Vietnam (Việt Nam), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Cộng hòa Xã hội Chủ nghĩa Việt Nam) is a long, thin country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbouring countries are China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west. Vietnam is divided into 63 provinces, there are also five municipalities (thành phố trực thuộc trung ương), which are administratively on the same level as provinces.
The provinces are subdivided into provincial municipalities, townships and counties, which are in turn subdivided into towns or communes. The centrally controlled municipalities are subdivided into districts and counties, which are further subdivided into wards.
About the climate the average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains, and higher in the south than in the north. Temperatures vary less in the southern plains around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, ranging between 21 and 28 °C (69.8 and 82.4 °F) over the course of the year.
Seasonal variations in the mountains and plateaus and in the north are much more dramatic, with temperatures varying from 5 °C (41.0 °F) in December and January to 37 °C (98.6 °F) in July and August.
Most travelers to Vietnam are attracted by the country’s wonderful natural beauty: From the green rice fields in the north to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south. Vietnam however is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. It has many historic attractions and old temples. Some ofthe most amazing tourist attractions in Vietnam such likes Phu Quoc Island, Phan Thiet – Mui Ne, Cu Chi tunnels, Mekong Delta, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh city and more.
How to get in ?
Visitors with passports from the following countries do not require a visa for stays up to the days specified:
14 days – Brunei, Myanmar
15 days – Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (note: for France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK, the visa exemption program has been extended to June 30th 2018)
21 days – Philippines
30 days – Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan
90 days – Chile (note: from 11/08/2017)
All other nationalities will require a visa in advance to visit Vietnam.
You can get around Vietnam by many transports like by plan, train, bus, car, motorcycle, boat…
The national currency is the dong (internationally symbolised as VND, but written as đồng in Vietnam), which is difficult to find or exchange outside Vietnam; you can exchange currency from Vietnam airport but remember checking the value first. Continuing inflation and a series of devaluations continues to steadily push down the value of the dong.
Banknotes are available in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 dong. You can divide the value by the color if these zero too messy your head, example: 10,000 VND has yellow; 100,000 VND has green …
With unbelievable abundance of fresh vegetables, herbs, fish and seafood, Vietnam has a lot to offer. It can be mentioned here a range of widely- admired dishes such as noodle served with beef or chicken( pho), spring roll, eel or snail vermicelli, crab fried with tamarind, crab sour soup, rice spaghetti, steamed rolls made of rice-flour, rice pancake folded in half (and filled with a shrimp, meat and soya bean sprouts)., etc.
Vietnamese cuisine varies slightly from region to region, with many regions having their own specialties. Generally, northern Vietnamese cuisine is known for being bland while southern Vietnamese cuisine is known for being spicy
The legal purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 18. However, there is no legal drinking age. Do not drink tap water, drink only bottled water. Watch out for ice in drinks. Factory-made ice is generally safe, but anything else can be suspect. You can also try beer, soft-drinks, and Vietnam’s coffee style…
Lodging is not an issue in Vietnam, even if you’re travelling on a pretty tight budget. Accommodation in Vietnam ranges from scruffy US$6-a-night dorm accommodation in backpacking hostels to world-class resorts, both in large cities and in popular coastal and rural destinations.
Even backpacking hostels and budget hotels are often far cleaner and nicer than in neighboring countries (Cambodia, Thailand, Laos), and cheap hotels that charge US$8-10 for a double room are often very clean and equipped with towels, clean white sheets, soap, disposable toothbrushes and so on.
In hotels costing a few dollars more (US$12 per room upwards, more in Hanoi) you can expect an en suite bathroom, telephone, air conditioning and television. As with hotels elsewhere in the world, mini-refrigerators in Vietnamese hotels are often stocked with drinks and snacks, but these can be horribly overpriced and you would be much better off buying such items on the street. Adequate plumbing can be a problem in some hotels but the standard is constantly improving.
Mostly, Vietnamese people use motorbike for driving and don’t be panic because of traffic jam. The first discovery for many tourists who just arrive in Vietnam is that they need to learn how to cross a road all over again. You may see a tourist standing on the road for 5 minutes without knowing how to cross it.
Traffic in Vietnam is a nightmare. Back home, you may never witness the moment of crash, seeing injured victims lying on the road, or hearing the BANG sound. Staying in Vietnam for more than a month, you will have fair chance of experiencing all these. Becareful with street robbery and stay away from crime, theft.