Failing to prepare means preparing to fail as the saying goes, so we invited Vietnam-visa.com to give our UK readers three useful tips for ensuring their adventure out East goes smoothly…
Wherever in the world you are heading, it is always important to be well-prepared for your travels. If you are from the UK and you have decided to spend your precious vacation time in Vietnam, then if goes without saying you will want to maximise your trip by doing a little research and preparing for the key aspects of your holiday. Here is some helpful information on special dishes, anticipating the weather, and securing your visa on arrival to help get ready for your journey.
1. Try the Pho
No trip to Vietnam would be complete without a thorough sampling of the local cuisine, the king dish of which is undoubtedly pho? Walk the sidewalks of any major city in Vietnam and you will inevitably bump into a crowd of hungry locals slurping noodles at an ad hoc kiosk. Northern pho is delicate and elegant, the broth more savoury than sweet. Unlike in the restaurants you may have tried it in at home, is not eaten with basil or bean sprouts or other herbs. Plainness is a virtue. The broth itself is the focus. The southern Vietnamese have evolved their own style, one rooted in very different cooking traditions. Dishes in the south tend to be sweeter than those of the north, and so the broth, too, is sweeter.
2. Get your Visa on arrival
If you are from the UK and you are staying in Vietnam for less than 15 days then you don’t need a tourist visa. However if you are staying for longer then you do. Getting a visa doesn’t necessarily mean queuing up outside the consulate for hours however. Instead you can get a Vietnam visa on arrival. To do so you need only to access the Internet and then fill out the application online and receive the letter within 2 working days. Visa on arrival saves more time and money as you use it to get the visa stamp at the International Vietnam airport after receiving the approval letter via email. The approval letter is valid for boarding the plane and getting the visa when you touch down at the airport. Another advantage is you do not need to send official passport far away. One important thing is to make sure all information which you put on the application is correct. One more reason why visa on arrival is time-saving is that you can make the payment online using PayPal, One Pay, Western Union etc. which only takes a few minutes to send the money to the visa agent’s account and start the process.
3. Be Prepared for the Weather
Vietnam can be divided in three parts weather wise, the north, centre and south. The north has a humid subtropical climate and has a cold season thanks to the northeast monsoon from November to March and a warmer wet season from April to October. The centre has a monsoon climate although is protected by some of the worst of the rains by the Truong Son mountain range. The south has a tropical savanna climate and sees plenty of rain – along with hot, humid weather – during the southwest monsoon from April to September, with June and July being particularly wet. So there is no perfect time to visit for any specific destinations. All you need is a raincoat in case it rains during the trip. For more on the weather and planning your journey check Travelfish and Wikipedia.
Vietnam is a wonderful and interesting country. These three tips above address some of the key points for citizens of UK to plan their Vietnam travel experiences. If you are planning on visiting the capital you could also check these Hanoi city tours. Or if you’re heading south then see what Urban Travel Blog has to say about Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta.