Hanoi Travel Guide


You plan your holiday and Vietnam is your destination but you don’t know anything about it yet. Well, here are some useful information that you need to know before travelling to Vietnam. It will help you to have such a perfect vacation.

1. Languages

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. English is the most famous foreign language and most of the people can speak a little bit but proficiency in English is generally low across the country. It will be quite easy to communicate with staffs in the popular tourism venues or hotels but with the locals, it was not an easy task. Taxi drivers in the cities may not able to understand English but carrying a paper with the actual address or cities maps is strongly encouraged. Uber is also widely used in the city since the price is cheaper and you can choose the destination right on the app without misunderstandings.

 2. Weather

Vietnam weather varies considerably from region to region. For instance, the North experiences the 4 different seasons while the south is in tropical temperatures all year round.

North: Winter and spring lasts from November to April, with temperatures averaging 14C – 20C. There will be fog and drizzle in January – March. Summer and autumn will begin in May and lasts until October, with an average temperature of 30C – 36C. During this period, there might be heavy rainfall and the occasional typhoon.

Center: Central Vietnam experiences a transitional climate, with heavy rainfalls between November and December and dry, hot summer months. Typhoons are quite common in coastal areas between July and November.

South: Temperatures are fairly constant through the year at around 25C – 38C. Seasons are determined by the rains –the dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October with the hottest period in March and April.

Highland areas: In the hill resorts of Dalat, Buon Me Thuot and Sapa, nights are cool throughout the year. In the winter months (November to March), it can be distinctly chilly with temperatures falling to 0C. Even in the hottest months of March and April, the temperature rarely exceeds 26C.

3. Electricity

The standard electrical supply in Vietnam is 220V, 50Hz. Two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more common than three-pin one. If you have any devices differing in terms of voltage or plugs, please bring along a voltage converter or a travel adapter.

4. Currency

s about 20000 VND to 21500 VND. Often abbreviated as “VND” or “dong” for the locals, the word “dong” actually means copper or bronze. Bank notes are in 1000 VND, 2000 VND, 5000 VND, 10000 VND, 20000 VND, 50000 VND, 100,000 VND & 500,000 VND denomination. Each note has different color and the higher value of money, the longer the note. “Nghin” stands for thousand, Vietnamese people often use it to talk about the price, for instance “mot tram nghin” mean 100000 VND. If you find it difficult, you can ask the help from the in tourist venues and for major business transactions. Money, and traveler checks, particularly US dollars can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money exchangers.

Visa, Master & JCB cards are sometimes accepted at fancy hotels, resorts tourist destinations, cash withdrawals at ATM are issued in Dong only.

5. Passport and visa

To enter Vietnam, you would require a passport with more than 6 months of validity. Generally, South East Asia nationalities can enter Vietnam visa-free. Other visitors are required to obtain a visa. Visa on arrival (VOA) is often recommended for tourists arriving via plane. Contact your Vietnam agency to obtain a letter of approval so that you can process the Visa at the immigration counter. For updated information and guideline about visas requirement, please check the official website.

6. Safety

Vietnam is a safe country to travel in. Violent crime against foreigners remains rare, but use your common sense when out in the evening and stay in control. Remember that, Vietnam is still a developing country so it is good to be aware of your surroundings, without being overly paranoid. Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in small lanes. Minimize the use of cyclos_ (three-wheeled bicycle taxi) or motorbike taxis at night.

Traffic is chaotic, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Saigon. When crossing the street on foot, move at a slow and steady pace, wave your hand as a signal that you are crossing by. The key is to be clear about your intention – look up, meet the driver’s eyes and move steadily according to the current path and pace. The nd you.

Pay attention to all your belongings. However trustworthy they might be, it is best to minimize the reliance on your tour guides or drivers to take care of your valuables. Reporting of lost items to the police is a complicated process and the items are often not recovered so make sure you keep an eye on your stuffs.

8. Transports


Car hire

You need a local license to drive in Vietnam, so self-drive holidays aren’t possible for most visitors. However, you can hire a car with a driver, which doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Try to find a driver who speaks a little English. Travel agencies and hotels can find someone for you, or better yet, ask other travelers for a trusted recommendation. Don’t get too annoyed if your driver makes a pit stop at their “favorite” shop. They’re probably being paid a commission to bring you in, but you should never feel obliged to buy anything you don’t want.


Buses are cheaper than trains and they connect all major towns and cities in Vietnam and travel by bus in big cities like Hanoi is extremely popular. If you only travel around Hanoi, you can take the bus run by Hanoibus company, it only costs about 7000 VND to 9000 VND (almost 50 cents) each bus but you need to know the way and find help from the locals. You can buy tickets at bus stations or through an online booking agent such as Comfortable overnight sleeper buses are also popular with travellers on a budget.

Domestic flights

Flying between cities is a good option if you’re too short on time to take the scenic route. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet and Jetstar are the main domestic airlines. Tickets are usually quite competitively priced and can be booked online.


Taxis are among the popular transports in Vietnam for tourists since it is quite cheap and easy to go, but tourists found it unreliable because sometimes the driver may claim to have a ‘broken’ meter, quote you one price then demand you to pay it. And it also difficult to communicate with the driver so you can use Uber or Grab app to book a cab, but it only available in big cities, it is much more easier and cheaper than those taxis on the road, but you need to be patient since it takes time to get to your current position.

9. Time zone and working hour

Vietnam is in the GMT + 7 hours’ time zone. Most government offices open from 8.00 / 8.30 am to 4.30 / 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Banks are usually not accessible to customers after 4pm so make sure you remember this. Some foreign companies or private enterprises also work on Saturday morning. Most shops and department stores open from around 8.00 am to 9.00 am every day until 8.00 or 9.00 pm. The night scenes in Hanoi usually end by 12 midnight, which is the legal clsing hours for all entertainment venues.

10. Food and drinks



Vietnamese food is among the healthiest cuisine in the world. As people usually say, “Vietnamese food is not only food, it is Vietnamese culture”. It has a very distinctive style, although it is also clearly influenced by Chinese and to a lesser extent, French cuisine. Vietnamese food is a harmonious combination of five basic spices: spicy, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter creating its distinctive flavor. A lot of famous dishes can be named like: Pho, Banh mi, Cha ca and so on. Vietnamese eat mainly rice and noodles and bread is not a common staple food, but “banh mi” is widely eaten by the people since it is convenient and easy to buy.

As for drinks, never leave Vietnamese without having a taste of their pride – Ca Phe (coffee) like milk coffee or egg coffee (only have in Vietnam).


Drinking tap water is not advisable and bottled drinking water is widely available for a reasonable price.  Green tea is the most common drink, and is offered as a courtesy to guests or visitors. Beers also play an important role in the drinking style of Vietnamese, people drink beers a lot, especially at night or when they watching football.

11. Accommodations

Accommodation in Vietnam can vary from basic hostels to beach bungalows to five-star resorts. Prices are generally cheaper than almost anywhere else in South East Asia.

Plenty of Vietnamese accommodation providers accept reservations through online booking sites, or through their own websites. Hotels, resorts and hostels are easy enough to book using sites such as, and and you can check customer reviews on Tripadvisor before you book. However, if you’re looking for bespoke accommodation like homestays, beach shacks or B&Bs, it’s less likely you’ll find them easily online.

Check Airbnb for homestay options, as well as guide books and review sites such as Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet. Sometimes you’ll find great recommendations that won’t show up at all in booking site searches.

Tip: Hotels need to register your presence with local police. They’ll need your passport to do this, but make sure you get it back. You should never leave your passport as a deposit.

12. Tours

Tours can be booked through a travel agent or online through a major tour operator before you go (try, or look for recommended tours on Tripadvisor). A lot of free tours are being offer but still reliable so you should consider it.

Package deals are a low-stress option for travelers who don’t want to organize their flights, accommodation and ground transport separately. Check airline sites for special offers, as well as booking sites such as Expedia and local travel agents.

13. Attractions

Many tourists who fly into Vietnam for the first time are simply amazed as they don’t quite know what to expect and where to go. Vietnam is a country has something for everyone. If you love nature, the country’s beaches, mountains, tropical forests – this is the place to be. If you are a history and culture enthusiast, you will be fascinated by all the ruins and pagodas located around the country. Or if you hunger for the charms of a simple life, you will fall in love with the Vietnamese lifestyle including the hill-tribes and farmers of the north and the fishermen in the middle and southern regions of the country.


If you are planning your holiday in Vietnam, these are some tips for y the official language but English can be used since most people can speak some basic words, the adolescent can speak it quite well. Vietnam weather varies from North to South with the temperature of about 14C to 38C. The standard electrical supply in Vietnam is 220V, 50Hz. Dong is official currency of Vietnam; 1 dollar equals 20.000 dong. To enter Vietnam, you would require a passport with more than 6 months of validity. Visa on arrival (VOA) is often recommended for tourists arriving via plane. Vietnam is a safe country to travel in but traffic is chaotic and you need to keep an eye on your belongings. Transports in Vietnam are variety and you can choose buses or taxis since it is easy to travel with these transportations. Vietnam is in the GMT + 7 hours’ time zone. Most working and entertainment activities can be seen from 8.00 / 8.30 am to 4.30 / 5.00  or 11pm. Vietnamese food is delicious with harmonious combination like Pho, Banh mi, Bun cha; beer and green tea are common in Vietnamese drinking styles, tap water is not clean enough so water bottle is advised to drink. Accommodations in Vietnam are plenty, you can choose to stay in hotels or hostels and homestays are more popular now, favor by a lot of tourists lately. A lot of tours that you can select from, you can book it online or go to the agency, free tours are also recommended. Vietnam has many beautiful attractions for everyone, from mountains to bustling cities, stunning beaches to paddy fields and the culture here will make you amaze.

Now, let book tour Hanoi Free Local Tours to have safe and memorial travel in Vietnam!

Đặng Tiên,

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