Travel tips: Vietnam

Heading away from home? We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your trip is the smoothest it can be.

About Vietnam

Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam pronounced [vîət nāːm]), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), is the easternmost country on the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula. With an estimated 95.5 million inhabitants as of 2018, it is the 15th most populous country in the world. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital city is Hanoi, while its most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City, also known by its former name of Saigon.

Using your debit or credit card

Do I need cash in Vietnam, or can I use my card everywhere?

Most touristy places take cards, however smaller shops may require cash. Make sure you always carry some on you.

What currency do they use here?

The currency here is Vietnamese đồng. The symbol is ₫ or VND.

Which ATM’s can I use for free?

Free withdrawals at these ATMs.

  • Saigon Commerical Bank 
  • VP Bank

Possible additional fee’s at these ATMs.

  • HSBC
  • ACB 
  • MB Bank

If I want cash, how much should I take out of an ATM?

2 500 000 should be enough for a few days.

Should I choose local currency or Euros when paying?

If you’re asked to choose between local currency and Euros, always choose local currency.

Staying connected

Can I roam, or should I get a local SIM?

Most EU mobile plans will charge you for roaming.

Wifi is readily available, especially in coffee shops.

If you want to get a local SIM card, you can learn about your options here.

Useful things to know

How does tipping work?

Tipping is not required, but is appreciated by service staff.

How much does a 0.5L beer cost?

€ 0,80

How much does an average meal cost?

€ 2,00

What’s the emergency number?

There are different numbers for the different services here.

  • Police: 113
  • Ambulance: 115
  • Fire: 114

What type of plug do they use?

This one! It’s the standard American plug.

Many hotels have sockets that also accept a European plug. It looks like this:

What side of the road do they drive on?

They drive on the right side of the road here.

How do I navigate my way around?

Google and Apple Maps both work well here.

Otherwise, we recommend Rome2Rio as the best way to find out how to get anywhere. It even tells you the cost of each option. 🙌

Any other good tips?

Grab is a very convenient app and cheaper alternative to Uber


If you’ve been to Vietnam share your experience! The following would be really useful for others to know:

  • Which ATMs are free to use? 
  • What card should I use and where?
  • Any other info you think may be useful.

Share your experience with us in the comments below! 

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