Location: South East Asia
Area: 329,247 sq km (127,123 sq miles).
Population: 83.6 million (UN estimate 2005).
Population Density : 253.9 per sq km.
Religion: Buddhist majority
Vietnam, a country of profound natural beauty encompasses
the Red River and Mekong Deltas; soaring mountains and
jungle-clad forests; terraced rice fields; and a winding
coastline of pristine white sand beaches. Settled more than
4,000 years ago, Vietnam reflects the influences of a
succession of empires and would-be conquerors in its
architecture, religion, and traditions. Throughout its
turbulent history, Vietnam has managed to preserve its rich
civilization and highly cultured society, offering us an
opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare
Arrival and Departure Cards are required to be completed
upon entry into Vietnam; they will be provided by the
airline or at the border gate. The yellow copy of the card
will be returned to you and must be submitted when you
depart Vietnam; keep it in a safe place. Making a photocopy
of it is a good idea and keeping it with your other
If you have been pre-approved for a Visa-on-Arrival simply
process though the Visa-on-Arrival lane at immigration.
Once your visa formalities have been completed claim your
baggage and process through customs.
One-carton of cigarettes and one bottle of liquor.
Complete the customs declaration and process through customs
then complete the immigration processing where you will be
required to return the yellow copy of your Arrival and
Airport Departure Taxes
Domestic Departure Taxes are included in the price of the
airline ticket. International Airport Departure taxes are
$14 (Hanoi) and $12 (Ho Chi Minh City). First check-in for
your flight and then obtain the receipt for the payment of
your departure tax to present upon clearing customs.
Vietnamese law requires that passports be tendered to the
hotel each evening. This may appear odd to Western travelers
but until the 1960's a number of European countries required
that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening.
Banks, government offices and the like have office hours
from 8:00 to 11:30 am and from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and on
Saturday morning until noon, however offices often open late
(both in the morning and afternoon) and cease operating
early. Post Offices are generally open at 6:00 am and close
late, often as late as 9:00 pm.
Retail shops generally open at 7:00 to 8:00 am and close by
4:00 to 5:00 pm. Private shops, restaurants and stalls are
generally open very early and close late, seven-days-a-week.
Traveler's Insurance is strongly recommended. A number of
companies sell competing policies and it is a good idea to
read the fine print and ask questions if you are in doubt.
Note : some insurance companies cover travel insurance in
their existing policies; check, you may already be covered.
Policies have differing benefits for trip cancellation, trip
interruption, emergency medical and dental coverage,
emergency medical transportation, lost baggage, missed
connections, and accidents.
Of special note is the emergency medical transportation.
This is extremely costly; if you any health condition which
may require medical evacuation you should check to see if
you are currently covered and if not purchase the insurance.
Medical treatment, if required, can be costly and the pay is
usually in cash.
Note to Canadian Citizens
Your provincial health plan may not cover all expenses if
you are injured abroad. It may cover nothing or only a
portion of the costs. Understand the terms of your
supplemental insurance policy. Some credit cards offer their
holders health and travel insurance. Do not assume the card
alone provides adequate coverage. Carry details of your
insurance with you. Get a detailed invoice from the doctor
or hospital before you return to Canada. Always submit
original receipts for any medical services or prescriptions
220 volt at 50 cycles however 110 volt at 50 cycles in the
cities is sometimes encountered, but not often; in the
countryside 110 volt via generators is common. For your
convenience obtain electrical converters at outlets like
Radio Shack prior to your departure. You hotel may have
converters but it is always easier to come prepared.
Electronic equipment should be protected with a surge
Weights and Measures
Vietnam is on the metric system; all weights and measures
are in the metric system. Inches, miles and size-10 shoes
have no currency in Vietnam.
Celsius to Fahrenheit - divide by 1.8 Fahrenheit to Celsius
- add 32
1 centimeter - .39 of an inch
1 meter - 39 inches, approximately 1 yard
1 kilometer - .62 miles
1 mile - 1.6 kilometers
1 kilogram - 2.2 pounds
1 gram - .04 ounces
1 ounce - 28 grams
1 liter - .26 of a U.S. gallon
1 U.S. gallon - 3.8 liters
Vietnam major places of interest:
Mekong Delta ,