Vietnam Travel Information

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  2. Climate:

  3. Currency:

  4. Electricity:

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Whether it’s world class luxury or old world charm, the hotels of Vietnam offer a feast of choices for every visitor. Five star resorts and beachside bungalows are dotted along the coastal regions with many facing pristine beaches and welcoming waters. With historical influences from days gone by, many of the big city hotels have been lovingly restored to their former glory and delight guests with 4-5 star luxury and service. Hotels in the more remote areas are the best available and provide a comfortable stay with true Vietnamese hospitality and warmth. Be prepared that overnight train travel is often 4 berth without private facilities, yet an open mind will always ensure a memorable experience.  


Like its tropical and sub-tropical countryside, Vietnam has a diverse climate with frosts and sometimes snow in the northern mountains to searing 40C conditions in the south during the dry season. Two monsoon seasons: Winter between October and March, damp and chilly in the north while the south experiences dry and warm temperatures; Summer from April or May to October, monsoon brings hot, humid weather, except for sheltered mountainous areas. April, May or October are ideal months for touring. In the south, November to February is dry and cooler than normal. From July to November, violent typhoons hit central and northern Vietnam. 


Currency is the dong, which has stabilised after experiencing its economical ups and downs. However US Dollars are accepted in most places, but make sure to have small denominations as receiving change from large notes may create problems. Travellers’ cheques are handy, and there has been an upsurge of ATMs at the foreign banks. Cash advances for larger amounts of dong, as well as US dollars, can be arranged over the counter during banks’ office hours.  


Electricity supply is 220 volts, AC50. Plug sizes and styles vary between cities and even between hotels - they can be 2 or 3 pin, round or flat (although more commonly 2 round pins), British, American, European or Australian-style! So it is advisable to take a complete set of adaptor plugs for any electrical appliances and these can be readily purchased in most big stores, luggage outlets and at duty-free stores. Battery operated appliances can be an advantage for a short trip.

If you are planning to recharge batteries for video or digital cameras, be aware that you will need to do this whilst in your hotel room as lights and power are normally operated by the insertion of your key tag or security keycard; when you leave the room and remove the key, all power to the room shuts down. 


Vietnam offers a huge variety of souvenirs and traditional handicrafts. Popular buys include lacquerware, ceramics, embroidery, silk and paintings. As with most countries, the Vietnamese government does not allow the export of any item of historic or cultural significance. The major cities offer the more opportunities to pick up anything from cheap t-shirts to designer clothes. Markets are always popular, with the Ben Than Market and Dong Khoi Street in Saigon, two of the best. As prices do vary between cities, a good general rule is if you are happy with the price and the item, buy it because if you wait, you could be disappointed. Remember to be careful if buying CD’s or DVD’s if you cannot check the quality before purchase – it is a case of ‘buyer beware’ and if you bring them home and they are defective, it is impossible to obtain a refund.


In the major cities you will find vibrant nightclubs and bars and upmarket restaurants nestled amongst the more traditional Vietnamese theatre and cultural experiences. Major hotels provide a good range of bars, restaurants and lounges but if you prefer a more ‘local’ experience, take a wander through the markets and local eateries nearby and enjoy the ease at which you fit.



Grab a cuppa and take a close look at what we have brewing for you in our regularly-updated, informative and entertaining Tea Room.