Vietnam: information, resorts, history

All the things a tourist should know about Vietnam.

Hello Vacation in Vietnam is a great option! If by some miracle Vietnam suddenly turned out to be closer to Central Russia (say, somewhere in the neighborhood of Turkey), the flow of tourists to this country, no doubt, would increase many times. After all, among the tangible disadvantages of this destination is only a long and, therefore, expensive flight.

Virtually everything else – solid pluses: an unusual and exciting “sightseeing”, beautiful beaches with ample opportunities for outdoor activities, large and high-quality hotel base. And for all this – low prices in hotels, restaurants, tours and everywhere else.

Rest in Vietnam

Despite all this, Vietnam thoroughly marred the opinion of itself by terrible markets with bales of all kinds of junk, talkative inhabitants and aromas of fried herring. Probably many people today would wrinkle their noses at the suggestion to go there: “I’ve seen enough of that here”.

Meanwhile, the real Vietnam – it is an ancient temple complexes of unknown civilizations and natural beauty of national parks, healthy and delicious food (dietary rice and yummy fresh seafood), the cheapest diving in the world (coupled with an abundance of underwater creatures) and resorts with a distinct European flavor: after all, the former French colony.

In addition, there is a chance to feel nostalgic for the recent socialist past: and the flag is almost like our former, and the pioneers in ties, and even the leader in the mausoleum.

Resorts and Cities in Vietnam

The capital – Hanoi. Interesting cities: Ho Chi Minh City, Hue; popular resorts: Phan Thiet, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang.

Resort Phan Thiet Vietnam

Climate of Vietnam

About a third of the country is located above 500 m above sea level, so the climate there is subtropical, and in areas above 2000 m – even temperate. From April-May to October, the southeastern monsoon brings warm and humid weather to the country – except in areas protected by mountains.

In the south of Vietnam (from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet) we can distinguish two seasons – wet and dry. The wet season traditionally lasts from May to November, the rainiest months are June and August. The dry season usually begins in December and ends in April. For European tourists this is the most favorable time. “Velvet” months in the south of Vietnam – January and February: the soft sun, refreshing sea water. From late February to May are hot days without rain.

Climate of Vietnam

The climate of central Vietnam (from the resort of Nha Trang to the ancient capital of Hue): from February to August – clear, rainfall is rare, the temperature +30 … +35 ° C. The temperature +20 … +28 ° C. In mid-December – heavy rains, in October – November in the area of Da Nang and Hue possible typhoons.

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In the north of the country (from Hanoi to the seaside resort of Halong), the winter and summer seasons are more distinct than in the south. Winter, cool and humid, lasts from November to February, in February and March it is constantly drizzling rain “phun”. From May the summer season begins abruptly: high humidity, temperatures up to +40 °C.

Vietnamese Customs

Importation of foreign currency is not limited, but amounts over 3000 USD should be declared: export of currency from the country is permitted only within the amount declared at entry. Export of local currency is prohibited.

Duty-free can be brought in 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g of tobacco, 1.5 liters of spirits or 2 liters of alcoholic beverages up to 22 °, 5 kg of tea, 3 kg of coffee, and other goods worth not more than 5 million VND.

Vietnam Customs

Household and computer equipment must be declared: all undeclared equipment will be allowed to export only if the customs duties are paid or there is a receipt proving its purchase in the country.

It is prohibited to export art and antique items, jewelry and handicrafts without relevant permits.

Transport

Stretching from North to South Vietnam, the best way to travel between distant cities is by domestic flights on Vietnam Airlines or Jetstar Pacific. The most frequent flights are between the two megacities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (up to 10 flights per day), but other major cities are not deprived of regular flights.

Vietnamese trains are comfortable and on schedule. The main route, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, lasts 30 hours. It is recommended to buy tickets at least 3 days before departure directly at the station ticket office (local travel agencies can easily cheat on the ticket price and the class of the carriage).

Vietnam trains

Intercity buses make sense for relatively short trips: the constant speed limits on the roads lead to unreasonably long travels. On the other hand, bus travel prices are negligible: you can get from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City for as little as VND 450,000.

You should be very careful with your luggage during overnight travels: theft is not uncommon (there are petty thieves everywhere). Players and other gadgets better remove at the first sign of a nap.

Urban transport is well developed only in major metropolitan cities: it is a cab, a variety of motor and bicycle rickshaws (“saiklo” or “siklo”). The fare in cabs does not need to be negotiated in advance: all cars have a meter that indicates the price of the fare, and cab drivers usually know a little English. Cab fare: 5,500-9500 VND per kilometer plus 15,800-23,700 VND for boarding.

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Motorcycle and bicycle rickshaws will fetch VND 15,800 for a 15-minute ride, but the fare must be negotiated in advance and haggling is a must in this case. Traffic is poorly regulated, so that “traffic jams” are common in large cities.

bicycle rickshaws in Vietnam

For Diving Lovers

Diving in Vietnam – one of the cheapest in the world. At the same time it is really interesting and organized at a decent level. Off the coast of Vietnam there are many interesting diving sites. In this regard, considered the best in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Condao Island and Phu Quoc. Besides a wide variety of corals, you can see there all sorts of clams, cuttlefish, octopus, squid, clownfish, moray eels, puffer fish, groupers, manta rays and barracudas.

The best time to dive is from October to April. The best season for diving in Nha Trang – February-October, and on Phu Quoc Island – from November to May. Near Nha Trang there are famous places for diving: Muren Beach, the coral reef “Rainbow” and many islands near the resort.

Diving in Vietnam

Kondao Archipelago National Reserve consists of 14 islands and is located 300 km from the coastline. You can meet very rare mammals – dugongs (sea cows), large green turtles and many endemics – animals and plants, which are not found anywhere else.

Shopping and Shopping in Vietnam

Local shopping has two nice features: a wide range of shopping and the lowest prices in the region (if you don’t forget to bargain, of course). Stores are open almost every day, seven thirty until late at night. Many supermarkets in the capital and major cities are open around the clock.

From Vietnam, you can bring things out of lacquer, bamboo, mother of pearl, silverware, pearls, mahogany and ebony – including very beautiful cutlery and jewelry boxes.

Shopping in Vietnam

Another category of good buys is clothing and accessories made from silk, linen and cotton. Also in Saigon you can find a very high quality and beautiful gold jewelry – not so much at completely throwaway prices, but quite nice, as well as products of pearls – mostly from artificially grown river, less often – from the cultivated sea.

It is worth buying various spices, especially Fukuoka black pepper. Female will be guaranteed to pay attention to the national costume “aozai”, consisting of a tight-fitting figure of a long shirt-dress with slits and pants (they are usually made to order).

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Wonderful exotic souvenirs cost literally pennies, and beautiful silverware almost for nothing. Returning from Vietnam travelers usually take out of their suitcases silver jewelry and crockery, natural silk products, linen and cotton, souvenirs made of mahogany and bamboo, lacquerware and ceramics.

market in Vietnam

Vietnamese Food and Restaurants

Although Vietnamese cuisine is omnivorous (right up to roasted grasshoppers in newspaper bags instead of seeds), it is quite light and, despite its unusual, healthy. The food is not cooked for a long time. The cuisine is based on rice, noodles, and spices, with a variety of seafood.

Many dishes are seasoned with nyok-mam sauce made of fermented fish, which tastes and smells not as bad as it may seem. Of soups, the light and tasty “fo” is worth trying: rice noodles with lean beef or chicken.

soup pho in vietnam

The French, the former colonizers, also made their mark on local cuisine by making baguettes cut in two with all sorts of fillings popular as a “snack”. Green tea is traditionally popular in the country, and the local coffee is considered quite decent.

Dalat produces not bad red and white wines.

wine in dalat vietnam

State hotels and restaurants usually add a 5% “service charge” to the bill. In private establishments, if you like the food and service, you can leave a tip of 5-10%.

Legends and Stories of Vietnam

Here’s a brief excursion into the tangled history of the Vietnamese people. More than three thousand years BC, the dragon king Lac Long Quan ruled the lands of present-day Vietnam. He was anxious to procreate, so he decided to ask the fairy bird Au Co to marry him.

The beauty did not hesitate to accept the proposal and on time she gave birth to… a sack with a hundred eggs in it, and each of them yielded one heir-great-grandfather of a hundred Vietnamese clans.

Vietnamese Dragon Legend

The story goes on whether the lady incubated her offspring or left them in an incubator, but since then every self-respecting Vietnamese has referred to himself as “a child of the dragon, grandson of the gods”.

Lac Long Quan took half of his sons and took them to the sea, and Au Coe took the other fifty and went to the mountains.

How true our Lev Nikolayevich was about happy and unhappy families!

Entertainment, Excursions and Attractions in Vietnam

Vietnam is ready to please guests from the north a variety of entertainment: from elephant rides, visits to snake restaurants with crocodile reserves, national parks and fishing – to casinos and nightclubs.

The highlight of the excursion program of the country are considered guerrilla tunnels Ku Chi, but even besides them sights abound.

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cu chi tunnels

Halong Bay National Park has some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. Several thousand little limestone islets and cliffs rising from the sea make you believe the legend of the place. It says that the islands of Halong were created by a giant dragon that lived in the mountains. The bizarre cliffs and rocks are shaped like a turtle, camel, cat, dog or dragon’s head.

halong park in vietnam

Hanoi is full of Buddhist, medieval and recent communist sights, and natural beauties in abundance.

In Da Nang there are the beautiful “Marble Mountains” Ngu Nan Son and pagodas with unique statues. In Phan Thiet there is the famous statue of the Lying Buddha.

Hotels in Vietnam

In the major cities of Vietnam the choice of hotels is very diverse – from mini-hotels to establishments of De Luxe category. Service in them is on an average European level. Meals are breakfasts (most) or half board, and there is practically no all-inclusive. The buffet is extremely varied.

All rooms from three to five stars are equipped with air conditioning, TV with satellite channels and telephone, more expensive rooms have also bathrobes, hairdryers, tea and coffee-making sets, safes and minibars.

hotels in Vietnam

The mains voltage is 220 V, frequency 50 Hz. The plugs mostly have flat sockets. Many hotel rooms are equipped with universal outlets, which fit almost any plug configuration – and if the plug does not fit, the hotel staff will find the right adapter.

Do I need a visa, and who?

Exotic Vietnam is very loyal to the Russian tourists: on the one hand entering the country is almost to the maximum simplified (visa for up to 15 days for tourism purposes is not required), on the other hand for a longer visit visa is still needed.

But even in this case there should not be any difficulties: you can get a visa to Vietnam without unnecessary “troubles” directly at the border area upon arrival. The good news is that there is no visa fee for Russian citizens. Well, if you do not want to wait for a visa at the airport, you can get it in advance at the Embassy of Vietnam in Moscow.

Visa-free 15-day stay in Vietnam is possible not more than once every 30 days. If you want to exit Vietnam and return (for example, as part of a combined tour), to re-enter the country you will need a visa.

visa to vietnam

Thus, Russian citizens arriving in Vietnam have three options:

1. visa on arrival.

If your stay in Vietnam will last more than 15 days, you can get a visa on arrival at one of Vietnam’s international airports: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi or Da Nang. To do this at the desk “Visas upon arrival” before the passport control you will need to show: – Foreign passport, valid for at least six months at the end of the trip; – Return tickets; – Visa permit – Approval Letter.

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By the way, the confirmation letter is a document with a unique code, which is issued by the Immigration Department of Vietnam. Get it is not difficult, the easiest way is to order it online at one of the specialized sites (the price of the issue – from 15 to 38 USD, depending on the type of visa and speed of processing). The confirmation letter will be sent by e-mail, and must be printed out and then presented at the border control.

Time of visa reception at the airport is about half an hour – hour, the visa is free for Russian tourists.

Visa in Vietnam Airport

Visa Registration at the Consulate

To avoid waiting at the airport, a visa can be arranged in advance at the Vietnamese Embassy in Moscow. Required documents: – 1 passport valid for at least six months at the end of your trip; – Two types of application form filled in in English or French and signed by the applicant; – 1 photo 4×6 cm; – Invitation (fax) from the receiving party. The visa is valid for 30 days from the date of entry into the country. Consular fee – 25 USD. Visa processing time is 5-7 working days.

If a child under 18 years old is accompanied by one parent, a notarized copy of parent’s power of attorney is required. If it is impossible to obtain it, documents confirming the reason of its absence (copy of the death certificate, certificate of a single mother, etc.).

When children under 18 go abroad without parents, a copy of parent’s power of attorney for the child’s departure is required.

3. Embassy and Consulates of Vietnam in Russia

Embassy of Vietnam in Moscow:

Address: 13 Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Street, Moscow, 119021 Phones: (499) 245-10-92, 245-09-25

Consular Section of the Embassy of Vietnam in Moscow

Address: 13 Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Street, Moscow, 119021 Phones: (499) 246-13-83

Consulate General of Vietnam in Yekaterinburg:

Address: 620087, Ekaterinburg, Karla Liebkneht St., 22, office 411 Phones: (343) 253-02-84, fax: 253-02-82

Consulate General of Vietnam in Vladivostok:

Address: 107 B Pushkinskaya St., k. 1

You only need to buy a ready-made tour, and I wish you a pleasant stay in this wonderful country!

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