Country Info: Vietnam

Vietnam

Population

As of 2024, the estimated population of Vietnam is 99,373,528.

Local Time

Vietnam is GMT + 7 and does not operate a daylight-savings system. 

Language

The national language is Vietnamese. The Vietnamese language is known for its six different tones, which make it a challenging language for most non-native speakers to pronounce correctly, even though it uses the Roman alphabet. This is because a single word can have up to six different meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. In the cities and major tourism destinations, English is widely spoken. 

religion

Buddhism is the primary religion followed in Vietnam, often accompanied by practices of Confucianism and Taoism. Approximately 10 percent of the population of Vietnam considers themselves Catholic, and there are also groups of Protestants and Muslims. Additionally, Vietnam is the birthplace of a distinctive religion called Cao Dai, which blends the teachings of all the world's major religions.

entry & exit requirements

PASSPORT: U.S. and Canadian passports must be valid for six months beyond the planned stay and have at least one blank visa page. 

VISA: U.S. & Canadian passport holders are eligible to apply online for an e-visa. This is a single-entry electronic tourist visa, valid for a maximum of 30 days. It allows you to enter Vietnam only via the port of entry indicated in the visa approval notice. E-visas take up to 3 days to be processed. 

Alternatively, U.S. and Canadian passport holders are eligible to obtain a visa on arrival. However, to acquire a visa on arrival (VOA) at any of the Vietnam International airports, travelers must first complete an online application for an Approval Letter before their trip 

Currency

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong.  

Vietnamese Dongs come in the following banknotes: 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; 20,000; 50,000; 100,000; 200,000; 500,000. 

Electrical Current

Vietnam's standard electrical supply is 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Both flat and round two-pin outlets are used throughout the country. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor. 

vietnam Weather

Vietnam has a unique geography that stretches over 2,000 km/ 1243 miles from North to South, resulting in three distinct climatic zones. From October to April, the central region experiences tropical monsoons, whereas the north and south have them from May to September. The rest of the year is almost entirely dry. It can get very hot throughout the year, with the north being cooler between October and April. During the hot and rainy season (May to September), temperatures in the country can reach up to 40C/104F, but the northern highlands and the capital city of Hanoi can feel cold during the winter months. The high season in Vietnam runs from September to March. 

when to travel

Most international travelers will arrive at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport, or Da Nang Airport. Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport is located around 7 km/4.3 miles northwest of the city center. Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport is located around 25 km/15.5 miles north of the city’s old quarter. 

getting around by plane

Vietnam's domestic airlines offer a convenient and efficient mode of travel for both locals and visitors. Carriers such as Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Bamboo Airways have extensive route networks that connect major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and more, making travel experiences seamless. The airlines prioritize safety and comfort, providing a range of services from budget-friendly ones to premium services. 

From 

To 

Flight times 

Ho Chi Minh City 

Hanoi 

+/- 2 hour 

Ho Chi Minh City 

Phu Quoc 

+/- 1 hour 

Ho Chi Minh City 

Da Nang 

+/- 1 hour 

Hanoi 

Da Nang 

+/- 1 hour 

Hanoi 

Hue 

+/- 1 hour 

Hanoi 

Phu Quoc 

+/- 2 hour 

shopping

The major cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi offer an extensive range of shopping options. Local specialties that are worth buying include lacquerware, silk, conical hats, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics, embroidery, silver jewelry, wooden water puppets with ingenious mechanisms, and ceramics. Clothing is a great value for money, and tailors in many places can prepare items within 24 hours. 

payment methods

ATMs are widely available in cities, but they are not as common in rural areas. Travelers' cheques can be used in banks, money changers, and hotels, but most people prefer to use debit or credit cards. Currency exchange services are often offered by hotels. US Dollars are the most widely accepted currency. It is recommended to carry cash for shopping and tipping. 

opening hours

Stores & Shops: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm 

Government Offices: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm  

Banks: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm 

tips

While tipping for good service is not mandatory, it is always a gesture of generosity that is greatly appreciated. Tipping the guide and driver on your transfers and tours should depend on how satisfied you are with the excursion. You should also tip hotel porters for carrying your bags to the room. In other cases, deciding when and how much to tip is entirely up to you. 

telephone

Most hotels have IDD phones but for a more inexpensive option head to the abundance of Internet cafes for cheaper phone rates and the sale of pre-paid international calling cards. It is best to buy a local sim card to avoid expensive roaming charges.

the name vietnam

Vietnam was formerly known as Viet Nam. It is a combination of the national race "Viet" and the geographical location "Nam" (in the South), which stands for the land of the Viet people living in the South.

location, area and frontiers

Vietnam is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia, with a total land area of about 128,000 square miles. It has an S-shaped coastline that runs for 1,030 miles up from the South China Sea to the Gulf of Tonkin, with its border with China to the North and its Southeast Asian neighbors, Laos and Cambodia, to the West. Vietnam's main cities, for population and importance, are Hanoi, Haiphong, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). 

geography

Vietnam's geography ranges from rugged mountains to marshy, fertile flatlands. Vietnam's northern terrain is mostly mountainous or hilly, while the southern part of Vietnam is dominated by the estuary of the Mekong River system and is low, flat, and frequently marshy. The Red River Delta and coastal plains in the lowland part of the North are heavily populated and intensively cultivated, almost entirely by rice fields. The country's landscape is very diverse, with tropical lowlands, hills, densely forested highlands, and deltas being some of the major geographical features of Vietnam.

climate

In Vietnam, the climate is subtropical in the north and tropical in the center and south, and it's influenced by the monsoons. The southwest monsoon affects the country from May to October, and the northeast monsoon from October to April. In inland areas, there are hills and mountains, which make the climate milder in the summer months, but even cold in winter in the north. 

holidays

Jan 1st – New Year’s Day 

Feb 9th to Feb 15th – Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year) 

Apr 18th – Hung Kings Commemoration Day 

Apr 30th – Reunification Day 

May 1st – Labor Day 

Sep 2nd – National Day 

Sep 3rd – National Day day off 

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