Info about Vietnam:
Spreading along the eastern edge of the Indochinese Peninsula, Vietnam covers a land area of 330,900 sq. km with the legendary world of Halong Bay, the colorful charm of Central Highlands and the criss-cross waterways of the Mekong Delta. The country boasts a marvelous coastline of 3,260km dotted with white sandy beaches, tranquil bays and vivid coral reefs. Vietnam also shares land borders of 3,700km with Laos, Cambodia and China. Moreover, with a tropical monsoon climate, all parts of the country are mostly warm the whole year round, which is ideal for those who love sunny weather.
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
330,900 square kilometers
The majority (85%) of the population is Buddhism. The remaining 8% is Christianity, and Caodaism 3% other 4%.
Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam, leaning foreign languages, particularly English, is currently popular among young people in Vietnam, English, French, Cantonese and Japanese are spoken by hotel staff, Guides and interpreters is speaking English, French, Russian, Japanese, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Thai, Italian, Spanish, etc, are available from the Great Angkor Tours Co.,Ltd.
In Vietnam the majority of people are Buddhism 85%, Christianity 8%, Caodaism 3% and other 4%
Hanoi from September to May with a pleasant winter, Hue from March to August with a sunny summer and Ho Chi Minh with warm weather the whole year round.
Northern Vietnam (Hanoi & its vicinities), winter is from November to April and is characterized by cool damp weather (15-20oC), and summer last from May to October and is hot with periods of rain (25-28oC).
Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City & its vicinities) has a more tropical all year round (25-30oC) with a dry hot season from December to April and rainy reason from May to November.
Northern Central Vietnam (from Thanh Hoa to Danang) may have heavy rain from September to February and occasional typhoons along the coast from September to October.
Southern central Vietnam (from Quy Nhon to Phan Thiet) is endowed with a long dry season from December to September and a short rainy season from October to November. The highlands have a temperate climate but it is cooler and temperatures can be freezing in winter from December to February, Temperatures may range anywhere from 15-18oC in the central highlands to 7-10oC in the northern highlands with heavy rain from May to November.
The local currency is the dong (VND), although the US Dollar is widely accepted throughout the country and in all major markets. In recent years the rate of exchange has been floating around USD1= 15,800 VND. Bank notes are 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2,000d, 5,000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d, 200,000d & 500,000d. Dong coins include 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2000d & 5000d. The official exchange rates (as of August 2008) are approximately VND 16,710 to one US Dollar and VND 25,790 to one Euro.
Money and travelers' cheques, particularly US Dollars, can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money-exchangers. It is advisable to carry US Dollar bills in small denominations.
Credit cards are generally only accepted in major hotels, and in some up-market shops and restaurants in major cities. ATM facilities are readily available now in major cities.
A tip for good service might be about 5% of the bill
Foods & Beverages
Vietnamese culinary art, acknowledged a superb cuisine worldwide, is a wonderful balance of yin and yang featured in the harmonious formula of green vegetables and fresh meat seasoned with mild spices, cooking is seen as an art and some Vietnamese dishes have achieved international fame, including such traditional dishes as noodle soup (pho), Pork sausage (gio lua), spring rolls (cha gio or nem rang), and fish balls (cha ca). In addition to Vietnamese food, the larger hotels also serve a wide variety of Continental and Chinese cuisine.
Many of the same beverages which are generally offered in the outside world are readily available including the usual suspects: canned soft-drinks, beer, and wine (local and imported).
Business Hours (local time is GMT plus 7hours)
Offices:08:00 a.m to 12:00 a.m and 01:00 p.m to 05:00 p.m, closed on Saturdays & Sundays.
Banks: 08:00 a.m to 03:00 p.m, closed on Saturdays & Sundays.
Airport tax (international and domestic flights): included in airfares.
Electrical current: 110-220 volts A.C
There are no sky train and domestic in Vietnam. Cyclos (pedicabs/ rickshaws) are not allowed in most major cities, except tourist cyclos. Taxis and city buses are popular. The taxi fare is around US$0.40-0.50/km.
No vaccinations are presently required for visitors to enter Vietnam. However, it is advisable that precautionary measures be taken against cholera, malaria, hepatitis A & B, typhoid and tuberculosis. Although international medical centers are available in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, they can be expensive for emergency and/or intensive care. Therefore, health and emergency medical insurance prior to visiting Vietnam is highly recommended. Clinics and hospitals with qualified Vietnamese and foreign doctors to treat foreign patients.
Long distance calls should be made at post offices, hotels or telephone booths (phone cards are available at post offices). Postcards and stamps are available at all post offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam has four International Airports: Noi Bai(Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh city) and Danang Airport (Danang). Direct flights to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi from the following cities: Bangkok, Beijing, Doha, Frankfurt, Guang Zhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lampur, Kunming, Moscow, Osaka, Paris, Siem Reap, Singapore,Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tokya, Vientiane and Seoul.