Vietnam

French cathedrals, gothic architecture, a vibrant Chinatown, and miles of underground Viet Cong tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) bespeak a culture of colonization and conquerors in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), while Hanoi stands as Vietnam's culture and the arts center. Long-burdened by memories of war, Vietnam today is recast as a bustling tourist destination. A discount tour from Friendly Planet helps make traveling to Vietnam easy and affordable!

Tours & Packages to Vietnam

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A Taste of Vietnam
Bustling Ho Chi Minh City, picturesque colonial Hoi An, world-heritage Halong Bay & the northern capital of Hanoi; optional extension to Bangkok
10 days  •  $1899 $1599
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights
Best of Vietnam & Cambodia
Wild & wonderful Hanoi, world-heritage Halong Bay, alluring Hue & historic Ho Chi Minh; plus Phnom Penh & the breathtaking temples of Angkor Wat
16 days  •  from $3599 $3199
per person, double occupancy*
dates small group tour + flights

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Vietnam? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Hanoi
Population:  90.5 million
Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
Languages:  Vietnamese
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: GMT +7

Weather

The best months to visit Vietnam are between October and December when temps are mild and nights are cool. The northern part of the country has cooler temperatures. In the south, monsoon season occurs between May and September. The mountains can be quite cold any time of the year. Bring along a sweater for cooler nights.

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Vietnam, obtained no more than six months prior to arrival. You may apply for a visa through a Vietnam embassy or consulate, the official Vietnam visa website, or a fee-based visa service such as our preferred provider, VisaHQ. Consult the Vietnam Embassy or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will send visa instructions for U.S. passport holders.

If you hold a passport from another country, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements.

More information about passports & visas.

Shopping

Shop for hand-embroidered items, jewelry, baskets, carvings, fabrics, marble boxes, water pipes, statues, water puppets, lacquerware, paper-mache, beaded bags, kimonos, watercolors, war-related items, and custom tailored items. Avoid tortoiseshell, coral, ivory and even antique items, as many will not be allowed back into the U.S. or Canada.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

Malaria is present in rural areas of Vietnam. See your doctor about malaria suppressants. Dengue fever, plague, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis and trypanosomiasis have also been reported in Vietnam. Disinfect wounds and bandage to prevent skin infections. Seek medical aid if bitten by an animal.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Power & Adapters

127/220 volts. Plugs A, C & G. You will most likely need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances, even though some outlets will correspond to American plug types and voltages. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Tipping

Upscale restaurants will add a 5% service charge. Inexpensive restaurants do not expect tips. Taxi tipping is optional, but most appreciated.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I take my cell phone?

    See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.

Videos

Video Video

Articles

Rave Reviews

We had a very interesting trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Our tour guide in Vietnam, Toan Truong, was extremely helpful and informative. The guides in Cambodia and Thailand both did a very good job teaching us about those countries. The accommodations and transportation were outstanding! This is our third trip with Friendly Planet and we continue to be very pleased with everything.

Janice & Ron Beller, Parker, CO

Wayne and I (the token Canadians) wanted to let you know that every detail of our "A Taste of Vietnam" trip was fantastic!!!! Departing early in the morning for this trip helped with the jet lag plus the weather was cooler. Our hosts ("Long" in HCMC and "Phong" in Hanoi) were enthusiastic, professional and extremely knowledgeable. They were very patient with our group and repeated themselves on occasion. It was a pleasure listen to the historical/cultural information while taking in the breathtaking scenery. The hotels were excellent and the pool at Equatorial was fantastic. The transportation was on time, comfortable and the drivers were awesome. Food in Vietnam for this Jewish, chicken-intolerant diet was the best ever! The variety was amazing! Beth, the flights on CI were excellent and service on board was attentive and gracious (says this standard airline employee!). No issues with Asian vegetarian meals (though congee was the staple for breakfast) Wayne's wheelchair service was spot on at every city (other than HCMC. He was dropped off at an empty "Gate 6"...it was more comical than anything). The guest profile on our trip was well versed and well traveled. Loved, loved, loved this trip! We can't wait to book another (but I promised some home renos first). Can't wait to plan our next trip with all of you! It was just great! (and yes!!! We will book excursions in advance!!!!) (((((hug))))

Wayne and Charlie, Canada
A Taste of Vietnam