In this post you will find everything that I consider important to travel to Vietnam
Travel Without Plastic – Zero Waste Tips
- Take your bottle and ask to have it refilled in hotels or guest houses, they have drinking water tanks. If you do not trust at all you can kindly ask to boiled it or bring a filter with you.
- Hydrate yourself with Pho or with tea
- Take your own chopsticks, they often put new ones wrapped in plastic
- Take your zero waste travel kit
- For EU citizens visa is not required if you only stay for less than 15 days
- Register in the page of the Ministry and check for important information
- No special vaccines are necessary but it is advisable to keep tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccines up to date
- Malaria is in very low percentages but prevention through mosquito repellents is recommended
- Vietnam is a safe country and people are very respectful, it is recommended to take care of our possessions, as in any country.
- In Ha Noi and Ho Chi Min, as well as in the big cities, crossing the street can be an odyssey, take it easy
- Important ALWAYS carry travel insurance
- Between October and April is the dry season, although it may rain, there are fewer possibilities.
- In northern Vietnam it is quite cold in winter, I recommend taking warm clothes to go to Sa Pa
Money exchange and currency
- The national currency is the VND or Dong, € 1 is approx. 26,500 VND
- We changed at a very good price at the airport and in several banks
- You can also change in some hotels if necessary, but in worse conditions
- You can withdraw money directly from ATMs
- A prepaid card is always a good idea. It costs around € 5 and has 4 Gb. You can choose to buy it only for data or also to phone.
- There is free WIFI in practically in all establishments (even in the most recondite and seedy cafe) and they usually have the same password
- The Vietnamese are improving their basic English a lot and in the big cities and hotels we can find Vietnamese who speak very well, however, in the small villages I recommend patience and a smile. With mimicry and google translator you can do wonders.
Vietnam is a perfect country to go improvising along the way, both transportation and accommodation can be booked the day before or the same day.
- The train is quite expensive, but connects many cities, night trains are the most typical and you save a lot of time.
- Sleeping Bus, you can book it in almost all guest houses or hotels. We directly said the destination we wanted and they always had a “friend” who had a bus company. Be careful here, nothing dangerous is going to happen to you, but you can have the most uncomfortable trip in the world. I recommend asking very well how the bus looks like.
- Normal bus, the same as for the sleeping bus.
- Taxi, private or shared taxis. In general, we did not have any problems. They have more or less European price.
- Motorbike, we rent motorcycles in Cat Ba and Tam Coc, they are easy to use and do not ask for your permission or anything. Just be careful when the trucks overtake you they use horn everytime. There are people who buy a motorcycle when they arrive and cross the country driving it. They cost about $ 300 and you can resell it at the end of the trip. It is one of the best options to see the country well.
- Bike, more or less the same as with the motorbike. Keep in mind that you will be the last monkey on the road and they all will overtake you.
- We were looking for a guest house with good recommendations on booking. We tried to avoid hotels and resorts to help the local Vietnamese and the truth is that thanks to it we made great friendships and we had very good memories.
- Look before if they have hot water!
- Pho Bo or Pho Ga is the typical food, which consists of a soup of rice noodles with meat or vegetables. It is a delicious dish, but I recommend the vegetable, since the meat has usually not a very good quality
- Fried spring roll
- Fried rice with vegetables or meat
- In coastal areas, fish