Travel planning tips & advice for everyone
Weather and climate of Vietnam
Vietnam is geographically located in the tropical zone, with the top North region on temperate zone. Therefore, its climate is not consistent throughout the country. In fact, the weather varies significantly by latitude and longitude.
The North (Hanoi, Halong Bay) is monsoonal with hot and rainy season from April to September and cool dry season from October to March. October and November are the best months to visit since you avoid the domestic tourist flow and also experience a more comfortable temperature and humidity compared with other months.
The Central part of Vietnam (Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An) receives dry and hot Southwest wind which makes it strenuous for any brisk walk during the day. Closer to the beach, the level of severity reduced and the dry wind is replaced by cool ocean breeze. Because of the limited land area, central Vietnam is also most susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricane or flooding. The paradox is, it is also where most beautiful beaches lie.
The South (Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Mui Ne) is typically hot all year round with two main seasons: rainy and dry. It is also the most predictable region in terms of weather. Summer months from May to August might not be the best time to hit the road since most tourists destinations are packed with tourists and downpours happen quite frequently.
The mountain area in Northwest and South central Vietnam see little fluctuation in weather condition. It is fairly cool all year round and a great place to escape the heat from cities. The rainy season is also from May to September. At the extreme you can see snow or flurry in December or January in Sapa .
Passport and Visa
A valid passport and a visa are required for all foreigners visiting Vietnam. Vietnam Visas are issued by Vietnamese embassies and consulates or Vietnam Department of Immigration. Some overseas offices of Vietnam Tourism and Vietnam Airlines are able to issue tourist visas.
PROCESSING TIME AND FEE
Processing time vary from country to country and usually take between 5-7 business days to complete. Fees for visa also vary and most embassies require applicants to contact them directly to check the most updated fee. You will also need to pay for the prepaid courier if you do not plan to pick up the visa in person.
DURATION AND NUMBER OF ENTRIES
Tourist visas are good for thirty or ninety days and may be extended after your arrival in Vietnam. Those planning to leave and come back to Vietnam can apply for a multiple entry visa. You are required to state your intended ports of arrival and departure (for example, arriving in Hanoi and departing from Ho Chi Minh City) and an anticipated date of travel.
In general, you will have to submit your application, passport along with two standard passport photos, and the required fee to apply for a visa. Different embassies and consulates will have different procedures - you can check what you need by visiting our Visa page.
Another option for those who are rushed for time or do not want to send the passport away is to pre-arrange a visa on arrival. This can be done online via a number of private companies who have agreements with the Vietnamese government to collect passport details and arrange for an "approval letter". This letter allows you to board a flight into Vietnam and you will receive the visa stamp upon entry to Vietnam Airport.
These agencies charge a small fee for their service and in most case, the total works out to be equal or less than the amount charged by Vietnamese embassies and consulates. It must also be noted that visa-on-arrival works only for visitors arriving in Vietnam by air.
Food and Cuisine
People loves Vietnamese food for their freshness, use of zesty herbs and spices, with minimal use of oils and fat. However, Vietnam is a long country that stretches from China in the north, Laos at the centre, to Cambodia in the south. So there are bound to be regional differences.
North: In northern Vietnam the climate is cooler, which limits the production and availability of spices. Together with influences from Southern China, where food flavours are clean and subtle, northern Vietnamese food is less spicy and bold. Some popular Vietnamese dishes from the north include bun rieu, banh cuon and pho.
Central: The region covers Da Nang, Hoi An and Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. Food from this region is famous for being blisteringly chilli hot. As the former capital, food can be highly colourful and decorative in presentation. Bun bo Hue, named after the former capital is the most well known dish of Central region.
South: The tropical conditions and fertile soil produce a wide variety of tropical fruits (jack fruit, durian, mangoes), vegetables, and livestock. Food in the south is much sweeter and bouncier with garlic, shallots and other mints. Influenced by Cambodia, more coconut milk is used in cooking.
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Was born by Linh, a young and enthusiastic Vietnamese girl, in 2015, Madame Linh Travel focus on giving foreigner friend around the world an unforgettable memory in Vietnam. With a big love with our country, we purpose to advertise the beauty of Vietnam to the world through tourism, contribute something to develop it.
We will cater the trips to the individual travelers needs and help them to avoid the tourist traps and experience the real Vietnam, with its history, culture and natural beauty. We have a wealth of experienced contacts, so we can always offer you the best possible trip based on your needs but also at very reasonable prices.