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Practical information about Vietnam

Practical information about Vietnam
Practical information about Vietnam

Practical information about Vietnam

Best time to travel

Vietnam is a large, elongated country with significant geographical climate differences depending on where you are. The weather is generally unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or rain jacket with you.

Vietnam has two monsoons: the south-west monsoon and the north-east monsoon, which have an impact on the weather. The south-west monsoon lasts from April to September and is characterised by wet, warm weather. The north-east monsoon lasts from October to April and is not as wet but colder.

North Vietnam (Hanoi – Sapa – Ha Long Bay):
North Vietnam is where you will find the capital Hanoi, the mountainous area of Sapa and Ha Long Bay, among other places. The area, which lies in the subtropical climate belt, generally has two seasons:

The dry season falls roughly between November and March in Hanoi and Sapa, while in Ha Long Bay, it starts in October. December, January and February are North Vietnam’s coldest and driest months. Sapa in particular can get quite chilly in the winter months, so it’s a good idea to bring some warm clothes with you if you’re heading there.

The rainy season falls roughly between April and October in Hanoi and Sapa, while the period is a month shorter in Ha Long Bay. July and August are the wettest months, and Sapa is the area that gets most rain.

Weather statistics for Hanoi: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature  19 19 23 26 31 32 32 32 31 28 24 21
Average minimum temperature  15 15 18 21 24 25 26 26 25 22 19 15
Rainfall mm  10 30 50 100 150 190 210 200 160 100 60 30


Weather statistics for Sapa (Lao Cai): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature  13 14 18 21 24 24 24 24 23 20 17 15
Average minimum temperature 7 8 11 13 16 18 18 18 16 13 11 8
Rainfall mm 14 38 56 117 219 219 301 339 243 116 59 24


Weather statistics for Ha Long Bay: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature  20 21 23 27 30 30 31 32 31 28 24 21
Average minimum temperature 14 15 18 21 24 24 25 25 24 21 18 15
Rainfall mm 3 22 53 57 175 172 201 265 190 54 12 23
Average sea temperature 19 19 20 22 27 29 31 30 29 27 25 22

Central Vietnam (Hué – Hoi An – Da Nang):

In Central Vietnam, you will find the cities of Hué, Hoi An and Da Nang. As in North Vietnam, the area generally has two seasons:

The dry season falls roughly between January and August, with May to August being the hottest months of the year.

The rainy season falls roughly between September and December, when the north-east monsoon brings a lot of rain. During the rainy season months, more than 200 mm of rain falls.

February to April are the most pleasant months to visit Central Vietnam, as the rain is at its lowest and seasonal temperatures are pleasant. However, most visitors come to the area in December and January for the Christmas holidays.

Please note that there is a risk of typhoons in the central part of Vietnam from August to November.

Average maximum temperature 24 25 28 31 33 34 35 34 32 29 26 24
Average minimum temperature 18 18 20 23 25 25 25 25 24 23 21 18
Rainfall mm 145 45 59 68 122 87 66 194 509 898 682 351


Weather statistics for Hoi An/Da Nang: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 24 26 28 31 33 35 34 33 31 29 27 25
Average minimum temperature 19 20 22 24 25 26 26 25 24 23 20 20
Rainfall mm 92 32 30 34 56 99 90 104 297 526 363 206
Average sea temperature 24 23 24 25 28 29 30 30 30 28 27 25

South Vietnam (Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc:
In the southern part of Vietnam, you will find the metropolis Ho Chi Minh City, the beach resort of Phan Thiet and the island of Phu Quoc. The areas have the following seasons:

The dry season is between December and April. Temperatures are generally reasonably stable all year round, but the hottest months are April and May.

The rainy season is roughly between May and November. More rain falls during this period due to the south-west monsoon, which means wet, yet hot weather. The rain typically falls in the afternoon. Rainfall reaches its highest levels from June to September. In Ho Chi Minh City, the rain is at its peak between June and September, while Phan Thiet is wettest between September and November.

Weather statistics for Ho Chi Minh City: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 32 33 34 34 34 32 32 32 31 31 31 31
Average minimum temperature 22 23 24 26 26 25 24 25 25 24 23 22
Rainfall mm 10  10  10  40  140  180  190  170  190  160  120  40


Weather statistics for Phan Thiet: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 28 29 30 32 32 31 31 31 30 30 29 29
Average minimum temperature 21 22 23 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 23 22
Rainfall mm 40 15 27 59 153 190 192 197 223 253 202 120
Average sea temperature 25 25 26 28 29 29 29 28 28 28 27 26


Weather statistics for Phu Quoc: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 31 32 34 33 32 31 31 31 31 30 30
Average minimum temperature 22 22 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 22
Rainfall mm 40 36 80 130 193 266 290 398 296 276 212 104
Average sea temperature 27 28 29 30 30 30 29 29 29 29 28 28


Passport & visa

British citizens:

As a British citizen, you must be in possession of a valid British passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day you arrive in Vietnam.

As a British citizen, you do not need a visa to travel to Vietnam if the duration of your visit does not exceed 45 days.

If you have questions about your visa, we recommend that you contact the Vietnamese Embassy:

Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
12-14 Victoria Road
London W8 5RD

Telephone: 020 7937 1912


Click here to check the visa regulations on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

Irish citizens:

As a Irish citizen, you must be in possession of a valid Irish passport. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the day you arrive in Vietnam.

As a Irish citizen, you need a visa to enter Vietnam and should apply for a multiple entry e-visa. The application takes place through the official website e-visa Vietnam. Here, you need to upload a photo of your passport and a passport-sized photo (max. 1024 kB). Additionally, you are required to fill in some personal details and your address in Vietnam. We suggest writing the address of the first hotel you will visit; the hotel’s name is on the confirmation.

The the multiple entry e-visa costs 50 USD per person and must be paid online during the application process, so make sure to have your credit card ready when you apply. You will receive a confirmation of your application via email. This email will also contain a unique registration code highlighted in bold (20 characters).

You will receive the response to your e-visa application after three working days at the following link, click here. Here, you need to log in with the registration code received in the confirmation email, along with your email address and date of birth. Your e-visa must be printed and presented upon arrival in Vietnam.

We recommend applying for the visa well in advance.

All questions relating to e-visas should be directed to Vietnam Immigration through the query form on the portal, or by emailing

Travel documents

Before your departure, you will be sent a document containing contact information for TourCompass and our local partner in Vietnam, your itinerary and a voucher for your tour, which confirms that you have booked and pre-paid your hotel accommodation, excursions and transfers. Remember to bring these with you on the tour.

If your tour involves domestic flights or journeys by train in Vietnam, it is our partner who books and issues the tickets, which your guide will give you at the destination.

We recommend that you download the WhatsApp app to your smartphone and add the phone numbers of our business partners. You can send messages and call them for free using the app when you have a Wi-Fi connection.


We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic for information about vaccinations. You can also read more about the rules regarding travel vaccinations here.

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another country where yellow fever is present. Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. Your vaccination certificate should therefore always be carried with you in your hand luggage when you travel.



There is currently no Covid-19 vaccination requirement for entry into Vietnam. However, these rules may change at short notice. It is your responsibility to check these rules before departure.

Please note that certain Covid-19 rules may apply at the stopover airports on your way to/from Vietnam. It is also your responsibility to check this before departure.

You’re always very welcome to contact us if you have any questions about this.

Travel terms and conditions

Please read our general travel terms and conditions carefully, as these are part of the agreement terms for tours purchased at TourCompass. Tours purchased from us are covered under the “Package Travel Act”.

Click here to read our travel terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.
Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate click here.

Travel insurance

We always advise you to obtain comprehensive travel insurance when heading off on your dream holiday. It is also highly recommended to acquire cancellation insurance for extra protection. 

Click here to proceed to our page on insurance, where you can read more about our recommendations.

Currency, price level & tipping

In Vietnam, the unit of currency is the Vietnamese dong. The current exchange rate of the Vietnamese dong can be found here.

Visa and Mastercard can be used at hotels, most restaurants and shops, but not at small local markets. In all major towns and cities, there are also cash machines where you can withdraw cash.

Obtain an idea of the price level in Vietnam here.


Tips are appreciated, but it is up to you whether or not to tip. You can give as much or as little as you want. The following is an indicative guide:

  • Guides: At least 120,000 dong per person per day depending on the service provided
  • Drivers: At least 50,000 dong per person per day depending on the service provided
  • Porters: At least 25,000 dong per room
  • Maids: At least 30,000 dong per room per day
  • Restaurants: At international restaurants, tipping is often included in the price, and in that case a 10% service charge will appear on the bill. If this is the case, there is no need to add more. If the tip is not included in the price, you can add 10,000-20,000 dong, if the service and food have been good. Tips are not expected at local restaurants and street kitchens, but you can leave a few small coins on the table when you go.
Food & allergies

At the vast majority of our destinations, we are able to take allergies, as well as allergens or preferences into account when it comes to food, however it is important that you inform us of this when you book the tour.

Telephones, Wi-Fi & electricity

Telephones & Wi-Fi:

It’s expensive to use data and roaming abroad if it’s not already included in your mobile subscription. Contact your mobile company to find out what services are included in your subscription and what prices apply to you when travelling abroad.

If data and roaming are not included in your mobile subscription when travelling abroad, we recommend that you use Wi-Fi when you’re at your hotel or restaurants. That way, you can call and write home free of charge via various services such as Facetime, Messenger and WhatsApp. Otherwise, it is also possible to buy a local SIM card including data on your arrival in Vietnam.


Vietnam does not have standard voltage or plugs. You may therefore experience anything from 110 to 230 volts. We recommend that you bring an adapter with you, as the Vietnamese plugs can have both 2 and 3 pins, round and flat.

What to pack

Make sure you pack all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, vaccination cards, travel documents, insurance documents, credit cards, money, computers, mobile phones and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.


Visiting temples

When visiting temples, there is a strict dress code. Your knees and shoulders must be covered, your clothes must not be see-through, and you must take off your shoes.

Bringing plant products into the UK

Visitors are not permitted to bring plants, seeds, fruit and other plant products into the UK from their travels outside the UK, unless they are accompanied by a plant health (phytosanitary) certificate. These rules also apply to smaller quantities of plants and plant products.

Read more about the rules here.

Travellers with impaired mobility

Please note that this tour is not generally suitable for people with impaired mobility. Please contact us for information about your options in relation to your specific needs.

Airline tickets

Most airlines have electronic tickets (e-tickets).

It is important that you check your name for spelling errors, as the name on the reservation must be exactly as it appears on your passport. If your name needs to be corrected, please contact us as soon as possible. Please note that this may incur a fee from the airline.

Seat reservation

The airline will assign you a seat on the plane at check-in. If you have specific wishes regarding where you sit on the plane, you can make a seat reservation yourself on the airline’s website or in their app. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation.

It varies when airlines open for seat reservations, but as a general rule, you can book seats from the time of booking and up to 48 hours before departure.

We also point out that the airline has complete control over all seats on the plane and that they are therefore entitled to make changes to the reservation at any time.
If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will assign you a seat at check-in.


Your passport and your booking reference, which appears on your itinerary, are required to check in.

We recommend that you download the airline’s app on your phone. In the app, there is an option for online check-in, which typically opens 24 to 48 hours before departure. The app also allows you to stay informed of any flight changes and other important information about your flight.

Please note that the flight times may have changed in relation to those listed on the travel itinerary you received when you booked your holiday. It is always the flight times in the airline’s app or on the airline’s website that apply.

At the airport

We recommend that you arrive at the airport to check in at least two hours before departure. It is a good idea to check the airport’s website for the latest updates.


We use many different airlines for our destinations. You can check the exact rules for hand luggage and checked baggage on the airline’s website or in their app.

Delayed baggage

If your baggage is delayed, please contact the staff in the baggage reclaim area to report your missing baggage.

It is important that you have your baggage receipt when completing your PIR (Property Irregularity Report).

Please note that you must not leave the baggage area at the airport until you have completed the report.

In the event of delayed baggage, we ask you to contact our partner, who will ensure that your guide/driver waits for you.

Flight delays or cancellations

Should any changes occur in connection with your flight reservation before departure, we will of course contact you to let you know.

Should your flight be delayed after check-in, the airline is responsible for rebooking your flight. They will typically book the next possible flight and arrange any meals and accommodation if necessary.

Our partner checks for any changes in arrival times and will naturally still wait for you, even if your flight is delayed.

If, due to a delay or cancellation, the airline books you on another flight number after you have arrived at the airport, please contact us on TourCompass’ emergency number.

Immigration & Customs


When you arrive at your final destination, you will go through immigration, where your passport and any entry documents and visas are checked. In many places, you will be required to provide fingerprints, and a photo of your face will also be taken for biometric recognition. You may also be asked questions about your travel plans in the country and possibly where you are staying.


Once you’ve cleared immigration and picked up your luggage, you will head through customs. If you have nothing to declare, you can go through “nothing to declare”. If, on the other hand, you have something to declare, it is important that you go through “declare”. It’s your own responsibility to check the customs regulations that apply in the country you are travelling to.


On your arrival, you will be met by a guide/driver who will be ready to welcome you with a TourCompass sign.

In the unexpected event that you cannot find your guide/driver, please contact our partner on the emergency number which appears on the travel documents.

Hotel check-in and check-out

Normal check-in is typically from 2 pm, and, therefore, you cannot count on getting your room earlier. If you’d like to check in early, this can be arranged for a fee when you book the tour.

When you check in, the receptionist will generally register your credit card and may reserve an amount. This is not an additional fee, but customary at hotels to ensure payment of any consumption from the minibar and the like. When you check out, the amount will be automatically released if you have not made use of this.

It is very normal for hotels to take a copy of your passport. In some places, this is a requirement of the local authorities.

Check-out is normally by 10 am. If you’re not travelling until the afternoon or evening, you can have your luggage stored until it’s time to leave. If you would like a late check-out instead, this can be arranged for a fee when you book the tour.

Type of tour and transport

Our tours to Vietnam are individual tours, however excursions and transfers take place in international groups of 1–14 people and with TourCompass’ own guests only.
Most optional tours take place with TourCompass’ own guests, however some may also take place with people other than TourCompass’ own guests. This will be noted in the description.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, blocked roads or otherwise, it may be necessary to change the order of sightseeing tours and attractions in your itinerary.

Need for help during the tour?

We have a 24-hour emergency hotline so that you can always get in touch with us should anything unforeseen occur during your tour. You will also be sent the telephone numbers and emergency telephone numbers of our partners at the destination. In some cases, it may be easiest and fastest to contact our partners due to time differences, if, for example, you find yourself in a situation where your pick-up for an excursion or transfer is more than 15 minutes delayed.


We rely on happy travellers, and we would therefore very much like to hear from you after your return home. Send us an email at or call us on tel.: 01279 704 135


Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

Opening hours
Monday-Thursday 9-15
Friday 9-13