This information may be useful if this is the first time you visit Vietnam.
Some people worry that they don’t have enough information about Vietnam before arriving.
Check the online travel sites and Tripadvisor which are all pretty accurate. And if you are flying with Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Airlines inflight Heritage Magazine has lots of information about the country. If you have any specific questions please email us and we will be happy to help you.
What is the best way to get from the airport or train station to my hotel?
At NoiBai Airport the airport taxi service is reliable and safe which you get from outside the arrivals hall. Do not take a non-airport taxi. Rates start from $16 into the town centre. Make sure the meter is on. You do not pay an airport toll fee. Or book our airport pick up service before you arrive – details above.
- Some people get confused with the Vietnamese currency
The VND currency has the following notes:
200 and 500 (now limited supply)
Rate to the $ fluctuates between 20,000-21,000 VND to $1
Always check that you hand over the right money and receive the right change when purchasing something. It has been known for some unscrupulous traders to pretend to help you count your money and they take more than what you should pay for.
When changing money, count the notes to make sure you have received the correct amount. And change your money ONLY in reputable places – hotel receptions, banks (lower rate), many jewellery shops have good rates for changing money. Do not change money from the ladies walking around HoanKiem
- Your valuable items
Please DO NOTwalk around with your passport, credit cards or lots of money. Be aware of pick pockets especially in crowded areas, times of festivals, shows, and at bus stops. Carry only what you need and leave your valuable items in your room hotel safe or in our reception safe.
- Street vendors
When you are walking around street sellers may pester you to buy postcards, chewing gum and books and maps. Again they may scam you and charge you too much. It is best to buy these items in bookshops and reputable outlets.
It is also common for some street fruit sellers to follow you and beg you to buy their products. They invite you to have a go at carrying their baskets of fruit balanced on a long pole. They will encourage you to have your photo taken. You may think it is funny but they will ask you to buy their fruit or ask you for money. And they may ask for 3 to 4USD.
Unless you want to pay more than you should then just walk on and take no notice
- Being ripped off
Throughout Vietnam foreigners are often charged more. There are common complaints of a 3 tiered pricing structure. Vietnamese price, expat price and foreign tourist price. Before you go spending your money check with our reception how much you should pay for certain items. In the markets bargain and settle on a price that you think is reasonable. The prices in the supermarkets and shops are fixed prices
Hanoi is famous for its mad traffic. Even Vietnamese people from other cities comment how bad the traffic can be. When crossing the road you must move at the same pace into the traffic and the vehicles will pass around you. Don’t vary your speed or suddenly stop as this will cause problems for car and motorbike drivers
- The weather
The North has 4 seasons – winter (cold), spring, summer (hot, humid and prone to flash downpours) and autumn (for many the nicest season). The south has 2 seasons – rainy and dry. If you visit Vietnam during the rainy season then make sure you have good rainwear and an umbrella
In the summer temperatures can get very high and Hanoi can be very humid so make sure you drink plenty of water
When buying water from the smaller stores, make sure the cap is sealed. It is not uncommon for bottles to be refilled with tap water
- Opening times
Before you venture out check the opening times of museum and city attractions. Many places close for lunch between 11.30am-13.30 and museums are often closed on Mondays