Visa

Most visitors to Viet Nam need a visa to enter the country. Visas are exempted for the citizens of the countries which have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa exemption agreement with Viet Nam. 

Bilateral visa exemption agreement

  • Citizens of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos holding valid ordinary passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 30 days; Philippines is allowed to stay for not more than 21 days; Brunei and Myanmar citizens are allowed to stay for not more than 14 days; Chilean citizens are allowed to stay for not more than 90 days and vice versa.
  • By August 2017, citizens of 81 countries holding valid diplomatic or official passports are exempt from visa requirements and vice versa

Duration of stay is applied for each specific object. For more information, please visit the website: lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn

Unilateral visa exemption

  • Foreigners and Vietnamese people holding foreign passports are allowed to stay in Phu Quoc Island for not more than 30 days without visa. In case foreigners who transit via an international gate of Viet Nam (including by air or sea) and then to Phu Quoc Island later also exempt from visa requirements.
  • Visa with 30-day validity is exempted for officials from ASEAN secretariat holding different kinds of passports.
  • From 01 January 2015 to the end of 31 December 2019, citizens of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Japan, South Korea and Russia holding different kinds of passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 15 days.
  • From 1 July 2015 to end of 30 June 2021, citizens of the United Kingdom, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Spain and the Italian Republic holding different kinds of passports are exempt from visa requirements and are allowed to stay for not more than 15 days.
  • From 1 July 2015 to end of 30 June 2020, citizens of the Republic of Belarus holding different kinds of passports are exempt from visa requirement and are allowed to stay for not more than 15 days.

VISA APPLICATIONS

  • Visa is issued by competent authorities of Viet Nam in foreign countries. Visa on arrival is possibly issued in some special cases. For more, please visit the website https://visa.mofa.gov.vn.
  • Documents for visa application: 01 application form (in provided format) with an attached 4x6cm photo; passport or passport substitute that its validity must be at least 01 month longer  than the applied visa validity .
  • Tourist visa is valid for up to 3 months.

E-VISA

The pilot grant of e-visa has been applied within 2 years since 1 February 2017 for foreigners from 46 countries in Asia, Europe, and Americas.

The border gates allowing foreigners to enter and exit by e-visas include 28 ones, consisting of 8 air ones, 13 land ones, and 7 sea ones. E-visas granted through electronic transaction system are single-entry visas with validity of 30 days. Fee for e-visa is USD 25. 

Please visit the website : http://www.vietnamtourism.com/en/index.php/useful/items/2877 to know :

-       List of 46 countries whose citizens are granted e- visas entering Viet Nam

-       List of international border gates allowing foreigners to enter and exit by e-visas

Procedures for applying e-visas:

1. Accessing the website https://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or https://www.immigration.gov.vn to fill in the declaration form.
2. Receiving a code for his/her dossier and paying visa fee at the website.
3. Within 3 working days since the full receipt of information and fee, the Immigration Department (Ministry of Public Security) replies the e-visa applicants at the website.
4. The e-visa applicants use granted code to check the result and print out their e-visa.

Customs

The basic principle of customs policy in Vietnam is that visitors should enter and exit with the same goods and personal possessions with the following exceptions:

Cash amounts greater than US$ 5,000 should be declared upon entry or exit.

1. Souvenirs: Visitors are free to buy products in Vietnam for personal use. The exception to this principle is antiques. Antiques considered of "national interest" will be confiscated without refund or recourse. In general this applies to articles of ancient (over 50 years old) or religious nature. "National interest" is interpreted by an expert at the airport. In cases where a visitor is unsure of the acceptability of the export of any goods purchased, they can check with the Customs Office in either Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi for prior ruling without risk of confiscation.

2. To avoid confiscation of goods not purchased, visitors must be sure an accurate description appears on the Customs Declaration form upon arrival. Particular note should be taken of antiques purchased in other countries in the region which might possibly be deemed of Vietnamese origin. Also, extra care should be taken to declare loose gemstones and jewelry.

3. Firearms, narcotics and other internationally prohibited goods are banned and those found in possession of such items are liable to prosecution. Items that you cannot bring into Vietnam include weapons, munitions, explosives and inflammables, firecracker of all kinds, opium and drugs, toxic chemicals, and cultural materials unsuitable to Vietnamese society (pornographic seditious publications, films and photos), harmful child toys. If you break these rules you will be subject to Vietnamese law.

Medical Facilities

Over the counter prescription drugs are widely available in major cities, but it is best to bring frequently used medicines from home. It is also recommended that visitors bring a basic travel first-aid kit with band-aids, anti-infection creams, mosquito repellant, and the like. There are several medical clinics in Hanoi, Danang and Saigon staffed by foreign medical personnel.

Safety

Vietnam is widely acknowledged to be one of the safest destinations in the world. In almost all cases the Vietnamese people regard tourists with the highest level of respect as guests in their country. However petty theft and pick pockets do exist in the larger cities. In other areas reports of these activities are almost unheard of. It is certainly not something to be concerned about but you should be aware of your surroundings.

You should therefore ensure that all bags have sturdy locks. Place all valuables, including passport and air tickets in the in-room safe at hotels or at the front desk. It is best not to bring expensive jewelry or watches to Vietnam. Do not carry unnecessarily large amounts of cash with you at any time.

Emergency Numbers

0 National Domestic Direct Dialing Access Code
00 International Direct Dialing Access Code
113 Police
114 Fire Brigade
115 Ambulance
1080 Directory enquiries

Vietnam Quick Facts

Population: 96.4 million

Capital City: Hanoi, population 7.6 million

Language: Vietnamese

Religion: Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity.

Currency: Vietnam’s official currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Notes come in denominations between 1,000 and 500,000 dong. Throughout the country, American dollars are widely accepted. Traveler's cheques are exchangeable in banks and credit cards are becoming more readily acceptable, especially in the major hotels and restaurants of Hanoi , Da Nang City, Hoi An City and Ho Chi Minh City. ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) are widely available in major cities and tourist hubs right across Vietnam.

Time: GMT + 7 hours

Electricity: 220V with two round or flat-pin plugs.

International Dialling Code: +84

The Lunar New Year

Tết Nguyên Đán, literally the ‘Festival of the First Day’ is the Lunar New Year period in Vietnam. Lasting 4-5 days, the vast majority of people simply refer to it as ‘Tet’.

Steeped in myth, legend, ritual and tradition, Tet is a symbolic period of rebirth and renewal; of joy and merriment; a time for homecoming family reunions and fulfillment of filial piety duties. Houses are spring-cleaned and spruced up with a lick of paint or whitewash. Ancestral graves are cleaned and repaired. New clothes are purchased. Friends are visited with token gifts and warm wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and successful new year. Debts are repaid and outstanding matters are finalized in preparation for a fresh, new beginning for the coming year.

Vietnamese people enjoy a very close spiritual relationship with their ancestors. On New Year’s Eve, the head of the family will make offerings to the ancestors and invite them to return and join the family for Tet.

Tet Lunar New Year 2019: Feb 5 - Feb 7

Tet Lunar New Year 2020: Jan 25 - Jan 27

Read more at Wikipedia...

Ao Dai

Clothing of Vietnam is unique. One of the most popular Vietnamese traditional dress is the “Aó Dài” or “long tunic”, worn often for special occasions such as weddings or festivals.

Gastronomy

Cuisine of Vietnam is an integral part of its cultural heritage. Its cuisine is also influenced with practices of various religions and beliefs. The Vietnamese cuisine is often considered the richest food in the world.

Markets

In the Vietnamese countryside, there are three broad types of markets: a fair; an early morning market and an afternoon market. Rural towns will also usually have an all-day market. In the hamlets and villages, with available space always at a premium and for convenience sake, the early morning and afternoon markets may share the same location, differing only in the time of day and produce or goods purveyed. Most commonly, fresh produce in the morning and durable goods, household items, clothing, etc. in the afternoon.

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