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Planning a Visit to Vietnam?

Vietnam is a beautiful country, but it’s probably best known by most people for its war torn past. However, as memories of the Vietnam War fade, more people are becoming intrigued with this exotic country. If you are thinking about visiting Vietnam, here are some travel tips you might need.

Halong Bay Vietnam
Image: flickr.com/photos/andrewhuxtable

How to Stay Healthy

Vietnam has a tropical climate, which is probably much different from your own. In order to stay healthy while travelling throughout the country, make sure you visit your doctor’s office to up-to-date your vaccinations. The DTP shot, which stands for diphtheria, tetanus and polio, is good for 10 years, so if has been longer than that since you’re had one, get another shot.

The Hepatitis A vaccination also lasts for 10 years if you’ve had the long-term shot, but there is also a short-term version. In addition, you should have a typhoid vaccination if you are going to stay in Vietnam for over two weeks. Check for other health alerts, especially for the Ebola virus, before leaving for your trip, and since malaria is present in Vietnam, take some malaria medication with you as well.

Lao Cai Vietnam
Image: flickr.com/photos/58769600@N07

Carry the Proper Documents

Several weeks before you plan on leaving for your trip, check your passport to make sure it is valid. If necessary, update the information and send off for a new one as soon as possible so your new passport arrives in time for the departure date. If you are British citizen, you need to have a visa to travel to Vietnam.

To get a Vietnamese visa, your passport has to be valid for at least six months after the date of your return. You can go online and download the application for a visa from the Vietnamese Embassy’s website. Return the application with your passport, passport photo and the fee to obtain the visa. Try to do this several weeks, if not months, in advance to get your visa in time for your trip. You will need to show your Vietnam visa on arrival.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Image: flickr.com/photos/gooji

What to do About Money

Take note of the exchange rate before leaving for Vietnam and plan accordingly. The rate of exchange is better for larger notes, such as £50 or £100, but you will end up carrying a lot of Vietnamese Dong, which is the name of their currency, if you exchange a £100 note. It is a good idea to plan on using a combination of cash, bankcards and traveller’s cheques when you travel within the country

There is at least one ATM in most villages, but you should carry some Vietnamese cash so you’re not reliant on ATM’s, and take some traveller’s cheques, which can be cashed at most banks. For the budget conscious, if you’re careful with your spending, travelling through Vietnam isn’t very expensive.

Danang Vietnam
Image: flickr.com/photos/85675121@N04

Planning ahead to ensure you have the vaccinations you need and your passport is up-to-date will make your trip less stressful. If you are doing some extensively travelling, pack lightly and enjoy your trip to Vietnam.

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