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Vietnam - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

Motorbikes, bicycles, cars and then buses.

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Mainly in motorbikes, cars and coaches. Then train, boat and plane.
Rail companies: Vietnam Railways
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Vietnam Airlines National Yes Yes
Jetstar Pacific Airlines Low cost Yes Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: There are good taxi networks in big cities. Taxis are affordable and the best way to travel. 1USD for the first 1,5km. There is also a good network of buses. Taxi drivers in big cities can speak English, Chinese.

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: - In the North: temples and pagodas, old towns...
- In the Centre: Hue imperial palace/ tombs, Panguranda, Pagodas, Old Towns ...
- In the South: palaces, museums, theatres, churches, Cu Chi Tunnel, markets...
Cultural: Festivals and Ceremonies

Vietnam Traditional Clothes

Vietnam Traditional music and Traditional instruments

Vietnam Religions

Vietnam Arts

Nature: National Parks and Natural Reserves (Cuc Phuong, Phong Nha - Ke Bang, Yok Don...)
Religious: Pagodas where Buddhists ceremonies are conducted. There are three important Buddhist festivals following lunar calendar, in mid January, mid April and mid July.

Churches: The most important festival in the year is Christmas.

Temples: There are temples of other religions as Hoa Hao, Khome...

Thermal: Water Parks in the big cities:

Dam Sen Water Park

Suoi Tien Water Park  (in Hochiminh City)

Ho Tay Water Park  (in Ha Noi city).

Beaches in the whole country

Beach: The beaches of Vietnam stretch out from the North to the South. Tourists can bathe, taste sea foods, take a boat or canoe to get to islands.
Winter sports: No
Outdoor activities: Picnics, mountain climbing, boating, visiting fruit farms...
Shopping: The most popular items for foreign travellers are:
- Carved wooden furniture, fine lacquerware (these can be shipped home on request).
- Ao dai, Traditional Vietnamese hand-made silk dresses, kimonos, embroideries...
- Antiques, fine ceramics, old watches or Zippo lighters...
- XQ hand embroidery Painting, Copies of famous paintings.

They are sold in most touristic destinations.

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: Vaccination for children is free and mandatory in Vietnam. For visitors, vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Unpasteurized milk should be boiled. However, pasteurized milk is widely available now.  Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
For further information on sanitary conditions: Ministry of Health

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Hanoi (GMT+7)
Summer time period: No
Climate: Vietnam has a Tropical climate. There are 4 seasons in the north  (spring, summer, autumn and winter) but only two in the south (rainy and dry season). In the north, temperatures range from 5°C in December and January, to more than 37°C in April. They average 27 to 28° in the South from January to December.

Eating

Food specialties: Main dishes are based on pork, chicken, beef, fish and other sea food. The most known dishes are Nem, Pho and Banh cuon. For dessert, there are amongst many other dishes, lots of different sweet soups.
Drinks: Beverage, beer, water, alcohol, fruit juice.
Dietary taboos: There are no culinary restrictions in Vietnam.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: For more information on Vietnamese language go to this link.
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