Vietnam is a beautiful country and the one that comes with impressive and stunning nature, history, and culture. All of this makes it an ideal place for tourists from all over the globe. Because you are reading this, we know that you are planning to visit Vietnam. Here are the top things to know before you start your trip.
1: You must get a Visa
Before anything else, before you even start planning the trip you need a visa. This can be done via specialized websites and companies that will help you get one. You can also go to the local embassy or apply on arrival which may be more difficult than previous methods. Visa is basically an approval that you, as a foreigner, can visit Vietnam. Keep in mind that there are specific requirements you must meet before getting a visa. All of them are relatively obvious.
Due to the pandemic, Vietnam has suspended visas for residents from specific countries. You need to check with the official website if you are allowed to visit the country at the moment.
2: Gambling is illegal here, almost
According to local laws, gambling in Vietnam is completely illegal. But, as a tourist, you can gamble. There are plenty of local casinos who will allow you to gamble as long as you like and as a foreigner, you don’t need to worry about anything. When it comes to online gambling, it is illegal as well, but the country and the local authorities do not pay attention to online gamblers, hence you are free to gamble online as well. These laws and regulations are a bit strange and confusing compared to gambling laws in Florida and other states in the United States. The bottom line is, as a tourist, you can gamble. If you live in Vietnam, you can but you shouldn’t.
3: Moving around Vietnam takes a lot of time
If you take a look at Vietnam on Google maps, you will see that it is a small country. But, it has an interesting shape and it isn’t as small as you may believe. Vietnam covers 127,882 sq. mi or 331,212 km2 and it is the 65th largest country on the planet. There are over 96 million people living here and 85% of them are Vietnamese.
Traveling by train isn’t the fastest method, but it is very common. The distance between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is 1700+ kilometers. You will need 35 hours to complete it. Other methods are even slower, except the airplanes which are not the most common way of traveling in Vietnam. Prepare a sandwich and plan the trip in detail. Don’t forget that it takes time.
4: Vietnam has 3 different weather areas
You may believe that this country has one weather section and that’s it. In reality, the entire country is hot and humid. But, there are three main sections that come with different characteristics. In Northern Vietnam, you can expect low temperatures in the winter (September, October, and November). Summers are hot and come with plenty of rain. The coldest area in Vietnam is next to the border with China.
Central Vietnam is much hotter and the weather is very dry between January and August. Most days, you are looking at temperatures 30+ degrees Celsius. Southern Vietnam has a wet and dry season. Dry is active between December and April and it is much better to visit Vietnam then than during the wet season.
5: Negotiating the price is always possible
Of course, we are referring to street sellers and shops on the streets or markets across the country. The most appealing ones are in Hanoi. First of all, there are countless things you can find here. They are generally affordable and quality is average. But, you must remember that the price doesn’t mean a lot here. As a tourist, you can haggle as much as you like.
It is possible to decrease the price by 50-60%. Yes, it does take time, but it is fun. Here are two additional things to keep in mind. The first one is to choose one price and stick to it. The second one is to remove expensive accessories and clothes from you before you start to haggle. If they see an expensive watch, the process will be much higher for you. In general, prices can be extremely high for some products.
You can consider these tips, tricks, or simple guidelines you should use while traveling to Vietnam. As you can see, these are fun things to do and they can help you get the best time in this country. Don’t forget that tourists are loved in Vietnam and the natives are pleasant people, and you can persuade yourself to start the journey even sooner.