Vietnam is the kind of place that’ll leave you relaxed, amazed, happy and with about 80,000 tales to tell.

If you haven’t travelled in Vietnam, stop what you’re doing, scroll down the page, and book yourself onto one of our awesome tours. Go on. We’ll wait. This country is mesmerizing, hypnotic and delicious. Stake your claim at a rooftop bar in Ho Chi Minh City at sunset, make friends at a homestay on the Mekong, cruise the stunning islands on Nha Trang and Halong Bay, deck yourself out in brand new threads in Hoi An and explore Hanoi’s art scene while munching on a baguette.

Vietnam travel highlights

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Our Vietnam trips score an average of 4.82 out of 5 based on 356 reviews in the last year.

Vietnam Highlights, June 2017

Shanay Fairbairn

Vietnam Highlights, June 2017

Paige Geerin

Articles on Vietnam

Vietnam holiday information

At a glance

Customs and culture

Geography and environment

Shopping guide to Vietnam

Vietnam Festival Calendar

Food and drink in Vietnam

Further reading

Vietnam travel FAQs

Visa requirements frequently change for Vietnam. Make sure to check the latest regulations before leaving your home country as this information might change. 

Australia: Yes

Belgium: Yes

Canada: Yes 

Germany: No, not required for trips less than 15 days (This may change after regulation expires on 31 June 2017). Yes, required for trip 15 days or longer.

Ireland: Yes

Netherlands: Yes

New Zealand: Yes

South Africa: Yes

Switzerland: Yes

United Kingdom: No, not required for trips less than 15 days. Yes, required for trips 15 days or longer.

USA: Yes

If you are arriving by air at one of Vietnam’s four international airports (Ha Noi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang), you can apply for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival (VOA) online at www.vietnamvisa.govt.vn. Submit an application form to receive a Visa Approval Letter. Make sure to bring this letter with you to receive a stamp in your passport when you arrive at the airport.

If you are not arriving by air, contact your local Vietnam Embassy to receive a stamp in your passport before arrival.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after your arrival date in Vietnam and should have a few blank pages left for a new stamp.

Tipping isn’t customary in Vietnam, but feel free to leave restaurants, driver or service workers a small tip if the service has been particularly good. It’s always appreciated.

Internet can be accessed at hotels and internet cafes in large cities and tourist areas, but is limited in rural and remote areas.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Vietnam’s urban areas, but may not be available in more remote and mountainous areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.

Vietnam has a mix of both squat toilets and western-style flushable toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are not always provided. Don’t flush toilet paper. The toilets in Vietnam can’t handle the paper so there’s usually a wastebasket provided to use instead. Some public toilets charge a small usage fee.

Glass of bai hoi = USD 0.50

Bowl of pho from a street stall = USD 1 – USD 2

One-hour massage = USD 6 – USD 20

Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = USD 8 +

Drinking water isn’t recommended in Vietnam. Avoid drinks with ice and make sure to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.

Credit cards are usually accepted by hotels, large retailers and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller vendors and family-run restaurants in rural areas. Market stalls and street vendors will not accept credit card. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.

ATMs are widely available in larger cities but are less common in small villages or rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Geckos are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Jan 1: New Year’s Day

Jan 28: Vietnamese New Year (Tet)

Jan 29-Feb 1: Tet Holidays

Feb 3: Founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party

April 6: Hung Kings Commemorations

April 30: Liberation Day

May 1: Labour Day

Sept 2: National Day

Some of these holidays change each year as they are celebrated on a lunar cycle. For a current list of public holidays in Vietnam go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/Vietnam/public-holidays/

No vaccines are required in order to enter Vietnam but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.

Recommended vaccines:

  1. Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
  2. Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
  3. Japanese Encephalitis (transmitted through mosquitoes)

Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis are mosquito-transmitted disease found in mostly rural parts of Vietnam. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease common across all of Southeast Asia. You can protect yourself by wearing light coloured clothing when travelling in these parts and by using a good bug repellent. There is also a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic for advice.

General speaking, Vietnam is a hassle-free destination for LGBTQI travellers. Same-sex relationships and same-sex sexual acts are legal. While a ban on same-sex marriages in Vietnam was lifted in January 2015, official legal recognition of same-sex marriage has still not been granted. Vietnam is increasingly recognizing the role of the LGBTQI community, with VietPride marches taking place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and gay characters appearing in mainstream television and films. While Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have gay scenes, many LGBTQI Vietnamese tend to hide their sexuality from their families.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or Smartraveller before you travel. 

Top Vietnam travel deals

Departing Days From CAD
17 Aug 2017
Vietnam Highlights
15 $1,235
$1,112
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20 Aug 2017
Vietnam Traveller
11 $960
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20 Aug 2017
Indochina Odyssey
22 $1,965
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6 Sep 2017
Epic South East Asia
33 $4,025
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