Many people travel to Vietnam every year for a holiday or business trip. This travel advice tells you what you, as a traveller in Vietnam, should consider in terms of safety, regulations, and other travel tips. The information on this page has been carefully compiled for you based on national and international government sources. Based on this travel advice, e-Visa.co.uk accepts no liability for damage or injury that may occur.
For up-to-date information on the coronavirus, please check the page about coronavirus measures in Vietnam. The advice on this page is general travel advice.
Travel advice for Vietnam: Safe with general security risks
The consensus is that it is generally safe to travel through Vietnam. However, there are a number of security risks to watch out for. Please read the travel advice on this page for Vietnam carefully to minimise surprises. During your stay, keep an eye on local news reports to stay abreast of important developments. Also, do not forget to apply for your Vietnam visa before your trip.
Pre-departure travel preparations
Good preparation is essential for any trip abroad. To avoid unpleasant surprises at the airport, it is important to have all your documents in order. Check well before departure whether you Vietnam visa need a visa for Vietnam for your trip.
|Passport||You need a passport both for travel to Vietnam, and in Vietnam itself, that is valid for at least 6 months after arrival in Vietnam. By law, you must always be able to identify yourself in Vietnam. A copy of the passport is sufficient for this purpose.|
|Visa||Travellers headed to Vietnam for more than 45 days, need a Vietnam visa. Tourists from the Europe and the UK can apply for the e-visa online for a stay of up to 90 days. For a longer stay than 90 days, or other travel purpose than tourism, you will need a different visa type which must be applied for at the embassy. Always take a copy of your visa with you when you travel.|
|Embassy|| It is no longer possible to register your holidays with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. You are encouraged to read the FCDO foreign travel checklist and the crisis overseas pages before your trip. If you have any questions that cannot be answered on those pages, you can submit an enquiry on the UK government website. Note, however, that advice is general in nature and cannot be tailored to your specific holiday.|
It is wise to take down the phone number and information of the British Embassy in Hanoi or the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City in case of emergencies. Outside of these cities, consular assistance might be more difficult.
|Travel Insurance||Take out travel insurance that covers any extra costs. Healthcare costs in particular can be unexpectedly high in case of hospitalisation, for example. You will also need additional insurance for some extreme sports or activities. Get advice on this from your insurance company.|
|Vaccinations / Medical protection|| For the best advice on vaccinations, see your GP or other specialist. They can determine which additional vaccinations are needed for each traveller, as not all vaccinations are mandatory or necessary for everyone. Depending on your personal health, length of stay, and places you will visit, you will be advised for other vaccinations.|
Make sure you have sufficient protection against mosquitoes, such as insect repellents and long clothing. Especially in the rainy months, there are many mosquitoes that can transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika virus.
The UK government website recommends checking the National Travel Network and Centre(NaTHNaC) on the Travel Health Pro website 8 weeks before your trip, for Vietnam-specific health advice.
|Medicine|| Some medications that are used to treat addition, anxiety, insomnia, depression and other conditions can be considered restricted in Vietnam. Check with your doctor in time whether you need to bring a doctorʼs certificate for certain medications. Bring medicines in their original packaging and keep the statement with your medicines in your hand luggage. Statements must be written in English or Vietnamese.|
If you are travelling with medicine that is considered restricted, consider contacting the Vietnamese Embassy in advance, as there might be a limit on how much of this medication you are allowed to bring. You can visit the Travel Health Pro website to read more about travelling with medicine.
Air quality can be an issue in the bigger cities, and high levels of pollution can aggravate heart and lung conditions. Find advice on air quality on the World Health Organization website.
|Telephone numbers / Contact details||At the bottom of the page are all emergency numbers in Vietnam. Save these, as well as your bankʼs phone number, in your phone before departure. Leave a copy of your passport and credit card details with family or friends outside of Vietnam, and take copies yourself. Keep these in a safe place. Put ‘ICE’ (In Case of Emergency) in front of the name of your emergency contacts in your contact list in case emergency services need to reach this person.|
|Driving licence / Traffic|| A British, Irish, or other European driving licence is not valid without an official international driving licence. An IRB is simply a translation of your European driving licence. You are also required by law to have third-party insurance.|
The UK government site indicates that travelling by motorbike in Vietnam is of significant risk, and recommends only driving if you are experienced with motorbikes. Check any motorbikes thoroughly before driving, wear a good quality helmet and make sure your medical insurance is adequate. It is illegal to drive or ride on a motorbike without a helmet.
After arriving in Vietnam
Below are some tips you should follow during your stay in Vietnam. Following this advice can help you avoid unnecessary risks and inform you of what to do if you get into trouble unexpectedly.
|Preventing theft|| In big cities, theft is a regular occurrence, especially among tourists. Therefore, do not keep your important belongings in a loose bag, but on your body. Try to use bags or backpacks that you can control how they open. If your bag is too loose, it will be easy to take. Try not to walk around with expensive items on display, such as your phone or tablet, and do not show large amounts of money. Consider keeping important items in different bags on you.|
If possible, keep your real passport in a safe place and take a copy with you when you go out. Always demand your passport back immediately from hotel staff or travel agents if they have used it to check data or make a copy.
|Reporting theft|| Always make sure you are accompanied by a local guide at the police station. It will not be guaranteed that the officers will speak English, which might make it difficult to make a report yourself. You will likely be asked to sign documents in Vietnamese, only do so if you are sure they are translated correctly.|
It seems to be easier to report loss than theft in case you are robbed. Either way, you need to report losing your passport in order to apply for a new one. Another reason you should always have a copy of your passport.
|Paying in Vietnam||After paying with your credit card or debit card, check that the amount charged is correct. Credit card fraud is not uncommon in Vietnam. It is also recommended to pay with cash as much as possible, but be careful where you withdraw cash. Preferably do this at banks or ATMs at hotels. Always make sure you have enough cash. Outside major cities, it is often not possible to pay with credit or debit cards. There is no limit to how much money you can take with you to Vietnam.|
|Hurricanes and landslides||From May to November, Vietnam regularly experiences tropical storms. Due to large amounts of rainfall, there is a high risk of flooding in low-lying areas. In high-altitude areas such as Sapa, Dien Bien and Ha Giang, the extreme rainfall can cause land slides. If you travel to Vietnam during the rainy season, it is wise to check the weather forecast daily.|
|Air quality||In the large cities in Vietnam, the air quality is sometimes moderate to poor. This can cause respiratory symptoms or worsen existing ones. The main areas affected are Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Tourists who briefly stay in these cities usually do not experience long-term symptoms.|
Stay alert and careful
- Stay alert and careful, especially when travelling alone, or in crowded places. Do not travel alone after sunset and use trusted taxis such as those provided by your hotel or accommodation, or book a taxi via an app.
- Stay away from illegal drugs. Even possession of a small amount of drugs can lead to a death sentence. If you are arrested, it can take a long time before you are provided the opportunity to contact a lawyer or other contacts.
Important phone numbers
|Name||Name Phone number|
|Your travel insurance||Make a note of the policy number and the contact number before you travel|
|British embassy in Hanoi||+ 84 24 3936 0500|
|British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City||+84 28 3825 1380|
|Embassy of Ireland in Hanoi||+84 24 3974 3291|
To make sure you can stay in Vietnam for your planned length of stay, you need to apply for the right visa. Irish and British travellers can easily apply for the Vietnam e-visa for a 90-day stay. In the application form, enter your expected arrival date to ensure that the visa is valid during your trip in Vietnam. Do you want to stay in Vietnam for longer than 90 days, for example for volunteer work* or an extended holiday? Then you will need a different visa type, and you can only apply for those at an embassy. When applying for the visa, you must state which airport you intend to enter the country through. Read more about the possible arrival and departure locations in Vietnam on the Vietnamese visa requirements page.
*Volunteering in orphanages is generally not recommended. An orphanage institution is likely to profit from child labour or human trafficking. Make sure you are well-informed about an orphanage if you want to volunteer.
Apply for a Vietnam visa
Disclaimer: Travellers remain solely responsible
This travel advice for Vietnam has been compiled with care. Nevertheless, e-Visa.co.uk accepts no liability for any problems, damages or injuries arising from the use of this information. Travellers should remain vigilant at all times while travelling in Vietnam and are solely responsible for their safety during the stay in Vietnam. Travellers are also responsible for their choice of whether to travel in the first place. Before travelling to Vietnam, it is advisable to consult the latest security updates from the government regarding travel to Vietnam (www.gov.uk) or consult the embassies in Vietnam and/or information from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Vietnam visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (640,352 VND per visa, via evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 640,352 VND in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £34.03 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Vietnam visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.