Q: Is it possible to withdraw cash using a credit card in Vietnam? A: Yes, cash withdrawals with a credit card are feasible, especially in urban areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City where ATMs are available. These machines accept major cards but dispense only local currency. Note, a 3% surcharge is applied to all credit card transactions (3.9% for Amex).

Q: Can I make payments using a credit card in Vietnam? A: Credit card payments are accepted in some locations, particularly in urban areas, large hotels, international restaurants, and certain souvenir shops that accept Visa or MasterCard. However, it’s not advisable to solely rely on this payment method.

Q: Are travellers’ cheques accepted in Vietnam? A: Travellers’ cheques, as well as cash in any international currency, can be exchanged at major banks and some hotels accept them as well.

Q: What are the commission rates for currency exchange in Vietnam? A: While there’s a surcharge on all credit card transactions, other transaction charges may vary. We provide detailed information upon request. There is no commission for exchanging ‘hard’ currency.

Q: Where can I exchange my currency for local currency? A: Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks, or shops licensed to sell gold, where exchange rates are quite similar. It’s advised to avoid street moneychangers to prevent the risk of receiving counterfeit notes.

Q: What should I do if I have leftover local currency upon departure? A: Leftover local currency can be exchanged back to the original currency by showing the yellow customs slip received upon arrival, provided the amount is less than what was originally brought in.


Q: How does Vietnam’s climate differ from that of temperate countries? A: Vietnam’s climate is hot and humid, causing visitors from temperate regions to sweat more. Drinking plenty of water and sun protection are crucial. The northern area, including Hanoi, experiences cold winters from January to March, with a damp and clammy atmosphere exacerbating the cold.

Q: How can I mitigate jet lag when travelling to Vietnam? A: While jet lag is hard to avoid entirely, taking a stop-over or resting upon arrival, and adjusting to the local sleep schedule, even during the flight, can help.

Q: What provisions are in place for emergencies? A: With Haivenu, guides are equipped with mobile phones for immediate assistance, and direct access to Haivenu Head office is provided for all travellers.

Q: How are medical emergencies addressed? A: Immediate transportation to the nearest international clinic or hospital is arranged for examination and treatment per your insurance terms.

Q: What happens if I am hospitalised or become incapacitated? A: Should you provide your insurance details, we will liaise with your insurance company and offer assistance in every possible way.

Q: What advice do you have regarding malaria prevention? A: As we’re not medical experts, we recommend consulting with a reputable local international medical practice for up-to-date advice and recommendations.

Getting Around

Q: Is unrestricted travel possible within Vietnam? A: Travel is somewhat restricted; certain areas are off-limits for security reasons, and others require permits. Haivenu handles all necessary paperwork and permissions for its travellers.

Q: Is it legal to ride a motorbike in Vietnam without a Vietnamese license? A: A Vietnamese license is required to legally ride a motorbike, as an international license is not considered a valid substitute. While enforcement varies, compliance is advised.

Q: Can I hire a motorbike in Vietnam? A: Motorbikes can be hired easily, though often without official paperwork, potentially leading to fines. Note, hired motorbikes typically lack insurance, making you liable for damages or theft.

Q: Is riding a motorcycle in Vietnam safe? A: Riding a motorcycle in Vietnam is risky; motorcyclists are involved in a significant percentage of the serious traffic accidents occurring annually. Poor road conditions and disregarded regulations contribute to the danger.

Q: How can I obtain a license to drive in Vietnam? A: Converting an international driving licence to a Vietnamese one involves a complex process of translation and notarisation.

Q: Is it possible to drive a car in Vietnam? A: Driving a car is permissible with a Vietnamese or duly converted international licence. However, car rentals typically mean hiring both a car and a driver, as self-drive rentals are not common.

Food and Drink

Q: How does Vietnam accommodate special dietary requirements? A: With Haivenu, if dietary restrictions are communicated, appropriate arrangements are made with hotels and restaurants to ensure the correct meals are provided. Guides are also briefed on dietary needs.

Q: What options are available for vegetarians in Vietnam? A: Despite being a Buddhist country, vegetarian options are limited. However, larger cities offer some vegetarian restaurants, and vegetable-based dishes are relatively easy to find. The fruit selection is notably excellent.


Q: Can itinerary changes be made after arrival in Vietnam? A: Itinerary changes are possible where feasible, with costs quoted and adjustments made accordingly. Minor changes involving little to no cost are offered as a complimentary service.

Q: Are there restrictions on photography in Vietnam? A: Photography is prohibited near military installations, airports, and similar locations. Violations can lead to confiscation of equipment and possible arrest.

Q: Can I purchase antiques in Vietnam? A: Purchasing antiques is permitted for items less than a hundred years old. However, the export process for recent artefacts is complex, and high-quality fakes are common, leading to potential confiscation at the airport.

Q: How can I transport large items like furniture or paintings back home? A: Haivenu is registered for export and import activities and can provide quotations for shipping items home, ensuring they are properly crated and licensed for export.

Q: Are internet facilities widely available in Vietnam? A: Internet access is readily available in cities and large towns, with most large hotels offering this service. Internet cafes are also common and affordable.

Q: How can I express gratitude to a local artist with a gift? A: If looking to give a gift as a token of appreciation, we can suggest appropriate items and assist in purchasing and delivering them on your behalf.

Q: As an American, should I expect hostility in Vietnam due to the war? A: The warm reception by the Vietnamese might surprise you. The community is focused on the present and future, welcoming individuals from all backgrounds without harboring past grievances.

Q: What is Vietnam’s stance on drug use and trafficking? A: Vietnam maintains stringent drug laws, strictly prohibiting the use and trafficking of illegal narcotics. Violations can lead to severe penalties, including execution for traffickers.