Passports and Visas
Please make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the duration of stay in Vietnam and that you have at least two blank pages. Most nationalities require a visa for Vietnam, however 17 nationalities are exempt, including British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens. These five nationalities can stay up to 15 days, however they must acquire a tourist visa if staying longer. For a list of countries exempt go to this page
For 46 nationalities – including Australians, Canadians and Americans – an e-visa can be obtained. This must be applied for and received before departure for Vietnam. The fee for the e-visa is US$25 and then the visa is issued on arrival at international airports for another fee. Note that the e-visa takes 3-5 working days to process and you must submit a scanned copy of a photo and of your passport when applying. Print the approval letter to present upon arrival in Vietnam to acquire your visa. Nationalities not on the electronic visa list can obtain a pre-approved entry visa online before arrival in Vietnam for a fee, however, the visa is still issued on arrival at international airports.
A visa for Vietnam can also be obtained from any embassy worldwide, here's a list of locations. A tourist visa is valid for a single 30 day stay. You must specify your arrival date when applying for a visa and it is from this date that the 30 days will be calculated. When picking up your visa check to be sure the dates match your travel plans and that it is stamped directly into your passport as it will not be accepted if it is stapled in or loose.
Recommended vaccinations are typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days. Vietnam is a malarial area and you will need to take anti-malarial tablets. Please speak to your doctor for the most up to date information.
Weather in Vietnam can vary quite considerably according to distinct climate zones. Due to regional climate differences there are no good or bad seasons to visit Vietnam. The North of Vietnam experiences cool, damp winters between November and April with temperatures in Hanoi falling to around 15°C. The summer months from May to October are hot and dry. A pleasant time to visit is spring (March-April) or autumn (October-December). The best time to visit the north of Vietnam is from September to December when it isn't so humid. The weather turns quite cold and wet in January and this continues until March. The humidity can prove oppressive from May to the start of September and there's a danger of flooding.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are Vietnamese food and features noodles, rice curries and soups. Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and we make sure you sample as much variety as possible. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere in Vietnam, but is NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.
The official national currency is the Vietnam dong (d), but the US dollar is widely accepted in tourist centers. However, in smaller towns and villages the dong is preferred. ATMs are available in all major tourist destinations and big cities. Vietcombank has the best network with a limit a single withdrawal limit of 2,000,000d (about US$125). Most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam, but the US dollar is preferred away from the tourist centers. Changing US$100 will make you an instant millionaire! You cannot legally take the dong out of Vietnam but you can reconvert reasonable amounts of it into US dollars on departure.