Handshaking and a vocal greeting is normal. Clothing should be
kept simple, informal and discreet. Avoid shorts if possible as
they are usually only worn by children. Footwear should be removed
when entering Buddhist pagodas. Vietnamese people should not be
touched on the head. Photography: There are restrictions at ports,
airports and harbors, and in similar areas elsewhere. It is courteous
to ask permission first before taking photographs of people.
Now included in the international air ticket.
Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) is 35km (21 miles) north of
Hanoi. To/from the airport: Buses and metered taxis are available
to Hanoi with a journey time of approximately 45-60 minutes. Facilities:
Cafes, shops, duty-free and bureau de change.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is 7km
(4.5 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City. To/from the airport: Metered
taxis are available with a journey time of approximately 20-30
minutes into the city. Facilities: Snack bar, shops, duty-free
and bureau de change.
Getting There by Rail
It is possible to cross into China by rail from Lao Cai to Kunming
in the Yunnan province of China or through Lang Son to Nanning.
There are trains from Beijing-Dong Dang-Hanoi and back. Contact
Vietnam Railways (tel: (04) 942 2770; website: www.vr.com.vn)
Getting There by Road
There are routes to China through Lang Son, Mong Cai and Lao Cai,
Cambodia through Moc Bai and also to Laos at Lao Bao and Cau Trieu.
The Saigon Passenger Transport Company (tel: (08) 920 3623 or
829 7278; website: www.sotranco.com.vn) operates daily services
from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh.
There is a bus service from An Cuu bus station
in Hué to Savannakhet in Laos. Go in person to buy tickets
The following items may be freely imported into Vietnam by foreign
visitors without incurring customs duty:
200 cigarettes; 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco; 1.5l of liquor
at 22% and above, and 2l of liquor below this amount, and 3l of
all other alcoholic beverages; a reasonable quantity of perfume
and personal belongings.
Note: Foreign currency has to be declared on arrival.
The importation of non-prescribed drugs, firearms, anti-government
literature and pornography is prohibited.
Flights in and out of Vietnam
"This post was updated June 2008"
There are two local airlines in Vietnam at present.
They are VIETNAM AIRLINES (state owned company) and JETSTAR PACIFIC
AIRLINES (joint stock company). Both airlines issue e-tickets,
however it's only possible to make your booking and payment on
line with Jetstar Pacific Airlines, while the website of Vietnam
Airlines is still under construction and you'll have to book tickets
through their agents. Please note that Jetstar Pacific Airlines
does not fly on all routes in Vietnam. Their major routes are
Hanoi - Sai Gon (or HCMC), Hanoi - Da Nang, and Da Nang - Sai
Gon. Jetstar Pacific is a budget airline, i.e. the sooner you
book, the cheaper air ticket you can get. AIR SPEED UP AIRLINES
(joint stock company), which is now in process of preparing for
operation, will be the 3rd local airline in Vietnam.
There are 3 international airports in Vietnam,
one in Hanoi (Noi Bai int'l airport), one in Da Nang (Da Nang
int'l airport) and the last one in Sai Gon (Tan Son Nhat int'l
airport). Airport tax US$14 has been included in your ticket according
to the regulation, but you'd better confirm with your airlines
There are 4 budget airlines that fly between Vietnam
and Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia at present. They are Air
Asia (Hanoi/Sai Gon - BKK, Hanoi - LCCT in Kuala Lumpur), Nok
Air (Hanoi - BKK), Tiger Airways (Hanoi/Sai Gon - Singapore) and
Jet Star (Sai Gon - Singapore). Cebu Pacific planned to start
their flights between Clark (the Philippines) and Hanoi/Sai Gon
Below are some air routes in SE Asia that I know
at present. Please note that the departure place is "Vietnam",
but it's also means vice versa.
1. From Vietnam to LAOS
Hanoi - Vientiane: Vietnam Airlines, Lao Airlines
Hanoi - Luang Prabang: Vietnam Airlines, Lao Airlines
Sai Gon - Vientiane: Vietnam Airlines
2. From Vietnam to THAILAND
Hanoi - Bangkok: Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways,
Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Air France, Lao Airlines (via Vientiane)
Sai Gon - Bangkok: Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways, Thai Air Asia,
Air France, Lufthansa, Bangkok Airways
Da Nang - Bangkok: PB Air
3. From Vietnam to CAMBODIA
Hanoi - Phnom Penh (via Vientiane): Vietnam Airlines,
Hanoi - Siem Reap: Vietnam Airlines
Sai Gon - Siem Reap: Vietnam Airlines
Da Nang - Siem Reap: Silk Air (no opposite flight Siem Reap -
4. From Vietnam to MYANMAR
No direct flight. You must fly Hanoi - BKK, then
connect your flight to Yangon on Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways
or Air Asia. Another way is you fly to Chiang Mai, then connect
your flight to Mandalay on Air Mandalay (once a week).
5. From Vietnam to MALAYSIA
Hanoi - LCCT in KL: Air Asia
Hanoi - KL int'l airport: Vietnam Airlines, Malaysia Airlines
6. From Vietnam to SINGAPORE
Hanoi - Singapore: Vietnam Airlines, Singapore
Airlines, Tiger Airways
Sai Gon - Singapore: Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Tiger
Airways, Jet Star
Da Nang - Singapore: Tiger Airways
Singapore - Da Nang: Silk Air (on the way to Siem Reap)
7. From Vietnam to the PHILIPPINES
Hanoi - LCCT in KL - Clark: Air Asia
Sai Gon - Manila: Philippine Airlines
8. From Vietnam to INDONESIA
Hanoi - LCCT in KL - Denpasar: Air Asia
Sai Gon - Singapore - Denpasar/Yogyakarta: Garuda Indonesia
9. From Vietnam to BRUNEI
Hanoi - LCCT in KL - BSB (capital): Air Asia
Sai Gon - BSB (capital): Royal Brunei Airlines