Practical information

Local time
Vietnam is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity
In Vietnam electric current is mostly 220V in main cities, although you can still find 110V in rural areas. Sockets are both round and flat types.

Water
It is advisable not to drink water from the tap unless it is boiled properly.

Telecommunication
International phone call charges from Vietnam have decreased tremendously over the past few years. Today, cost of an international phone call is 0,75 USD/minute for Europe. This service is free, but if you need to call from a hotel, it is advisable to check first with the reception. The Vietnamese telephone code is 0084.
GSM phone coverage is also good in Vietnam, although you may have no network connection in remote areas. Since 2010, Vietnam has an extended GPRS and 3G network.
Internet cafés are common in every city. Wifi is very widespread and free in most bars and restaurants. However, some hotels may charge Wifi connection.

Transportation
There are five international airports in Vietnam: Noi Bai in Hanoi located 45 minutes from the town centre, Cat Bi in Hai Phong, Danang’s airport at 4 km from the heart of the town, Cam Rang located 40 mn driver from Nha Trang and Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City located 20 minutes from the town centre.

The road network has improved but still needs to be upgraded in some areas. To cover a distance, it is reasonable to count an average speed of 50 km / hour.
By train, it takes a minimum of 32 hours from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Although we can now find carriages with soft sleepers and air-conditioning, it is rather slow and not really comfortable but for a short-term journey, it is an interesting means of transportation and way to see Vietnam.

Helicopter sightseeing has become available using safe helicopters flown by qualified pilots.

Driving
In Vietnam, we drive on the right side.

An international Driving license is not valid. Only owners of a Vietnamese driving license are allowed to drive a car or a motorcycle.

Without talking about insurance matters, renting a motorbike is possible although not recommended due to the dense traffic in main cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Food
Traditional Vietnamese cuisine boasts over 500 specialities varying from the famous spring rolls to tamarind crab. Meals are generally not spicy but make use of a wide array of interesting sauces. For vegetarians, Vietnam offers a unique Buddhist-style fare created from combinations of an unending selection of vegetables and tofu. Beyond the delights of the street stalls and culinary wonders of Vietnam, main cities now offer an increasing selection of international restaurants.