WHERE I AM – My North meets China then along my West borders Laos and Cambodia, my South and East is hugged by the ocean. Vietnam is central located of SE Asian countries (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, & little brother East-Timor)
WHEN TO VISIT – Vietnam’s weather varies from north to south with each area marked by slightly different seasons and climates. Because of these regional variations, there are always pleasant and favorable areas to visit throughout the year. The north, overall, tends to be cooler than the rest of the country. During the winter from November till February, the day time temperature is cool and the weather often damp. Central Vietnam experiences warm weather from July to October and wet, colder weather from November to May. Although the temperature remains fairly steady throughout the year, Southern Vietnam has two seasons. The dry season lasts from December to May, while from June to November is the rainy season.
DIALING CODE – +84
TIME ZONE – GMT/UTC +7
CURRENCY – Vietnamese Dong (VND); ATMs and Money changers throughout the country. As of 2015: 1USD = 22,000 VND
VISAS – Most nationals require a visa to enter Vietnam and all travelers must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after their planned exit from Vietnam. (http://lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn/Lists/BaiViet/B%C3%A0i%20vi%E1%BA%BFt/DispForm.aspx?List=dc7c7d75-6a32-4215-afeb-47d4bee70eee&ID=306)
ELECTRICITY – Vietnam mainly uses 220V but in some areas, 110V is used. A mixture of flat and round 2-pin outlets are used in the country.
LANGUAGE – Vietnamese. In big cities and in places with many tourists, people can speak basic English.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS – Vietnam celebrates many holidays; The exception is Tet, the Vietnamese New Year is followed by lunar calendar which usually falls in around Jan – Feb annually – officially a three-day holiday but many businesses close down for a full week. This is the busiest time of the year for traveling in Vietnam and hotels, flights and trains are often full.
SIGHTS & PLACES
North – Vietnam’s well preserved and vibrant cultural heritage is no more prevalent than in the northern capital city of Hanoi. Hanoi is a city with a captivating mix of architectural heritage and European influences, making it one of Asia’s most striking cities. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay locates on the North-East of Vietnam, featuring more than 2000 stunning islands and islets rising from the azure waters of the Gulf of Ton-kin to create a dramatic and awe-inspiring setting. On the side of North-West possesses stunning heritage of a lifetime local minorities’ culture – Sapa is well-known destination for both domestic and international tourists. Sapa owns its soul, its traditional language, culture, and people in the middle of mountain range of Fansipan where is called the roof of Indochina.
Center – Along Vietnam’s coastline is Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang & Phan Thiet where offer ‘vitamin-Sea’ – freshen up by the ocean breath, long wide beaches, water-excursions & seafood. Vietnam also has got quiet charms hidden on Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands where have easy access by airplanes, boats and the most standardized facilities are already setup for visitors.
Central highlands – if the Central region lies along the east coast, then our central highland region border to Laos and Cambodia, spreading through 5 provinces from Kontum, Daklak, Gia Lai Lam Dong and Daknong. Where is gifted with much cooler temperature and rich basaltic soils which make coffee, peppers, cacao, rubber trees become the main industry of the residents. The culture in this region is also different than what tourists will see in main cities. Central Highland is where holds long term traditional life style, where that people have their own belief in god of mountain, god of river and god of lend, at where their entire life connected to the mountain and river those create so much different in eating, drinking, marrying, burying, living their daily life, and so on.
South – In the south is the extensive Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s greatest metropolitan area consisting of a vibrant and high energy mixture of culture, commerce, tradition and modernity.