faq journey

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Visa Requirements
    • Question 1: I heard that you have a visa waiver program. Do I qualify?

      Find out if you qualify for our visa waiver program here. Duration of stay varies according to nationality.

    • Question 2: I am an overseas Vietnamese visitor. Do I need a visa?

      Overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who are spouses or children of overseas Vietnamese or Vietnamese citizens are exempt from visa requirements to enter Vietnam. You are allowed to stay for no more than 6 months.

    • Question 3: Do you need a visa to visit Phu Quoc Island?

      Foreigners and Vietnamese people holding foreign passports are allowed to stay in Phu Quoc Island for no more than 30 days without a visa. In the case of foreigners who transit via an international gate of Vietnam (by air or sea) and then onwards Phu Quoc Island are also exempt from visa requirements.

    • Question 4: Do you offer visas upon arrival?

      Visas granted upon arrival are only permitted after the provision of a pre-approval letter that may either be arranged via your local embassy or a third-party travel agent prior to your trip.

    • Question 5: How do I apply for an electronic visa?

      As of February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese National Administration of Tourism has introduced  an electronic visa option for nationals from the following 40 countries: Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brunei, South Korea, Germany, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Cuba, Timor Leste, USA, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, The United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Mongolia, Romania, Spain, Japan, Sweden, Panama, China, Peru, Uruguay, Finland, Venezuela, France, Norway, The Philippines and Slovakia.

      Steps to apply for E-Visa for foreigners residing outside Vietnam

      Documents for visa application: 4x6cm digital front facing, white background photo without glasses; passport with a validity of at least 6 months

      Step 1: Access https://www.immigration.gov.vn to fill required information, upload the passport data page image and photo.

      Step 2: Receive the document code and pay E-Visa fee.

      Step 3: Receive the E-Visa or related information within 03 working days upon the submission of application and payment.

      Step 4: Use the document code to check the result and print the E-Visa.

  • Health & Safety
    • Question 1: Is Vietnam a good destination for solo female travellers?

      Vietnam is one of the safest destinations for solo female travellers in the region. Vietnamese people are for the majority, non-confrontational, and are quite shy around foreigners. That being said, use your judgement wisely. The thing females should look out for most are bag snatchers that are usually done by motorists driving by.

    • Question 2: What is the most common form of illness?

      Most likely, the worst you'll come home with is the common cold or some minor stomach woes. Heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and dehydration can become more of an issue if you don't stay vigilant about hydrating and applying sunbolck.

    • Question 3: Do I need to be worried about malaria?

      The risk of contracting malaria is heightened in the rural highlands. Consider taking anti-malarial medication before traveling to said region. A more common mosquito-borne disease is dengue fever, which occurs mostly in the Mekong Delta. The best preventative measure is to wear bug spray at all times.

  • Getting Around
    • Question 1: How much should a taxi from the aiport cost?

      A round-trip taxi from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport should cost between 120,000 VND to 170,000 VND and last about 20-25 minutes. An airport taxi from Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport is fixed at 330,000 VND and be about 45-60 minutes depending on traffic.

    • Question 2: What are the taxi services I should use?

      Use only reputable taxis identifiable by color such as Taxi Group in Hanoi (red and blue horizontal stripes), Vinasun in Ho Chi Minh City (white taxis) and Mai Linh in both cities (green taxis).

    • Question 3: What are the best airlines to travel with domestically?

      The official commercial airline, Vietnam Airlines, flies to 21 destinations across the country and is a reliable option. If you are on a budget, Vietjet and Jetstar are two affordable options but have a reputation for frequent delays.

    • Question 4: How long does it take to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and vice versa by train?

      While the Reunification Express makes stops in Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet (Mui Ne) and Ho Chi Minh City, if you were to stay onboard the whole journey, it would technically take you 36 hours. A slow, but memorable journey, five Reunification Express services run daily (7:30PM; 10PM; 6AM; 9AM; 1:10PM) from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

    • Question 5: What are the stipulations about renting a motorbike?

      You’ll find rental shops in almost every city. Renting price depends on the quality of the bike. On average, most bikes go from 6 to 12 USD a day. Renters may be asked to deposit his/her passport at the renting place or leave a monetary deposit of equal value to the renters if renting a vehicle for more than a week. These are not uncommon practices.

  • Trip Planning
    • Question 1: When is the best time to visit Halong Bay?

      The climate in the northern region of Vietnam is temperate so be prepared for cooler weather in the traditional wintertime months of December to March. The months of April and May offer sunshine and a refreshing breeze, while September to October are favoured for their cooler temperatures and clear skies.

    • Question 2: Is there a specific time of year I should avoid travelling around Vietnam?

      The months of April and May can get unbearably hot so for those prone to heat stroke and dehydration, be advised. Also, during the Tet festivities in late January/early February depending on the lunar calendar, many businesses tend to be closed, which can be somewhat of an inconvenience to travellers with a shortage of time.

    • Question 3: I'd like to learn more about the hilltribes. What is the best way to do Sapa besides trekking.

      An exhilarating way to experience the Sa Pa highlands is via motorbike. For a first person narrative, check out "Riding High: Motorbiking around Sapa." Did you know that the hill-tribes are also celebrated for their one-of-a-kind visual identity? Learn more about the fashionable hill tribes over at "10 Fashionable Textile Hill Tribes."

    • Question 4: What's the best way to experience Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park?

      Phong Nha has recently exploded in popularity due to discovery and opening of the Han Son Doong, the large cave system by volume in the world. If you don't have the funds or the patience to wait for the two-year-long queue, our featured article on Phong Nha has a number of alternatives that are equally as thrilling, and all the more accessible.

  • Miscellaneous
    • Question 1: I’d like to learn some Vietnamese. Where do I start?

      Our useful Vietnamese phrases section found in our 'Essential Information' page has a number of phrases that will help you navigate around Vietnam. You can even print a copy of the phrases to carry around with you.

    • Question 2: Is there a dress code for certain destinations/situations?

      When visiting religious sites, participating in homestays and visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you should dress modestly with shoulders and knees covered. Also please remove hats when entering temples.

    • Question 3: I would like to take some cooking classes while in Vietnam. Are there any places you could recommend?

      While there are several cooking institutions around the country, find a list of vetted courses in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Hoi An at the bottom of our "Starting from The Basics: Banh Trang Rice Paper" article.

    • Question 4: I'm vegetarian. How easy is it for me to find things I'll be able to eat?

      Vietnam is one of the most vegetarian friendly countries in the world, standing out in a crowd of heavy meat eaters in the region. For a comprehensive overview on how to eat vegetarian in Vietnam, read "A Vegetarian Guide to Vietnam."