Travel Guide

Questions/Reponses for your trip Vietnam Cambodia Laos Myanmar & Thailand

Good advices for your trip


The question of tips is always very delicate. At first it is not compulsory, but it is a very present custom in tourism, by basing itself on the degree of satisfaction regarding services provided.Actually, it became traditional to give a tip to the baggage handlers in hotels, the drivers of rickshaw, the driver and especially guides. This fact is practical and depends on a scale at least.

Secondly we advise you not to give too small tips. It's better to give nothing than give a too modest sum. 

Concerning tip for the guides, it expect from about 3 to 4 Euros/day/voyager if you are really satisfied with their services. When one group has several participants (6 or more), each traveler can give tip from 2 to 3 Euros.

Then, you should count a half less for the driver, otherwise, you will hurt the guide (!). You can also tip some small sums for the baggage handlers of hotels and the pedicab's driver.

In principle, no tip in cafes and in restaurants. Tip is a matter of personal and human appreciation.

The practice of offerings

You will see many Vietnamese bringing and giving offerings by letting almost everywhere some dôngs on plates in front of statues or put them in a donation-box in temples and pagodae. It don't mean tip, it's just the contribution for worship, prayers, maintenance of places... It's also a good custom of Vietnameses to give now more offerings to prayers and receive more for their childrens and descendants.

It is of very good manner to leave some dôngs in the offerings-box.

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Thank you for respecting well the culture of the country of your destination and please read carefully some minimal rules below about the behavior of travelers. Its will help you to have a excellent stay and minimize some risks of misunderstanding with the local population.

What you should not do in your journey

- With your guide:               

The guide is your 1st interlocutor and 1st help in case of problems. You should be open and maintain a good relationship with him/her.

When a visit does not interest you, you should avoid obstructing your guide and discuss frankly and gentlement with him/her. And if you want one more service out of the planned program, you can ask kindly your guide about the suitable advice for your situation.

One more thing, you should avoid also taking offense with your guide. If you aren't satisfied with this one, please contact us immediately by hotline : + 84 9 07 06 55 99 to change him/her.

- Salutation: For salutation, we advise you simply shaking hands. In Vietnam it is rare to see the Vietnamese giving hug or kissing when they meet, even both for the cordial case.

- Clothes: To get dressed, the provocative clothes aren't high recommended. You should wear the simple clothes with collar and sleeves when you go to the countryside where the discretion and the delicacy still engrave in people's mind.

For a visit to a pagoda or temple, you should never wear shorts because for the Vietnamese, it's a sacred place that need to be absolutely respected. Please, take your shoes off in the door, speak in a low voice and don't touch the objects of ornaments

- Meal: At meal, please never prick the chopsticks in a rice bowl. It's a ritual ceremony that only done for dead person.

- Never call a Vietnamese by asking him to approach with the hand facing up ! Because this gesture is considered like a lack of education. It's necessary to make this gesture with the hand turned towards the ground !

What you should do in your trip

- If you want to take some kodak moments with people in the places you visit, don't hesitate, but with a smile. They will be happy and accept gladly your demand.

- We high advise you asking people's age, even ladies and the elderly. Because the Vietnamese is so pround to tell you their longevity. Similarly, you should ask the Vietnamese if they got married or have children. Theses questions are very friendly and sentimental.

- You should always call your interlocutors by their first name, whether they are your friends or just new acquaintances. The first name is usually last word that makes up the full name.

For example:  Nguyen Van Tuan (Nguyen = last name ; Van = word insert; Tuan = first name).

And what you must do

- The bargaining is always very long-lived in Vietnam for the shopping except supermarket. And of course, you can visit the local markets even if you aren't in the habit of doing your shopping in it. In the Vietnam market, the vendors always give you a price and you need to try reducing it. But in many shops, the price is fixed and you can't haggle !

- When you invite somebody for a meal, you will pay the bill. On the other hand, if you accompany somebody to the restaurant, either this one pays everything, or it is you. In practice, the Vietnamese never share the bill : if the one pays one day, his friend will invite him another day. No complicated calculations... If we offer you the meal, insist on paying it only if you can pay for everybody.

- The Vietnamese always have good altitudes for the elderly (that means they respect totally the elderly). So, when you are traveling in Vietnam, if you meet them, please lower your head, make a greeting or just smile.

- At table, they don't serve dish after dish like your country. They always present all dishes and every one serves by himself/herself in these dishes, but in small quantities, one or two bites every time.

- You should accept that the dishes are served not in the order you expect, but in the order the waiters bring. A dish that looks like an entrance will probably bring at the end of meal. It's almost a constant.

- You can show your friendship by offering candies to the children that you meet during your trip, especially in the rural and mountain areas : they will thank you for it with very nice smiles.

- Don't be surprised if during the conversation, an unknown Vietnamese interrupts you by asking some questions about your family situation or your actual work.

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- Objects in lacquer
The lacquer results from some resin of a tree. In Vietnam, work of the lacquer been a part of the heritage for centuries. You will find every types of objects in lacquer : from the trinket to the furniture, via paintings.

- Pearls of Phu Quoc
The island of Phu Quoc, in the South of the country, is known for its production of pearls. We find numerous farms of culture there. If your journey takes you on this paradisiac island and that you wish to bring back a beautiful souvenir, the pearl is the ideal one.

 - Silk
You will find clothes and silk accessories everywhere in Vietnam. The country produces of it, Van Phuc's village, not far from Hanoi being the most known.
Trick : the best way to know if it is about the real silk is to ask to the seller to burn any small piece of tissue in front of you. If it is about synthetic material, the tissu will form balls and will smell the burned plastic. If it is about silk, the tissue will burn as with some paper.

- Tablecloths and other embroidery
Vietnamese embroidery is very renowned for its delicacy and its original motives. You will find any sorts of embroidered objects: tablecloths, place mats, towels, but also and especially paintings. If you trip by Dalat, go to visit XQ, the historic village situated near the Valley of Love, to discover it the technique and the diversity of the Vietnamese production. Guaranteed delight !

- Ceramic of Bat Trang
The village of Bat Trang, at 30 minutes of Hanoi, is considered as its ceramic, fruit of an old tradition of several centuries. Its dishes are exported through all the country, and even international. Prefer the traditional version which is characterized by whiteness of its china.

- Áo dài and nón lá
The traditional tunic of the Vietnamese and the conical hat are two big cultural and historic symbols of Vietnam. 

And also: Coppers and bronzes, porcelain, coins and bank notes, propaganda posters...

Advises for antiques : antique stores abound in antiques, but attention on the swindles. If they are freely sold, it is however impossible to take them out of the country without a special authorization, being considered as national heritage.


Bargaining is mandatory in the souvenir shops on sidewalks and the small merchant shops. You have to take your time, discuss and divide the prices by 2/3 (sometimes more) in order to find a compromise.

About the common objects, it's obvious that it exist a price for the Vietnamese and an other price for the foreigners, multiplied sometimes up to 2 or 3.

It's better to bargain in Dông. You should refer to the price in the big stores to find the best price for you. Or you can go shopping with your guide who know the real price in Vietnam.

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Post is called bưu điện in Vietnam. It's always registed on city plans and on the facades of buildings.

You can find the post offices in all major cities. They are recognizable from a distance with their big clock and high teletransmission antenna rubs.


You should send the letters and the poscarts from major cities, where the delivery times abroad is much shorter. And then, normally, your letter will arrive in France between 10 and 15 days or even 3 weeks.

- Stamp for one letter: 17000 Dông.

- Stamp for one postcard without envelope: 12000 Dông.


The mobile phone became a must-have for many tourists. In Vietnam, telephone services as to call or to send a SMS are cheap. The simplest is to use applications like Viber, Messenger or Whatsapp.
These tools will allow you, via a WiFi connection, to phone free of charge to your close relations. You can download them on PlayStore or AppStore.

Connecting to the Internet

To connect in the WiFi abroad is the only way to have Web access free of charge.
Watch out, do not connect to networks 3G or 4G, at the risk of making your invoice climb pretty high ! The wisest consists in deactivating the connection " given abroad " (Or a similar parameter).

In Vietnam, internet is available more or less everywhere, in certain cities like Hanoi, Da Nang or Hoi An. We also find WiFi in taxis, restaurants and certain buses. In other words that it is not difficult to be connected. In big cities, almost all the hotels (even cheap) are equipped by WiFi, generally free for the customers, as well as a great majority of cafes, restaurants … The password is often shown on tables or in the wall. Do not hesitate to ask, if needed.

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Vietnamese language

The Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. It's mandatory to teach it at school.

All the Vietnamese words are invariable, the grammar is any simple (there is no conjugation nor of declension of the words, no irregular plural, etc.), but the tonal modulations return the rather difficult learning of this language ... When the accents change, the meaning of word will change too.


The word BA

- It's all alone without accent, BA means number 3 in general and Papa in the South.

- If it is joined by an acute accent on the vowel A: BÁ means Uncle in the sud's language.

- If it is accompagnied by a descending accent on the vowel A:  means Mamy.

If it is now joined by a heavy accent with a dot under the vowel A: BẠ means Year book

- If it is accompagnied by an  interrogative accent without dot on the vowel A: BẢ means Poisoned pasture, bait.

- If it is joined by an accent like the tilde on the vowel A: means Waste.

Moreover, Vietnam has 54 ethnic minorities who has their special dialect. Some people who live now in the high plateaus don't speak the Vietnamese language.

French language

French is still speaking by the literate's generation of more 60 years old who knew the conial era. In recent years, there has a sentive renewal of French-speaking countries by the young people who want to find a job in tourism or in French companies in Vietnam. 

In the Vietnamese countryside, it's much more difficult to find French-speaking people. But sometimes, we can get the amazing surprises.

English language

English is commonly used in the hotels, in the offices and in the commercial exchange.

This language is spoken more easily in the south than in the north because of the American presence during the Vietnam war. Today, it's  the most popular foreign language in Vietnam.

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In Vietnam, the electricity power is 220 volts and the plugs are identical to the French plugs before the European standalization, except in the South where you can find both American plugs and French plugs in the rooms.

For safety, we advise you to always bring an adaptor for your trip. In the villages along the rivers, the electric current isn't very strong because it is supplied by a multitude of microgenerators.

The electricity in cities and in the zone of tribes highlanders is supplied by some hydroelectric power centers. But sometimes, it's not enough for all population and still causes the current cuts. Normally, in this case, the Vietnamese usually use the motor generators. You should always take a lamp with you to beware of this problem.

One more thing, don't forget to turn off the TV or any other electrical machines before you leave your room or apartment.

Beware of all kinds of cross threads that you can see during your personal walk on the streets.

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The Vietnamese cuisine has many qualities and very few defect : it is light, dietary, perfumed and very varied (about 500 dishes).

The Vietnamese gastronomy is rich in flavors and in recipes which also come according to regions : so the dishes of the South are the sweetest and peppered, those of the center are presented with a big refinement whereas those of the North are wiser but more nourishing and more creative. Without forgetting the particular cooking to every ethnic group... For the cooking-lovers, Vietnam is a real culinary paradise where you can taste many of the new flavors that you can make vary throughout your journey !

Dish or 1st ways from Rice

There are three kinds of rice : the normal rice with round and white grains ; the glutinous rice with opaque graines (it's used to make cakes and offerings) and finally the parfumed rice with its long grains.


- Phở: A noodle soup with meat, came from the North. It varies by region. The street vendors offer it.

- Miến lươn: Eel soup with transparent vermicelli.

- Bún thang: Rice noodie soup with a broth and the pieces of chicken, omelette and shrimp.

- Lẩu: commonly called the "Vietnamese stock pot". 
- Mì: Yellow noodle soup with wheat flour.

Traditional dishes

- Nem: Crepe of rice rolled in cylinder, containing small vermicelli, crab, pieces of pork, pieces of onion and black mushrooms.

- Bánh cuốn: Made from steamed rice paste  with minced pork and pieces  black mushroom. 

- Bò bẩy món: The beef made by 7 different ways (in some special restaurants).

- Chả cá  Filet of fried and unroasted fish, served with rice vermicelli, aromatic herbs, roasted peanuts and a few drop of cà cuông (very volatile essence from the body of an insect).

- Ốc nhồi: Delicious stuffing with snails, wrapped in a ginger leaf and steamed. 
- Chạo tôm: Sticks of sugar cane coated with a shrimp paste and grilled.

- Canh chua: Fish and vegetable soup with a sweet and sour flavor due to tamarinds (tamarind fruit) that are used for cooking.

- Thit Chó: Dog meat and sausages made with the dog meat, especially in North. It's a bit greasy and the taste can be quite strong.

- Trứng lộn: The brooded egg whose chick cracks under the tooth. We eat all, like the ortolans. 

Vietnamese pastries and sweets

- Bánh chưng: Salty glutinous rice cake wrapped in leaves of coconut palm or banana (which gives this cake it green color), served on the Têt hodidays (Vietnamese New Year).

- Bánh bao: Brioche steamed, stuffed with pork, onions and parfumed mushrooms. 

- Bánh dẻo: Cake made by glutinous rice flour, stuffed with candied fruits, sesame and fat seeds. Only served in the Mid-Autumn Festival. 

- Mứt: Candied fruits made on the occasion of Têt.


The Vietnamese dessert is rather composed of fresh fruits than pastries : pineapple, banana, orange, papaya, grapefruit... and of exotic and more expensive fruits : mango, mangosteen, rambutan, longan...

Chè: Sweet dessert, made from a variety of  ingredients: white beans or corn or even sweet potatoes. This dessert is normally served with coconut milk.



Drink only some mineral water (taken the top off in front of you, of course). The tap water in cities is not drinkable and it is formally disadvised to drink that of the countrysides.

There are several brands of mineral waters in plastic bottles. Those who received the technical assistant of French companies (La Vie, to quote only it) and cleansed waters resulting from technical patents of American or other companies are quite irreproachable. In hotels, the water of thermos jugs is boiled in principle.


This is the national drink. Tea is often free in the restaurants or at a ridiculous price. The most common is green tea served in a porcelain cup.

Teabag (Lipton), which is worth it, is spreading more and more.


Beer is very popular in Vietnam. Each region has their local beers but Saigon Beer, Hanoi Beer, Tiger Beer, 333 (Ba-ba-ba) are the best known. You can find some excellent local brands, such as Song Han in Da Nang or Huda Beer in Hue.

In the South, beer BGI that is the most famous brand swallowed by the Australian brand Foster.


More and more spread drink, in the form of drip coffee. For some, he can be sometimes difficult to drink so much it is strong ; mixed with some condensed milk, it gets better. Some restaurants or chic cafés serve any sorts of coffees, among which the espresso, even the cappuccino !

Warning: The coffee produced in Vietnam is robusta and not arabica. The robusta variety is stronger. In addition, the coffee is often served very tight.

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Transport means

TYPIC Travel offers all types of vehicles depending on the number of passengers. Our vehicles, which are supplied for your trips in Vietnam, are always available, virtually new and regularly maintained and often taken care by the drivers while traveling with us. All vehicles are equipped with good air conditioning, meet the requirements of the customers and are of famous brands : Mercedes, Toyota or Hyundai.

 1-If you are alone or a group of 2 people, you should move by the car from 4 to 7 seats

***/ 4-seat car for your travel in the cities or region based.

***/ 7-seat car for your mountain transit (this type of car is possibly proposed for a group of 3 people or a family of 3 people including 2 adults and up to one child)

2-If you are a group of from 3 to 6 people, your land journey will be transited by a 16-seat minibus


3- If you are a group of from 7 to 12 people, your tour will be transited by bus of 24 or 29 or 30 seats.

4-If you are a group of from 13 to 17 people, your travel will be transited by the bus of 37 seats  

5-If you are a group from 18 to 40 people you will have the 45-seat bus for your land travel


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During your trip, you will use boats for trips, cruises and excursions to different places: springs, rivers, lakes, bays and even paddy fields or natural pools. These boats are very special and have their own distinction:

1/ In rowing sampan (rowboat) discovering : Halong Bay, Halong Bay on land, Mekong arroyos. And in a pirogue like at Lake Lak.

2/ In motor sampan (small motor boat) discovering : in Kenh Ga village, in Ba Be lakes, Thac Ba, Black Tank (Song Da), the Chay River, the Perfume River, Phong Nha Caves, Thu Bon River, Mekong Arms, Nha Trang Bay, Tonlé Sap Lake, Laos's Mekong.



3/ By boat (Junk) cruising : to Halong Bay and Mekong Delta

> To Halong Bay :

TYPIC TRAVEL offers you two main types of Junk:

  • JUNKS without cabin for excursions for a few hours.
  • JUNKS with cabin for excursions including night on board.


For these JUNKS, we offer you many categories that depending on the level of stars (categorized below) or on your budget. For JUNKS with Cabin, we have JUNKS with 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 cabins. It is either Shared or Private depending on the number of participants. We also have large NUCKETS with 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 30, 34 and even 40 cabins. Please contact us by email for more details.

> In the Mekong Delta :

TYPIC travel offers the Junks (Boats) and Sampans

- JUNKS without cabin (Sampans) for the day trips

- JUNKS cabin (boat) for excursions with a night on board. Thank you to  contact us for more information about these JUNKS !

4/ By boat across the Mekong between Vietnam and Cambodia.


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The railroad network of Vietnam binds the North with the South of the country (That we called up formerly : the North = Tonkin, Center = Annam, the South = Cochin China). It is inherited from the old colonial network of Indochina, the cruising speed of which it kept...

This system is not too much developed at speed thus unable to make the comparison with European TGV trains and others. But for the needs of tourists, there are so many private companies that have made their comfort wagons that are equivalent to European standard. These cars are well equipped with air conditioning, blankets, good pillows and reading lamps in the upper cabins of 4 soft beds (including 2 at the bottom and two others at the top). There are also luxury VIP cabins of 2 beds.

TYPIC travel offers you some trips by night train to take advantage of the comfort, the security, save time and save on the transport.

If you want to know other trips by train, please contact us for further details !

1/ Hanoi - Lao Cai
Departures : 21h10, 21h50 // Returns : 20h15, 21h00.
8h30 journey long

There are two kinds of cabin that offer to tourists: cabin of 4 soft beds and VIP cabin of 2 soft beds

All these departures are for tourists travelling to Lao Cai - Sapa and Bac Ha. In the vip compartment of 4 or 2 beds, a bottle of water, a snack and a small towel will be provided to each client. There is a toilet and sink in each coach, which will be open after 5 minutes of departure.

2/ Night train Hanoi - Hué
Departures : 19h30, 20h10 et 22h00 // Returns : 15h31, 16h47 et 21h33
13h journey long

Trains travelling between Hanoi - Saigon have been named "Thong Nhat = reunification" since the Revolution (Doi Moi) time. There are some well-upgraded coaches for the needs of tourists with standard coaches of 4 beds.

3/ Night train : Nha Trang - Saigon 
Departures : 21h22, 22h12, 8h35 // Returns: 19h30, 22h00 et 06h.
10h journey long

For this trip, you mainly travel with the State train for the journey between Hanoi and Saigon. There are cabins of 4 soft beds at the local standard level.

There is a unique recent trip between Saigon - Nha Trang - Saigon created by the State for tourists with the same comfort as for the journey Hanoi - Hue - Hanoi

4/ Express Train, Ho Chi Minh Ville (Saigon) - Phan Thiet - Nha Trang

This route was put into service recently, it is proud of its first Express train 5 Stars. Departure every day from Saigon - Nha Trang and vice versa for a journey of 9 hours long. In this train, you benefit of services 4 and 5 stars : Cinema, nightclub, restaurant top of the range, lounge bar-bar, massage parlor, meeting room...

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TYPIC Travel proposes you all the flights of the main airline companies of the country. Feel free to Contact us for your international destinations or domestic flights.

Domestic flights with Vietnam Airlines are often included in your package.

Our providers-partners :

Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines is the national airline company of Vietnam. It runs internal and international flights since its two main hubs of the Tân Sơn Nhất's international airport in Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville and the international airport of Nội Bài in Hanoi. Its two other bases are the international airport of Đà Nẵng and the airport of Cam Ranh.

Office at the airport Paris-Roissy Charles de Gaulle

Adress : Terminal 2E - Aéroport Paris-Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France
Opening hours : 09h00 - 17h00
Phone : + 33 (0) 1 48 62 25 62
Fax : + 33 (0) 1 48 62 25 92
Email :

Office in Hanoi

53 Quang Trung, Nguyen Du, Q. Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
Phone : +84 (0) 24 38320320

Office in Ho Chi Minh City
Unionsquare, 171 Dong Khoi, Ben Nghe, Q. 1 - Ho Chi Minh Ville
Phone : +84 (0) 24 38320320

VietJet Air

Builded in 2009, this deprived company offers essentially low-cost journeys. It is based on the airports of Nội Bài (Hanoi) and of Tân Sơn Nhất (HCMV). It also possesses a base at the international airport of Đà Nẵng.

Office in Hanoi
95G - 95H, Ly Nam De,  Q. Hoan Kiem - Hanoi
8 - 16 Huynh Thuc Khang, Q. Ba Dinh - Hanoi
Phone : +84 (0) 24 3747 4848 / 24 3831 0888

Office in Ho Chi Minh City
55 Bis - Nguyen Trei, P - Nguyen Cu Trinh, Q.1 - TP HCMV
Phone :+ 84 (0) 28 3920 5999

Jetstar Pacific Airlines

Jetstar serves mainly Vietnam from its two Hub in Hô-Chi-Minh-City and Hanoi.

Office in Hanoi
70 – 72 Bà Triệu, phường Hàng Bài, Q. Hoàn Kiếm - Hanoi
Phone : +84 (0) 24 3974 3167
Fax : +84 (0) 24 3974 3167
Nội Bài Airport - Hanoi
Phone : +84 (0) 24 3584 4468
Fax : +84 (0) 24 3584 4468

Office in Ho Chi Minh City
177 Vo Thi Sau, Phuong 7, Q.3 - Tp. HVMV
Phone :+84 (0) 28 6290 7349
Fax : +84 (0) 28 3932 5980

Bamboo Airways:

Head office: Tầng 22, Tòa nhà Bamboo Airways Tower, 265 Cầu Giấy, Phường Dịch Vọng, Quận Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội.
Word office: Khu số 4, khu du lịch biển Nhơn Lý – Cát Tiên, xã Nhơn Lý, thành phố Quy Nhơn, tỉnh Bình Định, Việt Nam.
Số điện thoại: 02432333233 – Email:
Work office: Số 112 Lý Chính Thắng, Phường 8, Quận 3, TP Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam.

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Health general information

Generally speaking it is recommended to take with you a small first-aid kit containing products against diarrheas, for the pains, disinfectant… Ask advice from your doctor. For the people taking a regular medical treatment, do not forget it as well as the prescription.

You find your usual medicine in the Vietnamese pharmacies, especially in the main big cities, not in the provincial towns nor in the mountainous areas. Verify if the pharmacy possesses the air conditioning and the take attention on the imitations...



Virus Zika : one case of infection of the virus was indicated in Vietnam in 2017. The risk of entrance of this one is high enough. Cases were detected in Thailand. He is passed on by mosquito bite of type bards. For now, only one protection :  repulsive antimosquitoes.

Virus Dengue : Vietnam knows epidemic peaks of dengue (so called tropical flu) in the urban and semi-urban areas. In 2016, 122 000 cases were indicated, with 8 deaths. Contrary to the malaria, the dengue is passed on in the daytime by the mosquitoes of the genre bards. The cases of victims are many. The children are particularly vulnerable. It does not exist today either treatment or marketed vaccine. The only protection consists in wearing more covering clothes and to splash with antimosquito the parts the most exposed by your body. Think of it before going out !


  1. Prevention of the MALARIA

    The Vietnamese malaria is present only in restricted zones : there is no malaria in big cities, either in the tourist coastal cities, or in the plains of rice fields. It is thus only very exceptionally that the traveler will be confronted with the problem of malaria. So many usual tourist journeys which plan nights in town are practically without danger.

On the other hand, if you have to stay in high-risk area, please follow these recommendations:
- As the sun set (maximum Risk towards midnight), carry clothes covering the maximum of physical surface,
- Coat the bare parts of a repulsive one shapes WHO : Insect Ecran Peau, 5 on 5 Tropic. (Many, not to say the whole repulsive antimoustiques/arthropods sold in hypermarkets or in pharmacy are little or insufficiently effective.),
- Sleep only under mosquito net soaked with insecticide (deltaméthrine or perméthrine),
- The air conditioning reduces of many the activity of mosquitoes,
- There is medicine: Lariam ® or Doxycycline ® if contraindication in Lariam ®.

  1. Prevention of the DIARRHEA (Cholera or Turista)
    Turista is a frequent diarrhea at the tourist's. Moreover, it arises generally during the first three days of the journey.

    It is not due to the changes of diet and climate, to the spices or to the fatigue of the journey: it is always of infectious or very often bacterial origin.
    The prevention of the infectious and parasitic diarrheas crosses by a good hygiene of the food and some water of drink.

The treatment rests essentially on the rehydration and dietary advice.
If it presents an important risk (approximately 50 %), the turista is mild in the majority of the cases.
Follow these few precautions and everything will be fine !
- 98 % of the affected people were careless and did not follow the rule of "boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it". 71 % had eaten some raw vegetables or salads, 70 % of not peeled fruits, 53 % had accepted ice cubes in their drinks. Avoid thus, as far as possible, raw vegetables, meats not cooked in heart. Distrust especially with shells and other mollusks, but no problem with products as spiny lobster or crab. Fruits and vegetables can be consumed if they were peeled, washed or cooked, what leaves quite a lot of margin. The fryings (nems, squids, octopuses) do not raise problem.

- The drinking water must be boiled, filtered or consumed in caped bottles. (The ideal would be to drink some sparkling water: if that does not make pshitt when removing caps, it is because there is a problem). Decontaminant tablets (Hydroclonazone, Micropure) have a partial efficiency. Systems of water purification, individual or adapted to small communities, exist now with a remarkable efficiency (Pentacure system ® or Katadyn ®).

- In very rare cases and over a short period, a preventive antibiotic can be prescribed to you by your doctor.

  • >If a diarrhea arises the most mattering is to drink (some tea, some fruit juice and more salty cakes).
  • >Anti-diarrheic (Smecta ®, Tiorfan ®) can be useful. Use Imodium ® (or lopéramide) only the least possible (in case of emergency!) and especially not in case of fever and of bloody diarrhea.
  • >In some cases an antibiotic (by ex: Noroxine ® on 3 in 5 days) can justify itself (persistent diarrhea, diarrhea with fever).
  1. Possible risks
    - Avoid walking barefoot on the sand or the wet / muddy ground.
    - Before putting shoes on, verifying that insects or other animals did not take up residence there, their reaction upon the arrival of your feet could be unpleasant even dangerous (scorpions).
    - Sexually transmitted diseases. Except the AIDS, particularly in big cities, numerous diseases transmitted sexually could leave you bad memory (gonorrheas, chlamydiose, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis B). Protected sexual intercourse is thus imperative.
  1. First-aid kit picks
    Around 55 % of the travelers over a month of stay present a health problem and may need to take a medicine. Thus best is to carry some common medicine. Especially not buy them on a market stall.

We advice to carry with you :

· usual and contraceptive treatment.
· preventive treatment of malaria and repulsive Insect Ecran ® skin.
· Anti-diarrhéique Tiorfan ®, Smecta ®. Imodium ® or similar. Noroxine ® or similar, if feverish diarrhea (asset on the cystites also).
· usual and contraceptive Treatment(Processing).
· Disinfecting premises (Hexomedine ®), bandages multi-sizes, some compresses.
· Anti-pyretique: Doliprane ® or similar (against the pain also).
· Antibiotic: Clamoxyl ® or equivalent (respiratory infections).

  1. Noise and pollution
    The noise is omnipresent in big cities because the traffic of motorcycles is there intense. This ceaseless humming is decorated with permanent toots (that calms down at night) and of its lot of pollution. Ho Chi Minh City is the city the most noisy and most polluted in Vietnam. Hanoi comes then. Other cities are clearly less blocked. Of night, karaokes take over. They start in certain regions at 7 pm... With a quite relative notion of the disturbance of the peace at night.
  2. In brief do not forget your ear plugs.


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When we talk about the medicine in Vietnam, we sometimes specify "Southern medicine" (that of the country itself, located in the south of the Asian continent), "Northern medicine" (that of China, north of Vietnam) or "Western medicine" (that of West).

In fact, the Vietnamese traditional medicine looks like the Chinese traditional medicine. Obviously, it has taken on local colors, as the case in other countries of Extreme East and even in the Chinese various regions. The Vietnamese main particularities concern the choice of medicinal plants, the popular craze for acupressure and certain cultural connotations.

China is in the temperate zone while Vietnam is in the tropical zone. Therefore, the two countries  don't have access to the same plants. Although the Chinese pharmacopoeia is elaborate and precise, the Vietnamese have to find indigenous substitites for plants that they couldn't cultivate on place and whose importation is too expensive for the majority of people.

As in the traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the treatment's ways in traditional Vietnamese Medicine, apart from the pharmacopoeia, include acupunture, dietetics (similar to Chinese dietetics),  exercises (Tai Chi and Qi Gong) and the Tui Na massage.

The Vietnamese seem sometimes make agree with a choice of acupressure, which is called Bâm-Châm. Its two common forms are the "Bâm-Châm of foot" and 'Sitting Bâm-Châm". The first combine and reflexology of acupressure in order to procure relaxation and also to relieve some pain. As for the second, it take care of the upper body with purpose of procuring relaxation and favoring the circulation of Qi (Vital energy). It's commonly practiced on the street and even on the cafe terraces.

Note that near Ho Chi Minh-City exists a museum of pharmacy - traditional vietnamese medicine :

Fito Museum
26 Bis/1 Khu Phố Trung,
P.Vĩnh Phú, TX Thuận An, Bình Dương
Phone : +84 (0) 28 3864 2430

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  1. General precautions

If most of the stays in Vietnam put no significant health problem, some precautions to be respected will allow you to avoid many troubles or to compromise a part of your journey. Except big cities, the sanitary infrastructures are sometimes rudimentary.

Pre-existent diseases or long-term treatment

It does not prevent you from travelling, naturally, but think of taking all your medicine by planning several days furthermore in case your return would be moved (Also think of taking the prescription). Do not put all your tablets in your hold luggage (some get lost). Obviously visit your doctor before leaving ...

Traumas (traffic accidents, sports...)

They represent 1/3 of the repatriations on medical grounds and are sometimes grave. Remember that the Vietnamese vehicles are often there so in poor condition as roads and that the respect for the traffic rules is not a universal constant. Thus caution especially in the evening and the night (seat belt) and compulsory helmet if you drive a motorcycle.

Bathing in fresh water
They expose at the risk of bilharziasis (or schistosomose) which few focal points are still in the Mekong delta (low risk for the traveler). The risk is very variable from a water source to an other one. Bathe only if you can obtain a reliable on-the-spot opinion.

Walking barefoot
To avoid, because besides the risk of wound difficult to heal in tropical environment, you expose yourselves to digestive or cutaneous parasitic infections (walking on wet ground ankylostomoses, anguillulose:; larva migrans cutaneous, tungose walkingon sand).

Treatments by drip, transfusion
If ever because of a health problem a treatment is proposed to you, it is better to receive it by oral route rather than in drip if it is possible. Also accept a blood transfusion only if it turns out really essential. It can allow to avoid diseases transmitted by the blood.

The sun can entail sometimes severe often very unpleasant burns. It is possibly necessary to prepare the skin before leaving and in any case it is necessary to avoid an long-term exposure in the sun. The use of sunscreen high protection is essential. Besides the joint association heat / sun / dehydration can entail a blow of heat among which some people can be grave.

2. Vaccinations

There is no obligation of vaccine for the traveler in Vietnam there. However, according to duration and the type of your stay, it is recommended to make the vaccine DT polio (Booster vaccine if more than 10 years).

Hepatitis A: recommended before leaving for a journey to Laos or to Cambodia.

Hepatitis B: everybody can benefit from this vaccine on the condition of being old of at least two years. It is a part of 3 vaccines recommended for the Cambodia, even if it is not compulsory.

Rabies : Justified for long-term and itinerant journeys or for the expatriations especially for children. It is necessary to avoid in any case the contacts with the wandering animals.

Japanese encephalitis : Justified for long-term journeys in rural area and especially in period of monsoon or for the expatriations.

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What to carry ?

What to take in your luggage ? Suitcase or backpack ?

The suitcase or the big overnight bag will travel in hold during the air transports while the backpack or the carry-on, can be kept with you in the cabine.

The backpack can contain your personal belongings such as camera, movies, paper guides and will be useful for you during your strolls or trecks. It will also serve you if you planned nights at the inhabitant (Useless to burden yourselves, leave the suitcase to the hotel).

The suitcase or the big overnight bag will contain the rest, (clothes, shoes...)

Your suitcase will follow you or by ground way (if you chose the option driver) or will wait for you to the hotel where you will get it back after your hike or treck of a few days.

You also have the possibility of leaving your suitcase to the hotel once your returned your room ; identify your luggage with your name and address to get back them. Most of the hotels offer this service.

ATTENTION : On certain international flights, you can be entitled only to 30 kg of luggage in hold (Well verify the particular conditions of every Compagnie) but on the domestic flights, you are usually entitled only to 20 kg.

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Everything will depend on the season and the regions where you will stay. But generally speaking it is not useful to block you with a big suitcase for your journey in Vietnam.

If you forget something, you will find on the spot low-priced and sometimes custom-made clothes!
Prefer rather light or linen cotton ample clothes; favor blouses instead of polos. You will find on site rainy capes or umbrellas for a price more than affordable.
Cheap clothes can be bought especially in the big market halls where you will have only the very wide choice!!!

Note that most of the hotels suggest washing your linen.

If your journey takes place in winter in the North of the Country, plan some warm clothes.

Do not forget naturally swimsuit and glasses of sun for a seaside stay or a swimming pool and a pair of light hiking boots and sun-hat (or cap) for trecks and hiking.

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Money, exchange, banks

The local currency is đồng, abbreviated đ or VND. Watch out, you cannot take of dôngs with you during your return. It is thus recommended to you to change gradually your currency. It will not be necessarily easy to you to convert your dông in dollars before returning back...

The exchange : you can change your money in foreign exchange offices or banks. The rates vary little and numerous structures of exchange do not apply a commission. Jewellery are some good and safe places too for changing money.

We recommend you to get acquainted with bills, this to avoid you some inconveniences... For example, the bill of 10 000 đ has the same green color as the bill of 100 000 đ ! Try to keep small bills on you, it is not always easy to adjust with big ones.

It is common to write for example 10k for 10 000 dôngs.

Foreign currencies

The most common foreign currency is the American dollar (USD). The euro is nevertheless very courted. You can change it without problem everywhere in this country. You can also change the Swiss Francs and Canadian Dollars in almost exchange office (but not all).

A law states that everything must be paid in VND, but in practice, sometimes you can pay in dollars or in euro.

In the tourism industry, the prices are often stated in American dollars (USD). 
- Advice : You should avoid paying your purchases in VND in the shops and stores at a price fixed in USD. On the one hand, the vendor don't want it and on the other hand, the conversion of USD in VND always rounds out to your disadvantage. For the euro, this is also the same case.


The main rule is that in all the cities, big and average, where they have sucucursales, banks such as Vietcombank, Techcombank, Agribank… etc. accept foreign currencies in cash, traveler's checks and payment cards (essentially Visa and MasterCard). In every case, always run provided with your passport.

- Banks open generally of 7:30 am at 11 am (or 11:30 am) and of 1:30 pm at 4 pm (or 4:30 pm), every day on weekdays, and sometimes on Saturdays mornings. They are closed on Sundays.

Payment cards

We find now distributors (ATM) everywhere in the averages and the big cities, and more and more hotels accept payment cards. The fact remains that most of the businesses apply a commission, often of 3 %, sometimes a little more.

Watch out ! In numerous banks, we can withdraw to a distributor no more than 2 000 000 Dôngs at the same time, what tends to multiply the banking commissions because, as a result, it is often necessary to remove several times during the stay. Trick to by-pass this ceiling : make out at the bank counter with your passport and your withdrawal card. It allows to obtain bigger sums.

Traveler's checks

Most of the banks accept them, in particular in Hanoi, in Hồ Chí Minh-City and in tourist areas. In remote locations, impossible to change traveler's checks but we find distributors accepting the main payment cards. The banking commission taken from traveler's checks varies from 0,5 % (Vietcombank) to 4 %.

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The Vietnamese always want to have some good memories when they meet the foreigners and especially when their house had the presence of foreigners. This thing gives them some interest and they can talk with you at many hours non-stop.

They also desire to have a small gift from you like a proof of your presence in their house. They'll always present your gift to their friends and talk about you as one good foreign friend.

Before or during your trip, you can prepare some small things like the gifts for your Vietnamese friends. The Vietnamese highly appreciate the cosmetic products bought from France: the small samples, a small lipstick, a moisturizer... All that products can be a pleasure for women. While the men like French wine, even if they don't understand it very well. Because for them, the French wine is very good and well known as Bordeaux.

The children love chocolate, preferably milk. The dark chocolate, despite it more expensive price, doesn't fit very well with them. They also like pens, notebooks, erasers and ballons from your country.

We work on place with many associations that take care of childrens in difficulty and of schools in the wilderness places. So we annually do a promotion's program and kindly recommend our clients (if youvisit the villages, schools or pass some nights with local population) to bring some small gifts for the children. School tools: pens, notebooks... will be highly appreciated.

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