Vietnam Travel Guide

Basic Facts of Vietnam

Exploring Hoi An Ancient Town on a Cycle
Vietnam
Location: in the east of Indo-China Peninsula; borders Guangxi and Yunnan provinces of China on the north, Laos and Cambodia on the west, and next to the South China Sea.

Area: 127,200 sq mi (329,446 sq km)

Population: 91.7 million (in 2015)

Language: Vietnamese

Currency: Vietnamese Dong

Time Zone: GMT+7

Capital: Hanoi

Administrative Division: 58 provinces

Religions and Beliefs: Buddhism, Catholicism, Hoahaoism, Caodaism

Nationality: a multi-ethnic country with Jing People in majority

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Top Things to Do in Vietnam

Vietnam has rich resources, which presents a fusion of mysterious oriental characteristics and French romantic feelings. There are five scenic spots being listed as world cultural and natural heritage by UNESCO.

Top Destinations & Attractions:

Hanoi: Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi Cathedral, Hoan Kiem Lake, Ha Long Bay
Ho Chi Minh City: Saigon Opera House, National Museum of Vietnamese History, Notre-Dame Cathedral
Hoi An: Hoi An Ancient Town
Nha Trang: Vinpearl Amusement Park, Po Nagar Cham Towers
Mui Ne: White Sand Dune, Fairy Stream

Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town

Halong Bay Cruise
Ha Long Bay Cruise

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Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Vietnam is divided into dry season and rainy season. November - April is the dry season with less rain and many foggy days, which is ideal for best tours in Vietnam. The weather is usually cool from November to February while it is relatively warmer in March and April. From May to October, it is the rainy season with heavy rain even rainstorm. The temperature is high and the air is humid. November - February is suitable for traveling when the temperature is moderate and the sun is shining.

In the north, from October to March, visitors are advised to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers. From April to September, short-sleeved shirts and shorts are advised. In addition, rain gears are recommended. In the south, the temperature is high all year round, and short-sleeved shirts and shorts are quite suitable. Wearing sunscreen is advised outside.

3-Day Weather Forecast of Major Cities
Hanoi
Ho-chi-minh
Danang


Read More: Vietnam Weather     Hanoi Weather     Ho Chi Minh Weather


Transportation

There are international flights from many countries to Vietnam, such as China, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Besides, tourists can also take trains and buses to the country from Nanning, Beijing, and Kunming of China. Transportation within the country is convenient that visitors can choose according to their needs. Planes, trains, taxis, buses, and even motorbikes are all available.

Read More about Vietnam Trains


Vietnam Travel Tips

1. Public Security

The common security issue may be the pick pocketing especially at places crowded with a lot of people. When getting on or off the taxi, one should also be aware of this situation. When traveling by vehicles such as motorbikes or tricycles, avoid carrying bags on the back.

Read more: Traveling Vietnam Alone - Is It Ideal for Solo Travellers?


2. Getting Lost

After checking in the hotel, make sure to take a business card from the reception. If getting lost when traveling, give the business card to the taxi driver or ask local people for help.

Avoid Carrying Bags on the Back
Avoid Carrying Bags on the Back

Local Driver Helping with the Luggage, Vietnam
Local Driver Helping with the Luggage, Vietnam

3. Language

Vietnam receives quite a lot of foreign tourists every year so most vendors speak a little English, however, further communication is difficult. The English level of the hotels' service staff varies greatly, but generally reservation and service is OK. Staff in travel agencies can communicate relatively fluently in English.

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Shopping in Hanoi


History

A.D. 968: Independent feudal state
1858: The French came in and ruled the country.
Sept. 2, 1945: The north gained independence and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, but the south was still under the control of France.
Dec. 1946: the First Indochina War with France broke out.
Aug. 1954: The First Indochina War ended. The north was liberated but the south was still ruled by France.
Oct. 26, 1955: The Republic of Vietnam, supported by America, was established in the south.
Nov. 1, 1955: Vietnam War or the Second Indochina War with America began.
1973: US army retreated.
Apr. 30, 1975: The Republic of Vietnam was overthrown and the Vietnam War was over.
July, 1976: The whole country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


Geographical Features

The land of Vietnam is long and narrow with the narrowest point of 30 miles (50 kilometers) wide. It is a coastal country and its coastline stretches over 2,000 miles (3,219 kilometers) long. There are different landforms such as deltas, highlands, and mountains. Various geographical features endow this country with many beautiful natural sights, including the karst landscape at Ha Long Bay, Mekong Delta, and hilly area at Sapa Town.