What to Bring when travel Vietnam
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. One medium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need to survive for one month, and still have enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There is extensive black market for smuggled consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City so do not worry about running out of something.
Before you leave home complete the following checklist
• Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months and warmer clothing for the winter months; sun hat; swimming costume.
• Travel Documents: Passport, visa, travel insurance, air tickets, itinerary.
• Health requirements and travel insurance arranged.
• Flashlight / torch, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, personal first aid kit, toiletries.
• Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and / or credit card.
• Raincoat and umbrella
• Good hiking shoes and sandals.
• Cable locks or padlock for luggage.
• Business or name cards with your contact information and email.
Hotels in Vietnam and private hosts must register your presence with the police. You will be expected to hand over your passport, along with your visa number. A handy tip is to photocopy your passport details several times and then hand this copy in instead of your original.
What to wear in Vietnam
The main thing to consider is the weather, as it can be freezing cold in the Northern mountains, and at the same time incredibly hot and humid on the Central Coast. If you are traveling in the North or the Central Highlands during the winter months definitely bring jeans and a warm coat or sweater. It seems that it is always raining somewhere in Vietnam, so lightweight rain gear is essential.
In the hot months, dress cool but conservative. Many Vietnamese cannot understand why foreigners insist on wearing shorts, tank tops and sleeveless t-shirts when they have the money to dress well. For the Vietnamese, appearance is very important, so if you are dealing with or as an official of any rank, make sure you are dressed appropriately.
No vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are coming from an area where the disease is present. However, visitors should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio. Malaria is present in most of the region and it is advisable to take precautions especially if traveling off the beaten track. Medical facilities are rather limited in all of the country and it is essential to take out a good medical insurance policy before traveling in case evacuation is needed.
International phone charges are steep in Vietnam and many hotels, especially up-market ones, add extra fees.
Faxes can be sent from hotels, business centers and post offices. Again, rates vary. To rent a mobile phone call 821-8465 in Hanoi or 824-2382 in Ho Chi Minh City .
A suggestion for making international calls is to log onto an internet phone provider before leaving home. There are also ones that have been recently set up in Vietnam.
Email and interent is readily available in almost every hotel. Although, a times it can be a little tempermental as the servers tend to be overloaded.