Time zone: GMT + 7
Telephone services: Country Code: 84
Outgoing Code: International calls must be made though the operator.
Emergency telephone numbers: Police – 13, Fire – 14, Ambulance – 15.
Tourist information: Vietnam Tourism, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: (4) 829 4253.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa information: Visa required by all. Must be obtained prior to arrival. Must state your intended entry and exit ports correctly.
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Malaria: Exists in certain areas in the Falciparum variety which has been reported being highly resistant to chloroquine. Take care not to be bitten by mosquitoes.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from infected areas.
Other Health Risks: Bilharzia, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Japanese encephalitis, Plague, Rabies, TB, Typhoid in the Mekong Delta area. Comprehensive mediacl insurance is advised.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency: New Dong (D) = 100 hao.
Exchange: US$ is the most favoured currency.
Limited acceptance of MasterCard and Visa. American Express and Thomas Cook travellers cheques are accepted at hotels and banks. US dollars are the preferred currency.
ATM availability: 3 locations.
Cost of living: Caters for all budgets.
Languages: Vietnamese, French, Russian, English, Chinese.
Weather: Tropical. May – Oct = Tropical Monsoons. The remainder of the year is dry.
Electricity: 110/220 Volts AC 50 Hz
Post: Very slow usually taking up to 3 weeks Correspondence should be taken to the Post office individually, to minimise theft and tampering.
Transport: FLIGHTS: Regular services operate between the main cities. RAIL: Longer distance trains are more reliable than shorter routes. ROAD: Reasonable road network but driving can be hair raising. DOCUMENTATION: An IDP and test taken in Vietnam is required. BUS: Services are poor and over crowded.
Special information: Some parts of the country are closed to visitors. Unexploded mines/munitions are a hazard in some areas. Exercise caution if travelling in border areas. Be vigilant for street theft particularly of spectacles – it is advisable to keep them on a cord around the neck. Drug smuggling carries the death penalty. Comprehensive mediacl and travel insurance is essential. Avoid wearing shorts. Footwear should be removed when entering Buddhist Pagodas. Vietnamese people should not be touched on the head. PHOTOGRAPHY: Restrictions apply at ports, airports and harbours.