Vietnam Travel Visa, Passport and Money Advice
Our Travel Specialists will provide all the information you need to get your adventure underway. Below, you’ll find some useful tips on applying for visas and money advice to prepare you for your travels and ensure that you get the most out of your Vietnam trip.
Visa & passports
Update: As of 12th March 2020, the Vietnamese Government has suspended the visa waiver program for UK citizens. You will now be required to apply for a visa prior to travel, please speak to your travel specialist for the most up to date advice.
If you are visiting Vietnam up to 30th June 2021 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 hold a ‘British Citizen’ passport.
French, Spanish, German, or Italian passport holders are also exempt but Irish passport holders will require a visa. For more on applying for a visa as an Irish passport holder, please visit the website of the Visa and Consular Services for people of Ireland.
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. You can get an e-visa online before you travel.
For all other nationalities, please check with your local embassy and for anyone travelling to Vietnam, you must have a minimum of six months validity on your passport from your return date.
If your international flight home from Cambodia connects back through Vietnam, then this does not count as re-entry into Vietnam unless you pass through Security and Immigration which is not necessary.
Visiting Cambodia as part of your trip to Vietnam
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/Song Tien border on the Vietnamese side and K’am Samnar Border on the Cambodia side. You will travel by boat up the river and disembark to arrange your visa for Cambodia on arrival at the border 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 that 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 there are plenty available in every town and city. 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. It is highly recommended to have some low denomination USD notes ($1, $5 and $10) in your wallet at all times.
Credit cards are also 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.
Daily spend, tips & haggling
With your accommodation already paid for, you can get by on a fairly modest budget in Vietnam and we recommend around $20-30 per person, per day will get you by. A bowl of noodle soup in a decent restaurant is likely to only cost around $3, 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.