LANGUAGE

- Vietnamese is the official language.
- Almost tourist guides speak languages: English, Chinese, French, Russian and Japanese.

CURRENCY

Vietnamese dong (VND) is the official currency in Vietnam.

- Paper notes include: VND 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 and 100. Coins include VND 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500 and 200.
Cheques with value as Vietnamese dong include: VND 1,000,000 and 500,000.
- Foreign currencies and tourist cheques can be exchanged into Vietnamese Dong at banks or foreign exchange agencies.
- Credit cards are popularly used, especially in cities and big tourist centers.
Before leave Vietnam, Vietnamese dong can be changed into foreign currencies at the airport.

Working hours

- Governmental agencies work 8 hours/day from 7.30am to 4.30pm (excluding one-hour lunch). Saturday and Sunday are close
- Banks are open from 7.30am or 8am to 11.30am and from 1pm to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday are close.
- Private shops are open from 8am or 8.30am to 9pm or 10pm.
Public Holidays


TRAVEL TIPS

Things to remember

Things do not to miss

- It’s in your best interests not to drink the tap water, especially after flooding!
- Avoid cyclo ride after dark.
- Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwellings and religious sites, etc.
- Leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.
- When crossing the road, especially in Ho Chi Minh city, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly!
- Do not offer money directly to minority people - instead donate to a local charity or offer a small gift, such as pens.
- Try at least once the delicious, local street food.
- Always ask permission first before taking photographs, especially in minority areas.
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- Sleeping out on deck on a boat in Halong Bay
- Ordering custom-made clothes from the local tailor shop
- Taking a slow cyclo ride through the French Quarter of old Saigon
- Eating pho ga (chicken noodle soup) at a street side noodle stalls.
- Watching the traditional water - puppet performance in Hanoi.
- Experience the full moon festivities in the ancient town of Hoi An.
- Drinking rice-wine in the minority villages of the north
- Taking a boat along Hue’’s Huong (Perfume) River, visiting the Royal Mausoleums.
- Overnight in a homestay in the Mekong Delta’’s riverside orchards.
- Bartering for a bargain at Saigon’’s largest market, Ben Thanh Market
- Taking a stroll through Hanoi’’s Old Quarters.

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