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Vietnam - Fact File

Update : 29/07/2015

Land area: 331,210 m2
Capital :
Population: Over  91 millions ( data: 2014)
People : 54 ethnic groups
Time zone: GMT + 7 ( Bangkok time)

Small story
Shaped like an "S" (or as the Vietnamese proudly say, “a dragon-shaped country”) Vietnam is located to the west of the South China Sea (or Bien Dong – The East Sea – as the Vietnamese name it). With all her hidden charm in culture, history and people,  Vietnam has gained her fame in recent years throughout the world as a safe and attractive travel destination. The beauty of this place is that not only does Vietnam offer travelers a valuable insight into her rich culture, her various lifestyles, or being one of the world’s leading rice baskets, but she also offers a fantastically adventurous and educational holiday.

Vietnam is known as a colourful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north with its myriad of ethnic communities to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh on the edge of the Mekong Delta. The charming capital Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments and the spellbinding scenery of Halong Bay is now a World Heritage Site.  Hue offers an insight into the Imperial days, whilst the charming beachside port of Hoi An has an intriguing blend of Japanese, Chinese and European influences. The delicious food and friendly people make Vietnam one of the most rewarding countries to visit in the region.         

Entry Regulations
Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of your departure from Vietnam. A visa is necessary to enter Vietnam prior to arrival. We will need you to provide us with 2 passport size color photos, a clear copy of your passport, and a completed application form to apply for the visa on your behalf. Please check with your country's Foreign Affairs office for the most up to date entry requirements.

Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate with wet and dry seasons varying from north to south and with elevation changes. November-April is the dry season in the north, Central Highlands and south. Temperatures range from 14-33 degrees Celsius.

The basic unit of currency is the Vietnam Dong (VND). At present, the exchange rate is VND21,800 to USD$1. As exchange rates regularly fluctuate, this rate might not accurately reflect the rate during your trip. Please check exchange rates closer to your date of travel at site: www.xe.com

Vietnam uses 220 volt system. This system may differ from the one you use at home. We suggest to purchase an adapter from a travel store near you to take advantage of the power ports in your hotel room.

The official language is Vietnamese, a tonal language with a mixture of Mon-Khmer, Thai and Chinese. Latin characters are used in the Vietnamese alphabet. French is still occasionally spoken among the older generation while English is most often the second language of the younger generation.

Health Regulations
No vaccination certificates are required unless coming from an infected area. For all health requirements and recommendations, travelers should check with their health authority for the most up to date information.

Airport Facilities & Tax
The international airports are Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, and the Danang International Airport. Departure taxes are formulated into the price of your airline ticket.

Vietnam is particularly known for its various styles of lacquer ware (mother of pearl inlay and duck shell) and its growing silk industry. Contemporary paintings and copies of artwork are also widely available in major centers. Hoi An, in Central Vietnam, is most commonly considered to be the shopping capital of the country with a bustling marketplace, handicrafts, and select expert tailors in the old town. Extreme caution should be noted when buying goods, and bargaining is common. Any goods that are considered "antique" will be confiscated. It is illegal to export any item that might be considered an "antique" from Vietnam.

Traditional Vietnamese cuisine boasts over 500 specialties varying from the famed spring rolls to tamarind crab. Cuisine varies from South, Central & North Vietnam, each with their own specialties. Meals are generally not spicy but make use of a wide array of interesting sauces. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have an increasing selection of international restaurants including Italian, French, Indian, Japanese and Chinese. Pho (noodle soup) is the most recognized dish from Vietnam and can be found throughout the country from streetside noodle stands to exclusive sit down restaurants.

For more information please visit the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Website: http://www.vietnamtourism.com/