VIETNAM PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION
Vietnam is one of the most exciting countries in Southeast Asia and the best place to witness the convergence of ancient history and mordenity, whether it be in the royal tombs of Hue, the colonial era shop – houses in Hoi An or the bustling Old Quarter in the capital, Hanoi, which recently celebrated its 1000 year anniversary. We wish you a memorial trip in Vietnam, and offer the below information to help you prepare.
For most nationalities
Most nationalities must have a visa to enter Vietnam with exception of some Asian nationals.
From Jan 1st, 2015, tourists from Russia, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland whose temporary stay in Vietnam is less than 15 days are eligible for a visa waiver.
Until Jun 30th, 2017, tourists from France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Korea, Japan, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Russia can travel for 15 days visa-free. According to this circular, those EU citizens can have single entry visits up to 15 days and in case they would like to enter Vietnam again with visa exemption, they MUST wait for the next 30 days after the day they travel out of Vietnam.
In case clients come back to Vietnam within 30 days after they first visit to Vietnam:
- Saigon: no visa will be required only when they meet below conditions:
- Showing ticket with full flight’s detail which proves clients come to Vietnam the 1st time (visa waive), and move to another country (NOT original country) and then come back to Vietnam, where they will leave within 15 days.
- Passport’s expired date must be over 6 months.
- Pay $5 stamping fee for Immigration officer at the airport.
- Hanoi and Danang:
- Must obtain Visa Letter and pay $25 stamping fee for Immigration officer at the airport.
For US nationality
With immediate effect from Dec 15th 2016, US citizens can now also apply for a short-term visa as before, instead of a compulsory one-year multiple entry visa.
Stamping fee (in cash/ in USD):
For most nationalities: In addition to the processing fee for single – entry Visa on Arrival there is a $25 stamping fee which must be paid in cash, in USD on arrival at the airport. If you require multiple-entry Visa on Arrival, in addition to the processing fee, there is a $50 stamping fee which must be also paid in cash, in USD on arrival. Be advised that there may be long queues at the airport while waiting for the stamp.
For US nationality: In addition to the processing fee for single-entry, multiple-entry Visa on Arrival, the stamping fee is paid in cash, in USD on arrival at the airport. Be advised that there may be long queues at the airport while waiting for the stamp.
The updated visa stamping fees are as follows:
Single-entry (30 days): 25USD
Multiple-entry from 1 – 3 months: 50USD
Vietnam Visa on Arrival:
Please note that Visa-on-Arrival works only for visitors arriving in Vietnam by AIR. If you arrive in Vietnam by land or cruise, you need to apply for a visa in advance at the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Travelers who get visa on arrival need to bring along as least 2 passport photos (size 4×6 with white background) to proceed the paper work. There is also photo shooting service available at the immigration gate and it costs $5 per person.
Please make sure your passport is valid more than 6 months from the date of departure of each country you are visiting. Also, make sure you have enough blank pages – you may need up to 1.5 pages for each country you visit in Southeast Asia.
Vietnam E – visa
Under a government directive released in late January, citizens from 40 countries will be eligible to apply for the e-visas starting on February 1st 2017, all major target markets for Vietnam’s tourism sector:
Here is the full list of eligible nationalities who will be able to apply for 30-day, single-entry e-visas starting February 1st 2017:
|China (not applicable to Chinese e-passport holders)||Ireland||Poland||Uruguay|
|Colombia||Italy||Romania||United States of America|
To apply for e-visas, foreign citizens can access the website of Vietnamese Government and follow their instruction: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt
Applicants are required to complete a form available on two separate websites (one in Vietnamese and the other in English) run by the Ministry of Public Security. They will receive an application code and will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee online.
It will take three working days for tourists to find out if their applications have been approved or not, according to the directive. Successful applicants will be able to print off their e-visas to present when they arrive.
Visitors can touch down at any of Vietnam’s eight international airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Danang in the central region. They can also arrive via land at 13 international border gates, and visa sea at seven ports across the country.
- ARRIVAL TRANSFER TIPS
In most gateway cities you will be met by our guide/ or driver carrying a signboard with your name printed. After walking through the exit gate, please take your time to look for a guide/ or driver holding a signboard with the Acehome logo and your name.
Please also keep a copy of your completed Immigration and Customs form as you will need to present it at Immigration upon departure from Vietnam.
- VIP ARRIVAL SERVICE
If you have booked our VIP arrival service, our Immigration officer will meet you as you depart the plane and take you to the VIP area for immigration formalities. In the meantime, staff will collect your luggage and after, escort you meet your tour guide.
In Hanoi, there are 2 gates next to each other. Your transfer should be waiting for you at the correct gate, however, if you cannot find the person, please check the other gate or contact us via phone or message.
TRIP & TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travelers are highly recommended to purchase trip and travel insurance. Trip insurance covers the cost of your trip should you be forced to cancel your trip before you start the trip. Travel insurance covers such cost as emergency and medical evacuation, hospital fees, property loss, etc. which could possibly happen during the trip.
Please consult your doctor to discuss your particular health or immunization requirements. If you would like to have a source of further information, please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov
Vietnam’s currency is the Vietnam Dong (VND). The best place to change your money is in your hotel. Many banks (open Monday to Friday) issue cash advances for Visa and MasterCard, usually for a 3% commission. Credit cards and traveller cheques are accepted in big cities although ATMs are widely available throughout Vietnam and this is the easiest and safest way of accessing money.
US dollars and Euros are accepted in most hotels, although you will need “Dong” for taxis and in smaller shops. The exchange rate is around 23,000VND to the US Dollar and 28,000 to the Euros (check www.xe.com for the latest exchange rate).
Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the service industry. For reference, we have provided a general guideline below. Vietnam’s official currency is the Vietnam Dong, but US Dollars are accepted in most places, and also be used for tips. However, in countryside or highland area, tips on VND will be more welcomed.
Tour guide/ Driver
If you are pleased with the services provided by your tour guide and driver, a tip for their hard work will be very much appreciated. In general, we recommend around US$10-20/day for guide and US$5-10/day for driver if less than 4 people in a group. We recommend around US$15-25/day for guide and US$10-15/day for driver if there are 5 people or more.
Hotel and Restaurant staff
A tipping of 5-10% of the bill in restaurant is appreciated. If you stay a couple days in the same hotel, a tip to the maid service of 1-2$/day is appreciated.
If you travel on a local basic boat such as in the Mekong Delta, NhaTrang, Hue, Hoi An etc., a suggested tip from US$5-10 per boat is appreciated – more or less depending on the group size and the trip’s duration. For an overnight boat trip such as in Halong Bay, the suggestion is $5 – $10 per person to cover all the boat crew.
SHOPPING & SHIPPING
If you choose to ship items home, we highly recommend that you buy shipping insurance and check the policy details. As shops are not responsible for damages incurred en route, it is better to be safe and sorry.