With coastline stretching out over 2000 miles, there are plenty of secluded coves, sandy-white beaches and clear waters ideal for snorkelling, making Vietnam ideal for beach bunnies and snorkelers alike. It’s also known for its bustling cities, Buddhist pagodas, and the mighty Mekong, and is a popular destination for river cruises. Vietnam’s fascinating history is showcased from the huge marble mausoleum for the Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, in Hanoi, and the French colonial landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), to the Vietnamese War history museums and the famous Cù Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers, making this captivating country a must for history buffs too. For foodies, Vietnam is heaven, with its stunning cuisine, characterised by hot chili, coconut milk, limes, lemon grass, tamarind, cane sugar, and noodles, as well as French and (in the north) Chinese influences.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Hanoi
- Currency: Vietnamese dong
- Time Difference: Vietnam follows Indochina Time throughout the year, which is 6 hours AHEAD of BST, and 7 hours AHEAD of GMT
- Flight time: Direct flights to Hanoi (from 11 hours and 20 minutes) and Ho Chi Minh City (from 12 hours and 20 minutes)
- Official language: Vietnamese
- Entry requirements: You can enter Vietnam for a maximum of 15 days (inclusive) as a single entry without a visa, until 30 June 2021. If you are staying in Vietnam from 16 to 30 days inclusive, you can apply online for an e-visa. However, e-visas are only applicable to British Citizen passport holders, and to certain entry/exit points - if you do not have fixed travel plans, applying for a regular single entry visa from the nearest Vietnamese Embassy will allow for more flexibility. If you will be making multiple visits to Vietnam within a short period, it is advisable to apply for a multiple entry visa. It is not possible to get another 15-day visa waiver within 30 days of your last visit, requiring you to either get a visa or an e-visa to re-enter. For further information about visa requirements, check with the Vietnamese Embassy in London.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/240/vietnam#Vaccine_recommendations. If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam
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