Vietnam’s mountain ranges, its long coastline, rolling rice fields, and boulevards endear it to many people.
When to Visit Vietnam
Although Vietnam is generally considered a tropical region, the climate can vary widely and visitors could experience everything from snow to monsoons to high levels of humidity depending on when they visit and whether they opt for the north of Vietnam or the south.
Vietnam experiences two distinct monsoon seasons: from May to October the weather is hot and humid and can reach 40°C in the southern part of the country, whereas the October to March monsoon brings much cooler weather and wet conditions. The best time to visit for those wishing to scuba dive would be between April to September, when the weather is more pleasant and the waters are warmer.
Getting to Vietnam
With over 13 airports in Vietnam, visitors are met with a number of travel options, however tourist facilities may be limited outside of large cities. Smaller hop flights between Vietnamese cities are available, and from a major airport to an island may cost in the region of $75-$150 in additional fares. Regardless of which entry point you choose, however, most visitors require a valid passport together with a pre-arranged visa or visa exemption document. These documents are of utmost importance to Vietnamese officials and can be obtained from the Vietnamese consulate or embassy in your home country before travelling to Vietnam. There are no set fees for the visa documents as the fees tend to vary from entry point to entry point.
It is recommended to thoroughly plan your Vietnamese adventure and to aim to stick to these plans as much as possible, as Vietnamese officials will frown upon those who change plans and especially those who visit border areas with the countries surrounding Vietnam.
Scuba divers should always take note of too-good-to-be-true diving prices from local dive shops. Many of these shops do not actually hold the certifications they may be advertising and may provide poor service and unsafe diving. If making use of an outside company to arrange your diving, ensure that the company is well-reviewed and well-established before booking. There are some dive shops owned by westerners which may offer easier communication and more trustworthy service.
As with every country, crime is a consideration for tourists and visitors should be aware of their surroundings and belongings at all times. For the most part, crime manifests itself in the form of pick-pockets, however there have been incidences of more violent crimes in the past.
Where to Stay in Vietnam
Vietnam is a country rich in natural beauty, and no matter where you choose to reside for the duration of your stay you are sure to be amazed by the welcoming and hospitable local people, the great food and culturally enriching experiences and of course the phenomenal diving.
Ho Chi Minh City
On the banks of the river Saigon is Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, where the relics of the past is all too vivid. The tunnels of Cu Chi, an elaborate network of underground tunnels that were used during the Vietnam War, is a mark of recent history.
The city of Hue, which was once the capital of Vietnam, has still got pagodas and palaces and tombs that have survived the horrible Vietnam War.
An easy way to visit Vietnam is to tour Vietnam as a group, covering many important sights of the country. This will include relics that French colonization has left behind, stamps of Vietnam War like Cu Chi Tunnels, temples, pagodas, museums, and meeting Vietnamese people and getting firsthand information about their history and culture.
These packages vary from a short few days tour (Hanoi and Halung Bay tour) to a two week Vietnam discovery tour. The tours have meticulously planned itineraries with a tourist guide at hand to explain everything in detail.
Scuba Diving in Vietnam?
Check out our Vietnam dive guide and start planning your next dive trip!