Customer Care & Sales team: 0330 880 3600 - 9.00 am – 5.00 pm - Monday to Friday.
We can also assist you via email and also have responses to many Q&A on the website
You can buy Direct-Travel Insurance online as usual.
UK Customer Services0330 880 3600
Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
Sat 8:30am - 5pm.
Sun 10am - 3pm
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)
Contact details can be found in your policy documentation
Available 24 hours a day, every day
Region: Asia & Oceania
Full Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Capital City: Hanoi
Language Spoken: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Get travel insurance to Vietnam from Direct Travel Insurance. We offer low cost and high quality travel insurance to Vietnam and most of the world.
16 00 N, 106 00 E
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
total: 4,639 km border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower
arable land: 20.14% permanent crops: 6.93% other: 72.93% (2005)
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Because of its geography, the climate in Vietnam varies greatly from north to south. Tropical monsoons occur from May to October. It is almost totally dry throughout the rest of the year. Required clothing Tropicals and washable cottons are worn all year. Rainwear is essential during the rainy season.
time difference: UTC+7
84,402,966 (July 2006 est.)
0-14 years: 27% (male 11,826,457/female 10,983,069) 15-64 years: 67.1% (male 28,055,941/female 28,614,553) 65 years and over: 5.8% (male 1,924,562/female 2,998,384) (2006 est.)
total: 25.9 years male: 24.8 years female: 27.1 years (2006 est.)
1.02% (2006 est.)
16.86 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
6.22 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
-0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
total population: 70.85 years male: 68.05 years female: 73.85 years (2006 est.)
1.91 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Casual clothing is usually worn to business meetings, however, some formal meetings may require more formal attire such as a suit and tie. All officials do not speak English and knowledge of French is useful. A Handshake and vocal greeting are normal. Business cards should have a Vietnamese translation on the back. Most businesses, government offices and shops are open from 7:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday and half days on Saturday. Many offices close for an hour or two at lunch. Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Therefore, care should be taken when carrying sensitive company proprietary information into Vietnam.
Crime is a serious problem in Ho Chi Minh City and to a lesser extent, throughout Vietnam. Generally, pickpocketing or snatch-and-grab incidents, and the theft of unattended bags, briefcases and other items characterize crimes against foreigners. There have been several incidents in which foreigners have been injured or even killed when resisting robbers. It is recommended that travelers not resist such theft attempts, but report them to both local authorities and the visitor's embassy. Motorcyclists, mostly carrying passengers, frequently grab bags, cameras, and other valuables from pedestrians, or passengers riding in pedicabs or at the back of rented motorcycles. When bags are stolen, passports, identity documents, and airline tickets are frequently lost. Thieves also congregate in large numbers around hotels frequented by foreign tourists and businessmen. Assaults have been reported in outlying areas. Some pedicab drivers have reportedly kidnapped passengers and extorted money; it therefore may be risky to hire pedicabs not associated with reputable hotels or other establishments such as restaurants. There has been an increase in petty theft in Hanoi and some foreign passports are prized items and should be kept in hotel safes or other secure locations. Travelers to Vietnam are should also avoid or use caution when visiting places where drinking is the main activity. A series of recent incidents otherwise healthy visitors have died following an evening of drinking alcoholic beverages, raising concern that such drinks could be adulterated with toxic or other substances.
Tourist facilities have vastly improved in the last few years and most towns have small hotels and guesthouses. In the major towns there is a full range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
Telephone: IDD is available only to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Country code: 84. International calls must be made through the operator. Fax: Available in most major offices. The use of internet and email is very easy and accessible in the travelers cafes in the larger cities including Saigon, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An.
in Vietnam uses both 110v and 220v. However, the current is uneven some devices don?t always run smoothly. Take a surge protector for your laptop computer. Outlets come in a variety of shapes and sizes (almost all are two-pronged) and the voltage is rarely marked. Electricity 220/110 volts AC, 50Hz; plugs are mostly flat pin.
Vietnamese cooking is varied and usually very good. It is a mixture of Vietnamese, Chinese and French traditions, with a plethora of regional specialties. As in all countries of the region, rice or noodles usually provide the basis of a meal. Not surprisingly, fish is plentiful.
? Breakfast is generally noodle soup locally known as pho (pronounced ?fur?).
? French-style baguettes are available throughout Vietnam.
? Nem (pork mixed with noodles, eggs and mushrooms wrapped in rice paper, fried and served hot).
? Banh chung (glutinous rice, pork and onions wrapped in large leaves and cooked for up to 48 hours, to be eaten cold at any time).
? Vietnamese dishes are not complete without nuoc mam (a fish sauce) or mam tom (a shrimp sauce). National drinks:
? Green tea is refreshing and available everywhere.
? The French culinary legacy embraces rich, fresh, filter coffee, usually brewed on the table in front of the customer.
? Bia Hoi, a local draught beer available at street stalls in Hanoi. It is not only cheap, but free of additives.
? Rice wine is also a favorite throughout the country. It is generally extremely potent.
Tipping is not customary, but is becoming more usual in tourist areas, especially in the south. Upscale restaurants and hotels may add a 5 to 10 per cent service charge to the bill. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped.
* Please see visa section
Passport valid for at least one month after expiration of visa required by all.
Required by all except:
(a) nationals of Bulgaria, China (PR) (AB passport), Cuba, Korea (Dem Rep), Mongolia (AB, AC or AO passport), Romania, Russian Federation and Ukraine (AB passport);
(b) nationals of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for stays of up to 30 days;
(c) nationals of The Philippines for stays of up to 21 days;
(d) 1. nationals of Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea (Rep), Norway and Sweden for stays of up to 15 days;
(e) transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours, provided holding valid return or onward tickets. At present, visas can be issued for either groups or individuals.
For security reasons, it is advisable to carry copies of documents rather than originals when in Vietnam.
Tourist: US$65 (single-entry); US$94 (express service); US$120 (multiple-entry). Single-entry Business: US$69 Multiple-entry Business: US$120 (one month); US$155 (three months); US$241 (six months or more).
Tourist visas are valid for one month from proposed date of entry. Visas can usually be extended for another month, at extra cost, in the larger towns.
All regulations, including those concerning which counties require visas, cost of visas and validity of visas, are very complex and subject to frequent change. It is therefore advisable to contact the consular section at the Embassy before any travel to Vietnam.
Consulate (or consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information.
(a) Completed application form. (b) One recent passport-size photo. (c) Valid passport. (d) Fee (non-refundable), payable by cash, bank draft or postal order. (e) To have your passport returned by post, please add ?5 and include a stamped self-addressed envelope. Business: (a)-(e), and (f) Approval obtained through a Vietnamese sponsor.
Two (tourist visa express application); five (tourist visa). Entry visas can be applied for in person up to six months prior to date of travel.
No Test Required
US$14 (Ho Chi Minh City), US$12 (Hanoi) and US$8 (Da Nang), payable in US Dollars or new D?ng.
12 Victoria Road, London W8 5RD, UK
Tel: (020) 7937 1912.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700; 0930-1230 (visa section).
1233 20th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, USA
Tel: (202) 861 0737 or 2293 (consular section).
There have been renewed outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) amongst poultry throughout Vietnam. There have been a number of human fatalities in this latest outbreak. The World Health Organization is still investigating the possibility of human-to-human transmission. Travelers should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with wild or caged birds; and ensure poultry dishes are thoroughly cooked.
Most visits to Vietnam are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Serious or violent crimes against foreigners in Vietnam are rare, but travelers should remain vigilant for petty or opportunistic theft.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:
New D?ng (VND). Notes are in denominations of VND500,000, 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins are in denominations of VND5000, 2000, 1000, 500 and 200.
Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import and export of foreign currency over US$3000 is subject to declaration. Proof of all expenses should be kept.
Mon-Fri 0730/0800-1130 and 1300-1600.
The US Dollar is the most favored foreign currency. Australian, British, Japanese, Singaporean and Thai currency, as well as the Euro, can usually be changed in the larger cities; great difficulty may be encountered in trying to exchange any other currencies. There is a charge for changing money in banks.
An increasing number of outlets accept MasterCard and Visa. However, outside main centers, it is wise to carry cash. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.
These are widely accepted in hotels and banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Euros.
|City/Region||City/Area code||Followed by|
|An Giang||(0)76||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ba Ria - Vung Tau||(0)64||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Bac Giang||(0)240||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Bac Kan||(0)281||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Bac Lieu||(0)781||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Bac Ninh||(0)241||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ben Tre||(0)75||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Binh Dinh||(0)56||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Binh Duong||(0)650||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Binh Phuoc||(0)651||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Binh Thuan||(0)62||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ca Mau||(0)780||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Can Tho||(0)71||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Cao Bang||(0)26||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Da Nang||(0)511||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Dak Lak||(0)50||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Dong Nai||(0)61||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Dong Thap||(0)67||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Gia Lai||(0)59||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ha Giang||(0)19||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ha Nam||(0)351||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ha Tay||(0)34||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ha Tinh||(0)39||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Hai Duong||(0)320||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Hai Phong||(0)31||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Hanoi||(0)4||+ 7 digit subscriber nr|
|Ho Chi Minh City||(0)8||+ 7 digit subscriber nr|
|Hoa Binh||(0)18||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Home Affairs and Defence Ministry||(0)69||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Hung Yen||(0)321||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Khanh Hoa||(0)58||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Kien giang||(0)77||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Kon Tum||(0)60||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Lai Chau||(0)23||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Lam Dong||(0)63||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Lang Son||(0)25||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Lao cai||(0)20||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Long An||(0)72||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Nam Dinh||(0)350||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Nghe An||(0)38||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ninh Binh||(0)30||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Ninh Thuan||(0)68||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Phu Tho||(0)210||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Phu Yen||(0)57||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Quang Binh||(0)52||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Quang Nam||(0)510||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Quang Ngai||(0)55||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Quang Ninh||(0)33||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Quang Tri||(0)53||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Soc Trang||(0)79||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Son La||(0)22||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Tay Ninh||(0)66||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Thai Binh||(0)36||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Thai Nguyen||(0)280||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Thanh Hoa||(0)37||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Thua Thien Hue||(0)54||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Tien Giang||(0)73||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Tra Vinh||(0)74||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Tuyen Quang||(0)27||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Vinh Long||(0)70||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Vinh Phuc||(0)211||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
|Yen Bai||(0)29||+ 6 digit subscriber nr|
There is good quality dental care available in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC Family Medical Practice) and Hanoi (Hanoi Dental Practice)
Medication in short supply and even when available the quality cannot be guaranteed
Screening is inconsistent in Vietnam, therefore blood supplies should be considered as unsafe
Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.
AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. The blood type of the general Asian populace is Rh positive; Rh negative blood may be difficult to obtain.
Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Japanese Encephalitis: Consider vaccination if staying a month or more from May to October, especially if travel includes rural areas. Also consider if staying less than 30 days during that period and at high risk (in case of epidemic outbreak or extensive outdoor exposure in rural areas). Highest risk is reported in and around Hanoi. Plague: Vaccination is recommended only for those persons whose occupation or circumstances make avoidance of fleas and rodents difficult when traveling or working in rural or urban areas where plague is known to be active in wild rodents or has been reported to exist in humans and/or commensal rats. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.
Insect-borne illness: considered an important cause of disease in this area. Chikungunya fever - occurs Dengue fever - occurs Dengue hemorrhagic fever - occurs Encephalitis (Japanese type) - occurs (endemic/hyperendemic in all areas with highest rates in and near Hanoi) Filariasis - prevalent in rural areas Malaria - common Plague - occurs Typhus (mite-borne) - occurs in deforested areas Food-borne and water-borne illness: these diseases are common. Cholera - occurs Clonorchiasis (oriental liver fluke) - occurs Dysentery (amoebic and bacillary) - occurs Fasciolopsiasis (giant intestinal fluke) - occurs Hepatitis - occurs Opisthorchiasis (cat liver fluke) - occurs Schistosomiasis - occurs in Mekong Delta Typhoid fever - occurs Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported, and cases of polio still occur regularly. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs Trachoma - occurs
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
No recent disease outbreaks
|Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International Hospital||01 No Trang Long St Binh Thanh District Ho Chi Minh City|
|Columbia Asia Saigon International Clinic||(Corner of Pasteur Street and Alexandre de Rhodes Street) 08 Alexandre de Rhodes District 1 Ho Chi Mingh City|
|Da Nang Family Medical Practice||50-52 Nguyen Van Linh Str. Nam Duong Ward Hai Chau District Da Nang City|
|FV (Franco-Vietnamese) Hospital||6 Nguyen Luong Bang Saigon South Tan Phu Ward, District 7 Ho Chi Minh City|
|Hanoi Dental Clinic||Building A2, Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound Ground Floor, Suite 101-102 Kim Ma Road Hanoi|
|Hanoi Family Medical Practice||Building A1, Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound Ground Floor, Suite 109-112 Kim Ma Road Hanoi|
|Hanoi French Hospital||IPO Box 352 Hanoi No. 1 Phuong Mai Road, Dong Da Hanoi|
|International SOS Clinic||Central Building 31 Hai Ba Trung Hoan Kiem District Hanoi|
|International SOS Clinic Hanoi||31 Hai Ba Trung Hoan Kiem District Hanoi 0000|
|International SOS Clinic Ho Chi Minh City||Hannam Building 65 Nguyen Du District 1 Ho Chi Minh City|
|International SOS Clinic Vung Tau||1 Le Ngoc Han St Vung Tau|
The media is controlled by the Communist Party. Newspapers straying beyond restrictive Government reporting guidelines are shut down. Internet access is tightly controlled. Web content is subject to Government approval and sites deemed unacceptable are blocked.
Press: Daily and weekly newspapers in Vietnam include Lao Dong, Nhan Dan (The People) and Quan Doi Nhan Dan. The Vietnam Economic Times, Vietnam Investment Review, Saigon Times and Vietnam News are published in English. Le Courrier du Vietnam is published in French.
TV: VTV is the national television service. Regional stations also exist and some foreign cable channels are broadcast.
Radio: Voice of Vietnam (VoV) is state operated. VoV 5 broadcasts programs in English, French and Russian.