Visa & Passports
If you are visiting Vietnam up to 30th June 2018 for 15 days or less and will not re-enter Vietnam within 30 days of your departure, you do not require a visa to enter the country as per the Vietnam Embassy guidance.
If you are visiting for 16 days or more or wish to re-enter Vietnam within 30 days of your departure, you will require a visa in advance of your travels. If you are re-entering, be sure to get a multi-entry visa.
If you are travelling from 1st July 2018 onwards a new E-Visa system is now in place in Vietnam, it is valid for a maximum of 30 days and is single entry. You can apply here.
If you are visiting Cambodia during your travels, then your Cambodian visa will be issued when you arrive at any of the international airports or at the border crossing. There is no letter of authorisation required in advance. You will need to provide two passport photos and the cost is US$35.
If you are travelling Along the Mekong to Cambodia with Rickshaw Travel then you will cross into Cambodia via the Vinh Xuong border. You will travel by boat up the river and disembark to arrange your visa on arrival at the land crossing. Your guide will also be on hand to assist you should you require it!
As an alternative to dealing directly with the embassies, we’ve teamed up with the Visa Machine, a specialist visa provider who can help you with your application.
The Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam (check the current exchange rate). ATMs are the easiest way to get hold of your cash while you’re away and more and more ATMs are popping up, with usually at least one in every town and more in the larger cities. However, we recommend taking a combination of bank cards, cash and a few travellers cheques as a back-up just to be safe.
If you’re taking cash, larger notes such as £50 usually get the best exchange rate, but you get a lot of Dong for £50 so don’t change up too much at a time. Euros can also be exchanged and sterling travellers cheques can be cashed in banks and money exchanges in the larger towns and cities.
US Dollars are also widely accepted by the locals in Vietnam. Sometimes things are quoted in US Dollars, even if you then pay for them in Dong. We think it’s handy to have some low denomination notes ($1, $5 and $10) in your wallet.
Credit and Debit cards
Credit Cards are accepted in the larger hotels and restaurants, and in most tourist areas as well as a limited number of banks. Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted cards. Very few places will accept American Express.
Tips and haggling
With your accommodation already paid for, you can get by on a fairly modest budget in Vietnam. A bowl of noodle soup in a decent restaurant is likely to only cost around $5, and a glass of Beer Hoi just $0.50.
Tipping is considered important in Vietnam, especially in the service industry. During your travels, we recommend allowing $5-$10 per day to tip guides or drivers who assist you throughout your holiday. It’s also customary to tip in most mid-range restaurants.