Experience The Real Vietnam

Travel advice

Travel advice

Once you’ve identified the adventures that interest you most, we advise you to read some useful information below for your adventure trip.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or require further advice, please remember you can always Contact Us –

One of our experienced members of staff will be happy to help you.

Know Before You Go
Know before you Go aims to make sure that all travelers abroad are properly prepared before setting out overseas and have independent advice.
Checklist before you leave home
Here is Countryside Adventures’s version of the helpful Before-you-go Checklist.


  • Check your passport to ensure that it is valid for at least 6 months prior to the date you will arrive in Vietnam.
  • See your doctor ensures you healthy and fit enough for your trip.
  • See your doctor or specialist about any necessary vaccinations.
  • Begin a book about Vietnam (fiction or nonfiction is okay).
  • Follow Countryside Adventures on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, news, and stories about Vietnam.
  • Look into and purchase the necessary travel insurance
  • Scan all your important documents and identification (including your passport) and email it to yourself and a friend at home
  • Find a friend to water your plants and take care of your pets
  • Begin learning a few Vietnamese greetings
  • Start practicing using chopsticks
  • Have our phone unlocked if you are planning to use your phone in Vietnam
  • Collect, print, and email any other important documents, like your itinerary
  • Get a few passport pictures for your visa on arrival in Vietnam (or if you are planning to travel to Cambodia or Laos)
  • Collect and record any important / emergency phone numbers – Email us for their list as well
  • Prepare your lightweight, quick-dry clothing (summer), your warmer comfy clothes (winter months), as well as your sun hat, and swimsuit.
  • Prepare flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, insect repellent, personal first aid kit.
  • Prepare any medications, toiletries, and sunscreen.
  • Change money in US dollars (crisp $100 bills is best), or traveler checks (not recommended)
  • Prepare your breathable raincoat
  • Prepare footwear: sandals, hiking shoes, walking shoes
  • Cable locks for your luggage
  • Double-check that your camera and photography equipment is in good working order
  • Buy any gifts you are planning on giving to friends or people you meet in Vietnam
  • Reconfirm your flight
  • Try to get some sleep, because the excitement is building!

How to get a visa upon arrival in Vietnam
Do I need a visa to enter Vietnam?
Yes! Except for few countries with visa exemptions

(most Asian countries, Korea, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland,

all others are required to have a Vietnamese visa or a pre-approved entry visa letter supplied before arrival to Vietnam by your Vietnam Immigration Office.
How do I apply for a visa to Vietnam ?
There are 2 ways to get your Vietnam visa:
1. Get your visa in the country where you are living by contacting the visa department at the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate there.
Documents needed: Passport of 6 months’ validity; visa application forms; and probably some others required by the embassy or consulate.

Visa forms are available directly from the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country.
Fees: vary from embassy to embassy.
Duration: It will take between 4 to 10 days depending on your country of origin.
2. Get your visa upon arrival in Vietnam with a pre-approved entry visa letter.
Relax and we will handle everything from here for you.

Countryside Adventures as your sponsor will email you the Visa Approval Letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Office here.

When you enter Vietnam by air** you will, fill out a short form, and give the issuing officer two passport photos and a fee.

He/she will give you the all-important visa and stamp on your passport.
How long does it take? Normally it takes 2-3 days to complete from when we receive all your information.
How much does it cost? This depends on the type of visa you require (Tourist or Business, 1 or 3 months, Single or Multiple Entry).

Please get this information from our Countryside Adventures consultant.
How long can I stay? The regular Tourist visa is valid for 30 days. You can extend it here if needed.
Documents needed: Please send us a complete copy of your passport via email including your full name as it appears on your passport,

date of birth, gender, nationality, passport numbers, passport expiry date, and your arrival date to Vietnam or flight information.

What to bring when travel Vietnam
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium-sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything

you’ll need to survive for one month, and still, have enough space for the things you’ll buy in Vietnam.
There are extensive consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of or forgetting something.

HotelsandHOSTELS IN Vietnam, as well as many homestays and private hosts, must register your presence with the police.

You will be expected to hand over your passport, along with your visa number. Many people do not like this one bit. A handy tip is to photocopy your passport details several times,

write your visa number on this when you get it on entry, and then hand this copy in instead of your original.

Vietnam Health

No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present.

However, visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus, and polio. Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially

if traveling off the beaten track in the far north of Vietnam. Medical facilities are rather limited in all of the countries and it is essential to purchasing a good comprehensive medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.

Currency Exchange in Vietnam
The official currency, the Vietnamese Dong, is non-convertible and is currently at about 22,000 (Dec. 2017) VND to 1 USD.

The US dollar, preferably crisp clean bills*, is widely accepted among major shops and restaurants.

Traveler’s checks can be cashed at authorized foreign exchange outlets and banks, and always require the presentation of a passport.

There is normally a 2 to 5 percent transaction fee for cashing travelers’ checks. Visa and Mastercard are accepted in some of the bigger hotels, restaurants, and shops.
There are also a small number of international banks now operating in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city.

There are also many 24-hour ATM machines now all over Vietnam. The ANZ machines work with all cards and give the highest withdrawal amounts.
(*) When changing money you may find that your UDS will not be accepted if it is not crisp and clean.

One hundred dollar bills also offer a slightly higher rate.

Vietnamese Food
The cuisine of Vietnam comes as a pleasant surprise to many visitors and is definitely a part of the Vietnam experience not to be missed.

One of the characteristics of Vietnamese food is that it is always fresh; being bought the same morning straight from the market.

Food is usually prepared with a minimal amount of oil and served with the ubiquitous fish sauce called nuoc mam.
Typical Vietnamese dishes you can expect to try include pho, a type of rice noodle soup eaten for breakfast; cha gio, deep-fried spring rolls;

and goi ngo sen, a delicious salad made with lotus stems, shrimp, and peanuts.

Due to the strong Buddhist influence in Vietnam, vegetarian food is widely available, however, fish sauce is in nearly everything.
For those who have never used chopsticks, it might be a good idea to learn before you come to Vietnam – or you can bring your own fork.

Not to worry though, spoons are offered at almost every restaurant.

Can I drink tap water?
No, Tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, you can find bottled water for sale at every store and convenience shop.

Is it safe to walk around in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi?
In general, it’s safe for hanging out, but it‘s not too safe at local markets, beware of pickpockets.

If you can not find your information as above, please send us your questions, we are happy to let you know anytime.

Happy Discovery

Countryside Adventures Team