Travel

Airports

In Hanoi: Noi Bai International airport is 39 km from Hanoi’s downtown and takes about 45 minutes to drive to the Australian Embassy or the city centre by taxi.

In Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Son Nhat International airport is located inside Ho Chi Minh’s downtown, and is about 40 minutes from the central urban district of Ho Chi Minh City (which is District 1)

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 will be difficult for those who are visiting Vietnam

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 required 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, Da Nang and the island of Phu Quoc in the south.

Security and health

The Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists to Vietnam . This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details , before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.

Security

Beware of petty crime such as pick-pocketing, especially in crowded areas and certain parts of Ho Chi Minh City. Bags and mobiles are occasionally snatched by passing motorbikes and getting the required paperwork for insurance from the local police can often be very time consuming and frustrating.

Health

Traffic accidents are common. Be attentive when walking and crossing the street.

Please seek professional advice concerning vaccinations. Public hospitals and dental clinics are often of poor quality, private hospitals and clinics exist in large cities.

Tap water is not safe to drink, ice is usually made from clean water.