Useful Information and Links Vietnam

Visas and Arrival

Most nationalities need to arrange a visa before arriving in Vietnam. A Vietnamese travel agent can arrange the paperwork which must be presented on arrival into Vietnam along with a photo and application fee (USD$ 25 in 2012).  I used who can also book train tickets in advance (see below).

Money and ATMs

Vietnamese currency is the dong. Some tourist operators will also accept US dollars cash.  ATMs are everywhere in Vietnam, except perhaps smaller rural villages.  Maximum ATM withdrawal may be limited to 200, or 300,000 dong but some ATMs including Citibank or Agribank may permit up to 600,000d withdrawal.  Credit cards are widely accepted with hotels and tour operators.


Train travel is a highlight of Vietnam and overnight sleeper trains can be an economical way to travel and include accommodation.  Sleeper trains may be booked out well in advance, especially in peak season.  Train tickets may be purchased in advance for any sector on Vietnam Railway’s Reunification Express (Hanoi – Saigon or Saigon –Hanoi) at the main stations in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city. You may not purchase advance tickets for other stations once outside Saigon or Hanoi (ie you cannot  purchase an advance ticket from Danang to Hanoi in Nha Trang). Vietnam Impressive Travel Services ( offer an online advance booking service and will courier your tickets to your hotel when you arrive in Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines offer reliable, reasonably priced internal flights in Vietnam.  Book online or through a local travel agent.  Bus routes are plentiful but slow – make sure you ask about air-conditioning and non-smoking services.

Where I stayed

I booked several small hotels in advance using (I can pay in my local currency on credit card this way).

Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Hai Long Hotel 3, 65 Ho Tung Mau Street, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Nha Trang:  Ngan Ha – Galaxy Hotel,06 Ton Dan, Nha Trang

Hoi An:  Hoi An Garden Villas, 145 Tran Nhat Duat, Cam Chau Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam

Hue:  Asia Hotel Hue,  17 Pham Ngu Lao Street Hue 47000

Phong Nha:  Phong Nha Farmstay, Cu Nam village

Halong Bay:  Sea Pearl Hotel, No 219. 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai District, Haiphong

Hanoi: Rising Dragon Grand Hotel, 24 Hang Ga Street Old Quarter, Hanoi

Other links:

Nha Trang scuba diving: Rainbow Divers

Hoi An: Tra Que Herb village and cooking school

Halong Bay / Cat Ba Island kayaking and rockclimbing: Asia Outdoors

This entry was posted in Vietnam and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *