Currently Vietnam’s national carrier, Vietnam Airlines are the only airline offering non-stop services between Europe and Vietnam. From UK the airline operates from London Gatwick airport offering twice weekly direct connections to both Hanoi & Saigon. The airline operates brand new Boeing 777-200 and the flight duration from London is approximately 12 hours. There are many other airlines offering connections to Vietnam via their home base and some of them are:
To Da Nang:
When to Go
Unlike other Asian destinations there is no best or worst time to visit Vietnam. The country stretches for almost 2000km north to south and seasons are different throughout all its regions. North Vietnam including Hanoi, Halong Bay & the Sapa Highlands can be rather cold and misty between November and March, at the same time however there will also be many clear and sunny days. Central regions including Hue, Da Nang & Hoi An receive most of their rain during September through to mid-January. This time of year the occasional typhoon may be formed on the southern China Sea and we would therefore advise you to avoid visiting this area from September to December.
South Vietnam, including Saigon and the Mekong Delta, are hot all year round with the traditional tropical downpour passing by. Overall probably the best time to visit Vietnam is between May and August. During this period, North and Central Vietnam are mainly dry with clear skies and the south – hot and humid with the occasional thunder storm.
UK passport holders require visas for Vietnam and this can be obtained up to six months before arrival.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the return to the UK date and two blank passport pages are required. When arriving in Vietnam by air, it is also possible to purchase visas on arrival at the airport. For this service you will require additional documentation which we can supply you with.
We recommend that you contact your GP around 8 weeks before you travel to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Travel Insurance is compulsory for anyone travelling on a ‘See Vietnam Differently’ tour. Travel insurance can be acquired from a multitude of companies, but it is vital that your insurance is comprehensive and covers you for all aspects of the trip you are taking. You should be covered against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation in the event of an accident or illness as well as airlift cover. We are pleased to have teamed up with insureandgo who offer competitively priced travel insurance specifically The local currency is designed for you.
Money & Banking
The local currency is Vietnamese Dong (VND) but US dollars are also widely accepted. There are presently bank notes in circulation in dominations of: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 & 100000 Dong.
You can only change VND into US dollars with a flight ticket showing your onward destination.
Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Illegal exchange places like gold shops may offer a higher rate and you may risk losing your money. Credit cards are now widely accepted, however outside main tourist areas cash is the only acceptable currency and it may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques. ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas. Funds can be transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.
Best currency to take: USA dollars. Cash can be used at many places. The exchange rate for US dollars is better than for other currencies. The rate and T/C commission varies slightly between banks and cities. Not much difference in rate between T/C & cash. The rate is slightly higher for larger notes. When price is quoted in US$, you can pay in dollars or Vietnamese Dong. Sometimes paying in VD is better because of the exchange rate they use.
Black market: Money changers on street are slightly higher than bank rates. T/C com: Varies slightly between Banks. Normally 2% (Vietcombank 1%) min$2 , rate $1=12,900D
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash and travellers checks
Credit or debit card
Sun hat, sun block, sunglasses
Sturdy walking shoes/sport sandals
Waterproof clothes for wet season May-Oct. Umbrella or waterproof jacket
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Camera and film
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
- Full name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
- Population: 89.7 million (UN, 2012)
- Capital: Hanoi
- Largest city: Ho Chi Minh City
- Area: 329,247 sq km (127,123 sq miles)
- Major language: Vietnamese
- Major religion: Buddhism
- Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 dong = 100 xu
- Main exports: Petroleum, rice, coffee, clothing, fish
- GNI per capita: US $1,270 (World Bank, 2011)
- Internet domain: .vn
- International dialling code: +84