If you’re planning a travel to Vietnam from Australia, there are a few things you should know before you go. Vietnam is a beautiful and culturally rich country with plenty to offer visitors, but it can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your trip to Vietnam from Australia a success.
Vietnam visa requirements for Australian citizens
As an Australian citizen traveling to Vietnam, you can get a visa either online or by visiting the Vietnamese embassy in Australia.
Australian citizens can also apply for an e-visa online before their trip. The e-visa allows for a multiple entry and a maximum stay of 90 days. To apply for an e-visa, you will need to:
- Visit the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department.
- Complete the e-visa application form and upload a passport-sized photo and a scanned copy of your passport data page.
- Pay the e-visa fee online using a credit or debit card.
- Receive the e-visa approval letter via email (usually within 3 working days).
- Print out the e-visa approval letter and present it upon arrival in Vietnam.
Make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 06 months after your arrival date, and ensure that you have an empty page in it for your visa stamp when traveling to Vietnam.
How to Get There: Flying from Australia to Vietnam
There are several options to travel from Australia to Vietnam:
By direct flight: The most convenient way is to take a direct flight from major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane to one of the major airports in Vietnam, such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flight durations are typically around 8-9 hours.
There are several airlines that fly directly from Australia to Vietnam, including Qantas, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia. Direct flights typically take around 8-9 hours, depending on your departure and arrival cities. If you don’t mind a layover, you can also find cheaper flights with airlines like AirAsia, Scoot, and Thai Airways.
When booking your flight, make sure to check the visa requirements for Vietnam. Australian citizens need a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be obtained online or through the Vietnamese embassy in Canberra.
Via a layover: If you are flexible and looking for a cheaper option, you can consider flights with layovers in other Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Bangkok. This might extend your travel time, but it can often be more cost-effective.
By boat: If you enjoy a more adventurous journey, you can take a cruise from Australia to Vietnam. However, this option is less common and may require significant planning and time.
Where to Go: Top Destinations in Vietnam
Vietnam has something to offer every type of traveler, from bustling cities to serene countryside. Here are some of the top destinations you should consider visiting:
1. Ha Long Bay: Known for its stunning limestone islands and emerald waters, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit destination in Vietnam. Take a cruise, kayak through the islands, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
2. Hoi An: This ancient town is filled with colorful lanterns, narrow streets, and historic buildings. Visit the Japanese Bridge, explore local markets, and try traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Hoi An is also famous for its tailoring, so you can have clothes custom-made during your visit.
3. Sa Pa: Located in the northwest region of Vietnam, Sa Pa is known for its terraced rice fields and ethnic minority tribes. Take a trekking tour through the mountains, interact with local villagers, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the region.
4. Hue: Considered the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Imperial City. Explore the historic palaces, temples, and tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. Don’t miss a boat ride on the Perfume River and a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda.
5. Da Nang: Known for its beautiful beaches, Da Nang is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and water sports activities. Additionally, don’t miss the Marble Mountains, Ba Na Hills, and the iconic Dragon Bridge.
6. Ho Chi Minh City: Formerly known as Saigon, this vibrant city offers a mix of history, culture, and modernity. Take a tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit the War Remnants Museum, explore the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, and indulge in delicious street food.
7. Nha Trang: Located along the coast, Nha Trang is famous for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, and other water activities. Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Long Son Pagoda, and relax in the nearby hot springs.
8. Phu Quoc Island: This tropical paradise is the largest island in Vietnam, offering beautiful beaches, lush forests, and coral reefs. Explore Phu Quoc National Park, visit the fishing villages, and indulge in fresh seafood.
9. Mekong Delta: Experience the rich cultural and agricultural life of southern Vietnam by exploring the Mekong Delta. Take a boat tour through the floating markets, visit fruit orchards, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the region.
10. Hanoi: The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is a captivating mix of history and modernity. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, explore the Old Quarter, enjoy traditional water puppetry shows, and try authentic Vietnamese cuisine in this bustling city.
When to Go: Best Time to Visit Vietnam
The best time to visit Vietnam depends on where you’re going and what you want to do. Generally, the dry season (December-April) is the most popular time to visit, but it can also be crowded and expensive. The wet season (May-November) is less busy and offers better deals, but you’ll need to be prepared for rain.
If you’re planning a beach holiday, the best time to visit is from May-October when the weather is warm and sunny. For trekking in the mountains, the cooler months from November-February are ideal.
What to Do: Top Activities in Vietnam
Vietnam offers a wealth of activities for travelers, from cultural experiences to outdoor adventures. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make Vietnamese dishes like pho, spring rolls, and banh mi.
- Explore the countryside by bike or motorbike and experience rural life in Vietnam.
- Visit a floating market in the Mekong Delta and see how locals trade goods on the water.
- Take a cruise through Halong Bay and marvel at the breathtaking scenery.
- Trek through the hills of Sapa and meet ethnic minority communities living there.
How Much to Budget: Cost of Travel in Vietnam
Vietnam is a budget-friendly destination, and you can get by on as little as $20-$30 USD per day if you’re willing to stay in hostels and eat street food. Mid-range travelers can expect to spend around $50-$100 USD per day, while luxury travelers should budget upwards of $150 USD per day.
Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the season and location. Major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are more expensive than smaller towns and villages.
When choosing accommodation for your trip to Vietnam, there are several factors to consider to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Here are some tips:
1. Budget: Determine your budget range for accommodation and look for options that fit within it. Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation, from budget hostels and guesthouses to luxury resorts.
2. Location: Decide on the cities or regions you plan to visit in Vietnam and choose accommodation that is conveniently located. Consider proximity to attractions, transportation hubs, and amenities.
3. Type of Accommodation: Choose the type of accommodation that suits your preferences and needs. Options include hotels, hostels, guesthouses, homestays, or resorts. Consider the facilities and services you require, such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a pool, or room service.
4. Reviews and Ratings: Read online reviews, check ratings on travel websites, and get recommendations from other travelers to gauge the quality of the accommodations. Look for feedback on cleanliness, customer service, and value for money.
5. Book in Advance: Popular tourist destinations in Vietnam can get crowded during peak travel seasons. To secure the best accommodations at reasonable prices, book in advance, especially if you are traveling during the high season.
6. Safety and Security: Ensure that the accommodation you choose provides a safe environment for your stay. Check for security measures, such as CCTV cameras, secure entrances, and in-room safes.
7. Authentic Experience: Consider staying in a homestay or guesthouse to experience the local culture and interact with the locals. This option allows for a more immersive and unique travel experience.
8. Special Requirements: If you have any specific requirements such as accessibility, dietary preferences, or traveling with pets, check if your chosen accommodation can accommodate these needs.
9. Flexibility: If you have a flexible travel itinerary, consider booking accommodations that offer free cancellation or have flexible booking policies. This gives you the option to change plans if needed.
10. Package Deals: Look for package deals that combine accommodations and other services like tours or transportation. These packages can often offer discounted rates and extra perks.
By considering these factors, you can choose the accommodation that best meets your preferences, budget, and travel needs for your trip to Vietnam.
Tips for traveling to Vietnam from Australia
1. Pack appropriately: Vietnam has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather, so pack light and breathable clothing. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, and comfortable shoes for walking and exploring.
2. Learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases: While many locals in popular tourist areas can speak some English, learning a few basic Vietnamese phrases can go a long way in enhancing your interactions and showing respect to the local culture.
3. Be cautious with street food: Vietnamese street food is delicious and a big part of the local experience. However, be cautious and choose busy food stalls with fresh ingredients to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Also, avoid tap water and opt for bottled water or boiled water.
4. Respect local customs and traditions: Vietnamese culture is rich and steeped in traditions. To show respect, always dress modestly when visiting temples or pagodas and remove your shoes before entering. Additionally, be mindful of your behavior and avoid sensitive topics like politics or religion.
5. Transportation: Vietnam has an extensive transportation network, including buses, trains, and domestic flights. Research the best options based on your itinerary and preferences. If you plan to rent a motorbike, ensure you have a valid license and follow local traffic rules.
6. Stay vigilant and safe: Like any travel destination, it’s essential to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety in Vietnam. Be cautious of your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and avoid traveling alone at night in unfamiliar areas.
FAQ: Your Questions Answered
1/. Do I need a visa to enter Vietnam from Australia? Yes, Australian citizens need a visa to enter Vietnam. You can obtain a visa online or through the Vietnamese embassy in Canberra.
What is the best time of year to visit Vietnam? The best time to visit depends on where you’re going and what you want to do. Generally, the dry season (December-April) is the most popular time to visit, but it can also be crowded and expensive. The wet season (May-November) offers better deals but can be rainy.
2/. How much money should I budget for a trip to Vietnam? It depends on your travel style and budget. Backpackers can get by on as little as $20-$30 USD per day, while mid-range travelers should budget around $50-$100 USD per day. Luxury travelers can expect to spend upwards of $150 USD per day.
3/. What are some must-try dishes in Vietnam? Pho (noodle soup), banh mi (sandwiches), and spring rolls are all classic Vietnamese dishes. Other favorites include bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli noodles) and banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes).
4/. Is it safe to travel in Vietnam? Vietnam is generally a safe country to travel in, but like any destination, there are some things to be aware of. Petty crime like theft and pickpocketing can occur, especially in tourist areas. It’s best to keep your valuables secure and be vigilant when you’re out and about. Another thing to be aware of is the traffic. Roads in Vietnam can be chaotic, with motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic. If you’re planning to rent a motorbike or scooter, make sure you’re comfortable with the traffic and wear a helmet at all times.
Traveling to Vietnam from Australia can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. From getting your visa to choosing where to go and what to do, there are plenty of things to consider. But if you do your research and stay open-minded, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip.
If you’re looking for a unique and culturally rich destination that won’t break the bank, Vietnam is definitely worth considering. Just make sure to pack your sense of adventure!