Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling in Vietnam



Who is More Fun Travel?
Based in Hanoi, Vietnam, More Fun Travel is a Vietnamese Tour Operator for inbound and outbound travel in Vietnam. We are an industry leader in small group travel to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

More Fun Travel provides quality experiences by:

  • Delivering what we sell. Our office staff and guides are part of the same team. We provide personalized service from the point of sale to the conclusion of the tour.
  • Expert Knowledge. Our staff of professional guides have an intimate knowledge of Indochina.
  • Designing and delivering tour programs for international tour operators, special interest groups and corporations.


What should I pack?
This will depend on your personal preferences, where you’re traveling, and the time of year. It’s advisable to bring at least one ‘smart’ outfit for special evenings. Please note that some churches/places of worship require covered shoulders and in some cases, knee length shorts/skirts. Always pack enough clothes and wear pieces that you feel comfortable in. Items that are casual and lightweight, requiring little or no ironing are recommended.



What’s Included?
All More Fun tours include accommodation, transportation, an experienced driver/leader and all park entrance fees. Each tour also includes some activities while on tour. Read each tour description for more information. We custom design your tour, specific to your travel dates and interests.

Contact us to create your dream vacation in Vietnam.

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What’s Not Included?
Meals, accommodations before or after the tour, optional activities, and gratuities for the guides are not included in the price of the tour.



I’m traveling to Vietnam, what should I do to have a good trip and how can I save money?
We make traveling to Vietnam simple. Just tell us your requirements, interests and budget, then we will arrange an amazing adventure for you or a group. After you tell us about your dream vacation, we work with you to create your travel itinerary. Experience Vietnam like you never thought you could. Our travel itineraries outline where you’ll be staying, when you have free time and when you may need to be on time.

Plain and simple, our tour packages save you money!
When you book your travel plans with More Fun Travel, you won’t have to find your own hotels, restaurants, scenery or activities. We provide you with an outline of your travel plans prior to you visiting.



When is the best time to travel in Vietnam?
There really isn’t a bad time to visit Vietnam. When the region is wet, cold or steaming hot, there is always somewhere else that is sunny and pleasant. From October to April we enjoy our winter and spring in Vietnam. In the North, it is cool. Many travelers enjoy the flowers that bloom and especially the boisterous atmosphere of Tet in Vietnam. From December to January we experience our coldest time of the year. The average temperature is from 12-16ยบ C or 53-60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a great winter!

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Can I drive a car in Vietnam?
If you plan to do any driving while you are abroad, get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your local Automobile Association or motor vehicle department before you leave. In many countries, these are valid for only one year, so there is no sense getting one too far in advance of your departure. However, some countries will issue IDPs that remain valid for several years – it depends on where you live. Make sure your license states that it is valid for motorcycles if you plan to ride one.

In Vietnam, you can drive. It’s recommended that you rent a car, because it’ll be safer. Many travelers may find traffic in Vietnam very difficult.

 



How about tipping in Vietnam? When should we tip?
Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but will be greatly appreciated. Smart hotels and restaurants nowadays add a 10-15% service charge (which should be indicated on the bill) but else where it’s up to you. It’s a good idea to tip guides, drivers and anyone else that has provided excellent service.

 



Do you have any suggestion about giving gifts?
Giving small gifts to those who have performed a special service or with whom you have a working relationship is greatly appreciated. Anything from your local area, such as cakes, sweets, chinaware or photo books or calendars, is a good idea. Otherwise, inexpensive make-up, perfume, jewelery and pretty toiletries work great with women, while men prefer pens, cigarette lighters, imported cigarettes, whiskey or other spirits and car/biking magazines. For children, obviously small toys such as inflatable playground balls and jump ropes are popular and easy to transport. Or how about drawing books, pads of paper, pencils or crayons, erasers, model cars, small-size T-shirts and other clothes.

When presenting gifts, don’t expect effusive thanks, as this isn’t Vietnamese style. Whatever their reaction, you can be sure that the gift was appreciated.

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Do I face language problems? Can I get by speaking English?
Everyone in Vietnam seems to be learning English. Standards are relatively high considering the country has only been open for just over a decade. Most young people and many of those working in the tourist industry speak sufficient English to communicate at a basic level. You’ll find more English-speakers in the south – a legacy of the American presence– but even here don’t expect to find English spoken at small restaurants, in markets or anywhere off the tourist trail. For such situations it will help to have a basic phrasebook.

People over 60 years old, especially in the north speak wonderfully old-fashioned French. Other northerners might speak Russian or German, depending where they were sent to be educated or as “guest workers”.

Though you will certainly be able to get by in English, it’s worth learning a few Vietnamese phrases before you go. The pronunciation is a bit tricky, but otherwise Vietnamese is not a particularly complicated language. A few standard phrases (such as hello, thank you, how much is it? and goodbye) always help. It will also help if you learn the numbers, though this can be circumvented by asking people to write down prices, times etc…

 



Can I pay by credit card in Vietnam?
Major credit cards (Visa, American Express, JCB, MasterCard, and Dinner’s Club) are gradually becoming more widely accepted in Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi and HCMC. All top level and many mid-level hotels accept them, as do a growing number of restaurants and up market shops catering to the tourist trade. But watch out for the extra taxes they wrap on when using a credit card – these can amount to an additional 5 percent. Outside the major cities you will have to rely on cash.

Cash advances on credit cards are available at the central Vietcombank in Hanoi, HCMC and other major cities, for which you will be charged around 3 %. Hanoi and HCMC also boast 24hr ATMs where you can withdraw cash on MasterCard, Visa and other cards in the Cirrus/Plus networks. In Hanoi, go to the ANZ Bank beside Hoan Kiem Lake; in HCMC both ANZ Bank and HKSB have ATMs.

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Is it better to use dollars or dong for daily expenses?
Despite government attempts to outlaw the practice, the US$ still acts as an alternative currency which is almost completely interchangeable with the dong. Many prices, especially for hotels, tours and expensive restaurants, are still quoted in US$, though you can pay in dong if you’d rather – just check what exchange rate they’re using.

For everyday expenses, I recommend carrying a mix of US$ cash and dong. For larger items (hotel bills, train tickets, etc.) or when the exchange rate works in your favor, use dollars. For cyclos, local food stalls and small purchases, it’s best to use dong. In either case, make sure you always have a stock of small notes so that you don’t have to worry about change.

 



Where can I exchange currency?
You can change cash at exchange desks in big hotels and at authorized foreign exchange banks in the main cities. Among the banks, Vietcombank usually offers the best exchange rates and charges the lowest commission (around 1-2%). Vietcombank does not levy commission when changing dollars cash into dong, though some other banks do. It’s worth bearing in mind that you get a slightly better exchange rate for $100 and $50 notes than for smaller denominations.

Outside the main cities and tourist areas, authorized foreign exchange banks are few and far between. So if you’re heading off the beaten path, stock up with enough cash (dollars and dong) to last the trip. Wherever you are, you’ll always find someone willing to change dollars into dong, though rates will vary.

 



Should I take my money in cash or travelers’ checks?
Vietnam’s official currency is the dong, which cannot be purchased outside Vietnam. The main banks in Hanoi and HCMC can handle a fairly broad range of currencies nowadays, but the dollar is still the most widely accepted. I therefore recommend taking some US$ cash. American Express, Visa and Thomas Cook checks are the most recognized brands. It’s a good idea to arrive with at least some small denomination dollar bills ($1’s, $5’s and $10’s) to get you from the airport into town and to a bank. Even if they’re open, the airport exchange desks offer unfavorable rates. If you do bring cash into Vietnam, make sure they are not badly tattered as they may be refused.

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What sort of souvenirs are available to bring home?
Vietnam has a good variety of lightweight, transportable souvenirs. You’ll find them on sale in all the main tourist areas, though Hanoi and HCMC probably offer the greatest variety.

Silk is probably high on most people’s list, either tailored or as uncut cloth. Hoi An, in central Vietnam, has become the place to get clothes made, but you’ll also find good tailors in Hanoi along Hang Gai and in HCMC. Beautifully embroidered cottons are another popular choice, as are printed T-shirts in a whole range of designs.

Traditional craft items include lacquer ware, items decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay, conical hats, carvings made of cinnamon and camphor wood, bronze Buddhist bells and musical instruments. A water puppet also makes a nice memento. Fabrics from the various ethnic minorities are either sold in lengths or made into bags, purses or skullcaps. Minority groups in the south produce wonderful basketry and bamboo pipes.

Vietnam has a thriving fine arts scene, with some artists commanding substantial sums, though you need to be wary of fakes. Galleries in Hanoi, HCMC, Hue and Hoi An also show works by lesser-known artists at more affordable prices. Look out also for lovely, hand-painted greetings cards.

Note that export restrictions apply to all items deemed to be of “cultural or historical significance”, including works of art and anything over 50 years old. To take any such item out of the country you’ll need an export license. Even if it’s a modern reproduction it might be worth getting clearance anyway, since customs officials aren’t necessarily very discriminating.

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