Travel

Airports

Noi Bai International airport is 39 km from Hanoi and takes about 45 minutes to drive to the Australian Embassy and a further 15 minutes to the city centre by taxi.

Tan Son Nhat International airport is about 15 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City.

The country has seven further international and 15 domestic airports. All Vietnamese airlines occasionally change their schedule at very short notice and delays are common.

Ground transport

Taxis are an inexpensive and viable way to get around, Vinasun and Mai Linh are examples of trusted taxi companies.

Austrade can help you arrange hiring a car with a driver during your stay, as hiring cars to self-drive is not possible for foreigners.

Hotels

There are a wide range of hotels to choose from in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. A 10 per cent VAT and a service fee five per cent is often charged on top of advertised prices.

Dining

In the larger cities there are plenty of restaurants offering cuisine from around the world and of course mid- and higher-range restaurants offering Vietnamese dishes. International restaurant chains are increasingly present. Little English is spoken at establishments with lower price-ranges.

Trips to rural areas can mean little choice apart from “street kitchens”: bring packaged food if you want to avoid these.

Tipping

Tipping is generally not expected in Vietnam.

Tourist attractions

The karst formations of Ha Long Bay and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the north of Vietnam figure on the UNSECO World Heritage list of natural sites, while Vietnam’s eight cultural sites with this designation include the old town of Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue in central Vietnam.

Further tourism hotspots include the beaches of Nha Trang and the island of Phu Quoc in the south.