What to prepare for traveling to Vietnam
1. Papper to bring
In recent times, travelers visiting Vietnam are required to bring several important papers, including:
- Passports need to be valid 6 months AFTER the date of departure from the last country(ies), and at least two blank pages.
- A visa or an approval letter for visa on arrival (if applicable).
- Proof of onward travel (such as return ticket or itinerary).
- Health declaration form or a negative COVID-19 test result certificate (if required).
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended but not mandatory).
- It is important to check the latest entry requirements and regulations before traveling to Vietnam as they may change due to COVID-19 or other factors.
2. Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is highly recommended when traveling to Vietnam, as it can provide coverage for unexpected events such as accidents, illness, flight cancellations, lost luggage, and other travel-related issues. It is important to carefully read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that it covers all the activities you plan to undertake during your trip, such as adventure sports or motorbike riding.
When purchasing travel insurance for Vietnam, make sure that it includes coverage for medical evacuation, as medical facilities in some parts of the country may not meet Western standards. It is also a good idea to check whether your policy covers natural disasters such as typhoons or flooding, which can occur during certain times of the year.
Travel insurance can be purchased from a range of providers, including travel agencies, insurance companies, and online providers. It is important to shop around and compare prices and coverage to ensure that you find the best policy for your needs.
Vietnam is a conservative country, so it is important to dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious or cultural sites. When visiting temples, shrines, or pagodas, it is best to wear modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
In general, lightweight and breathable clothing is recommended due to Vietnam's hot and humid climate. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as many tourist sites require a lot of walking.
It is also important to bring a rain jacket or umbrella, as Vietnam experiences frequent rain showers, particularly during the monsoon season.
Have a bag of medicine with you: aspirins, band-aids, anti-mosquitoes cream, stomachache medicine...Anything could happen, so be aware of all the ramifications. The weather in Vietnam can be tricky sometimes, you can get a headache or stomachache occasionally if you're not used to it.
In addition, you can buy medicine at hospitals, pharmacies everywhere. For example, a chain of pharmacies such as Pharmacity, FPT Long Chau, etc.
6. SIM card, Wifi
6.1. SIM card
We recommend Viettel for most travelers. There are shops on almost every street corner that sell SIM cards, including small supermarkets. But officially SIM cards must be registered with passport. Recommended to buy in an official store. You can also buy it at the airport. The SIM card and a 5 GB / 30-day package cost 100,000 VND (about $ 5 USD)
In most hotels, restaurants and cafés you can get free wireless internet.
The Vietnamese Dong (VND; symbol: ₫) is the official currency of Vietnam. There seem to be a lot of denominations in Vietnam, and the most commonly used are VND 1,000, VND 2,000, VND 5,000; VND 10,000, VND 20,000, VND 50,000; VND 100,000, VND 50,000, VND 200,000 and VND 500,000. Since polymer money was put into use starting in 2003, now only paper notes with a value of VND 1,000, VND 2,000, and VND 5,000 are still valid in Vietnam.
7.2 Withdraw Money at ATM
The rules regarding the maximum ATM amount in Vietnam and the withdrawal fee for each transaction vary from bank to bank, but local bank ATMs have quite a low maximum withdrawal amount per transaction compared to international banks.
7.3 Pay with Credit Card
Credit cards are accepted in large cities at hotels and travel agents, but do not expect cheap guesthouses or local restaurants that accept a credit card. Payments commissions sometimes apply (around 3% - 4%).
7.4 Exchange money in Vietnam
Most major currencies can be changed in Vietnam. US Dollars can easily be changed in banks, hotels, airport money exchange stalls, and jewelry shops. Other currencies, including Euros, AUD, and UK Pounds, etc can be changed in banks.
Banks: You can change foreign currency and checks at the safest place - banks such as Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Techcombank, Agribank, etc., around the city. But it's a slow process, and you'll be charged a commission rate of between 0.5% to 2%. And if your notes are dirty or damaged, you will be charged an additional amount of the note's value.
Hotels: You can get a more competitive rate by changing your currency in large hotels, nearly equal to the bank. And small hotels may charge a service fee.
Airports: You will find some currency exchange stalls when arriving at the airports. However, the exchange rate is unfavorable here. Therefore, it's best to change a small sum to cover your taxi fare and head to town for a better rate.
Gold and Jewelry Shops: You can go to the gold and jewelry stores, usually in red and gold colors, on every main street for better deals, where you can change the VND with no fees. It should be noted that the exchange rate may be different from the official one in the bank. Including the USD denominations, the rate for a large bill will be higher.
8.1. Gift to bring:
If you are interested in donating gifts or supplies during your travels in Vietnam, there are several options available. Here are a few suggestions:
School supplies: Many schools in rural areas of Vietnam lack basic supplies like pencils, pens, paper, and notebooks. Consider bringing some of these items with you to donate to a local school or educational organization.
Clothing and shoes: There are many charitable organizations in Vietnam that accept donations of gently used clothing and shoes. These items can be especially valuable in areas where families may not have the resources to purchase new clothing.
Personal hygiene products: Basic hygiene items like soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste can be valuable donations for those in need. Consider bringing a few of these items with you to donate to a local organization or shelter.
Toys and games: If you are traveling with children, consider bringing some toys or games to donate to a local orphanage or children's organization. These items can help bring joy and entertainment to children who may not have access to such luxuries.
It's always a good idea to research local organizations before donating to ensure that your gifts will be put to good use. Additionally, it's important to be respectful of cultural norms and customs when donating gifts in Vietnam.
8.2. Power Plugs:
In short, plugs type A (two flat vertical pins), type C and type F (two round pins) fit most Vietnam electrical outlets. If your power plug has 3 pins, you might need an adapter as most electrical outlets here do not include a grounding hole. The electricity supply in Vietnam is 220 Volts at 50Hz.