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ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR VIETNAM

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 66 0

15 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR VIETNAM

1.      Take your visa seriously, very seriously indeed 

Applying for your visa is the first of 15 essential tips for Vietnam. It is an important part of travelling to any country but there are few things you should know about the Viet Nam Visa.

A.    Apply for your visa as soon as you can.Applying for a Vietnam tourist visa is quite simple however the system is outdated so it can take a little longer than expected to be accepted. You should apply at least 3-5 days before you plan to arrive in the country.You can apply for VietNam tourist visa online by filling out an application form on the government’s website. You should triple check the information on your form to avoid the tragic misfortune of your visa not being accepted and having to say goodbye to Vietnam without being seeing anything but the airport. 

B.     Exemption and visa fee for Vietnam tourist visa.Those from Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, and Western European countries get a free 15-day Visa. If you leave the country after or during this visa you must wait 30 days before re-entering. In this instance you would be better off getting a 3-month multiple entry visa online (at least 3 working days before your flight). Citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia can apply for visa on arrival. The cost is about $ 45USD for a 30-day single entry visa. 

C.     Carry cash before you arrive at Viet Nam airport.Immigration officials only accept cash on arrival and there are no ATM’s in the airport before you reach immigration. Ensure you are carrying enough cash with you before you board your flight to Vietnam.

how to apply for vietnam visa

2. Bargaining skills are essential while traveling in Viet Nam

Shopping in Vietnam is very different to shopping in western markets. Most western tourists are used to a fixed price and will often believe anything they hear and read regarding prices. However you won’t get the real price if you believe the first one you hear when traveling in Viet Nam. Based on the platform of mini-capitalism, the Viet Nam market is unique. Learning to bargain is one of the most important 15 essential tips for Vietnam and will significantly reduce your travel budget. Remember to always ask about the price before deciding to buy anything such as clothes, shoes, sandals and fruits.

bargaining skills

3. Do not travel by train in Viet Nam.

Although traveling by train is an enjoyable experience, if your schedule is limited, do not waste time with the train system. Trains in Vietnam are known for being late and are often more expensive than other vehicles. They are often noisy and take much longer than the buses. Buying a bus ticket to travel in Vietnam is a much better option.

Do not travel by train in Viet Nam.
How To Get Cat Ba From Ha Noi

4. Drive carefully when traveling in Vietnam.

Driving in Viet Nam is completely different to what you will be used to. You should pay careful attention to everything around you as you never know when someone will suddenly turn left or right. Driving in Vietnam is an interesting experience, however it is also important to make sure you are safe.

5. Do not expect to see the whole of Viet Nam in 3 weeks of traveling.

Vietnam has more than 60 cities and provinces. With a history that dates back over 2000 years and a variety of customs, culture and different cuisines in each region; it is difficult to discover all of Vietnam in just 3 weeks or even 1 month of travel. Each region has vastly different characteristics that will constantly surprise you. If you are a big fan of nature, Viet Nam is the ideal destination for you. Taking time to research tips for Vietnam before you visit will ensure you get the most out of your time here.

đặc sản địa phương

6. Be careful of what you eat – especially street-food.

Although Viet Nam is world famous for its rich and varied street food, food poisoning is still a real possibility. This is because the quality of the ingredients is not guaranteed and the new combinations of flavors will be unfamiliar to your system. This can sometimes lead to unpleasant reactions in your digestive system which will surely put a halt to your holiday plans.

7. Pay attention when using Vietnamese currency.

It is possible to pay your bills with credit card in the larger cities of Vietnam however, if you are planning to travel to the countryside, you will find most places will only accept cash. Famous for the infinite number 0 on the bills, the Vietnamese currency makes you feel as if you are a millionaire, however this also makes it easy to make silly mistakes when paying for things. One of the most important of the 15 essential tips for Vietnam is to always pay close attention to the numbers on the bills to avoid misunderstandings or being given the wrong change.

Pay attention when using Vietnamese currency

8. Try to find accommodation down alleys instead of on the main street.

Accommodation prices are no regulated in Viet Nam. An essential tip for Vietnam is that you can find cheaper accommodation in the alleys off the main streets. These places are often much better value for money and equally as clean. They are usually quieter as well allowing you to have a proper rest after a long journey.

9. Exchange money at a jewelry shop to get a better exchange rate.

If you are carrying different currency with you and want to change to Vietnamese dong to save travel expenses, jewelry shops are for you. These shops are independent, and competition between stores is quite high, so you can check out a few different stores to determine where the highest exchange rate is. Keep in mind that they only accept new, non-crumpled notes and they will also only exchange it if the face value is lower than the conversion rate.

Why should you book our accommodation?

10. Spa’s, haircut’s and beauty treatments are surprisingly cheap in Viet Nam.

Compared to the price of beauty services in other western countries, Vietnam offers very cheap services, and is the ideal place for some pampering. The price of a manicure, body and face massages are very reasonable and the quality of service is usually quite high so you can rest assured you are in capable hands.

have a haircut in Viet Nam

11. You can fix anything in Viet Nam.

Do not worry if your shoes get torn or damaged during your travels, you can fix them at a very low cost and Viet Nam has a reputation for providing high quality service. If possible, you can bring your old damaged items with you when you travel to Vietnam. The reason behind this I because when Vietnam was a very poor country Vietnamese people had to learn how to repair things instead of buying new things. Gradually it has become part of Vietnamese culture and the skills have been passed onto the next generation

your shoes get torn or damaged during your travels

12. Internet is surprisingly fast in Viet Nam.

Despite being a developing country, Vietnam has an impressive internet access rate (30 to 40 million people using internet a day). The internet speed in Vietnam is very high and very cheap. You can easily buy data SIM cards at an average price of 200.000vnd – 300.000vnd ($10 – $15 USD) for 5 – 20 GB monthly. Do not worry if you work online as it is easy to find places to connect to the internet. In fact almost every café, restaurant and hotel offer free Wi-Fi these days.

See the Cat Ba city

13. Vietnamese coffee is the best.

Vietnamese coffee is very strong and the taste is very different to coffee found in other countries. Even the way Vietnamese make their coffee is different to what many foreigners are used to and it is an essential part of the Vietnamese experience.

Vietnamese coffee
cà phê

14. Street food cuisine is the best.

Signs of Chinese culture and influences from the French colonialists are still evident in modern Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese cuisine is a unique combination of two and this makes the street food another essential thing to experience whilst visiting Vietnam

15. Best time to travel in Viet Nam

The last of the 15 essential tips for Vietnam is that there is no wrong time to visit Vietnam. Every one of the five seasons offers a different experience. You can choose to immerse yourself in festivities if you come to Vietnam during the Lunar New Year or enjoy the coolness of the autumn weather as well as feel the heat of summer in Vietnam. Depending on your individual preference, you can choose the best time to travel for yourself.

Best_Time_to_Visit_Vietnam_2

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

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cat ba national park

TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS IN VIET NAM

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 79 0

TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS IN VIET NAM

When traveling with kids; having a well thought out travel budget is essential. The good news is that in Southeast Asia the airfares; lodging and dining costs are very cheap.

 

In terms of traveling within Vietnam; depending on the distance; you might like to consider booking bus tickets; train tickets; air tickets in advance to suit your family’s travel plans. Booking in advance sometimes means you can get a discount from the shipping company and therefore get more out of your trip.

 

Accommodation rates are different depending on the seasons. In Summer, the rate is extremely expensive as it is also the local tourist season. You should research the best time to travel in Vietnam to figure out the best places to take your family

Best_Time_to_Visit_Vietnam_2

Why Viet Nam is ideal country to travel with kids?

Getting back to nature with your kids. 

If you want your children to experience nature, Vietnam is the ideal place to travel with kids. Whether it’s wild jungles or golden beaches, Vietnam is a land full of pleasant surprises for everyone. Your family will be amazed by the blue mountains that are the backdrop to many areas and you can spend many relaxing hours on the numerous beautiful beaches that stretch from north to south Vietnam.

The best time to travel Vietnam

Delicious cuisine

Vietnam is famous world-wide for its street – food. Due to 1000 years of domination by the Chinese Empire; 100 years of colonial rule by the French colonialists and more than 30 years of war against the US; Japanese and French armies; Vietnamese cuisine is a mix of outstanding flavors from the East and the use of raw materials from the West. This is very obvious when tasting a lot of the street – food.

Fun Fact: Pho – a popular Vietnamese dish for Western tourists, actually originated from the French as it is similar to a cow’s tail soup. The only difference is in the French dish; people use potatoes and other vegetables whereas in Pho; they add pho noodles

Delicious cuisine

Keeping your family safe

Viet Nam is generally very safe for traveling with children. Vietnamese people are very friendly and willing to help you if you need them. Of course, there are some bad-eggs everywhere, but here you don’t need to be constantly watching your back and can relax and enjoy time with your family.

Places to travel with kids in Viet Nam

There are many places to visit in Vietnam, but here are some recommendations made with children in mind. The places are respectively located from North to South

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

Hanoi 

You cannot talk about Vietnam without mentioning Hanoi. The city is a mix of oriental and western culture and is the perfect place for traveling with kids to give them a real taste of Vietnam. There are many famous places you can bring your family such as Hanoi ancient citadel, Ho Chi Minh tomb, Chien Quoc pagoda, Hoan Kiem lake, the night market, etc. In addition, Hanoi street food is one of the main attractions that shouldn’t be missed.

ha noi best time to travel

Ha Long Bay 

As it is one of the 10 natural wonders of the world Ha Long Bay is a familiar name to most tourists. Here you can visit the city museum – one of the largest museums in Viet Nam or take a cruise ship to visit Halong Bay. The street food is also an essential part of the Halong experience.There is also a recently launched theme park which will keep your kids happy for hours

Cat Ba Island Things To Do

Cat Ba Island 

Cat Ba island is an ideal place to travel with your kids. It is located 150 km from Hanoi and there are many activities suitable for the whole family such as trekking in Cat Ba national park, boat tours, visiting Viet Hai Village, sleeping at a floating house and kayaking. Companies that operate guided services are licensed and have a certificate of safety issued by the government. You can be certain the quality of service is of a high standard and guarantee the safety of your children whilst participating in these activities. By comparison the Cat Ba Archipelago is even more beautiful than Ha Long Bay due to the denser concentration of limestone karts systems as well as more options for tours and cheaper travel services.

Fun fact: If you visit Cat Ba, you can visit some of the places where King Kong was filmed. In addition, if you are looking for a quiet place to stay for your family, the spacious Victor Charlie Family Room is ideal. The hotel is located in a small alley and is completely safe and secure. Behind the house is a large cave, discovered by chance when the owner re-built the property 15 years ago.

Cat Ba National Park
làng việt Hải

Ninh Binh 

If you’re a fan of nature Ninh Binh is the place for you and is often considered one of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam. This place still retains a sense of wildness and with its dense limestone karsts, sprawling golden rice fields and river systems below the mountains, this is an ideal place for your kids to explore nature. You and your family can relax and soak in the scenery with a boat trip in Trang An or Tam Coc, or enjoy the beauty of Bai Dinh pagoda – the biggest pagoda in Viet Nam. Trekking in Cuc Phuong national park is another special experience for your family you might like to consider

CAT BA NATIONAL PARK

Hue

More than 200 years ago Hue was once the capital of Vietnam. When visiting Hue you can take a Huong river boat trip to see the city from a completely new perspective. A visit to the Hue imperial is also another interesting cultural experience to better understand the life of past Vietnamese kings and cuisine specific to this area is sure to delight you and your family.

huế

Da Nang

This is a modern tourist city and it is especially suitable for families due to the friendliness of the locals and their ability to speak English. Some places you should not miss are: Son Tra peninsula, beaches such as Non Nuoc, Xuan Thuy, My Khe and visiting Linh Ung pagoda. Don’t forget to sample the street food here as street food in Da Nang is said to be some of the most delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

ban-dao-son-tra

Hoi An

Just a half hour bus ride away from Danang, you will find Hoi An, an ancient town preserved perfectly. Here you will have the opportunity to see the colorful lanterns on the street as well as treat yourself to some new specially tailored clothes. In Hoi An, you can buy your family hand-made items at very reasonable prices as well as sample the local cuisine which is of a very high standard

hội an

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is one of the largest cities in Vietnam and should definitely be part of your itinerary. Here you can take your kids to visit the military museums, the presidential residence of the South Republic or let them explore with their taste buds by enjoying an array of street food.

Mekong Delta

Vietnam is a beautiful country with dense river networks that make up the Mekong Delta, over 3000km of coastline, the central highlands, and Northern mountains that disappear into the sky. If you want to bring your children closer to nature and teach them valuable lessons about appreciating natural beauty, Vietnam is the perfect destination.

sapa

Tips for traveling with kids in Viet Nam 

Planning your trip

When preparing to travel with kids try not to over plan. Often people try to cram in too much in a short time which ends up being stressful and rushed. However you should research carefully before the trip and decide how many places you want to travel to. Write a quick list of the key things you want to see and do in each place. This gives you some structure but can be changed at any moment during your journey. As for getting around you should book in advance to get the cheapest price and therefore reduce your budget. There are a lot of bus, train and flight tickets available online. Try to gain as specific as possible information regarding travel times, facilities and routes so there are no surprises. If you’re going to go somewhere you have never been before, it’s better to find some information about the place first and if you still have questions ask the local people about it.

viet nam travel

How to travel safely in Viet Nam

During your trip to Vietnam, try to avoid overcrowded transportation, especially when on boats or canoes at the major tourist attractions. Always choose places that are known to be safe for tourists and also for families. Another tip for traveling with kids is to always bring insect creams, sun-creams and wear long sleeved clothes to avoid nasty insect bites in Viet Nam.

Check the weather before traveling to your next destination. Due to climate change, the weather in Viet Nam can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan your trip.
You should also always bring diarrhea medicines in case of food poisoning. In general, the street food is delicious but there are some vendors with no morals who use dirty equipment or bad ingredients. Knowing where hospitals is also important in case of injury or illness. Make sure to ask someone from your accommodation to come to the hospital as support.

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

Vietnamese coffee

VIETNAMESE COFFEE AND HOW TO MAKE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COFFEE

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 62 0

How to make the ultimate cup of Vietnamese coffee

Vietnamese coffee is amongst some of the best in the world and is famous for its strong, rich flavor often sweetened with condensed milk. It was introduced to Vietnam by French colonists but soon became very much an integral part of Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese coffee

What makes it so special?

The preparation is something of a ritual but the slow process is worth the wait. Course, dark coffee grounds are spooned into a small individual drip filter called a “phin” and placed over a glass. Hot water (not boiling) is then poured over the grounds which are held in place with a small metal lid. Another lid is then placed on top to retain the heat.

The water slowly filters through the grounds producing a rich, dark brown coffee. Condensed milk is usually placed at the bottom of the glass before adding the coffee and then mixed with a spoon to create a creamy, sweet drink. This tradition started when the French couldn’t get fresh milk easily.

What makes it so special

How to order coffee in Vietnam

There are different names for the different ways to serve coffee in Vietnam and these vary from North to South. In the north hot coffee with condensed milk is called “ca phe nau” literally meaning brown coffee whilst in the south it is called “ca phe sua” meaning milk coffee. If you prefer black coffee ask for “ca phe den”.

Different types of coffee in Vietnam

There are many different kinds of coffee in Vietnam ranging from coffee mixed with yogurt, coconut milk and of course the famous Egg Coffee

cà phê

Egg Coffee – Ca phe trung

Perhaps the most popular kind amongst tourists is the famous egg coffee – ca phe trung. This coffee will raise your coffee standards so high you’ll never settle for a cup of instant coffee again.

With this coffee, egg white is mixed with sweetened condensed milk to create a creamy foam which sits on top of the rich brew. It can be eaten with a spoon and is often described as being like a Vietnamese tiramisu.

egg-coffee-vietnam

Yogurt Coffee – Ca phe sua chua

Yogurt coffee is another typical Vietnamese experience. This coffee is made with black coffee poured over ice cubes and mixed with sweetened yogurt. It is a popular drink enjoyed best in the summer months.

Coconut Coffee – Ca phe sua dua

Coconut coffee is easy to make and offers a more tropical coffee flavor. It is made with a mixture of coconut milk and condensed milk poured over ice and then poured into a glass and mixed with black coffee. This coffee is very easy to drink and particularly popular amongst the younger Vietnamese generation.

Iced Milk Coffee

This coffee is one of the most famous drinks in Vietnam and is simply black coffee mixed with ice and condensed milk. This sweet pick-me-up offers a unique refreshment and the condensed milk instead of fresh milk and creates an unforgettable flavor for many travelers

coffee-coffee-milk

Iced Coffee Milk

Contrary to Iced Milk Coffee, Iced Coffee Milk is made with fresh milk, instead of condensed milk. This offers a less sweetened version and is similar to iced coffees available in other parts of the world. This drink is perfect if you are after that coffee taste without such a strong sugar hit.

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

RIDE A BIKE IN CAT BA EXPERIENCE

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 78 0

Ride a bike in Cat Ba experience

Once you have experienced some of the key highlights on Cat Ba Island ,you may want to explore the island on your own. The best way to do this is to hire a motorbike from one of the many small businesses scattered around the streets.

Driving a motor bike on Cat Ba can seem daunting at first, especially if you are not used to the traffic, and it’s important to feel completely comfortable before setting out on your adventure to avoid any mishaps.  Having a comprehensive list of the things you need to consider before setting out is necessary. Here are some helpful tips for you

How to get a rental bike in Cat Ba?

How to ensure that your bike is safe? How much is rental rates?

Where to fill up petrol in Cat Ba

Places you can visit with your bike?

How to ride a bike safely in Cat Ba?

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Ride a bike in Cat Ba experience

How to get a rental bike in Cat Ba?

The first thing you need to know is that not all motorbike rental places are equal. The best way to find a good one is to ask at your hotel for advice. Staff  will be able to advise you about which places are trustworthy and provide good quality bikes and many may offer a rental service themselves.

If you book your bike from your accommodation, you won’t have to give a deposit or give your passport. If not, usually, many rental places require you to hand over your passport as a deposit in case the bike gets damaged. Make sure they keep your passport in a safe place and choose a place that has a written agreement about what to do in the case of an accident or a break down.  Ensure you have their number in case you get stuck and need a pickup and a Vietnamese SIM card with sufficient credit for a local call. If you don’t have Vietnamese Sim Card, you should ask  the hotel’s manager his/her What’sapp number in order to support you when you have a trouble. 

How to get a rental bike in Cat Ba?

How to ensure that your bike is safe? How much is rental rates?

Check the bike for damage before you accept it and ensure that any damage has been recorded in writing. You should check bike lights, bike components and ask for how much petrol in your bike left. Some places have been known to charge people for pre-existing damage if they notice you didn’t check the bike before you leave. In this case it is your word against theirs and this kind of confrontation is sure to leave you with a sour taste.

Most rental bikes are automatic which is ideal especially if you are not an experienced driver on Southeast Asian roads. If you prefer a manual it is possible to find them but they are not as common. Consider first where you plan to go and the weight you will be carrying. If you want to take two people on the bike choose one that fits you both comfortably and has a powerful engine.

The standard price for a rental bike at the time of writing is around 80.000 – 100.000 VND/ 24 hours. Some bikes with a bigger engine are 120.000 VND and prices can be negotiated. Make sure you know where a petrol station is before you set out to avoid the tough situation of  running out of fuel on the side of the road.

How to ensure that your bike is safe?
Cat Ba National Park

Where to fill up petrol in Cat Ba

There are 3 official petrol stations in Cat Ba. The first one is located in Cat Ba town, passing the bridge, 2 the others located on the way from Cat Ba town to Cat Ba national park. The first petrol station rate is more expensive than 2 the others one but in emergency, you should go there in order to avoid of running out of petrol situation.

Each litter of petrol costs 19.260VND  ( the rate is updated on 16th/Oct/2017).  The rate is shown right at the petrol station, you won’t have any difficulty to see it.

If you intend to travel around Cat Ba for couple hours, you should fill up 50.000 – 60.000 VND. It should be enough for your trip.

explore Cat Ba by bike

Places you can visit with your bike?

In Cat Ba, there are a lot of places where you will be able to visit with your bike such as: Cat Ba national park, Hospital cave, Galaxy cave, Trung Trang cave. Besides, the advantage of riding a bike is that you will be completely free and able to stop anywhere you want. What is more beautiful than seeing sunset at the highest point on the way to Gia Luan Harbour or feeling the fresh air, sight-seeing the greenery of nature.

Places you can visit with your bike?

How to ride a bike safely in Cat Ba?

Always, always, wear a helmet and check the ones you are given are safe and the clips work. Vietnamese people tend to be very relaxed when it comes to wearing helmets, however accidents do happen, and it’s not worth the risk or the fine if you get caught by a traffic policeman.

The roads are probably your biggest enemy here. The island is quite hilly and in some places there are un-sealed roads with giant pot-holes. These can pop up quite unexpectedly and can be deadly so always watch where you are going, wear a helmet and go slowly. In Vietnam you must cycle and ride on the right-hand side. When riding in traffic it is customary to give a friendly honk of your horn or ring of your bell when approaching traffic or pedestrians from behind. This lets other drivers know where you are and is an essential part of traffic culture in Vietnam.

 

There are also a lot of unexpected obstacles which could include anything from small children, to dogs, to giant potholes, farm animals and other, often very overloaded, motorbikes. The  advice is that you should drive carefully, use your indicators even if it seems like no one else is and, and remember, the faster you go the bigger the mess!

Of course the most important piece of advice is to have fun! The scenery in Cat Ba will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The awe-inspiring mountains and infinite shades of green will take your breath away and the feeling of freedom and independence you get from having your own motorbike is simply priceless.

How to ride a bike safely in Cat Ba?

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

cat ba national park

HOW TO NOT DIE WHEN TRAVELING IN CAT BA

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 67 0

HOW TO NOT DIE WHEN TRAVELING IN CAT BA

With its rugged rocky horizons, cool, glittering caves, thick jungles teeming with wildlife, and golden beaches, Cat Ba Island is an explorer’s nirvana.

Cat Ba offers the chance to get outdoors in so many ways. You can choose to kayak in private mini bays, hike in the National Park, swim at any number of gorgeous sandy beaches, take a boat trip, cycle or motorbike around the island or even do some rock climbing to fully appreciate what the island has to offer.

Of course the last thing you want on your holiday is for something to go wrong, so we have put together a brief list of things you can do to keep yourself safe so you get the most out of your stay on the island.

HOW TO NOT DIE WHEN TRAVELING IN CAT BA
cycle or motorbike around the island

Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the most rewarding ways to properly appreciate the sheer size of the famous limestone karsts that make this part of the world so famous. There are so many reasons why you should kayaking in Cat Ba. However, as in many South East Asian countries, rental equipment can be damaged or not quite up to the safety standards many western tourists are used to.

When renting a kayak, check the boat is firstly and most importantly, water tight. If not, don’t get in and ask for another one! Secondly, make sure your paddles are not brittle or broken and ask if they can be tied to your kayak to avoid losing them and ending up a creek without a paddle! Insist that you are given a lifejacket and inspect it for any damage first.

Before setting out make sure you have plenty of water, sunscreen and it pays to have a wide brimmed hat. Once you have all the gear you are good to go and will easily spend hours discovering beautiful private bays, pristine beaches, enchanting sea caves and tunnels and capturing photos of the rugged landscape from an entirely unique perspective

kayaking in Cat Ba

Hiking

If hiking is your thing, Cat Ba National Park will not disappoint. Here you will experience nature and views like you will not find anywhere else. You will wander through shimmering greenery; pass caves like works of art, carefully perfected by Mother Nature over billions of years.

Just like anywhere in the world it is important to take the appropriate precautions to ensure you have a safe experience. Always bring plenty of water and food. The jungle is incredibly humid and you will sweat bucket loads. Consider bringing a cloth head band to keep the sweat out of your eyes or wear a hat. Wear appropriate shoes with plenty of grip as after rain the ground can get very slippery. Do not approach snakes or any wildlife you might encounter. Never hike alone and always make sure someone is expecting you back at an agreed time.

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM
Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

Cycling and motorbikes

Cycling or hiring a motorbike is a popular way to get around the island. The freedom of having your own bike is priceless and means you can explore everything the island has to offer at your own pace as well as giving you the chance to get off the beaten track and discover parts of the island that even the locals might not know about.

The roads are probably your biggest enemy here. The island is quite hilly and in some places there are un-sealed roads with giant pot-holes. These can pop up quite unexpectedly and can be deadly so always watch where you are going, wear a helmet and go slowly. In Vietnam you must cycle and drive on the right-hand side and cyclists should give way to motorbikes. When driving or cycling in traffic it is customary to give a friendly honk of your horn or ring of your bell when approaching traffic or pedestrians from behind. This lets other drivers know where you are and is an essential part of traffic culture in Vietnam.

Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

Boat trips

Taking a boat trip in the bay is by far the most relaxing way to fully appreciate the incredible natural rock formations and get up close and personal with the unique fishing villages that are scattered throughout the bay. To ensure you are safe make sure you book with a reputable company. Nam Travel only partner with providers who meet the safety standards set by the government. Boat skippers have to comply with certain maritime regulations but to keep yourself safe make sure there is a life jacket available for you and your family. Take enough food and water with you if the tour does not supply this and wear long pants and shirts, put sun-cream on your skin to protect yourself from the sun

Boat trips
Boat trips

Rock climbing

For some people there is no better way to enjoy spectacular views across the island than by hanging from a rope half way up one of the magnificent craggy rock faces of a limestone karst. The only way to experience these views safely are by booking a guided trip from a reputable company which Nam Travel can help you with. Again dress for the sun. Wear long tight fitting clothing to avoid it getting snagged on anything and bring enough food and water for the whole day. Always wear a helmet and ask your guide about what kinds of shoes are suitable for the climb. Listen to your instructor carefully and follow their rules. They are there to keep you safe and are more familiar with the environment than you are.

leo núi

Exploring the town

One of the most interesting parts of the island is actually the town and the local people. As Cat Ba has been a popular tourist destination for so long, locals are used to seeing tourists as well as travelers and will hardly blink an eye at you. The crime rate is very low here and there are very few reports of tourists being mugged. Women travelling alone can also feel safe even whilst walking at night as there are plenty of street lights on the road in the main part of the town.

WHAT TO DO ON CAT BA ISLAND
Exploring the town

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

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is safe to ride a bike during the typhoon

HOW TO NOT DIE IN A TYPHOON

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 94 0

HOW TO NOT DIE IN A TYPHOON

Typhoons are a common occurrence all over Vietnam and if you aren’t careful they can even be deadly. If you are properly prepared chances are you’ll be fine however there are different hazards that you should look out for depending on where you are when one hits.

Why is a typhoon so serious?

What to do if a typhoon hits whilst you are in a hilly area

How to stay safe during a typhoon on an island

Is it safe to drive in a typhoon?

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Typhoons

Why is a typhoon so serious?

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone and can bring with it incredibly powerful winds and rain. Often in the days before a typhoon the weather will be warm and the skies blue and cloud free. This can lull unsuspecting travellers into a false sense of security. A typhoon usually begins with torrential rain, sometimes thunder and lightning and then introduces very strong winds. This wind and rain can last for a maximum of 5 days so can bring your plans to a serious halt.

biển Cát Bà
sam set

What to do if a typhoon hits whilst you are in a hilly area

Landslides are a very real risk during a typhoon and it can be dangerous for a few days following. Torrential rain can seriously damage the structural integrity of the soft soil found in many hilly areas of Vietnam. If you are stuck in the hills when a typhoon strikes make sure you have a safe place to stay for a while until the rain stops and the ground dries out a little. This could take a few days so be patient.

Before heading off on a trek in these stunning areas of the country always make sure to check the weather forecast and ask the locals. Always follow local advice. Often when tourists are injured during extreme weather it is because they have not listened to the advice given to them.

Best_Time_to_Visit_Vietnam_2

How to stay safe during a typhoon on an island

If you happen to be on one of Vietnams many islands when a typhoon hits – don’t panic. Most local people can tell when a typhoon is coming and this will give you time to change your plans and swap outdoor activities for some relaxing indoor activities. Strong winds will bring about large waves and dangerous sea conditions.

Boat trips and ferries will be cancelled for the safety of the passengers and there is not much you can do about this. You should avoid going to the beach during a typhoon as the winds will be very strong and the waves can be wild and unpredictable.

HOW TO NOT DIE IN A TYPHOON

Is safe to ride a bike during the typhoon

The simple answer to this is no. Many roads in Vietnam are unsealed and become very slippery in the rain. Depending on where you are, busses may be cancelled until the roads have dried out. Do not, under any circumstances, drive a motorbike in a typhoon regardless of how desperate you are to get to your next destination. Rain plays havoc with both sealed and unsealed roads and the ratio of potholes to road only gets worse. This makes the roads deadly and it is not worth risking your life.

The soft fertile soil that makes up most of Vietnam is prone to slips and landslides after heavy rain so avoid roads that have steep drops on one side for a few days after the typhoon has passed.

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

death anniversary in Viet Nam

WEIRD THINGS YOU MIGHT SEE IN VIETNAM

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 126 0

Weird Things You Might See In Vietnam

Vietnam has an eclectic mix of natural beauty and ancient traditions with all the modern comforts of the 21st century. As technology advances, and the world changes, developing countries such as Vietnam have rushed to catch up whilst still managing to retain unique parts of their culture. This has resulted in interesting and sometimes hilarious consequences.  Here’s a list of some of the weirdest things you might see in Vietnam.

tet

Pajama fashion

You will often see Vietnamese women wearing loose cotton clothes that are essentially pajamas. Although it might look strange to an outsider this is perfectly normal and acceptable in Vietnam. These clothes are comfortable and practical for the hot climate. Also going about daily tasks such as dropping off children to school and shopping at the market are considered so ordinary that women feel no need to dress up and tend to simply wear what is most comfortable for them.

pyjma
Pajama fashion

Death anniversaries

Every year Vietnamese people can attend up to 5 death anniversaries for family members. These anniversaries are parties to commemorate loved ones on the day they passed away. The family will invite friends and relatives to the house. Food is put on an alter and incense is lit. Once the incense stops burning, the food is removed, and everyone is invited to join the family for a feast.

If you are lucky enough to make a Vietnamese friend you too could be invited to a death anniversary which makes for a fascinating and rich culinary experience.

paid crier in a funeral

Eating weird things such as frogs, worms, crocodiles, dog/ cat meat, animal organs and even dirt!

Nothing is off the menu in Vietnam. You will see all kinds of things for sale here that you would never find in western countries. This stems from the days when Vietnam was a very poor country and people simply couldn’t afford to waste anything. The cuisine was also heavily influenced by the Chinese. Milk and other supplements are still difficult to source so foods that provide these essential vitamins and minerals are still present in the Vietnamese diet.

thit ech
weird things you see in Viet Nam

Snake wine and other crazy stuff in bottles

If you wander down any street in Vietnam it is highly likely you will come across a selection of bottles for sale on the side of the road. If you look closely you will find snakes, sea cucumbers, and starfish floating in the auburn colored liquid. This is Vietnamese wine.

Vietnamese people believe that drinking wine with these creatures preserved in it is good for the health and will improve their sexual abilities.

Snake wine and other crazy stuff in bottles

Buffalos on bikes

A trip to Vietnam is not complete without seeing some hilarious scenes of people transporting huge items on the back of their bikes.

Cars are a luxury item here and in a country where the roads are sometimes very steep and narrow it is impossible for trucks to access some areas. This has resulted in desperate measures to transport things you would never imagine could fit on the back of a bike. These can range from fridges and air conditioning units to goats and buffalo!

chau tren xe
Buffalos on bikes

Heaven for spider man

To an outsider Vietnam’s electricity infrastructure can sometimes look as if Spiderman has made crazy webs all over the country. This is the result of having to rebuild a country from scratch after the Vietnam-American war.

After the war, there simply wasn’t enough money to bury cables underground, so temporary measures were made to supply electricity. The sheer number of people needing electricity resulted in power poles being covered in a tangle of cables. It can, at times, look unsafe but locals will assure you there are very rarely any injuries from these crazy cables but rainy and stormy days

Heaven for spider man

Bargaining in daily trade

If you visit any market in Vietnam you will see people passionately bargaining. This is because the Vietnamese economy is organized under mini-capitalism. This gives each trader the freedom to set his or her own prices and the scale of competition means prices can vary from store to store. Here it is perfectly acceptable to discuss the price and ask for a discount.

how to bargain in viet nam

Ninja on the road

Having pale skin is considered very beautiful in Vietnam and you will notice that women often cover themselves from head to toe when going out in the sun. This is to stop their skin from tanning. So when you see a ninja coming towards you on a bike, don’t worry, it’s probably just a woman trying to avoid the sun!

ninja on road

Smoking Vietnamese tobacco

You will often see groups of Vietnamese people gathering to take part in smoking some Vietnamese tobacco. There are two ways to smoke this. The first way is with a Bowl Bong. This one allows you to control how much smoke you inhale.

The Pipe Bong will give you a nicotine rush immediately.  Vietnamese tobacco has a very high nicotine concentration and should be smoked in moderation if you are not used to it.

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

the best time travel to viet nam

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL IN VIET NAM

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 118 0

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

The best time to travel Vietnam is from the end of Winter to Spring (February to March) and Autumn (September to November). 

Many travelers plan to travel across the country, making the best time to visit more complex than first assumed. You can expect several different climate regions across more than 1,000km length of Vietnam, and if you travel to Vietnam the first time. Looking for things to do in Vietnam for 2 weeks? Check our guide 

Best_Time_to_Visit_Vietnam_2

Visiting by time of year

During the end of winter through to spring, the weather is pleasant and reasonably dry. In a year, March and April have lowest rainfall. It is also off-peak season so you can expect cheaper transports , accommodation rates and services

In general, the North of Vietnam is more cooler, with the average temperature at 25 Celsius degree; while the South of Vietnam has higher average temperature and contributes 80% to total rainfall amount of the whole country. The South has a wet season from May to October, and a dry season from November to April. The North Viet Nam has 4 season such as : Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring respectively fall in June – August, September – November, December – February, March – May

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

A note about visiting during Tet

Tet is the Vietnamese name for the Lunar New Year, a celebration observed through most of the region, including Korea, Japan, China and parts of Malaysia and Singapore. In the traditional holiday, the Vietnamese leave noisy cities, comeback to their hometown to reunite with their families. They cook traditional food together, visit their friends and relatives as well as to hold numerous festivals so Tet is a great chance to discover Vietnamese culture.

Based on the lunar calendar, the dates for Tet change every year. As the biggest public holiday in Vietnam, most business and sights shut down for the period. A visit to Vietnam during these periods would be best approached with caution.

  • Tet Holiday calendar
    • 2017: 26th January – 1st February
    • 2018: 15th Feb – 21st February
    • 2019: 2nd Feb – 10th February
tet
making-Chung-cake-on-Tet--Holiday

Visit any time of year

Hanoi,Ha Giang, Sapa,  Ha Long and Cat Ba Island are consistently good to visit all year round, especially as Hanoi are the one of the largest cities with infrastructure built to accommodate tourists, no matter the weather. Cat Ba and Ha Long are blessed with reasonably cool temperatures all year round, with the average temperatures being about 17-25  Celsius degrees. Keep in mind that the best time to travel to Cat Ba Island and Ha Long is from October to December as a low local tourist season so everything will be cheaper and services will be better by the time. If you want to go hiking, the time is extremely suitable for you to enjoy the view and avoid of sweeting so much.

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

If you’re travel Viet Nam in January-March

Hoi An, Hue and Nha Trang are at their very best. Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island and Sapa are beautiful from March onwards. Temperatures will range from the low to mid-twenties in Hoi An and Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island, while Hue and Nha Trang range between the mid to high twenties Celsius degrees as they are closer to the equator.

Sapa is always cool and ranges between 10-15 degrees around this time of year. If you’re visiting Sapa in this time, trying Red Dao herbal bath is interesting experience. This famous treatment is the best in cold weather.

Pack: A light jacket if you feel the cold. You will still require sunscreen.

What to Expect: It’s the dry season, and about as close from winter as it’ll get in most parts of Vietnam.

CAT BA NATIONAL PARK

If you’re Viet Nam in April-June

Hoi An, Ha Long and Cat Ba island  have temperatures ranging in from 25 to 30 Cesius degrees . Nha Trang, with its stunning white sand beach views, is also nice to visit, with temperatures in the higher 20C to lower 30C

From Hue down to Ho Chi Minh City, the temperatures reach their peak in the low to around 30C. It can feel hotter than it is due to the high humid enviroment. Hanoi is extremely hot and steamy around this period, with its combined rainy season and hot temperatures, reaching up to 37 degrees  and more in June.

Pack: Lots of sunscreens and be sure to carry water with you

What to Expect: It’s the peak of summer around this period, so expect the South of Vietnam to be warm. Due to Vietnam’s 3,444 km long coastline, this is one of the best time in Viet Nam to visit its beaches and islands. 

bãi biển Cát Bà2
THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

If you’re going to travel to Viet Nam in July-September

July to September is not probably good for those who have limited travel budget to visit to the South and the North due to local tourist season in Viet Nam. This time falls in Summer in Viet Nam also known as Vietnamese traveling season. During this time, everything is way too expensive as Vietnamese people flocking to tourist destinations and spending much money on their holiday which makes prices in this season gradually increased . But, if you travel in Viet Nam for short amount of time, traveling in Viet Nam this time is exhilarating as you will be able to enjoy many outdoor activities in Ha Long, Cat Ba, Ha Giang but beware that the temperature of Summer in Viet Nam is extremely hot ( around 35 – 40 Celsius Degrees) , so you might want to bring sun-cream, long sleeved clothes and water when traveling in Viet Nam this time

Sapa

Sapa also is appropriate place to visit this time due to the average temperature is around 25 – 28 Celsius degrees in Summer. But sometimes, you might experience heavy rain in the place so check weather before your trip necessary.

Nha Trang and Hue commence their rainy seasons in September. Hue in its rain season is very wet; it has small rain all day long during this season.

Pack: a raincoat and sunscreen. A pair of flip flops is probably a good idea too.

What to Expect: Hot, and lots of it in the North. Bear in mind that you will get burnt really quickly if you forget to protect your skin from the sun. Also, this time is ideal environment for mosquitos and many type of insects to grow, so preventing insect bites is important to avoid of diseases

Ride A Motorbike Around Cat Ba

If you’re traveling to Viet Nam in October-December
This is a great time to visit the North of Vietnam.
Ha Noi, Halong, Cat Ba island and Sapa are stunning around October, although Sapa does drop to lower temperatures between Christmas and February.
Hoi An may still be experiencing some rain but will be navigable.
Ho Chi Minh City may experience its worst flooding during October, and Nha Trang is best avoided as it is their wettest month too – not what you want for a beach town.

Pack: a light jacket, a poncho or a raincoat, and sunscreen.
What to Expect: Pleasant weather up North, and wet weather during October down South. This is fine up to around November to December.

biển Cát Bà

If you’re traveling to Vietnam during Christmas:

It’s a great time of year to visit as the weather is uniformly pleasant throughout the country. Bear in mind that due to the holidays, prices may be steeper than usual. However, you should be able to experience everything Vietnam has to offer during this time.

Pack: a jumper or a jacket for the North. If you’re heading to Sapa, something warmer might be required.

If you’re travelling Vietnam during Easter:

April is the beginning of the hot season, but it is otherwise lovely to visit. Take note that there are odd storms on Ha Long Bay, but nothing that should stop you to make  your trip.

Pack: sunscreen.

VIET HAI VILLAGE
làng viet hai 3

Time to travel in Viet Nam following locations

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and South Vietnam in general

  • 2 Seasons: Dry and Raining. The average temperature is around 27 Celsius degree all year round.
  • Avoid May to November: Heavy rain in the afternoon. Rains last for a few hours. It can cause a flood on some main streets.
  • Ideal time to go: December to April.  Sunny in the morning and pleasantly cool at night.
  • Busy all year as it is the biggest city. No such thing as the high or low season. All prices are consistent the whole year.

Phu Quoc Island 

  • Avoid June to October. Heavy rain and strong winds. There might be flood at some streets
  • April and May can be hot and tourist dense.
  • Best time to go is between November and March. Low humid, clear sky, smooth sea and tickets tend to be cheaper. The natural scenes of Phu Quoc Island are beautiful in this time. Although it can be noisy as all the projects start construction around this time.
cat ba monkey island

Mui Ne 

  • Pleasant, windy all year round. Go anytime to experience its long white sand dunes, beaches, rows of tall coconut trees and delicious seafood.
  • OK: May to October. It is in raining season and there are short rains. The ocean water is not clear at this time.
  • Best time to travel in Viet Nam: November to April. Easy and pleasant winds. Big waves on November and December.

Da Lat

  • Avoid April to October. This is raining season and the rains are heaviest in June and July. It usually rains from 2 pm to 6 pm every day in raining season.
  • Best time to travel in Viet Nam: November – March. The sky is clear, warm in the morning and not humid like other time. The best month to go this “city of thousand flowers” is December where annual flowers festival is held. This is also the time of various fresh and cheap fruits such as strawberry, mulberry, avocado, etc.
  • 4 Seasons in a day: Spring in the morning, Summer in the Afternoon, Autumn in late Afternoon, Winter at night.
da lat best time to travel
da lat best time to travel

Nha Trang

  • Avoid Sep – Dec. 90% of the rain happens at this time.
  • OK: Jan to August when the weather is pleasant 25 Celsius degree on average and less rain.
  • Best time to travel in Viet Nam : March – May. Pleasant sunshine. Low season. Prices are cheaper.
nha trang best time to travel

Hoi An

  • Avoid August to December. Heavy rains occur every single month within the period.
  • OK: Jan to July when it rains less and the temperature is around 24*C.
  • Best time to travel in Viet Nam : February to April. Little or less rain. This is off peak season and prices are more affordable.Try to go on full moon time of the month where traditional activities are held.
hội an

Ha Long and Cat Ba Island

  • Avoid June – August. It is local summer holiday, it’s crowded and prices are marked up. Shortage of accommodation can happen. Heavy rain and possible potential storms from the sea
  • Best: October to March. 18*C on average with little rain and falls on off peak season. Besides, Prices during the time is cheaper, less crowded. You are guaranteed to have such a good time.

These tours would be helpful if you are wondering what things to do on Cat Ba Island.

Ha Noi

  • Avoid May – Sep. Heavy rain, storms and hot. Temperature can be up to 39*.
  • Best: October – April. No or little rain. The temperature is cool. The best time is early Spring, around October and November.
ha noi best time to travel
ha noi best time to travel

Sapa

  • Avoid May – August: heavy Rain
  • OK: September, the terraced fields step into their harvest season so they are covered in yellow.
  • Best time to travel in Viet Nam: October – March. Little rain. It can be cold in January and February. Best month to go is October. If you’re lucky, you may experience icing Sapa in this time, this is the only place in Vietnam can have minus temperature

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!