Currently Vietnam’s national carrier, Vietnam Airlines are the only airline offering non-stop services between Europe and Vietnam. From UK the airline operates from London Gatwick airport offering twice weekly direct connections to both Hanoi & Saigon. The airline operates brand new Boeing 777-200 and the flight duration from London is approximately 12 hours.
UK passport holders require visas for Vietnam and this can be obtained up to six months before arrival.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the return to the UK date and two blank passport pages are required. When arriving in Vietnam by air, it is also possible to purchase visas on arrival at the airport. For this service you will require additional documentation which we can supply you with.
We recommend that you contact your GP around 8 weeks before you travel to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Money & Banking
The local currency is Vietnamese Dong (VND) but US dollars are also widely accepted. There are presently bank notes in circulation in dominations of: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 & 100000 Dong.
You can only change VND into US dollars with a flight ticket showing your onward destination.
Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Illegal exchange places like gold shops may offer a higher rate and you may risk losing your money. Credit cards are now widely accepted, however outside main tourist areas cash is the only acceptable currency and it may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques. ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas. Funds can be transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.Remarks:Best currency to take: USA dollars. Cash can be used at many places. The exchange rate for US dollars is better than for other currencies. The rate and T/C commission varies slightly between banks and cities. Not much difference in rate between T/C & cash. The rate is slightly higher for larger notes. When price is quoted in US$, you can pay in dollars or Vietnamese Dong. Sometimes paying in VD is better because of the exchange rate they use.
Black market: Money changers on street are slightly higher than bank rates. T/C com: Varies slightly between Banks. Normally 2% (Vietcombank 1%) min$2 , rate $1=12,900D