7 Tips before you go to Vietnam
Here are 7 tips before you go to Vietnam. Just a couple of things that will make your stay easier.
This is the official government website for e-visas. There are other websites too, but they are from agents and you may have to pay more there. If you have any questions related to filling in the form, I do not have the answers. I can only provide you with the link and the advice below.
They claim you will get your visa after three working days. It may take longer, so play it safe. Make sure there are at least two weeks between applying and getting on your plane. For safety, do it even earlier. There seem to be many issues with applications, causing delays.
When your visa is ready, carefully check if all provided info is 100% correct. One wrong letter and they will not let you in or you will have to pay a huge fine. From several Australians I have heard this is AUS$ 500! If you spot any mistake, apply for a new visa.
The visa starts on the intended date of entry, not on your actual arrival date. Bear this in mind when you plan your flights. If in the end you are even one day short, it means you will have to pay a fine. You can arrive on or after the intended date of entry, as long as you do it within the period the visa is valid. Arriving earlier means you have no valid visa.
During public holidays, no visas will be processed. The worst time is Vietnamese New Year, which is somewhere in January or February. Then nothing will happen for about 7-10 days. Check internet, as the dates are different each year. Also, around April 30 and September 2 the government will not work for around 4-5 days. Other public holidays usually last one day.
Visa rules change all the time. When in doubt, consult your embassy or the internet. I am no expert and I do not have all answers to your questions.
Depending on your nationality you don’t need a visa. Here you can find some info.
Bring ear plugs!
If you are sensitive to noise, you will sleep better with ear plugs. Vietnam can be very noisy. Extremely loud karaoke is the national sport. And there may be more noise pollution depriving you of your sleep. Public speakers blasting out all sorts of into at various times (starting as early as 4 or 5AM), construction nextdoor, traffic…….
Bring footwear that provides grip
Vietnam is a very slippery country. It is not just the rain that makes streets slippery, many locals hose down the area in front of their house/shop. Indoors there are tiles everywhere. When wet there is a high risk of falling.
The tiles in the streets of Hoi An Ancient Town are very slippery when wet. Be careful where you walk.
Vietnam is predominantly a cash society. For Vietnamese money (VND), you can withdraw from ATMs. When you have cash dollars, go to gold shops. They have the best exchange rates. Airport rates are usually lower, so check beforehand what the internet rates are.
Your banknotes must be flawless. Even when there is the slightest amount of damage, no one will accept it. Sometimes they only accept new notes. Very inconvenient if the last money you have does not meet their standards.
Airport taxis are often cowboys who try to earn as much as possible. It is easier to download the Grab app. Order your taxi there and you know exactly what you have to pay.
The only airport (that I know of) with shuttle buses is Noi Bai (Hanoi). When leaving the airport, immediately walk to the right. One of the companies offering a shuttle bus is Viet Jet. The fare is around VND 40,000 (less than US$2). The routes are fixed, so get off in the area of your hotel.
With Booking.com or Agoda, be careful and make sure you read all info. If not, you may find out that the room you booked is just for two hours per day. I had this before and to get the room for the full 24 hours I had to pay extra.
Transportation from Danang to Hoi An or vice versa
There is no public bus service. It would be best to pre-book a car. One way is usually VND 250,000 for a 4-seater. If you just take any taxi the price may be double.
Once you are in Hoi An you will see many places advertising cars to Danang at this price.
The airport route shown on the map may be different from the one you are taking. Most transportation goes via the coastal road.
I hope this page is of any help. If you have anything to add, please share with me.
Enjoy your trip!