Going on the grand tour

What You Need to Know Before Travelling to Vietnam

Vietnam is a must visit destination is south-east Asia. It is rich in culture, history, it has incredible natural landscapes, and it has its fair share of contemporary city life as well. Vietnam is so rich in so many ways, and has so much going on that travelling there can actually be a very overwhelming experience. But if you have a level of expectation about what Vietnam will be like and you prepare yourself adequately, there is no reason why a trip to Vietnam cannot be the holiday of a lifetime. Here is what you need to know before you get on your plane.

The Visa Situation

Fortunately, if you are flying into the country, you can receive a Visa on Arrival. This sounds simple, and like you can just show up and get stamped, but this isn't really the case. Even with a Visa on Arrival, you need to have a letter of approval with you. And how do you go about getting one of those? Well the easiest way is to let a travel agency familiar with visa processing to take care of this paperwork for you. You will also have to be prepared to pay for the visa when you arrive. The costs in US dollars are $65 for one month multiple entry, $95 for three months multiple entry, and $135 for six months multiple entry. Have both cash and a credit card on you at the airport just to be safe, and bring two passport size photographs as well. (For more information, contact CLS Capital Link Services.)

Look after Your Dong

To be clear, dong is the local currency in Vietnam. It's one of those currencies with huge bills and a huge assortment of bills, and it is all too easy to become confused and find that you have given away far more money than you had ever intended. One Australian dollar is approximately 16,000 Vietnamese dong—so you see how mistakes can happen. The 10,000 dong note also looks remarkably similar to the 100,000 dong note so look closely before handing that money over.

Be Wary with Taxis

It is commonplace for tourists to have negative experiences with taxis in Vietnam. They are not unsafe, but some will overcharge. In order to avoid this, you need to use taxi companies that are reputable. If there are any dents in a car, do not get inside. Look out for a fare chart inside the cab, and the visible ID of your driver to maximise the chances of getting in a reputable vehicle. And always insist on using the car's internal metre to calculate the fare.