Passports, Visas and Immigration
Citizens of many countries can apply online to get an e-visa for Vietnam. (Check which countries are valid)
The e-visa costs $25 USD and the approval process takes around 3 working days and once approved, you simply need to print out the e-visa and present it at the border with your passport.
We recommend getting your Vietnam visa before you leave home so you can travel with assurance. Sometimes public holidays and religious festivals might mean that the visa office is closed, so please allow plenty of time to organise your visa.
A Vietnam Tourist visa is valid for 30 days. You will need put the date you want the visa to begin in the application. Please note that you will only be able to enter Vietnam on, or after, the entry date on your visa, but not before.
Stray crosses at the Moc Bai Landport border which is one of the Ports that allow entry via e-visa. (If you are entering the country on your own, please check the list of ports)
The visa is valid for single entry only so you cannot leave, and come back in, on the same visa.
When arriving in Vietnam you will need to hold a valid Passport with at least 6 months validity.
If you have not organised an e-visa in advance...
If you're flying into an international airport in Vietnam you can get it on arrival however you need to apply for a 'Visa Authority' online before you arrive and then they will process your visa on arrival. If you are arriving with a Visa Authority you need to make sure you have printed 2 copies and have passport photos with you. The Visa Authority costs 15-18 USD online and then it costs another 25USD for your visa upon arrival at an international airport, so you should carry some USD currency on you.
You cannot get a ‘visa on arrival’ at any land borders. You will need to organise these in advance and the e-visa is your best option. If you organise your visa at an Embassy in your country of origin, or at the Bangkok Embassy you should allow up to 5 working days for processing and it's likely that your visa will cost more than the e-visa.
All of Vietnam is in the same time zone seven hours ahead of Greenwich meantime (GMT+7). There is no daylight savings so you don’t have to worry about changing your clocks around. Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam are all in the same time zone.
Vietnam is similar to the rest of South East Asia and experiences a hot and humid tropical climate with two distinct seasons, wet and dry. The timing for these seasons depends on which part of the country you are in, north, central or south. Central Vietnam also has an annual Typhoon season in October/November. Temperatures vary throughout the country ranging from 5-10C in the north in December to 36-38C in the south in April.
The official currency in Vietnam is Dong (VND). 1USD = 22,000VND. Most vendors will only accept Dong. In the larger cities USD is accepted but you will always lose out on the exchange rate. ATMs only issue VND.
Expect to be constantly hassled in Vietnamese markets and to haggle aggressively if you want a good price. As a general rule offer a vendor half what they are asking for and bargain up from there.
All large Vietnamese cities now have western style Malls and Supermarkets and you can purchase most of the items you can get back home. It is always a set price in these areas, no bargaining.
You must have valid travel insurance to travel with Stray Asia.
Before travelling to Vietnam you should visit a travel doctor for quality medical advice (we want you to be healthy and enjoy your trip with us). There are many diseases present in tropical climates that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is possible to get dengue fever and malaria (remote countryside) from mosquitoes so we recommend you carry some strong (>30% DEET) insect repellent.
Stray Passes Visiting Vietnam
Despite the diverse range of attractions, we've managed to narrow it down to just five country-wide reasons to visit Vietnam...any more and we'd never finish!