Exchange rate (VND): 27,400 Đồng per € (November 2020)
Time zone: UTC + 7
Country code (phone): +84
Climate (for capital): subtropical
Entry and residence regulations
Since July 1st, 2015 Germans no longer need a visa for a trip to Vietnam of a maximum of 15 days. This provision was initially valid until June 30, 2016, but was extended until June 30, 2021. In other cases, apply for the visa either at the Vietnamese embassy in Berlin or at the Vietnamese consulate general in Frankfurt.
In view of the spread of the corona virus, the Vietnamese government temporarily suspended the visa-free regime for Germans on March 10, 2020. Currently (as of August 2020), a two-week quarantine is mandatory when entering Vietnam.
Anyone who stays in Vietnam for a longer period of time and does not want to extend their visa every three months can apply for a “Temporary Residence Card”.
According to philosophynearby, there are now an abundance of tour operators who also specialize in Vietnam. But you can also travel through the country as individual tourists.
There is also a large selection of travel guides and German-language literature on Vietnam (specialist books, translations of Vietnamese-language literature, etc.).
Money and money transfer
In Vietnam, you can at least in the larger cities now at many ATMs using your debit card or credit card money received. If you want to change money, you can also do so in gold shops licensed for currency exchange – this is much faster than in banks. The rate of the Vietnamese dong is relatively stable. Not only for this reason you should never change money on the street! If both your money and credit cards have been stolen, there are several ways you can have money transferred from Germany. In the event that your passport has been lost, the German diplomatic mission can issue a temporary passport.
Before traveling to Vietnam you should inform yourself about the health risks such as malaria.
Whether malaria prophylaxis or special vaccinations such as against Japanese encephalitis are required in your travel area can be best found out on site. Both in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City there are English and German speaking doctors.
Dental clinics, for example in Hanoi, are partly of a very high standard.
According to the general medical information from the Foreign Office, special vaccinations, such as against Japanese encephalitis, are required, especially for longer stays.
The high air pollution in cities is a significant health burden. Recommended example, it is to wear a high-quality mouthguard.
An interesting alternative to Western medicine is traditional medicine, which is still widely used in Vietnam. In Hanoi, a number of government and private health centers offer acupuncture, among others.
Security for foreigners
Vietnam is a relatively safe country to travel to. Nevertheless, you should be vigilant of pickpockets, especially in cities and tourist centers. Popular goals of “well-rehearsed teams” on fast mopeds are, for example, tourists with bags, cameras etc. hanging loosely over their shoulders.
The traffic in Vietnam, which is still dominated by mopeds, is extremely dangerous. The rate of road deaths in Vietnam is alarmingly high. In order to deal with this problem, the Vietnamese government introduced a law at the end of 2007 to make helmets compulsory in cities. The majority of the population now adheres to the new law. However, many of the helmets serve more as a fashion accessory than for road safety and are often of inferior quality. In 2013, 11,000 people were still killed in traffic accidents. A particularly high number of traffic fatalities usually occur during the Vietnamese New Year celebrations (Tet), because this is a particularly high time people are drinking and many are on the move: In the first five days of Tet in 2015, 164 people died out of 275 reported accidents. Since the beginning of 2020, the following applies to car and moped drivers in Vietnam: 0.0 per thousand alcohol. The alcohol ban has already led to a noticeable decrease in accidents and road deaths in a short period of time. Shortly after the new regulation came into force, the sale of beer in restaurants was also drastically reduced.
The cause of traffic accidents is often the poor condition of many cars, especially buses whose “MOT” has long expired, but which are still on the streets of Vietnam.
In the meantime, for example, lighter, but still safe helmets are being sold in Hanoi, which are adapted to the tropical temperatures. Since May 2010, helmets are also compulsory for children aged six and over.
Since ambulances take a long time to get to the scene of the accident, especially in rush hour, “motorcycle paramedics” have now been trained in Hanoi as part of a pilot project of the German Red Cross who can provide first aid on site.
Another problem in road traffic in cities is the extreme air pollution that Vietnamese road users try to master through sometimes imaginative clothing.