During the trip


          1. CURRENCY
Vietnamese Dong (VND) is the official currency.  Foreign currencies and tourist cheques can be exchanged into Vietnamese Dong at banks or foreign exchange agencies.
Credit cards are popularly used, especially in cities and big tourist centers. For everyday expenses, we advise you to carry a mix of Vietnam Dong and US Dollar in cash. For larger item or when the exchange rate works in your favor, use US Dollar. For cyclo, local food staffs or small purchase, use Vietnam Dong.
ATM: ATMs for withdrawing Vietnam Dong are available at the airports, many hotels, major towns or capitals of provinces throughout Vietnam. Ask you tour guide or your hotel’s reception when you need to locate an ATM.
          2. SHOPPING
You can find several kinds of souvenirs in Vietnam including lacquerware, silk, conical hat, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, marble, silver jelwery, ceramics and paintings. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are good places for shopping where there is variety of choices but HoiAn is also a good place for shopping, especially for instant tailor made clothes.
Bargaining: In shopping malls, the prices are usually fixed. However, try to bargain if you shop in the street or in the market.
          3. TIPPING
Tipping for service is not compulsory but it is highly appreciated in a country where average annual income is quite low.
          4. CLOTHING
The dress code is fairly casual in the country. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other revealing clothing when visiting pagodas, temples and monasteries. Shoes must be removed before entering some religious building or a private home. Evening in the North and the Center might be quite chilly so bring a sweater and a warm jacket especially from November to March. 
          5. FOOD & WATER
Vietnamese food is a pleasant surprise to visitors. The ingredients are usually bought fresh in the market in the morning and used for the dishes right after. The dishes not to be missed are “bun cha”, “pho” or “cha ca”. The sanitary conditions are good in restaurants. If you would like to taste street food, try to avoid raw vegetables and herbs.
It is not advisable to drink tap water but mineral water in bottles are safe and available everywhere. Ice cubes in drinks are safe in good restaurants and hotels but you should not take it in street stalls or in the countryside area.
          6. WORKING HOURS
- Governmental agencies work 8 hours/day from 8h to 17h (excluding one-hour lunch). Working days are from Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday are close.
- Banks are open from 7.30h or 8h to 16h30. Some banks are open on Saturday morning from 8h to 11h30. Sunday is close.
- Almost shops are open from 8h or 8h30 to 21h or 22h.
          7. INTERNET
Major hotels have Business Center with PCs connected to Internet.  Many of them have wireless broadband access to rooms or in public area. Internet cafés are everywhere and easily found in major cities. Prices are very reasonable, usually under 1USD/hour.
          8. ELECTRICITY
Vietnam uses 220V. A mixture of flat and round 2-pin outlets are used throughout the country.

If you would like to have further information, please do not hesitate to contact us and our expert will be pleased to share with you our experiences and information. ►(Contact us)
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