Being the long-held position as a travel icon, Vietnam is more than deserved to be a destination to many foreign visitors. The first time going to Vietnam, many foreigners may be always shy and confused as they have never come here before. With just a little preparation by following these below tips will set you up for the trip of a lifetime.
1. Keep smiling
It is no doubt that Vietnamese people are mostly just as friendly as their Southeast Asian counterparts. However, they tend to ignore lost-looking foreigners unless you actually ask for help. Please bear in mind that if you ask a local a question with a sincere smile, you’ll almost certainly have it responded with their returned smile.
2. Be wary of taxi scams
For the most travelers, taxi seems to be the best means of transportation to truly see the thronging streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. However, to protect yourself from scams, you should know clearly where you are going and points along the way. Another safe option is organizing for a hotel pick-up from the airport which may cost you some dollars but can prevent you from scams taxi.
3. Know your night buses
Make sure to book overnight buses which are a great way to cover long distances and save on accommodation costs, and better book a top bunk as far as possible from the loo. Also don’t drink more than absolutely necessary, as rest stops seem to be skipped completely if the bus is running late.
4. Avoid nightlife trouble
Enjoying your nighttime at bars and nightclubs is not a bad choice when coming to Vietnam. However, in Hanoi, there is an official curfew on bars and nightclubs, which the police may turn up and enforce unless the owner has paid a suitable ‘fee’. Meanwhile, be aware of pick pocketing prostitutes – and attendant gangs – on their way home after a night out.
5. Motorcycle safely
Actually, motorbikes (scooters and larger motorcycles) are the most popular means of transportation that take you to every stunning locale. With six to nine dollars a day, you can own a rental bikes to go around the city in case you are actually an experienced motorcyclist as Vietnam is a dangerous place to ride. If you are not sure about your ability, you can also have the driver took you to every places and you only sit back enjoying the scenery.
6. Be bold
For the first impression when coming to Vietnam, it can seem intimidating and overwhelming, but keep your sense of humour and everything will be OK. Just like crossing the road in Ha Noi, you have to wade out into moving traffic whispering prayers to any and every god that you won’t get hit, the worst thing you can do is freeze. Keep moving at a steady pace and the bedlam will slowly envelop and glide around you – until magically you are right where you wanted to be without a single scratch! Then the most important of all: don’t be scared!
Above are some remarkable tips for the first travelers to Vietnam. Then what you have to do next is preparing a visa as permission to the beautiful nation as every U.S passport holder must apply for a visa prior to their trip to Vietnam. Fortunately, getting a Vietnam visa for U.S citizens have been made much simpler these days as there are two different ways available to go: applying for visa at Vietnam Embassy as traditional way with visa picked up at Vietnam Embassies) and applying for Visa on arrival with Vietnam-Visa.com (visa picked up at Vietnam International Airports).
For the former way, you can come to the two offices of Vietnam Embassy in United States: one in Washington DC and one in San Francisco.
Embassy of Vietnam in Washington DC, United States
- Address: 1233, 20th St., NW, Suite 400, Washington DC, 20036, USA
- Tel: (1-202) 861 073
- Fax: (1-202) 861 0917
Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco, United States
- Address: 1700 California St, Suite 430 San Francisco, CA 94109
- Tel: (1415) 922 1577
- Fax: (1415) 922 1577
With visa on arrival, the Vietnam Immigration Department will issue a visa approval letter with your name on it stating that you are allowed to enter Vietnam on a specified date. Then, you will have the visa stamped onto your passport at the arrival airport. If you apply for visa at Vietnam embassies, the visa stamp will be on your passport when they send it back to you.
To truly get visa to Vietnam, you may choose either of the two options mentioned above. Please bear in mind that these two options are quite different in terms of application procedure and applicable applicants.US travelers should note that while visa on arrival is more convenient and less time-consuming, it is applicable for those who travel to Vietnam by air only. So, if you plan to travel to Vietnam by land or sea, you should apply for a visa at the nearest Vietnam embassy.
Hope that you can enjoy a nice trip with all useful information we have suggested as a mindful preparation for the upcoming trip!