The period of travel: The best season to travel is from November to March. The coast is rainy from September to January, and from May to November in the South. The Tet (New Year) which takes place in February, attracts many Vietnamese from abroad. It is careful to book the flights and hotels in advance.
Health: It is advisable to vaccinate against the cholera, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B. In addition to a complete personal medecine chest, remember to bring the anti-mosquitoes products, even if the anti-malarial treatment is not necessary in large cities. In addition, tap water is not potable.
Clothes: In the North, it is necessary to wear a sweater (from December to April). In the center and the South, from April to November, lightweight and waterproof clothes are indispensable.
Money: The currency is the dong and its rate is very fluctuating. However the U.S dollar is still sovereign (take small cuts in good condition). The euro and other convertible currencies are accepted at the banks, exchange offices and big hotels. The visa card is accepted at the big hotels and some shops. A tax of 3 to 4% is charged for any payment by credit card. The dong can not be exported, so you do not change large amount.
Cultural particularities: Beware of flights in the big cities where some districts are not recommended. Do not leave the valuables objects in your hotel room. It is badly to see go out in the city in shorts and shirtless. It is shocking for the Vietnamese to see a traveler designing something of the foot. Similarly, should not touch the head of a child. The nudism is not practiced on the beaches. It is compulsory to remove shoes in religious buildings and private homes. The photography requires some discretion and it is better to ask for the agreement of the person who will be photographed. The prostitution has developed since the opening pf the country to tourism. AIDS is present.
Electricity: Generally 220 volts. Some are flat sheets. So bring an adapter in your luggage. Power cuts are expected in the south, and a flashlight is useful for you
Opening hours: The offices open from 8am to 11.30am and from 13h to 16h30. They are closed on Sundays. The private businesses ignore these schedules and some are permanently opened. These hours and some are permanently open.
Photos: It is easy to find photographic film in the big cities, but thinking of taking the film for your camcorder and batteries to them which are less easy to find.
Telephone and poste: The letter is not very fast (about two weeks for Europe) but it is safe. The stamps are in post offices and big hotels. The international code for Vietnam is 0084. For Hanoi, the area code is 04, for Ho Chi Minh City, the 08; the 54 to 51 for Hue and Danang
Shopping: Many stores lacquer Ho Chi Minh City and objects in tortoiseshell and bone. Silk paintings, wood carvings, prints, ceramics and stamps for collectors. Embroideries and antiques can be bought mainly in Hanoi. Attention to fake antiques. The export of blue and white ceramic Hue is strictly prohibited. All purchases must be paid in foreign currency.
Tip: There are common to thank guides, drivers and porter
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