Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for good reason—the people are friendly, the food is delicious, and the cities are beautiful. Because of its popularity, many tourists make Vietnam their first travel destination in Southeast Asia, which can be great if you’re looking to get your feet wet with Asian travel, but there are also some things you should know before visiting Vietnam as a first-timer. Here are 8 tips to help you get off on the right foot with your Vietnamese trip.
You’ll Need to Get a Visa
Before you can even think about booking your flight to Vietnam, you need to make sure you have a valid visa. Without a visa, you will not be allowed to enter the country. The good news is that getting a visa for Vietnam is relatively easy and can be done online.
You’ll need to fill out an application and pay a fee, and then you’ll receive your visa within a few days.
Dollars Are Widely Acceptable
One great thing about Vietnam is that dollars are widely accepted throughout the country. This can be helpful if you’re running low on Vietnamese Dong or if you need to tip someone in US currency. However, it’s always a good idea to have some Dong on hand as well, since not all places will accept dollars. It’s also smart to carry around an ATM card and withdraw money as needed, just in case your debit card isn’t accepted where you go.
Also remember that when withdrawing money from an ATM, your bank may charge a foreign transaction fee.
Lastly, make sure you keep your cash safe by carrying it with you at all times rather than leaving it behind in your hotel room.
It’s Easy to Find Free Wi-Fi in Vietnam
If you’re looking for free Wi-Fi in Vietnam, your best bet is to head to one of the big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi, so you should have no trouble finding a spot to connect. Just make sure you have a VPN installed on your device before you connect, as the government does block some websites.
The Weather is Unpredictable
The weather in Vietnam is quite unpredictable, so it’s important to pack a range of clothing options. The temperature can vary significantly between the north and south of the country, and even within different regions. In general, the best time to visit Vietnam is during the dry season (November to April), when there is little rainfall and temperatures are more moderate. However, even during this time you should be prepared for some showers.