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*        Tourist entry and exit procedures

*        Tourism season

*        Customs formalities

*        Post and telecommunications

*        Vietnam time & Office hours

*        Vietnam radio and television

*        Public holidays

*        Road, railway and sea transport network

*        Some popular cultural Festivals

*        Domestic air service

*        Electric power & Water supply

*        International air service

*        Money

*        Useful Telephone numbers

*        Language

*        Useful Addresses




GMT plus 7 hours



   All Government offices are open eight hours a day from 7.30 to 16.30 (except for a one-hour lunch break) on Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a holiday.



January 1: New Year Day, one day holiday.
April 30: Saigon Liberation Day, one day holiday.
May 1: International Labor Day, one day holiday.
September 2: National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, one day holiday.
   Vietnam Traditional lunar New Year Festival (Tet Nguyen Dan): Four day holiday. It often falls between January and February. The holidays begin on the Eve and the first three days of a Lunar New Year.


February 3
: Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party
May 19: Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh
December 25: Christmas
   The following major traditional festivals are listed by lunar calendar date:

  • The 15th of the 1st moon: Tet Thuong Nguyen.
  • The 2nd day of the 4th moon: New Year Festival of the Khmer ethnic minority people.
  • The 8th day of the 4th moon: Buddha's Birthday.
  • The 15th day of the 7th moon: Tet Trung Nguyen.
  • The 15th day of the 8th moon: Mid-Autumn Festival
  • The 29th day of the 8th moon: New Year Festival of the Cham ethnic minority people.
  • The 15th day of the 10th moon: Boat-racing festival of the Khmer ethnic people in the Mekong River Delta.


  The 2nd day of the 1st month: Wrestling Festival in Lieu Doi, Nam Ha.
   The 5th day of the 1st month: Festival of Dong Da hill, Hanoi: celebrate the anniversary of King Quang Trung's victory over 290,000 Qing invaders to liberate Thang Long (now Hanoi).
   The 6th day of the 1st month: Festival of Eel-Catching in Pot in Ving Lac district, Vinh Phu province. This reflects the farmers' love for labor and the joy over bumper crops.
   The 10th day of the 1st month: Festival in Trieu Khuc village, Hanoi. Cultural activities of a traditional handicraft village.
   The 13th day of the 1st month: Lim Festival, Ha Bac. Festival of quan ho folk song singing. Boys and girls meet on river bank, on hill or in the yards of village's communal house and pagoda to sing and exchange emotions.
   The 15th day of the 1st month: Festival of Spring on Ba Den mountain.
   The 15th of 2nd month (formal date): Festival of Huong Pagoda, Ha Tay:    Traditional festival lasting over 2 months.
   Spring festival of buffalo fighting in Tay Nguyen Highlands highlighting the martial spirit of the ethnic minority people.
   The 10th day of the 3rd month: Festival of Hung Temple celebrating the death a anniversary of Kings Hung.
   The 9th day of the 4th month: Giong Festival, Hanoi, commemorating Saint Giong, a legendary child hero who defeated foreign invasion and saved the nation.
   The 26th day of the 4th month: Festival of Queen Su in Chau Doc.
   The 5th day of the 5th month: Water Festival in Nha Trang. People in the city go to the beach and have a bath for health improvement.
   The 16th day of the 6th month: Festival of Nghinh Ong in Tien Giang - Ben Tre.
   The 30th day of the 7th month: Festival at Lang Ong, Ho Chi Minh City.
   The 9th day of the 8th month: Buffalo fighting festival, Do Son, Hai Phong.
   The 13th day of the 9th month: Festival of Keo Pagoda, Thai Binh.  Traditional communal festival.
   The 22nd day of the 11th month: Festival of Dong Quan in Chan Tien Pagoda, Hanoi.


Electric current in Vietnam is mostly 220 Volts.



Tap water in urban areas in Vietnam is chlorinated, but it is recommended that it should be boiled before drinking.



The currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the dong (abbreviated "d" or VND) which is used uniformly throughout the country. Bank notes in dominations of 100d, 200d, 500d, 1000d, 2,000d, 5,000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d , 100,000d and 500,000d are presently in circulation.
   At present only certain travelers' cheques and credit cards are acceptable in big cities, including Visa, Master card, American Express.



Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. Foreign language learning, particularly English, is currently in vogue among young people in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang and other cities.
   Tourist guides can speak English, French, Spanish , Italian, Russian, Chinese , Korean , Japanese and Thailandese.


Vietnam is a country where tourists can visit in all four seasons. The country's tourism service offers a range of programs convenient to your circumstances.
   In the North, the best tourist season lasts from November to April the next year. Spring time is especially pleasant because of the cooler, drier climate. Also at this time there are a lot of ritual ceremonies and folk festivals of many diverse forms; such as: Festivals to commemorate national heroes and heroines, folk cultural festivals, spring festivals, as well as prayer ceremonies for good crops, to cite just a few.
   The most interesting one is the Lunar New Year Festival.
   Visiting Vietnam in that season, you are recommended to bring along warm clothes. The temperature in Winter is around 10-15 degree Celsius. It becomes warmer in March and April.
   Meanwhile in the South, the average temperature throughout the year is about 27 degree Celsius, so you just need thin garments, sun glasses and may be a hat or two.



A regular international post service is available. In addition there are some new, special services: Express Mail Service (EMS). The domestic EMS ensures that letters and small parcels are delivered within 24-48 hours. International EMS has relations with nearly 30 countries world-wide, with a delivery time ranging from 2 to 10 days.

  *  Air mail and small parcels must however be subject to additional charges.

  *  Express money transfer: Money is delivered to the receiver within 24 hours.

  * Flower delivery on order by telephone: This service delivers messages of greetings or condolences, together with flowers, money or goods (allowed in circulation) to the receiver by order of the sender.



   International long-distance calls (direct): To make an international direct dial (IDC) call you must first dial the international prefix (00) followed by the country code, area code and the local number. In case you fail to contact the required number, dial 110 for the operator's help.
   Domestic long-distance calls: To place a domestic long-distance call you must first dial the national trunk prefix (0) followed by the area code and local number. If you fail to get the required number, dial 101 for the operator's help
   Facsimile (Fax): Fax machines are quickly proliferating in Vietnam. public and registered fax machines are available in hotels, business and public offices.
   Also available are local and international cardphone on socioeconomic and cultural information. This service also runs advertisements and business self-introduction scheme.




Fire brigade




Telephone directory


Time inquires


Telephone repair service


Domestic long distance telephone service


International telephone service


Inquiries on socioeconomic, cultural information



At present Radio the Voice of Vietnam broadcasts on several channels for 24/7, including:

  • domestic service: There are diversified programmes to serve people of all walks of life: children, the elderly, young people, women, the armed forces, the police and ethnic groups... There are daily programmes broadcast in the languages of such ethnic minorities as the H'Mong, Ede, Khmer (of South Vietnam)... on the 49 meter band (74 KHz).
  • international service in 11 foreign languages: English, French, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Indonesian, Lao, Thai, Khmer and Chinese (Beijing and Cantonese). In addition there is a special programme for Vietnamese living far from the homeland.
  • Moreover daily music and news programs are pm FM, 100 kHz. All provinces and cities have their own radio stations with their own programs.

At present all provinces and cities have their own stations and programs.

   T.V.R.O.: Vietnam now has some 1000 parabolic antennae to directly receive satellite programs. These antennae are installed on the roofs of hotels, guest houses, houses for rent to foreigners and some public offices. However, a TVRO is expensive, and consequently the Vietnamese government is presently considering setting up a cable television service.

   T.V Cable with many Local & International channels such as CNN , BBC , NHK , TV5 , RAI , DW , ABC , CCTV, ARIRANG , TVB , HBO , MTV , ESPN… now is commonly used in the most hotels in whole country



National highway 1: From the Huu Nghi Border Gate in Lang Son Province to Ho Chi Minh City and down to Go Dau Ha. This is the trans-Vietnam North-South high way.
   Highway 14: Running along the Central Highlands from the ancient capital city of Hue to Kontum-Pleiku meeting Highway 1 at Bien Hoa.
   Truong Son Train: Beginning at Tan Ky, Ha Tinh province, it runs in parallel with Highway 1 through the Tay Nguyen Central Highlands down to the east of South Vietnam.


  • Highway 2: Linking Hanoi via Vinh Phu to Meo Vac (Tuyen Quang).
  • Highway 3: From Hanoi to Thuy Khau (Cao Bang).
  • Highway 5: Hanoi to hai Phong.
  • Highway 6: Hanoi to Lai Chau.
  • Highways 4B and 4A: From the Ngoc peninsula in Mong Cai (Quang Ninh) through Dong Dang (Lang Son) to (Cao Bang).
  • Highway 4: From Ho Chi Minh City through the Mekong Delta to Nam Can, the southernmost part of Vietnam.
  • Highway 20: From Xuan Loc to Da Lat.
  • Highway 9: From Quang Tri to Lao Bao Gate.
  • highway 19: From Quy Nhon to Pleiku


  • Hanoi-Lang Son: 148km in 5-6 hours.
  • Hanoi-Lao Cai: 296km in 9-10 hours
  • Hanoi-Thai Nguyen: 75km in 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Hanoi-Uong Bi: 130km in 4 hours.
  • Hanoi-Hai Phong: 102km in 3-4 hours.

From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City: 1,730km, through Nam Ha (Nam Dinh, 87km); Thanh Hoa (187km), Nghe an (Vinh 319km); Quang Binh (Dong Hoi 522 km); Quang Tri (Dong Ha 622km); Hue (688km);Da Nang (791km); Quang Ngai (928km); Phu Yen (Tuy Hoa 1,197km); Nha Trang (1,315km).

·  Hanoi Railway Station
120 Le Duan Rd, Hanoi
Tel (84-4) 8252628

Saigon Railway Station
01Nguyen Thong St, Dist 3,
Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (84-8) 8245585


Maritime communication and transport in Vietnam has also been developed. Hai Phong is a major port lying on the East-West and North-South international sea lanes. In recent years, the ports of Hai Phong, Da Nang and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) have received many international tourist ships each with between 300 and 500 tourists on board.


  • Hon Gai
  • Hai Phong
  • Da Nang
  • Vung Tau
  • Saigon



  • Hanoi-Hue: Daily
  • Hanoi-Da Nang: Daily
  • Hanoi-Nha Trang: Daily
  • Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City: Daily
  • Hanoi-Buon Me Thuot: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun
  • Buon Me Thuot-Hanoi: daily
  • Hanoi-Pleiku: Mon, wed, Thu, Sat.
  • Hanoi-Dien Bien: Tue, Fri, Sun.
  • Hanoi-Nasan: Thu.


  • Ho Chi Minh City-Buon Me Thuot: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Da Nang: daily.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Da Lat: Tue, Thu, Sun,
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Hai Phong: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Hue: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Trang: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Phu Quoc: Daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Pleiku: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Quy Nhon: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat,


 In Ho Chi Minh City:
116 Nguyen Hue St
              Tel: (84-8) 8292118,and
              15B Dinh Tien Hoang St
              Tel: (84-8) 8299910
 In Da Nang:
35 Tran Phu St
              Tel: (84-512) 821130 or 822094
 In Hanoi:
01 Quang Trung St
              Tel: (84-4) 8250888 or 8268913.



  • Hanoi-Bangkok: daily
  • Hanoi-Guangzhou: daily
  • Hanoi-Dubai: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun.
  • Hanoi-Hong Kong: daily
  • Hanoi-Osaka: Mon, Wed, Sat
    Osaka-Hanoi: Tue, Thu, Sun.
  • Hanoi-Kuala Lumpur: Mon, Wed, Fri.
    Kuala Lumpur-Hanoi: Wed
  • Hanoi-Melbourne: Wed
    Melbourne-Hanoi: Thu
  • Hanoi-Phnom Penh: daily
  • Hanoi-Seoul: Tue,Thu, Fri, Sun
  • Seoul-Hanoi: Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri,Sat, Sun
  • Hanoi-Singapore: daily
  • Hanoi-Moscow: Thu, Sun
    Moscow- Hanoi: Mon Fri
  • Hanoi-Sydney: Wed
    Sydney-Hanoi: Thu
  • Hanoi-Berlin: Tue, Fri
    Berlin-Hanoi: Wed, Sat
  • Hanoi-Vientiane: Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun
  • Hanoi-Amsterdam: Daily: one way
  • Hanoi-Paris: Daily: one way
  • Hanoi-Manila: Fri, sun: one way


  • Ho Chi Minh City-Amsterdam: Mon, Wed.
    Amsterdam-Ho Chi Minh City
    : Tue, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Guangzhou: Tue, Fri.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Paris (Charles De Gaulle): Tue, Fri, Sun.
    Paris-Ho Chi Minh City
    : Wed, Sat, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Dubai: Mon, Tue, Fri, Sun.
    Dubai-Ho Chi Minh City
    : Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Hong Kong: daily.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Kaohsiung: Wed, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka: Tue, Thu, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Kuala Lumpur: Mon, Wed,Fri.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Los Angeles: Tue, Fri, Sun.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne: Wed.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City: Thu.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Manila: Fri, Sun
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Phnom Penh: daily
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Seoul: daily.
    Seoul-Ho Chi Minh City: Mon, Wed, Fri.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Singapore: daily.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Moscow: Mon, Fri.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Sydney: Wed
    Sydney-Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Taipei: daily.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Berlin: Tue, Fri
    Berlin-Ho Chi Minh City
    : Wed, Sat.
  • Ho Chi Minh City-Vientiane: Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun.
  • Vientiane-Ho Chi Minh City: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri



Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • 1 Ton That Dam St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8258201

Central Overseas Vietnamese Board

  • 32 BaTrieu St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8257354 or 8264867

General Department of Customs.

  • Chuong Duong St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8263961 or 8263948

Central Foreign Trade Bank

  • 49 Ly Thai To St
  • Tel:(84-4) 8257563

Vietnam Post and Telecommunication

  • 18 Nguyen Du St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8259519

Hanoi Customs

  • 159 Ba Trieu St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8257224 or 8262829

Hanoi Police

  • 87 Tran Hung Dao St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8253131 or 8253132

Entry - Exit Procedures Bureau

  • 89 Tran Hung Dao St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8266472

Expatriate Affairs Bureau

  • 79 Tran Hung Dao St
  • Tel: (84-4) 8253076

HO CHI MINH CITY                                         

Viet Nam Foreign Trade Bank in Ho Chi Minh City

  • 29 Ben Chuong Duong St, Dist 1
  • Tel: (84-8) 8225705

Foreign Trade Development Centre

  • 96 Nguyen Hue Blvd, Dist 1
  • Tel: (84-8) 8290002 or 8290072

City Tourism Office Commerce Office

  • 45-47 Ben Chuong Duong
  • Tel: (84-8) 8292991

City Finance Office

  • 140A Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St
  • Tel: (84-8) 8292141

City Police Headquarters

  • 268 Tran Hung Dao Blvd
  • Tel: (84-8) 8398880 or 8398881

City Customs Office

  • 2 Ham Nghi Bvld, Dist 1
  • Tel: (84-8) 8290095

International Express Mail Service

  • 253 Hoang Van Thu St, Tan Binh Dist
  • Tel: (84-8) 8443873

Entry - Exit Visa Service Centre

  • 333 Nguyen Trai St, Dist 1
  • Tel: (84-8) 8325491

Post Office

  • 117-119 Hai Ba Trung St, Dist 1
  • Tel: (84-8) 8332170


MAJOR HOSPITALS IN HANOI                     


Friendship Hospital

  • 1 Tran Khanh Du
  • Tel: (84-4) 8252231


Viet - Duc Hospital

  • 40 Trang Thi St, Hanoi
  • Tel: (84-4) 8255912


International Department, Bach Mai Hospital

  • Giai Phong Rd
  • Tel:(84-4) 8522083 or 8522089

   This department is reserved for foreigners for medical examination and treatment. The Department is staffed with experienced experts, doctors and nurses who are able to treat serious cases.




Cho Ray Hospital

  • 201 Nguyen Chi Thanh Rd - Dist 5
  • Tel: (84-8) 8254137 / 8258074

   This is a large hospital with more than 1000 beds. On 10th floor, there are rooms reserved for foreign patients. The hospital is staffed by experienced professors and doctors. Most of them were trained abroad and they can speak English or French.

Nhi Dong Hospital

  • No.2 Ly Tu Trong Rd, Tan Binh District


Thong Nhat Hospital
   This is a modern hospital which consists of five buildings situated at the junction of Ly Tu Trong Rd and Cach mang Thang Tam Rd, Tan Binh District.
   In Ho Chi Minh City, There are thousands of pharmacies, and many private consultation rooms Equipped with modern medical instruments.

Health insurance cards have been issued by the government. The card bearers can have medical checks and treatments in registered hospitals without paying any additional charges.


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R# 307 – 309 Cotec building , 7  Nam Quoc Cang

Disttrict 1 , Ho Chi Minh City

R# 304 North Star building , 4  Da Tuong St.

Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi

Tel. (84-8) 9253385 / 9253378

Fax. (84-8) 9253378 / 8395619

Tel. (84-4) 9423315 / 9423316

Fax. (84-4) 9423316 / 8647360

E-mail.  saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn

E-mail. saomaihanoi@fpt.vn

Website: http://www.saomaitours.com/  http://www.saomaitours.com.vn/   Contact: info@saomaitours.com or saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn