Five Things First Time Travellers To Vietnam Should Know
- Buy your train tickets at the station. While many hotels will offer to arrange your ticket for you, most will add a substantial "service fee" of about VND 200,000. If you're on a budget or simply don't want to get ripped off, flag down a motor taxi and do it yourself.
- Jewellery shops have a better rate of exchange. While all the major airports have currency exchange booths, your money will stretch further if you head to the gold or jewellery shops in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
- Withdraw money from Citibank to avoid multiple transaction fees. Plus Citibank allows you to withdraw up to USD 400 at a time while other local banks have a limit of USD 100.
- Some of the world's best tailors live in Hoi An. If you want to get a quality homemade suit or any other personalised item of clothing, Vietnam's tailors won't disappoint. The turnaround time is quick, the quality is good (if you go to the right place) and it's a bargain considering what you'd pay for such a service back home.
- Vietnam doesn't have a tipping culture. Locals never tip at restaurants, and it's not a practice expected from tourists either. But if you feel the service was exceptional, tip at your own discretion.
Best Time To Visit Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam is during its winter months. From December to February, temperatures are cooler making sightseeing and getting around more bearable. It's also Vietnamese New Year, the biggest celebration of the year and a great time to experience Vietnam's culture and traditions.
Unlike some of its neighbouring countries, the north of Vietnam gets cold in winter. You might even see some snow if you travel up to Sa Pa so make sure you pack enough warm clothes.
Vietnam's high season is from May to September. If you're travelling around the coast, prices will be higher (but still cheap), and you'll need to book in advance to beat the summer rush.
But these hot summer months also mean its monsoon season. While the downpours are a welcomed relief to the 37°C temperatures, you'll need to plan some backup activities. It's also a good idea to buy a lightweight plastic poncho as anything too thick will make you overheat.
And if you can't make the New Year celebrations, try to book your flights around the Mid-Autumn Festival. It's an incredible cultural event with lanterns lighting up the sky and lion dancers taking over the streets. You'll also be able to sample some delicious mooncakes and learn more about life in Vietnam.
A Guide to Vietnam
With a population of just over 94.6 million, Vietnam, or officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 15th-most-populous country in the world. It is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula, with Ho Chi Minh being its most populous city, and Hanoi the capital of the country. The local cuisine is also well-known for its balance of the five Asian elements, which are sour, salty, spicy, bitter and sweet.
Home to the Ha Long Bay, which was included as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, and a place of alluring scenic beauty. Booking flights to Vietnam just to see this magnificent wonder of the world is well worth it. You can also get an elephant ride, which is one of the most popular local activities, often enjoyed by tourists.
So, why not grab this opportunity and travel to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world? Book cheap direct flights to Vietnam with Webjet’s airfare finder, that will help you find the most affordable deals, that suit your needs.
Things you need to know before booking flights to Vietnam
Dong vs Dollars
If you plan on booking cheap flights to Vietnam, then you need to know which currency to bring. Both dollars and Vietnamese Dong are used in this country. For anything touristy, like booking domestic transport, booking a tour or paying for a hotel you will need to use US dollars. However, if you want to visit any of the local restaurants, shops, market stall or bars, you will need to have Vietnamese Dong. Paying in dong is usually a much cheaper option.
How to Keep Your Valuables Safe
Finding cheap flights to Vietnam is relatively easy, so you will be able to save a good amount of money. However, a trip to Vietnam might prove to be quite costly if you don’t keep a close eye on your valuables. Never put any valuables or money in a backpack, or any luggage you are checking in. Also, don’t leave your valuables in your hotel, as this is quite unsafe.
Before trying to find affordable airfare to Vietnam, you might want to read up on their culture. In many corners of the world, it’s considered impolite to ask a stranger about their age, income and marital status. This is completely normal in Vietnam, so don’t get offended if they ask you these questions. If you don’t want to answer just say so, and politely explain why.
Best time to visit
When is the best time to book direct flights to Vietnam?
Trying to find the best time to book direct flights to Vietnam can be quite complicated. Vietnam has huge regional diversity, and is over one thousand kilometres in length. However, that being said, it is also a country you can travel to during any season. Travelling to Vietnam in the spring between February and April, and autumn, from August to October would be the best choice. The rainfall is lighter, and the temperatures are more moderate. This makes spring and autumn the perfect seasons for buying a ticket to Vietnam, and enjoying every ounce of beauty that this country has.
For those of you who want to find cheap airfare to Vietnam, you might want to opt for visiting this exotic country during its wet season. It lasts from the end of June to September and is categorised by a lot of rainfall and humidity.
Cities to Visit
Ho Chi Minh City
Being the most populous city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a very popular destination for tourists. The cafe and restaurant scene are incredibly cosmopolitan. You can visit the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, which was built in the late 19th century, and the HCMC Museum, which contains a brilliant collection of artefacts.
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam, and a place that charms many travellers. When translated from Vietnamese, its historic name, Thai Long, means “Ascending Dragon”. Hanoi has a flourishing arts scene, including water puppetry and jazz clubs. Dating back all the way to the 11th century, water puppetry is a very important part of Hanoi’s culture. Use Webjet to buy a ticket to Vietnam.
Known for its well-preserved Ancient town, Hoi An is a city cut through with canals. It is a spectacular destination for all those who want to have a taste of the ancient times of Vietnam. Hoi An is often described as the most atmospheric city in this exotic country, and it is because of this that many travellers book flights to Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
Located approximately 170 kilometres from downtown Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is a truly surrealistic destination. It is home to all kinds of limestone caves, such as karstic foot caves, phreatic caves, and marine notch caves. Use Webjet to book one of many available cheap flights to Vietnam, and enjoy everything that this tropical paradise has to offer.
Cu Chi Tunnels
By far the most famous place to visit are the tunnels of Cu Chi. They are well-known for their use during the Vietnam war. Many travellers fly to Vietnam just to see them. Every history buff would love to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Foreigners who fly to Vietnam have a unique opportunity to try the food from the period of the war, and fire a few rounds of an AK-47.
The Independence Palace is an ancient part of Vietnam that every history buff in the world would love to visit. A place that has great historical value for the people of Vietnam. There is no entrance fee, so you can fully enjoy this marvellous piece of architecture without worrying about spending money.
Getting to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
Located only a short 10 kilometres from the Ho Chi Minh city centre, Tan Son Nhat is the busiest international airport in Vietnam. It offers travellers many transportation options.
Public transport would be the most pocket-friendly choice. Buses 109 and 49 will take you from the airport to the city centre in 30 minutes, if there is no traffic.
Many taxis are also available for those who want to travel hassle free.
Parking options at Ho Chi Minh Airport (SGN)
Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) also has a new multi-level parking lot. You can park your vehicle there for AUD 2.72, per every 30 minutes.
Getting to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
If you fly to Vietnam, there is a big chance that your flight will land at Hanoi Airport (HAN). It is located around 27 kilometres from the city centre of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
A ride from the airport to the city centre will cost you only AUD 2.70, if you use the Hanoi Airport Minibus. Travellers can also get a taxi ride to the same location for only AUD 18.90. Book a ticket to Vietnam now, with Webjet’s airfare finder, that can help you find the cheapest airfare to Vietnam.
Parking at Hanoi Airport (HAN)
Travellers can leave their cars at Hanoi Airport. The parking lot is located opposite to the terminal building. You can leave your vehicle there for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
Getting to Da Nang International Airport (DAD)
Da Nang Airport is located close to the city centre of Da Nang, which is the largest city in central Vietnam. Also, Hoi An is just 28 kilometres south of it.
For transportation, there will be many taxi companies available to choose from. The price of the ride depends on your destination, of course.
Parking at Da Nang International Airport (DAD)
You can park your car just outside of Da Nang International Airport (DAD), as the airport itself does not provide parking space.
Major International Airports in Vietnam
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport
- Noi Bai International Airport
- Da Nang International Airport
- Cam Ranh International Airport
- Phu Quoc International Airport