1. RAND CANNOT BE USED IN VIETNAM
The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong and it is used to trade at literally everywhere in Vietnam. In large cities’ supermarket or shopping mall, we also accept U.S dollar or Euro. It can be hard and almost impossible to exchange from Rand to Vietnam Dong at Vietnamese banks. Therefore, Vietnam Tour would like to advise you as South African tourists to prepare a sum of Vietnamese currency or US Dollars before going on a trip.
Exchange Rate: 1 South African Rand ZAR = 1,580 Vietnamdong VND, 1 USD = 22,000 VND (According to Xe.com). Hence, when you exchange the 100 USD into Vietnam Dong, you will receive back a large amount of Vietnamese money - 2,200,000 VND in different smaller notes. So don't panic when a delicious Vietnamese baguette or Banh Mi full of meat, herbs and sauces costs 20,000 VND (That's only ~US$1). You need to be familar with this as soon as possible.
Vietnam currency is Vietnam Dong
2. PASSPORT AND VISA
One of the most important things to know before going to Vietnam is Visa. Indeed, tourists need to present a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months) and a visa when entering Vietnam. South African citizens can apply for a Vietnam Visa Approval letter and obtain the Vietnam Visa on arrival, which is much more convenient for travelers. The procedure is simple:
You need to fill in the form of visa approval letter.
- Pay for service fees
- Receive approval letter together with Vietnamese visa application form via email (you should print them out)
- Show the approval letter, the completed application form and identification documents on arrival at Vietnam airport, and pay the application fee of $25.
- Bring 2 passport photos.
- For more details about the procedure and the fee, please check out Vietnam visa website
Don't forget to apply for Vietnam visa letter
3. VIETNAM IS A PEACEFUL COUNTRY
Vietnam has a long-term history and tradition of thousand years. In spite of suffering from intense battles in French Indochina and American War, Vietnam stands still and developes as one of the safest and most peaceful countries to travel to in the world. Vietnamese people are friendly and always welcome worldwide tourists to visit their country with big smiles on their faces.
Vietnamese people are always friendly and warm-hearted
4. BRING YOUR SWIMSUIT
With 3,200km of coastal line, Vietnam is home to several best islands and beaches in the world including Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, etc. Although you can easily buy well-designed swimsuit in Vietnam at reasonable prices, bring your own suit can save a lot of time shopping in Vietnam.
Your Swim suit is one of the most important items to pack!
5. SHOPPING IN VIETNAM IS CHEAP, PACK LIGHTLY!
There are millions of local stores, supermarket and street vendors all over the country. They sell everything from personal necessities (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc) to technology devices (cellphones, cameras, mp3 player, etc), from unassuming clothes to buy to luxurious dresses. Hence, it is recommended to pack only your most important things that you will need for the whole trip apart from passport and other personal cards, as you can buy almost everything in Vietnam.
Pack lightly so you have room for all your shopping.
6. DON'T FORGET SUNCREAM
Vietnam is a tropical country; The temperature and hudimity is quite high in summer (25-35 degree Celcius). Hence, sunburn can be a real nuisance and it possibly will affect your trip, especially your Vietnam beach holidays. That is why you should bring along a few tubes of suncream to protect your skin for a more enjoyable and comfortable journey.
Bring Sunscreen to protect your skin when visiting Vietnam
7. BOOK A STREET FOOD TOUR WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE
Vietnam is globally famous for its amazing street food. The ingredients in Vietnam are always fresh and clean, which come straight from local gardens and fields. Indeed, street food in Vietnam is not only delicious but also really cheap. However, without research, you might not know what are the best to try when setting food in Vietnam. Thus, you should book a guilded street food tour for more fascinating tasting experiences in Vietnam.
During the tour, the guide will present and offer you the essential culinary masterpieces in each location such as rice noodle soups, banh mi, banh xeo, etc, and end with a relaxing cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Vietnamese street food is so diverse
That concludes our post on 7 things to know before going to Vietnam for South African tourists. For more useful tips and information about Vietnam destinations, have a look at our Vietnam travel guide. Happy explore!