Vietnam Travel Guide During and Post-Covid 19
Vietnam officially reopened its inbound tourism on 15th March 2022 after nearly two years of closure. Two months later (on 15th May 2022), Vietnam also removed the pre-entry Covid-19 testing requirements for all arrivals as per a recent government’s Official Dispatch No. 416/CD-TTg. The latest decision is expected to boost the traveling of international visitors to Vietnam in the context that the country’s Covid-19 infections have dropped to a 10-month low.
Vietnam Travel highest priority is our duty of care to your health, safety and well-being. The uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 makes it a confusing time to travel. As the situation evolves, we are closely monitoring official guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and working with Vietnam authorities on a country-by-country basis to ensure what we are doing is correct, comprehensive and effective.
Vietnam Travel will support you to do whatever you feel is best for you and your loved ones. Below are a few useful fact you need to know before you go to Vietnam during and post-Covid 19:
Table of Contents
- I. VISAS
- II. PASSPORTS
- III. BORDERS
- IV. HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR TRAVELERS
- V. WHAT YOU CAN BRING WITH
- VI. TRAVELING BY AIR
- VII. WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN VIETNAM
- VIII. THE BASICS
- IX. OTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION RELATED TO CAMBODIA, LAOS, THAILAND & MYANMAR
- X. FINAL LINES
– You may also need a visa to come into or travel through Vietnam, depending on your nationality.
– Vietnamese visit visas are issued to foreign nationals for a limited duration and on the basis that visitors must leave on or before the date of expiry. Those who come to Vietnam to work are required to apply for a work visa / permit. You should check the visa validity and conditions carefully. Overstaying your Vietnamese visit visa is a serious matter and you may be delayed from travel until a fine is paid, and may be prevented from visiting Vietnam in the future.
– In a very small number of exceptional cases, the Vietnamese authorities may be prepared to consider extending visit visas. This often requires agents who are prepared to act as sponsors, including taking some legal and financial responsibility, for the people applying for visa extensions.
Below is all the information you need on visas for Vietnam.
1. Vietnam Visa Exemptions
Vietnam offers visa exemptions ranging from 14 to 90 days to citizens of 24 countries holding valid ordinary passports. The full list of countries with visa exemptions is below.
|Area||Country||Term of residence|
|Asia||Thailand||Less than 30 days|
|Malaysia||Less than 30 days|
|Singapore||Less than 30 days|
|Indonesia||Less than 30 days|
|Cambodia||Less than 30 days|
|Laos||Less than 30 days|
|Philippines||Less than 21 days|
|Myanmar||Less than 14 days|
|Brunei||Less than 14 days|
|South Korea||Temporarily Suspended|
|Kyrgyzstan||Less than 30 days|
|United Kingdom||Temporarily Suspended|
|South America||Chile||Less than 90 days|
2. Vietnam Electronic Visa (eVisa)
Vietnam’s e-Visa is now available to nationals of 80 countries:
Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Chile, China (including Hong Kong and Macau passports), Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Salomon Islands, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Western Samoa.
The e-Visa takes three working days to process, costs 25 USD, and is a single-entry visa, valid for 30 days. You can enter Vietnam on an e-Visa at any of the country’s eight international airports, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Phu Quoc, as well as 14 land crossings and 7 seaports.
How to Apply for Vietnam’s e-Visa:
Step 1: Prepare the required materials:
+ One 4×6 passport photo in .jpg format with a white background, without glasses.
+ One photo in .jpg format of your passport data page,
+ Passport valid for at least six months.
+ Your temporary address in Vietnam and points of entry and exit.
+ Debit or credit card for payment.
Step 2: Click this link or access www.immigration.gov.vn and go to ‘E-visa Issuance’ then click on the link for ‘Outside Vietnam foreigners’.
Step 3: Upload your .jpg images (passport data page and passport photo) and fill out the required fields on the form completely. Submit your form.
Step 4: Pay the e-Visa fee of 25 USD. Copy down the document code provided.
Step 5: Within three working days you should receive news of your e-Visa application via email. If not, you can also run a search for your e-Visa at this link.
Step 6: Use your document code to locate your e-Visa online. Download and print the e-Visa in two copies for extra safety.
Travelers with an eVisa can go directly to immigration counters at their point of entry and do not need to queue at Visa On Arrival counters.
If you are planning a multiple-entry visit or a stay of more than 30 days, you will should apply for a visa on arrival. Requirements:
+ A 4×6 passport photo with a white background and no glasses.
+ A filled-out visa application form.
+ A passport or substitute ID valid for six months from the date you plan to enter Vietnam.
+ Payment (25 USD to 50 USD) for visa fees.
+ A Letter of Approval from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate (if you are picking up your visa at the airport).
+ If you are near a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, you can submit your photo, application form, passport, and visa fee in person.
If you are unable to reach a Vietnamese embassy, or are short on time, Vietnam Travel can help you obtain the Vietnam Visa Approval Letter. Bring this letter and together with a visa application form and your other documents to the Visa On Arrival counter at the airport when you land.
You will need to pay your visa stamp fee in USD or Vietnamese Dong on arrival at the airport.
1. Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Vietnam.
2. A number of foreigners have been refused entry and exit due to their passport being damaged. Make sure your passport is in good condition before arriving in Vietnam.
3. Your passport will be checked when you arrive at a Vietnam port or airport to make sure you’re allowed to come into the country. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.
4. Being refused entry can result in significant cost and a long stay at the airport.
When checking into a hotel, you’ll have to hand over your passport so that the hotel can register your presence with the local police. Make sure your passport is returned and keep it in a safe place. You may be fined if you don’t register.
On 15 March 2022, Vietnam officially reopened its inbound tourism after nearly two years of closure.
IV. HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR TRAVELERS
Travelers in Vietnam are encouraged to take sensible precautions against Covid-19 during their trips.
The World Health Organization outlines these basic practices to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
1. Avoid traveling if you have a fever and cough. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, alert health care services and share with them your recent travel history.
2. Maintain social distancing. Stay a metre or more away from others, especially those who are sneezing or coughing, or have fever.
3. Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to spray your hands as often as you like.
4. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of dirty tissues immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
5. Avoid contact with live animals. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch live animals or animal products in markets.
6. Eat only well-cooked food. Make sure your meals especially animal proteins and dairy products are thoroughly cooked and prepared in a sanitary environment.
7. Discard single-use masks. If you choose to wear a single-use mask, ensure it covers your nose and mouth, avoid touching the mask, and wash your hands after removing it.
1. Heath check on arrival
Vietnam dropped Ccovid-19 testing requirements for all international arrivals from 15 May 2022 as per Official Dispatch No. 416/CD-TTg after a significant decrease in the number of cases. Visitors must use the PC-Covid application during their stay in Vietnam (visitors can download PC Covid on App Store or CH Play).
2. Insurance requirement
Purchase medical/travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment with a minimum of 10,000 USD cover. This typically costs about 40 USD.
Any travelers experiencing symptoms of the virus – fever, cough and difficulty breathing – should immediately call Vietnam’s health hotline: 19003228, or contact Vietnam Travel’s consultants for instant support.
3. Current snapshot of Covid-19 situation in Vietnam
|No. of days without new infection caused by community transmission until today||N/A|
V. WHAT YOU CAN BRING WITH
What you can bring with you depends on where you’re travelling from. You must declare to customs:
+ anything over your duty-free allowance
+ banned or restricted goods in Vietnam
+ goods that you plan to sell
+ more than 5,000 USD (or its equivalent) in cash.
You and your baggage may be checked for anything you must declare.
VI. TRAVELING BY AIR
Passengers must wear face masks when flying in Vietnam, including with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways. Flight attendants will also be required to wear masks. Passengers on flights within Vietnam are also required to undergo verbal health assessments and temperature checks.
VII. WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN VIETNAM
Vietnam’s unique geography creates a range of weather patterns, with both tropical and temperate zones. Generally, there are two monsoon seasons, between October and March in the northeast and between April and October everywhere but the mountains. While March to May offers the best weather countrywide, there is no bad time to visit Vietnam, as there is always some part of the country with holiday skies. Below is a guide to climate of Vietnam’s major regions and destinations, so you know what to expect during your trip.
1. Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Giang, Halong & the Red River Delta…)
December – March: cool to cold, misty, cloudy.
April – June: warm to hot, clear skies, sunny.
June – August: hot, humid, rainy.
September – November: cool, clear skies, sunny.
The best time to visit Hanoi and the Red River Delta (including Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island, Ninh Binh) is usually from April to June or from September to December. From April the days are normally hot, occasionally above 30 degrees with clear skies. September to November sees cooler temperatures of around 25 degrees and sunny skies – perfect for exploring the region.
If you’re coming to Hanoi in June, expect soaring temperatures with humidity highs of 40 degrees Celsius, and the rainy season is full swing (June to August). December is cool, misty and atmospheric, however from late December until March temperatures are surprisingly cold with lows of 10 degrees. You’ll want to bundle up.
2. Central Vietnam (Hue, Danang, Hoian, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet…)
September – January: rainy, cool, cloudy.
February – August: warm to hot, sunny, clear skies.
Tropical storms often hit Central Vietnam starting in September. March is an excellent time to see the region when the fields, gardens and streets are awash in bright blossoms and soothing greens. From May to August, it can be hot, and you’ll want to head to the beach to cool off. In the late months of the year, from September to November, the Central Vietnam sees a lot of rain and even a few small floods. The temperatures begin to dip and reach their coldest point in January, warming up just before the Vietnamese New Year.
3. Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta & Phu Quoc…)
May to November: sporadic rainfall, hot, humid.
December to April: clear skies, hot, sunny.
Southern Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) have consistent temperatures year-round. HCMC is either hot and dry or hot and rainy, although there are some pleasant fresh days early in the year, and some scorching days mid-year. Temperatures are normally around 30 degrees, with sunshine. From May to November, the wet season brings a dependable afternoon downpour, usually lasting a few hours.
VIII. THE BASICS
Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia and borders China, Laos, Cambodia, Gulf of Tonkin, the Pacific Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It comprises over 330,000 square kilometers, with more than 3,200km of coastline. From Dubai, a non-stop flight is 7h15m, and from Australia, it is roughly 8 hours direct.
2. Time Zone
Indochina Time Zone UTC + 07:00.
3. Country calling code
International dialing code for Vietnam: +84.
4. Capital City
Hanoi is the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. It is the second biggest city of the country, just after Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon).
Vietnam’s population has been recorded at over 96.2 million on 1st April 2019, making it the 15th most populous country in the world and the third in Southeast Asia.
Vietnamese people are composed of 54 different ethnic groups coexisting peacefully, in which the Kinh (Viet) people account for 86% of the population and 53 other ethnic groups represent over 10%.
The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese. English is spoken across the country and you should have no issue with basic communication or greetings.
8. History & Culture
Vietnam’s long and complex history includes Chinese, French, Japanese, and American influences adding to the intrigue of the country. Millennia of invasions and conflicts have shaped Vietnamese culture into what you see today. Vietnamese culture is complex, diverse and represents something of a history lesson. Vietnam’s culture focuses on humanity, harmony, family, and community values through music, art, dance, and literature. There are hints of French and American influence, but national symbols like dragons, turtles, bamboo, and lotuses are strictly Vietnamese and can be seen on many buildings and Buddhist temples throughout the country.
Vietnamese society is both conservative and fairly tolerant, so it’s best to follow these simple rules to avoid causing offence: shorts and sleeveless tops fine for the beach, not so at religious sites, and nudity on the beach is a no-no.
Vietnam’s major religions are Buddhism (14.91%) and Catholicism (7.35%), although the largest percentage of the population follows Vietnamese folk traditions or identifies as non-religious. Around 7% of the population is Christian, and there are also tiny numbers of Hindu and Muslim believers.
Vietnam travel is safer than you’d expect – the government has done a good job on keeping a lid on civil unrest in Vietnam, and violence to tourists has remained thankfully rare. Which isn’t to say that crimes of opportunity don’t happen: in Hanoi, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, tourists may be targeted by pickpockets and motorcycle-riding purse snatchers.
Vietnam uses the Vietnamese Dong (VND). It is safe to withdraw money from banks or ATMs while you’re in Vietnam – just check how much you’re really withdrawing.
1 USD ~ 23,142 VND
1 EUR ~ 24,327 VND
1 AUD ~ 16,217 VND
1 SAR ~ 6,169 VND
1 INR ~ 298 VND
The electrical current in Vietnam is 220V/50Hz using plug types A, C and F. The standard voltage in the US is 110 volts, so you may need a surge adapter.
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B and antimalarial tablets are advised, but not compulsory. You will, however, need a Yellow Fever certificate if traveling from a high-risk area. Consult your doctor 4 to 8 weeks before you depart.
14. Main Airports
Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi – in the North), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City – in the South) and Danang International Airport (Danang City – in the Centre) are the international and domestic hubs for travelers. Other international airports of the country are Cat Bi (Hai Phong), Van Don (Quang Ninh), Vinh (Nghe An), Phu Bai (Hue), Cam Ranh (Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa), Can Tho (Can Tho City), and Phu Quoc (Phu Quoc Island).
15. Major Airlines
With four airlines operating internal flights in Vietnam, and all providing an online booking service, there’s plenty of choice and booking in advance is easy. Vietnam Airlines is Vietnam’s national carrier. It has a comprehensive domestic network and a growing international one. Following names are Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Jetstar Pacific Airlines.
16. Internet access
Vietnam ranked 60th in the world for mobile speeds and 59th for fixed broadband speeds during May 2020. Internet and Wi-Fi are widely available throughout Vietnam. Something like 98% of hotels and guesthouses have Wi-Fi; only in very remote places (such as national parks, islands) is it not standard. Wi-Fi is almost always free of charge. Many cafes and restaurants also have (free) Wi-Fi. Connection speeds are normally fast and stably. Most travelers also surf the net using 4G mobile phone connections.
In Vietnam, Google (including Gmail, Google Maps, Youtube…) Facebook and TikTok are tops and Twitter isn’t blocked.
17. SIM Cards
SIM cards are easy to get and affordable in Vietnam so there is no excuse for not getting one, even if you’re only traveling through for few days. For only 5 USD, you can enjoy a 2GB mobile data valid for 30 days with a speed up to 30Mbps. The cost of Vietnam sim card (mobile data) is between 5 USD to 14 USD, equivalent to 2GB – 20GB. Make sure your phone is unlocked.
You can purchase SIM cards almost everywhere, including at the airport, mini marts, street vendors and travel agencies.
The biggest mobile networks in Vietnam are Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone.
18. Credit Cards
Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Vietnam. Please check with your bank about any foreign transaction. Mostly, transaction fee will be applied by agents, hotels, shops in Vietnam (about 3% for processing fee).
While tipping is not compulsory or always expected, but it is recommended to leave a tip to show your gratitude and appreciation for the food or service. As a guideline if you are traveling, alone we would recommend that you tip your guide between 5-7 USD per day, if traveling in a couple then allow 7-10 USD per couple per day. When traveling in a group of 3-4 then tipping in the region of 10-12 USD per group per day is appropriate, when traveling in groups larger than four then allow an increase roughly equating to 10% more for each additional person in the group.
20. Emergency Calls
The phone numbers to call in case of emergency are 113 for the police, 114 for a fire and 115 for an ambulance.
IX. OTHER TRAVEL INFORMATION RELATED TO CAMBODIA, LAOS, THAILAND & MYANMAR
Cambodia government waived of these two requirements for fully vaccinated tourists:
– Remove the requirement from the travelers for Certificate of negative result of Covid-19 PCR Test within 72 hours before arrival to Cambodia.
– Remove the requirement for Rapid Test upon arrival in Cambodia.
Travelers are encouraged to do Rapid Test on their own on arrival and must present the Covid-19 Vaccination Card.
In case of non-Vaccination of Covid-19, travelers are required to be in 14 day quarantine at a location designed by the Ministry of Health or authority.
No requirement for insurance coverage.
Visa on Arrival for all travelers to Cambodia is also reopened and this is applicable for all travelers arriving in Cambodia by air, land and sea.
You can apply Cambodia e-Visa yourself at: https://www.evisa.gov.kh/
No Covid tests on arrival for vaccinated travelers from 1 May 2022 but Thailand Pass applications are still required. Children under 12 would be exempt from these requirements.
Vaccinated visitors will not be tested for Covid-19 on arrival anymore. It would be recommended they self-test using antigen kits during their stay. If they tested positive, visitors could enter their Covid-19 insurance process or take care of their own treatment.
Unvaccinated travelers would be welcomed if they presented proof of a negative RT-PCR test no more than 72 hours before their trip. However, they would be quarantined for five days, with another RT-PCR test on day 4 or 5. They would also be advised to do self-antigen testing during their stay.
High-risk visitors would be quarantined for five days. The minimum Covid-19 insurance coverage for all foreign arrivals would be 10,000 USD.
For arrivals by land, visitors who intend to stay no longer than two days must be fully vaccinated and pass self-antigen tests. Otherwise, they could not enter Thailand. Those intend to stay longer, vaccinated travelers would not be quarantined if they pass antigen tests, while unvaccinated travelers would be quarantined for five days.
Insurance requirement would be reduced from 20,000 USD to 10,000 USD of Covid coverage.
Laos officially dropped Covid entry restrictions for fully vaccinated tourists from Monday, 9 May 2022. Unvaccinated visitors must produce a Rapid Antigen Test issued within 48 hours of leaving their origin country. Tourists will also have to pay for their own medical treatment should they become Covid-19 positive. Treatment can be obtained at state and private hospitals, while self-isolation and self-care is another option.
Those who have been infected with Covid-19 and recovered will not need to take an RT-PCR test, however, an official medical certificate will be required.
All international checkpoints is reopened for entry and exit by citizens and foreigners. Vehicles will be allowed to enter and exit as normal, the same as before the pandemic.
Citizens of countries that have bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreements with Laos may now enter Laos without the need for a visa.
Citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Laos may now apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate abroad or via the e-Visa online system. Visa on arrivals will also be reinstated at certain international checkpoints.
Now Myanmar is officially open for travel if visitors are full vaccinated and meet the criteria to secure an online e-visa. A PCR test is needed before departure and upon arrival in Myanmar along with a private transfer and a one-night hotel stay. Children under 6 years of age are exempt from the PCR test and vaccination requirements.
PCR test will be performed by approved laboratories who are working with hotels and costs 120,000 MMK or roughly 64 USD per case.
International travelers are also required to purchase Myanmar health insurance that covers Covid-19 (starting price 50 USD for insurance valid for 15 days). If the in-country test is positive, the health insurance covers the additional cost of hotel quarantine and hospital fees according to requirements by the health authorities for a maximum of 4,500 USD.
The list of approved hotels where international travelers must wait for results from their PCR test can be found here. There will be two categories of hotels to choose from: Category A which is 5 star accommodation and recommended for travelers and Category B which is 3* accommodation.
Due to the current situation in Myanmar, some areas of the country are either off limits to tourism or require special permission to visit. We recommend you only visiting established tourism centers including Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle and to avoid overland travel where possible by using flights.
Cash withdrawals from ATMs in Myanmar are not possible at the moment, and businesses do not accept international credit cards. Travelers must pre-arrange their trip to Myanmar through a travel agency and bring lots of cash to cover the entire holiday costs.
X. FINAL LINES
We share your passion for travel and are always here, whether you are looking for a family vacation, a beach escape or seeking an adventure or a contentment. We hope that our information gives you some peace of mind and we look forward to welcoming you soon. Please keep in mind that information is correct at the time of 9:30 A.M, 16 May 2022 (GMT +7, Hanoi Time) and will be updated as soon as possible.
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Updated: 16 May 2022