What formalities do we need to complete?
24. I am from Malaysia and i will travel to Vietnam at the end of year. Do I require to apply for Vietnam Visa for Malaysia passport?
25. How do I get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc

1. Where can I go for a walk in Hanoi?

Hanoi is not the best bet for some pedestrians, but if you really want to go for a walk, there are still some choices. The Old quarter is supposed to be on your top list with many local shops and street vendors. Old houses with French colonial architectural style dotted along streets are all worth sightseeing. A walk in “night streets” (at weekend’s night markets) is even better with wonderful light and very local feel atmosphere. You would certainly feel the lively nightlife of Hanoi by visiting the Old Quarter at night. Areas around Hoan Kiem Lake, Thanh Nien Road or Ly Thai To Park are better choices for people who want to contemplate the tranquility of Hanoi, or want to take photos. Another suitable place is Truc Bach Lakeside with wind blowing and the road lined with trees. The trail that curves around the lake has trees and water on the one side and many street vendors on the other. You can always stop for some ice cream or sweet treats along the way. So just off your taxi or tour bus for a while and enjoy a walk for a better health!

 

2. How do addresses in Vietnam work?

If you are sending something to Vietnam, you can leave the address in English or ask the recipients for the Vietnamese version. In general, the number of the house comes first and followed by lane number of street names, districts and cities. Here are some useful words: Quận/ Huyện: District Phố: Street Đường: Road Ngõ: lane Ngách: smaller than lane unit Số: House number Khu đô thị: Apartment building complex Example of an address: Chu Ngoc H. So 4, ngo 12, pho H.H, Dong Da, Hanoi. Note: Vietnam does not have postal code.

 

3. I’m moving to Vietnam in a few days and I need some information about the cell phone. So which network provider should I choose?

You can use your current phone with the sim card you buy in Vietnam like other international sim card. Vietnam now has only a number of service providers on mobile phone services with different advantages and disadvantages. Among those firms, Vinaphone, Mobiphone and Viettel are the three biggest service providers. Vinaphone is reputed with the stable and high standard of network, while Mobiphone has better customer services, and Viettel focus more on promotion and competitive price. The price for a new prepaid account and sim card is normally from VND 50,000 to 100,000 based on the type of accounts (USD 2.43 to 4.86) and the price for using services is different for each firm, with the range from around VND 1,200 to 2,500 per minute (USD 0.06 to 0.122). Fortunately, Viettel is currently offering a special package for the foreigner tourists name “Tourist” with more benefit and easiness to them to use phone in Vietnam. More information about this package can be obtained at the branches or stores of Viettel.

 

4. What is the weather of Hanoi like in January?

January is undoubtedly the coldest month in Hanoi (see Hanoi monthly average temperature). Though the idea of having 7-12 Celsius degree seems to be associated with a nice, cool and no-sweat atmosphere, the reality is rather dark and ugly. The drizzle that goes on days and nights - though not all the time - make the air wet, humid and chilly beyond imagination. The worst part is probably strong cold wind AND no central heating system available indoors! The average temperature in Hanoi in January falls between 13 and 19 degree, not to mention the colder days which can make your trip rather miserable without warm clothing. The good news is that if you cannot afford to take them in your luggage from home, Hanoi has plenty to offer when it comes to shopping for clothes. Tips: Essential things for Hanoi in January: scarf, mitten, thin layers of warm sweaters, socks and long-johns if you are from a tropical country.

 

5. How much does airport taxi cost from Noi Bai airport to Hanoi Old Quarter?

From Noi Bai airport to Hanoi Old Quarter, there are taxis that run at fixed rates waiting outside of the arrival hall. It costs between 315,000 - 345,000 VND depending on the type of taxi you get (or $16-18). Three official taxi brands for airport routes are: Noi Bai Taxi, Viet Thanh Taxi and Dai Nam Taxi, you can also take a look at our Guide to taking taxi at Noi Bai airport here. In any case, do not go by the meter because the rate will be much higher than the fixed rate. You also need not pay any toll fees. Tips are not required though if the driver is really nice you can also give tips.

 

6. What is Vietnam currency and what is the exchange rate with dollars?

Vietnam's sole currency is Vietnam Dong - VND, which comes in notes and coins though the latter is barely seen today. Vietnam Dong notes come in denominations of: VND 500; 1,000; 2,000; VND 5,000; 10;000; 20,000; VND 50,000; 100,000; 200,000; 500,000 At present the exchange rate is about VND 21,000 for 1 USD. US dollars can also be used for your purchase while you are in larger cities' tourist areas but try to avoid doing so. Since late 2011, Vietnamese government has banned all price listing in dollars. Adding to that, Vietnamese sellers will charge you unfavourable rate if you pay in dollars. Vietnamese currency is not common beyond Vietnam and Asia, so your banks will not have them in stocks if you are in North America or Europe. You can always get some as you land at one of the Vietnam's airport.

 

7. Hello! I am planning my trip to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh area in particular, for october and i would like to know if you had any ideas for visting the countryside out of the city for a couple of days

Hello, Thank you for your inquiry. Please take a look at out suggestions for day trip from Ho Chi Minh City. You can also contact travel agencies on Pham Ngu Lao area for budget trip option to outside of the city.

 

8. Where can I find a cozy café with nice music in Hanoi?

There are a number of good coffee shops in Hanoi though music is a frequent offer like those in Ho Chi Minh City. You can browse through our listing page of coffee shops in Hanoi and try them out one by one. Align Café (1B Ma May and 10A Khuc Hao), for example, is an ideal place to relax. Align has drawn customers ‘attention by its luxurious appearance of a wooden house with windows looking out on to old streets. Coming to Align, consumers are able to enjoy the cozy atmosphere offered by yellow light, old style furniture and trees with changing colour leaves. The music here is nice and soft, with classic rock, blues, souls and sometimes country/funk. It will easily take away your stresses and brings you relaxing moments. Drinks here vary from regular ones like tea, coffee, fruit juice to special drinks like cocktails, mocktails and alcohols. You can order sandwiches, French fries, salad or soup if you want some snack and the most famous food here is the unique takoyaki (octopus meat balls) of Japan. You need a place to hang out with friends, you yearn for somewhere to rest, or you just want some privacy with your favourite books? The Bookworm cafe at 44 Chau Long street can fulfill all of your demands. This cafe also functions as a bookshop with the largest collection of English books in Hanoi. Near Westlake area- the expats district of Hanoi, there are also many options: the Donkey Bakery (8 Nguyen Hoang Ton), Joma Bakery and Cafe (54 To Ngoc Van), Le Pub (9 Xuan Dieu) are all worth not one but many visits.

 

9. What is the best way to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City?

There are several methods to get from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City such as travelling by motors, cars or airplane, but the most interesting way should be travel by train. Thanks to the significant investment of the government, the Unification Trains (also called North-South Express Train) now connect Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in one integrated route, with the direct travel time often less than 40 hours. The magnificent scenery outside of the train windows is also the attractive point of travelling by trains. Along the road from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are a considerable number of beautiful attractions such as mountains, valleys, oceans and forests for you to witness and enjoy. The only worth considering point of travelling by train is that the safety of the train is not totally ensured with sometimes serious accidents occurred on the route, but It is still in the acceptable level, especially in the modern trains. More information about the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can be found at the North – South Express Train of this site.

 

10. When is the best time to book cheap flights to Vietnam?

For those with a tight budget, the ideal season to fly to Vietnam should be March and April, or September and October. That is to say, the beginning and the end of tourism reason offer you the best deals. In these months, the flight fare could decrease by 5-10%, or even a drop of 30% compared to the price in the tourism season. In other months, you could grasp reasonable ticket fares for the flights to Vietnam, but the price in the summer or on Tet Holiday is significantly more expensive. Summer in Vietnam lasts from late May to late August, with various tourism activities in many places and attracts a considerable number of travellers . Tourists are certain to face more challenges to reserve and purchase desired flights ticket while the ticket fare, in general, is considerably higher than the normal season. The same situation occurs during Christmas and Tet Holiday, but to more extreme degree because not only the tourists use airplane to travel, but also the overseas Vietnamese who come back to Vietnam to have get-togethers with their family, leading to over-booking on most international flights to Vietnam. Conversely, travelling in between September - November, February - April is advantageous thanks to the seasonal deals and discounts from the airlines to encourage people to travel.

 

11. Independent travel in Mekong Delta?

Question: Why are tours to Mekong Delta packaged tours? Can we travel on our own? Answer: Because traveling around islands in Mekong Delta requires using the boat. If you travel on your own, booking a private boat might result in higher cost. Moreover, the package tour offer a complimentary service with an English speaking guide and many stop-overs in between so that travelers can get chances to see how they manufacture coconut candy, pop rice and other handicraft products. Traveling alone might be troublesome because the local people are not really good at communicating in English. If you are native to Vietnamese language, you can try, though!

 

12. What qualifications do I need to teach English in Vietnam?

With most major English centers, trainers are required to have Bachelor degree and teaching certificate (TESOL/ CELTA/ TEFL). Those with certificates or knowledge of TOEFL iBT, IELTS, SAT, GRE, GMAT are preferable. However, if you do not hold any certificate, your circumstance may be considered if you have more than one year experience teaching English. In some English centers like ILA Vietnam center, trainers without certificate will need to join a training course conducted by the center.

 

13. Paintball place in Ho Chi Minh City?

Question: Is there any place I could play paintball in Ho Chi Minh City? Answer: In the city center, you may not find a place for paintball. However, if you travel 70 km away from the center and reach Cuchi Tunnel, you can have the feeling of a gun there. Besides discovering the tunnel, they offer the paintball service. A bullet is charged at VND 4,000 each.

 

14. What medication should I bring along?

It is highly recommended that you bring a first-aid-kit with any of your trip. In addition, you might also want to include medication in case of diarrhea, sore-throat or those that you are on use. Consult your family doctor or a travel clinic for further details. If you head first to city centers such as Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City, you can purchase your medication when you arrive.

 

15. Where can I get custom-made silk clothes in Hanoi?

Hello, Hang Gai Street, just some steps from Sword Lake and where many silk shops are located, is surely the place you want to go. Here, you can find a lot of eye-catching silk clothes which are diverse in color, design and size. Especially, many shops here offer guests one-day-tailoring service that provides guests with customized silk clothes within one day only. Just come here, speak out your wish and get your dream clothes done. On a side note, if you dare venture outside of the city for better deals, Van Phuc Silk Village may be a worthwhile option too. You can combine making your clothes into a half day trip as there are plenty to see in this hometown of silk. Read more about Van Phuc Silk to have all the information you need.

 

16. How do I get from Hoi An to Hue?

The most convenient way you can get from Hoi An to Hue is to by an open tour bus ticket in the ancient town. The trip lasts about 3 hours and you can request for a drop-off at your reserved hotel. Note that the route from Hoi An to Hue is one of the most mind-boggling one in Vietnam. After passing through Da Nang, you will arrive at Hai Van pass. A new tunnel has been built to reduce traffic accidents and travel time and it is the longest tunnel in Southeast Asia. Before and after the tunnel, you will be blown away by the breathtaking natural landscape of mountains and oceans, sky and trees so get your camera ready!

 

17. What to do on the long plane trip to Vietnam?

The long plan trip across the ocean can be a nightmare for many travellers, including those experienced ones. A plane trip to Vietnam, unless departing from Hong Kong or Southeast Asia, will be a great pain for some. For example, from Toronto or New York to Hanoi, it takes 17 hours onboard, excluding the transiting time. Here is what you can do to alleviate the long trip pain: 1. Read your travel guide book: Sections in the Lonely Planet such as History and Geography are often scantily skimmed when you arrive. The time on the plane, however, can be an ideal period to know more about Vietnam. Imagine when you talk to the locals, you can be proud to think of yourself as "just-not-another-tourist". 2. Start your travel dairy: the boring landscape inside an airplane, with neither internet nor your favourite baseball match, can be an ideal environment for reflection. Think about where you are now, what you have prepared for the trip and what you are expecting. You will have fun revisiting these pages upon returning to your home country. 3. Make your to-do list: what food do you want to try, where do you want to visit, what do you want to learn, whom will you be telling your story along the way. Making to-do list can be a great way to make yourself satisfied after the trip to Vietnam. 4. Talk to your seat-mate: you never know whom you are sitting next to, until you TRY. Break the ice and make a new friend. Why not? You are going to Vietnam, a most-likely-totally-foreign place anyway. 5. Sleep: Sleeping is the best way to kill time and to help you avoid jetlag later when you land. Avoid caffeinated drinks whenever possible.

 

18. How much do people generally tip in Vietnam?

Previously, Vietnamese people did not have the habit of tipping; however, a boom in tourism allows this western life style to be adapted by the local. The most common situations to give tips are eating at restaurants, taking a taxi or hiring a tour guide. It all depends on the quality of services they provide you as well as yours’ satisfaction. To a taxi driver, 50 cents to $1is greatly appreciated, but not common. In a luxury restaurant, you can leave the change or a VND 50,000 note (about $2.5) which is really generous. In some upscale spa or hotels, a service fee of 10% is often added, so tipping is not necessary.

 

19. How to get a Vietnam visa from Singapore?

If you are a citizen of a Southeast Asian or Nordic countries, Japan, South Korea, you do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for tourism purpose. If your nationality is different from what was mentioned above, you can obtain your visa from the embassy or opt for visa on arrival. The second option takes only a maximum of 2 days but it applies to air travel only. For the former option, the Vietnam embassy address in Singapore is: 10 Leedon Park St., SINGAPORE 267887 Tel: (65) 6462 5936/ 6462 5938 Fax: (65) 6468 9863 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

20. How to get from Hanoi to Nha Trang?

The best way for the tourists to get from Hanoi to Nha Trang is traveling by train or plane because of safety and comforts. For tourists who can afford the time and would like to enjoy beautiful scenes along the way, train is the best choice. The most prominent scene is Hai Van pass, the famous beauty spot between Hue and Da Nang. Traveling by train is the best way for tourists to appreciate the marvelous beauty of this pass, especially in the dawn or sunset. It takes you about 27 hours from Hanoi – Nha Trang by train. For those who want to save time, they can take a flight from Hanoi to Nha Trang. It only takes about 1.5 hour, and Vietnam Airlines maintain frequent daily routes between these two cities. One way ticket is about $90 and Nha Trang Airport is about 40 minutes from downtown area. Besides, tourists can travel by open tour bus offered by plenty of travel agencies in Hanoi Old Quarter.

 

21. I am an Australian with a Singapore permanent resident status, do I need a visa for Vietnam?

Hi, Yes you need a visa for Vietnam. Only Singapore passport holder can come to Vietnam for a 30 day visit without a visa (see full list of countries with visa exemption agreement with Vietnam). Australians can get a visa to Vietnam in 2 ways: applying for one at the embassy in Canberra or consulate in Sydney. An alternative option is get one on arrival (read full instructions about how Australians can get a visa for Vietnam). Hope this helps.

 

22. How long does it take to get from melbourne australia to vietnam?

It will take between 9 and 15 hours to get from Melbourne to Vietnam. The specific timing required depends on which airport you land in: it will take less time to get from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City than it is to Hanoi. It also depends on which airlines you fly with and how many stops you will be making. For example: Vietnam Airlines flights will take you 8 hours and 45 minutes while Thai Airways will take you 14 hours and 20 minutes to get from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City.

 

23. We are a Canadian couple who want to adopt a Vietnamese child. Where do we start? What formalities do we need to complete?

Thank you for your questions. We have encountered similar inquiries from many of our audience and thus we have maintained a detailed page on Adoption matters in Vietnam. Please take a look at the following post in order to understand what procedures you will have to go through, and the tips that we have collected for adopting Vietnamese children.
- Start with learning about Step-by-step adoption process.
- Check whether you are eligible to adopt a Vietnamese child.
- Learn about Canadian law in adopting a foreign born baby.
- Find an agent who will facilitate the process.
We hope that this guide is comprehensive enough to you and please contact us if you have more questions to ask.

 

24. I am from Malaysia and i will travel to Vietnam at the end of year. Do I require to apply for Vietnam Visa for Malaysia passport?

Thank you for your question. Malaysians do not require a visa to enter Vietnam, as long as they plan to stay for fewer than 21 days. If you stay longer than that, you can apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassies or online for a visa-on-arrival. We hope this information is helpful!

25. How do I get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc?

There are a number of ways to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc island, but the most popular way is to take a flight. Currently, Air Mekong and Vietnam Airlines operate flights daily departing for the island.
› Air Mekong flights:
  •  Air ticket starts at $50 one way. One way flight takes 50 minutes.
  • Schedules: Air Mekong departs Ho Chi Minh City at 12:00PM and departs from Phu Quoc at 7:45 AM, 1:15 PM; 4:05 PM
› Vietnam Airlines flights:
  • Air ticket starts at $50 and there are 8 flights back and forth between the two cities daily. One way flight takes $50.
› Ferry:
  • You can also travel on a high speed ferry from Rach Gia (Kien Giang) to Phu Quoc - which takes 3 hour and costs about $12. There are multiple ferries departing daily to Phu Quoc and back but it may take you a long time to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Rach Gia.

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