Practical information about Vietnam

  1. The climate of Vietnam

Vietnam is a long country with a climate that varies greatly depending on the location. The weather is usually difficult to predict, so you should always carry an umbrella or raincoat.

There are two monsoons in Vietnam, the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon, both of which affect the weather. The southwest monsoon runs from April to September and brings with it moist and hot weather. The northeast monsoon, on the other hand, lasts from October to April, when the weather is drier but cooler.

Northern Vietnam (Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay): In
North Vietnam, e.g. the capital Hanoi, the Sapa Mountains and Halong Bay. The area in the subtropical climate zone has two seasons:

The dry season lasts from Hanoi and Sapa from November to March, while the dry season in Halong Bay starts as early as October. December, January and February are the coldest and driest months in North Vietnam. So Sapa can be quite cool during the winter months, so it’s worth booking something warm to wear if you’re visiting the area at this time of year.

The rainy season lasts from Hanoi and Sapa from April to October, and in Halong Bay the rainy season ends a month earlier. The wettest months are July and August, and the most rainfall is in the Sapa region.

Average. highest temperature 19 19 23 26 31 32 32 32 31 28 24 21
Average. lowest temperature 15 15 18 21 24 25 26 26 25 22 19 15
Precipitation e.g. 10 30 50 100 150 190 210 200 160 100 60 30
Average. highest temperature 13 14 18 21 24 24 24 24 23 20 17 15
Average. lowest temperature 7 8 11 13 16 18 18 18 16 13 11 8
Precipitation e.g. 14 38 56 117 219 219 301 339 243 116 59 24
Average. highest temperature 20 21 23 27 30 30 31 32 31 28 24 21
Average. lowest temperature 14 15 18 21 24 24 25 25 24 21 18 15
Precipitation e.g. 3 22 53 57 175 172 201 265 190 54 12 23
Average seawater temperature 19 19 20 22 27 29 31 30 29 27 25 22

Central Vietnam (Hué, Hoi An and Da Nang):
Central Vietnam is home to e.g. Hué, Hoi An and Da Nang. Here, too, there are two seasons:

The dry season begins in January and lasts until August. The weather is warmest from May to August.

The rainy season lasts from September to December, and during this time the northeast monsoon brings a lot of rain to the area. During the wettest months, more than 200 mm of water enters.

In terms of weather, the best travel months in Central Vietnam are February, March and April, when rainfall is at its lowest, but temperatures are still pleasant. However, the number of tourists is highest in December-January, when many spend the Christmas holidays.

Note that between August and November, typhoons can occur in Central Vietnam.

Average. highest temperature 19 19 23 26 31 32 32 32 31 28 24 21
Average. lowest temperature 15 15 18 21 24 25 26 26 25 22 19 15
Precipitation e.g. 10 30 50 100 150 190 210 200 160 100 60 30
Average. highest temperature 24 26 28 31 33 35 34 33 31 29 27 25
Average. lowest temperature 19 20 22 24 25 26 26 25 24 23 20 20
Precipitation e.g. 92 32 30 34 56 99 90 104 297 526 363 206
Average seawater temperature 24 23 24 25 28 29 30 30 30 28 27 25

South Vietnam (Phan Thiet – Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc):

The city of Ho Chi Minh City, the beach resort of Phan Thiet and Phú Quoc Island are located in South Vietnam. There are two seasons in the area:

The dry season lasts from December to April. Temperatures are generally consistently high throughout the year, but the warmest months are April and May.

The rainy season lasts from May to November. The southwest monsoon will bring wetter weather when it comes, but temperatures will still remain quite high. The rains typically hit the afternoon hours. Most rains are received between July and September. In Ho Chi Minh City, it rains the most from June to September, while in Phan Thiet the wettest months are from September to November.

Average. highest temperature 32 33 34 34 34 32 32 32 31 31 31 31
Average. lowest temperature 22 23 24 26 26 25 24 25 25 24 23 22
Precipitation e.g. 10 10 10 40 140 180 190 170 190 160 120 40
Average. highest temperature 28 29 30 32 32 31 31 31 30 30 29 29
Average. lowest temperature 21 22 23 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 23 22
Precipitation e.g. 40 15 27 59 153 190 192 197 223 253 202 120
Average seawater temperature 25 25 26 28 29 29 29 28 28 28 27 26
Average. highest temperature 31 31 32 34 33 32 31 31 31 31 30 30
Average. lowest temperature 22 22 23 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 23 22
Precipitation e.g. 40 36 80 130 193 266 290 398 296 276 212 104
Average seawater temperature 27 28 29 30 30 30 29 29 29 29 28 28
  1. When should you travel to Vietnam?

Vietnam can travel all year round, but because the country stretches from north to south for more than 1,650 kilometers across two climatic zones, weather conditions can vary greatly depending on location and time.

The best time to travel varies depending on which country you want to travel to and what you want to see and experience.

North Vietnam

One of the best times to travel to Hanoi is from September to November. By this time, the weather in the capital is usually clear, the sun is shining, rainfall is declining towards the end of the year and daytime temperatures are rising to around 20 degrees.

In Halong Bay, the sky is clear and daytime temperatures are most comfortable when it is autumn or spring in Finland.

It is worth traveling to Sapa in March-April, when the weather is sunny and light rain, while in October-November it is cooler but clearer.

Central Vietnam

The best time to travel to Central Vietnam is from February to April, when temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is low. If you like warmer weather, you can travel to Central Vietnam between May and August. However, be prepared for more rain as the year progresses.

South Central Vietnam

In this part of Vietnam, the weather is warm all year round. The best time to visit the Nha Trang area is during the dry season from January to August.

South Vietnam

In South Vietnam, temperatures are high all year round. The best time to travel to Ho Chi Minh City and Phú Quốc Holiday Island is from December to April, when the area is dry season.

Please note that the guide above is indicative and recommendations are subject to change at any time.

  1. Languages

The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, but the tourist is doing well in English as well.

  1. Visa

As a Finnish citizen, you must have a valid Finnish passport. The passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of entry.

Finnish citizens need a visa to Vietnam. You must apply for an e-visa, which is valid for a maximum stay of 30 days in Vietnam.

The visa is applied for via the official e-visa website, and the application must be accompanied by a scanned image of the passport and a passport image (max. 1024 KB). In addition, the application must be filled with some personal information as well as your address in Vietnam. We recommend that you enter the name and city of your first hotel. The hotel name will appear on your booking confirmation.

The visa costs $ 25 and is paid online when the application is submitted. So have your credit card ready before you apply. You will receive a confirmation of your application by email. You will also receive a unique registration code in bold (20 characters) in the email.

You will receive an e-visa within 3 working days and you can check the status of the visa processing at: To do so, you must provide the registration number you received in the confirmation email, as well as your email address and date of birth. A printed e-visa will be taken on the trip and presented with a passport to the entry officer upon arrival in Vietnam.

We recommend that you apply for a visa in good time.

If you have any questions about your visa, please contact the Vietnamese Embassy:

Vietnam Embassy in Finland
Kulosaarentie 12
00570 Helsinki

Phone: 09-622 99 011
E-mail: [email protected]

The visa rules can be checked on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs .

  1. Currency

According to Countryaah, the Vietnamese currency is the Dong (VND). The Dong is a protected currency, which means that it is not possible to exchange it in advance. We recommend that you bring some US dollars in cash, which you can exchange at an official exchange point upon arrival in the country. Ordinary credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are becoming more common all the time, and there are ATMs in larger cities. The credit card is usually used as a means of payment in hotels, many restaurants and shops. The farther you get from cities, the less often a credit card is valid.

  1. Price level

The price level in Vietnam is generally low. The guide below applies to cities. In rural areas, prices are usually even lower and the range is smaller.

  • Food:
    – Meal at the street
    restaurant 10000 VND – Restaurant serving Western food 100000 VND
    – Restaurant serving Vietnamese food 40000 – 100000 VND
  • Drinks:
    – Soft drink 8000 – 15000 VND
    – Beer 8000 – 20000 VND
    – Juice 30000 VND
    – Water 10,000 VND
    – Spirits and cocktails 60000 VND
  • Other products:
    – Shorts / t-shirts 80000 – 200000 VND (always remember to bargain when buying clothes)
    – DVDs 15000 – 30000 VND
    – SIM cards up to 50000 VND
    – Cheap phone 200000 – 300000 VND
  1. Drink money

Tipping is welcome, but you can, of course, decide for yourself how much to give or whether to give at all. Below are the indicative amounts:

  • Piccolo: 1-2 USD per room
  • Cleaner: $ 1 per day
  • Guides: $ 5 – $ 10 per day / person depending on service
  • Drivers: $ 2 – $ 5 per day / person depending on service
  • Restaurants: In modern restaurants, the service fee is sometimes included in the price, and therefore there is no need to pay a separate gratuity. Drink money is not expected in traditional restaurants, but if you wish, you can leave some small money on the table when you leave.

In our gratuity guidelines, amounts are given in U.S. dollars, however, on-site gratuities are paid in local currency.

  1. Time difference

The time difference between Vietnam and Finland varies depending on whether Finland has summer time or winter time.
In summer +4 hours: when the clock is 12 in Finland, in Vietnam it is 16. In
winter +5 hours: when the clock is 12 in Finland, in Vietnam it is 17.

  1. Electricity

There is no specific standard for voltage or plugs in Vietnam. The voltage can thus be anything between 110 and 230 volts. Plugs can be double- or three-pronged, round or flat, depending on where you happen to be. So make sure you take the adapter with you if you need to charge a laptop, mobile phone or camera, for example.

  1. Telephone and internet

According to AllCityCodes, the international dialing code for Vietnam is +84. In Vietnam, making and receiving a call can be expensive. Check your mobile phone coverage and prices with your mobile operator.
Larger cities have internet cafes, and most hotels have WiFi.

  1. Security

Vietnam is generally a safe destination. Crime against tourists is usually limited to pickpocketing, but it is possible to avoid falling victim to theft by exercising caution and using common sense. Avoid using expensive jewelry and displaying large sums of money in public. When you always follow the safety instructions in this guide, you don’t have to worry unnecessarily.

  1. Meals and beverages

Vietnamese food is healthy, fragrant and delicious. Vietnamese food culture has been influenced by French, Thai, Chinese and partly also Indian cuisine. The most popular dish is “pho,” which is called the “soul of the earth”. Pho is a rice noodle soup that is eaten every day, especially for breakfast. It is available everywhere in restaurants and street eateries. Don’t be afraid to try the dishes of the street restaurants, as they often offer really delicious taste experiences. Worth tasting are, for example:

  • Nem ran aka Cha gio (deep fried spring roll with varying fillings)
  • Banh Chung (a cake made from rice flour, usually wrapped in banana leaves, for example, and steamed)
  • Cha lua or gio lua (low fat pork paste)
  • Banh cuon (steamed spring rolls wrapped in rice flour dough)
  • Banh mi (baguette stuffed with Pasteija or egg)
  • Mi brought Thit bo / ga (noodles and beef or chicken)

Use only bottled water as drinking water. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere. Never drink tap water.

  1. Your luggage

We use many different airlines on our trips to Vietnam, so the amount of baggage allowed can vary for both checked-in suitcases and hand luggage. Baggage information can be found on the flight ticket. You can also contact us if you have any questions about our luggage. If your trip includes a domestic flight in Vietnam, the maximum amount of luggage is 20 kg.
Make sure you have all the essentials in your hand luggage. Essential goods include passports, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money, prescriptions and vital medicines. In addition, you should pack a camera, binoculars, computer and tablet, as well as chargers and adapters in your hand luggage.

Due to the air conditioning, it can get cold on the plane, so pack a warm sweater or windbreaker in your hand luggage.

  1. Airport transfers

When you arrive at the airport in Vietnam, you will be met by our local representative, who will be identified by a sign bearing your name in the Arrivals Hall. You will also be transported to the airport on the day of departure. The departure time of the transfer on the day of departure will be notified to you upon arrival in Vietnam.

  1. Etiquette and cultural differences

Experiencing cultural and etiquette differences is one of the pleasures of traveling, and it is important to respect these differences. The saying goes “in the country the way of the country,” and that’s why we’ve put together tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your trip to Vietnam.

  • If you’re angry, don’t let it show up. Showing irritation or frustration by shouting or rude behavior is extremely bad and degrading behavior, and it never results in any good.
  • Avoid pointing with your finger, as the gesture is perceived as offensive and demeaning. Use your whole hand instead.
  • Avoid public displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing, as they are considered offensive. It is extremely rare to see couples walking hand in hand.
  • Avoid wearing shorts, short bottoms, and sleeveless shirts, especially in temples, shrines, and places with few tourists.
  • Always take your shoes off when you step into a private home or temple.
  • Never go naked for a swim or sunbathe without a swimsuit, as it is considered completely unsuitable – even on the beaches.
  • Take off your headgear when you enter the temple or address older people, authorities, or monks.
  • Touching a child’s head is believed to bring bad luck (Vietnamese clap their shoulders or arms instead).
  • Chopsticks should not be left in an upright rice bowl, but should be placed next to the bowl. Namely, the chopsticks in the rice bowl resemble incense, which is lit in temples in memory of the dead.
  • Always use either hand or just the right hand when handing something to the other or when you are being handed something. Never use only the left hand.
  1. Gifts and Grants

Vietnam is still a very poor country in some areas, which is why our local partners have given us the following guidelines on how to deal with donations and giving money:

  • NEVER give money to beggars, especially children. Giving money to beggars reinforces the impression that begging is an acceptable way of life. If children make money by begging, parents would rather send them to the streets to earn than to school.
  • The exception is the elderly and the disabled, who can be given a few coins.
  • NEVER give sweets to children you encounter in rural villages during the trip
  • Try to get rid of the idea that the gift should be material. Most often, just a smile, being together and making friends are the best gifts.

Practical information about Vietnam