Questions before planning a tour to Vietnam

30, June, 2020

Questions before planning a tour to Vietnam

Covid-19 has changed how we travel, but before planning a tour to Vietnam when this pandemic is over, there are still some common questions that you need to get the answers. Vivutravel have a list of questions here with answers:

1. Is it safe to travel to Vietnam?
Vietnam is one of the safest countries in the world to visit with family and on your own. In Vietnam, even in the most remote and mountainous areas, you can easily see backpackers traveling on their own with motorbikes without a tour guide. What they need is a smart phone and a map. Vietnamese people are friendly with welcome smiles. They can be a bit shy and quiet when meeiting a stranger, but always happy and ready to help when you need it.

Vietnamese people always respect guests. So, do not be shocked if you are invited to have tea, ricewine or even a big wedding party.

In Vietnam, we do not see crime on tourists, but in big city like Ho Chi Minh city, there are reports on bag snatchers who ride around on motorbikes to find the chance. Our advice is not to bring a lot of cash, passport and valuable things with you.

In general, Vietnam is safe to travel. Especially, with the success in the flight against the spreads of Covid-19. Vietnam is a safest country when it comes to health concern.

2. Where should i go in Vietnam?
It depends on your style of travel and wishes. Below are some destinations for you to get an idea. When you plan a tour to Vietnam with Vivutravel, just let us know what you want and expect, we will customise and combine all things to suit your needs.

- Culture and History: Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City
- Natural and sightseeing:
Halong Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Pu Luong, Mekong delta
- Adventure and discovery:
Ha Giang, Ban Gioc Waterfall, Ba Be Lake, National parks
- Photography tour:
Rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai, Sapa, Hoang Su Phi, Hanoi's old quarter, Hue's royal citadel, tombs, Hoi An ancient town, salt fields in Ninh Thuan.
- Beaches:
Hoi An, Danang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Con Dao islands, Phu Quoc Island
- Honeymoon:
Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoi An, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Mui Ne and Phu Quoc Island
- Minority and Homestay:
Sapa, Ha Giang (North Vietnam), Mekong Delta
- Family:
Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Whale island, Phu Quoc Islands, Con Dao Island
- Food:
Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City

3. What is the best time of the year to visit Vietnam?
When it comes to Vietnam's weather and climate, the common and right answer is you can travel Vietnam all year round. However, Summer time from May to August, it is very hot and humid. The temperature can reach 39°C. (Even hotter), but if you travel this time of the year, you can see amazing rice terraces in the north of Vietnam and it is cheaper to travel in this low season. October - April are cooler months, best to travel, but no rice terraces and it can be cold and misty in the north. (A trip to Sapa may not be great)

4. Should I book everything myself or via a travel agency?
If you are young, travel on a tight budget or have a lot of time to travel in Vietnam, just book the flight and accommodation for the first few nights and see what you want next. It is easy to book a tour on spot via booking agents with negociable price, but quality is a question.

If you do not have much time to travel, but know what you want, use a local travel company like Vivutravel to plan a trip that saves a lot of time and money. Saving time is saving money and you only pay for what you want. A packaged tour does not mean everything is fixed. You can always change things to make your trip as flexible and comfortable as possible.

5. How can I find a reliable, professional english-speaking travel agency?
A reliable Vietnam travel company must have International tour operator license. You can also check by clicking to their website, see year of business, reviews on tripadvisor, information, posts, videos on youtube, facebook, etc.

A reliable travel agency will always be quick in response and available to support what you ask for.

6. How do I go from point A to point B safely and without being ripped off?
It is quite convenient to travel within Vietnam by flights, train, bus and motorbikes. The first and best option is with the flight and you can fly to most of the tourist destinations in Vietnam. However, if you want to experience in a unique way, book the train, but use a travel agent to get you the ticket. Tourist buses are availbe and comfortable enough. With local buses, you can get to any place in Vietnam, but can be confusing for you to find the right bus station/bus. Drivers will not speak English, too.

To avoid being ripped off? Just make things clear before you buy something. Bargaining is not something terrible in Vietnam, it is like a part of culture. So, learn how to bargain to avoid misunderstanding.

7. Should i start my trip from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City?
You should start in Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh city if you want to spend some days at one of Vietnam's best beaches before flying home. Because, all nice beaches are in the south of Vietnam. When it comes to weather, it can be cold in the north in Winter, so weather will be nicer and nicer if you travel from north to south. The south is always warm and sunny.

8. How much time should i spend for my holiday in Vietnam?
10 days to see the main cities such as: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City
15 days to see the main attractions in Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Ninh Binh - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong delta
18-21 days: You can spend some more days at beach.
25-30 days: You can extend your trip to off the beaten parts in Vietnam such as Mu Cang Chai, Ha Giang, Ban Gioc Waterfall or Pu Luong

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries and  if you come to Vietnam, you will fall in love with and want to come back again and again. So, spend as much time as possible on your Vietnam holiday.

9. Do i need a visa to Vietnam?
Nationalities of Southeast Asian Countries do not need a visa to Vietnam. Some European countries such as the UK, France, Italia, Spain and Germany are exempt from Vietnam visa for 15 days. If you want to stay longer, you will need a visa. It is possible to extend your stay when in Vietnam, but it takes time and costs more.

Other nationalities need to apply Vietnam visa at a Vietnamese embassy, or evisa on the website of Vietnam Immigration. But, the best option is to get Vietnam on arrival through a travel agency like Vivutravel.

10. Do i need vacinations before the trip to Vietnam?
If you travel with kids to Vietnam, that will be your concern? Our idea is vacinations are good to take worrries away, but not neccessary. However, if you travel to Vietnam when Covid-19 pandemic is over, Covid-19 vaccine is a must (If a vaccine is found)

11. Do i need travel insurrance?
Yes, definitely.

12. Does the tour price include international airfares?
No, not included. Vivutravel advises our customers to book international flights from their end. The price is cheaper and more convenient for them. We only book domestic flights in Vietnam and  regional flights connecting Laos, Cambodia, etc. Vivutravel only books international flights when you ask for.

13. What is the maximum weight for check-in luggage with domestic flights?
Customers of Vivutravel always fly with Vietnam airlines - our national flag carrier for safety and comfort.

Checked baggage: Each piece of your checked baggage not exceed 32kg.

Hand baggage: You can take one hand baggage item and one accessory on flight. For safety reasons, the weight and dimensions must follow:

The maximum weight for each piece of hand baggage is10kg
The total weight of hand baggage item and one accessory must not exceed:
For Economy class: 12kg (including one hand baggage item and one accessory)
For Premium Economy/Business class: 18kg (including two hand baggage items and one accessory)


- The total dimension of one hand baggage item must not exceed 115cm/45in (56cm x 36cm x 23cm or 22in x 14in x 9in).
- The total dimension of one accessory must not exceed 40cm x 30cm x 15cm or 16in x 12in x 6in.

14. What to buy for souvenirs in Vietnam?
Vietnam is paradise for shopping fans. Prices are reasonable and quality is good. For souvenirs, Vivutravel recommends that you buy something typical and nice like lacquerware, lacquer painting, embroidery painting, clothes and coffee.

15. How much money do i need for the trip?
To answer this question, we have to calculate the cost of accommodation, transportation and meals. Below information can give you some ideas:

- Hostels/Mini Hotels: From $10 - $20 a night.
- Homestay: $4 per person (just accommodation)
- 2 star hotel: From $20-$30 per night
- 3 star hotels: From $ 40 - $80 per night
- 4 star hotels: From $80 - $120 per night
- 5 star hotels: From $120 - 200 per night and over.

- If you eat like local, you can spend $3 for breakfast, including a bowl of nice noodle (Pho) with a cup of coffee. Lunch/Dinner costs around $3-$5 in a local restaurant (Com Bui)
- Lunch/Dinner at the hotel or a nice restaurant can cost from $10-$30 per person.

- Taxi by meters is from 40 cents per KM. ($1 = 100 cents)

In another calculation based on the exchange rates: $1 US Dollar = 23,080.00 VND (Vietnamese currency). With $1 US Dollar in Vietnam, you can buy a cup of coffee, two cans of coke,  two bottles of local beer, 3 small bottles of mineral water.

In general, Vietnam is one of the cheapest countries to travel.

16. Do i have to tip someone in Vietnam during the tour?
Tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam, you do not have to tip a waiter in restaurant for example. But, if you book a tour, your tour guide and driver will expect tip. You should ask your travel advisor/consultant how much.

17. Should i travel by private car, flight, local bus or train in Vietnam?
Train and local bus in Vietnam are not really comfortable. If you want some experiences, just go for. If not, we advise you to take flights and private car.

18. Can i use my driving license in Vietnam?
No, your driving license is not legal in Vietnam. However, if you rent a motorbike and are self-confident in driving, just do it. Traffic police hardly fine a tourist.

19. Can i use my credit cards in Vietnam?
Yes, credit cards are used widely in Vietnam. However, if you travel to mountainous or remote areas, you have to bring cash, which is Vietnamese Dong for more convenient. USD is only acceptable at shops and tourist places.

20. Where can i exchange some money?
There are bank counters at airports where you can exchange some money. If you have a tour welcomed you, He/she will help and advise you to exchange "how much".  You can also exchange money at the hotel. During your holiday in Vietnam, let find a bank like Vietcombank, BIDV bank, Viettinbank in cities, the rates are better. 

21. Do i have to bring warm Jacket?
No, Vietnam is quite warm. If you travel in the north of Vietnam from November to March, a light jacket is ok. You can wear shorts and t shirt. However, let bring few pants in case you visit a temple, pagoda or vivited to a local family. 

22. Is Vietnam a strict country?
Many tourists still think that Vietnam is a socialist country with bloody communists and strick rules. But, No. Vietnamese people are friendly and welcoming. It is free to talk in Vietnam about whatever. However, Don't talk ill of national heroes like Ho Chi Minh or Vo Nguyen Giap.