Vietnam - Jungles and Junks
The national language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, although some of the hill tribes have their own unique languages. Outside of the main tourist areas, few Vietnamese speak English and it is well worth the effort of learning a few simple phrases and common greetings. Very few tourists make the effort to learn a little Vietnamese so it will really be appreciated if you have a go. Your guide will be delighted to help you with your Vietnamese pronunciations. We recommend you take a pocket phrase book and practice some key phrases.
Vietnam has a tropical climate with two distinct monsoons. From May to September during the the southern monsoon the prevailing winds are south to southeasterly and from October to April, the north monsoon is dominant with northerly to northeasterly winds. There is a transition period between each monsoon season when winds are light and variable. Temperatures are generally high all year round for southern and central Vietnam, but northern Vietnam has a definite cooler season as the north monsoon occasionally brings in cold air in from China. September to November and March to May are the best times for trekking in North Vietnam. Daytime temperatures at this time are in the range 15-28°C with night-time temperatures around 5-10°C. Vietnam has a single rainy season during the south monsoon. Rainfall is infrequent and light during the remainder of the year. During the north monsoon, northern Vietnam has cloudy days with occasional light rain, while southern Vietnam tends to be dry and sunny.
The currency of Vietman is th dong but in main tourist area it is also possible to pay for some goods and services in US dollars.
A passport with at least 6 month remaining validity is required. Nationals of EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Switzerland also require visas. Visas should be obtained from the embassy of Vietnam in your home country prior to travel. More detailed information on visas can be found on the website on the trip page for your holiday.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, & Hepatitis ‘A'. Malaria prophylaxis is generally recommended for visits to Vietnam. Yellow Fever vaccination is not required unless arriving from an endemic area. A very good online resource is the National Health Travellers website at fitfortravel.nhs.uk