There’s a lot to love about travelling in Vietnam, which stretches from the soaring mountains and fascinating ethnic groups of the north to the endless rice paddies and vibrant waterways of the Mekong Delta in the south, with more than 3000km of glorious coastline in between.
While most hotels, cafes and restaurants have wi-fi, you can easily buy a SIM card and get connected to the internet for as little as US$3. Vietnamese street names are notoriously long (most are named after people), so digital maps trump paper ones for many travellers. You’ll also find having a local phone number handy for meeting up with tour guides and making last-minute bookings on the road. SIM cards are widely sold in corner shops and are easy to top up. Once you have a card, the process to register for internet can be tricky, so ask the shopkeeper or your hotel to do it for you.
The Vietnamese dong is the currency of Vietnam and comes in denominations ranging from 200 to 500,000.
Be wary of taxi scams
Know your transport options
Overnight buses are a good way to cover long distances and save on accommodation costs. However, the layback seats don’t offer much legroom, so tallish passengers (anyone over 1.6m) will find it impossible to stretch out fully.
Be safe on the roads
Traffic in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can seem terrifying at first glance. Just walking across the street during rush hour can feel like an impossible task! But there is method to the madness and, like a school of fish, the traffic will inevitably glide around you as long as you keep moving at a slow and steady pace. If unsure, do as the locals do and raise one hand high to be seen above the sea of helmets.
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