Monday, June 26, 2017

hoa xong

Vietnam - Travel Tips

Local Time

GMT +7 hours or +12 hours for US EST (subtract 1 hour for daylight savings).

Climate

The climate in Vietnam differs greatly from North to South due to geographical diversity.

In the North, the rainy season is from August until November. Typhoons are sometimes a problem, but quite rare. The North can be quite chilly from December to February.

In Central Vietnam the Rainy season is from October until December. Heavy rain and flooding can interrupt travel and Hue, Danang and Nhatrang may have to be missed if travelling overland.

The climate in the Mekong Delta is sub-equatorial with two main seasons. The wet season lasts from May to October with short, sharp drenching downpours occurring almost every day. The dry season lasts from November to April.

Annual rainfall for the South is approximately 80 inches (2,000 millimeters) while temperatures remain relatively constant - on average between 77 and 95 F (25-35 C).



Food

Eating in Vietnam ranges from cheap noodle soups on the street for about 25c to a banquet in one of the luxury hotels. Vietnamese restaurants offer a broad selection of international fare including French, Italian, American, Indian, Chinese and Japanese.

The most typical Vietnamese food is Pho, the noodle soup with meat in it. It is very cheap at a 50c per bowl and usually well spiced. The main types are: Pho Bo with beef, Pho Bo Tai with rare beef fillets and Pho Ga with chicken. Com steamed white rice is eaten for lunch and dinner. Nuoc Mam is the fermented fish sauce used to spice absolutely everything in Vietnam.

Seasonal fruits such as dragon fruit, rambutans and longans, fresh vegetables and local seafood are widely available, although supply can vary by region and season. All fruits and vegetables should be cooked or peeled before eaten. Drinking water or ice is generally not recommended, even in the cities. Bottled water is cheap and readily available, so we recommend you don't take the risk. Vietnam is a beer culture. There are plenty of local as well as imported brands. 333, Carlsberg, Hanoi, Tiger, Saigon, LaRue, San Miguel and Heineken are some common brands.

Language
The official language is Vietnamese, a mix of mostly Mon-Khmer elements with some Tai and Chinese. The language is tonal and monosyllabic. Most minorities continue to retain their languages.
Today's main foreign language, especially among the young, is English. In the north, French and Russian are still quite widely spoken. The script of modern Vietnamese is based on Latin with accents, and was formed and created by the Jesuit priest Fr. Alexander De Rhodes in the 19th century.

Health care

No vaccinations are officially required to visit Viet Nam. However it is prudent to have up-to-date innoculations for Polio, Meningitis, Hepatitis A&B, Tuberculosis, TABT (TYPHOID, paratyphoid A&B and tetanus), Cholera, Malaria, and Japanese Encephalitis. In addition, we suggest you contact your personal physician or clinic specializing in international travel. Vietnam does have a wide variety of medicines, but you may not be familiar with them. You are advised to bring any prescription medications (in the original containers) currently required. You should pack a small medical kit, which includes sunscreen, insect repellent, diarrhea medication, ibuprofen or aspirin and antibacterial ointments. For those who wear eyeglasses, it is recommended that an extra pair be taken, as the quality of local replacement services varies. It is strongly suggested that you have a dental check-up before departure. Medical care facilities are available, but are limited outside of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and can be expensive for emergency care.

Religion
Vietnam is home of four of the world's great philosophies and religions: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. Over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have fused with popular Chinese beliefs and ancient Vietnamese animism to form what is known collectively as the Triple Religion. Confucianism, more a system of social and political morality than a religion, took on many religious aspects. Taoism, which began as an esoteric philosophy for scholars, mixed with the popular Buddhism of the peasants, and many Taoist elements became an intrinsic part of popular religion. If asked their religion most Vietnamese are likely to say they are Buddhist, but when it comes to family or civic duties they follow Confucianism while turning to Taoist concepts in understanding the nature of the cosmos.

People
The majority of the population (85%) is comprised of the plains-dwelling Kinh people. The minority population is made up of 53 ethnic groupings. The best-known are the Tay, H'mong, Dao, White and Black Thai and the Hoa. Each has its own unique customs and dialect making them fascinating to visit. The population is 80 million. More than 60% are under 25. Life expectancy at birth is 68 years.

Electricity
220V, 50 Hz

Shopping
Vietnam is good for shopping. Hot items on the tourist market include lacquer-ware, mother-of-pearl inlay, and ceramics, colorful embroidered items (hangings, tablecloths, pillowcases, pajamas and robes), greeting cards with silk paintings on the front, woodblock prints, oil paintings, watercolors, blinds made of hanging bamboo beads, reed mats, carpets, jewelry and leatherwork. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Hoi An in central Vietnam is also a very good place to look for souvenirs.

Currency Exchange
The currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Notes are available in denominations of VND 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 thousand, and 5, 2 and 1 hundred. Coins are no longer used. Exchange rate: 1 USD is roughly 22,600 VND. The USD is widely used in Vietnam's cities. The Euro is exchangable, but not as popular. Bring clean bank notes with you. Dirty ones might be refused. Larger notes (i.e. 100) often get a better exchange rate than smaller ones.

VISA, Master Card and American Express cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and shops in the urban areas. Travellers Cheques are easily changeable at banks and moneychangers all over the country. Commissions are USD1 for a USD 100 TC at Vietcombank, USD 2 at ANZ Bank.

Public transport
Local inner-city bus systems are not good in Vietnam. Fortunately, there are other convenient ways of getting around. Taxis with meters are fairly cheap. The first two kilometers cost 12.000 VND and every subsequent 200 meters costs 1 thousand VND. The Cyclo, or pedicab offers easy, cheap and enjoyable transportation around Vietnam's cities. Riding a cyclo is also the best way to explore a city. The driver pedals behind you while you sit comfortably in the front and watch the movie of street life passing by. The average price for a ride is around US$0.20 per kilometer and is cheaper by time rather than distance. A typical price is US$1 per hour. Many of the drivers are also very knowledgable about their city and will speak at least some English or French or Russian.

Mail
Post offices are usually open from 8.00 am to 8 or 9.00 pm. Postcards cost about VND 10 thousand for a booklet of ten from the post office. Children also sell them, but they are more expensive. Don't be too annoyed by them, if they save you a trip to the post office it's probably worth paying a few dong more. A postcard to Europe/USA costs VND 5400, a letter VND 8400 (depending on the weight). They take about 2 weeks to be delivered.

Telephone

It is very easy to telephone inside Vietnam. All hotels will let you make local phone calls, many don't even charge you. International phone calls are possible from many post offices. At some places, international direct dialing (IDD) has become commonplace. There is a telephone card, the UniphoneKad. Cell phones are popular. If you have one you can buy a prepaid phone-card and own your private contact number while traveling in Vietnam. The system in Vietnam is GSM.

Internet access
The Internet was officially permitted in Vietnam in 1997. Access to online services is now available through cyber-cafes and computer terminals in the lobbies of guest houses and business centers in hotels. If you have an established Email account with a non-Vietnamese service provider, accessing your mail from Vietnam will require you to download your mail through a Web-based service such as Yahoo or Hotmail. This is easily done at cafes in cities like Hanoi, Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Danang and Hue. The Internet access fee is about 4000-5000 VND per hour.

About Vietnam Discovery -