Before you go

How US travelers connect with Vietnamese locals while visiting this country

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Imaging what would it be if you are traveling in Vietnam and don’t know anything about this country, therefore the first and the most important thing is language and communication as not every Vietnamese can speak English. Here are some ways to learn Vietnamese effectively for US learners.

1. The Vietnamese alphabet:

When we start learning a language, it will be a must start with the alphabet which contains 29 letters. Please be noticed that Vietnamese language does not have w and z, j, as in English.

- The vowel system: Vietnamese has nine single vowels: a, e, ê, i, o, ô, u, ơ, ư;

- Three vowel pairs: i, uo, ui and two short vowels: ă,

- Consonant system:

* Single consonant: b, c, d, đ, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x

* Double consonant: gh, kh, nh, ph, th, tr, tr, ngh, ng

2. Vietnamese alphabet reading:

This is the first step to introduce to Vietnamese learners, as well as when we learn any language.

The purpose is to let the reader know how to pronounce the letters. For example when they see the letters "a", open the "a", combined with the consonant in the first. Just remember to pronounce the consonant and the vowel is able to read the exact Vietnamese words without knowing the meaning.

Vietnamese is a linguistic language so the syllables (or voices) are pronounced separately so there will be a syllable such as books, notebooks, etc. However, there are many words are composed of two syllables such as happy, funny, etc. Therefore, foreigners learning Vietnamese want to pronounce well first need to pronounce syllables, each syllable group well.

For example, thank you for pronouncing "cảm" and "ơn". The foreigners should speak slowly, clear each syllable and then speak quickly. This shows that pronunciation is very important in Vietnamese because if one word is wrong, the Vietnamese do not understand. Meanwhile, if they speak Vietnamese without grammar is still understandable.

This will help you to communicate with the local people properly with some of the simple daily words in greeting or thanks, etc.

After learning some simple Vietnamese communications, US citizens should notice on the differences between the communication in Vietnam and that in the US. The Vietnamese are quite cautious in communicating such as the way of greeting becomes more complex depending on the relationship. There are tons of greeting way in Vietnam so don’t be so surprised if people greet you with differently.

They show their respect for the values of the community. Vietnamese are humble when they often lower themselves to express themselves not too confident or arrogant. This is the reason why Vietnamese is friendly and hospitable in foreigners' eyes.

The following introduction about Vietnamese language and communication differences between the two nations will somehow help you to associate with the local people.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to visit Vietnam, don’t forget to check Vietnam visa requirements for US citizens. Until now, there are three main ways to apply for a Vietnam visa from USA including at the Embassy, Visa on arrival and Vietnam E-visa.

Getting visa at Vietnamese embassy may take at least 5 working days to have your visa processed in along with parting from original passport while visa on arrival and e-visa can be obtained online but please carefully check out before choosing the best method for you. Of all 3 ways, applying for a visa on arrival is a better way as besides the convenient and fast process, there are wide ranges of visa types for applicants to choose so it is highly recommended.

Vietnam and Vietnamese locals always warmly welcome tourists from all over the world come to visit. So it’s hoped that some language and other barriers won’t be the difficulty for travellers in general and US citizens in particular to enjoy their trip here in Vietnam.

 

Top 3 tips for packing when traveling Vietnam with your kids

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When traveling Vietnam with your kids, there are some top tips to pack that you should know. Let’s find out what they are in the following information of this article.

1. Medicine and first-aid essentials

In case there is something may happen in a strange a country, it’s suggested to bring some medicine and first-aid essentials such as aspirin, medication for allergic reactions, antiseptic cream, and bandages. Additionally, you also should pack an insect spray in your luggage to protect you and your kids from mosquitos bite and other insect when abroad. Moreover, Vietnam is a tropical country which is quite hot, especially in the summer, therefore prepare a sunscreen tube is not a bad idea.

2. Clothes and toys

It is so great to encourage your kids to pack their own clothes as they can choose which clothes they like, but you should keep your eyes on them and help them if necessary. Apart from the outfit for sightseeing, you should bring some socks, pajamas, underwear, and a coat for your children. Also, keep in mind the luggage limitation. Don’t pack too much clothes if they are not really necessary.

Along with clothes, you can bring some toy for your kids as most children love to bring toys with them when traveling (but just 1 or 2 small toys will be much better).

3. Plastic bags and zip bags

Plastic bags are also necessary if you travel with your kids because it is the greatest way to protect clean clothes from the dirty ones. Moreover, you also need some zip bags for the trip so that stuffs of each child can be put separately. Therefore your children will be able to find their own clothes easily without making your suitcase in a mess to find their clothes during the trip.

Just-in: Vietnam visa requirement

Before traveling to Vietnam, travelers should check Vietnam visa requirement first. If you are not on the exemption list or want to stay in Vietnam more than visa exemption days then Vietnam visa will be a must. As for your kids, if they have their own passports, you have to apply for Vietnam visa for them.

1. Vietnam visa through Vietnam Embassy

To apply for this traditional Vietnam visa, applicants need to bring and submit documents directly to Vietnam Embassy or Consulate and wait for at least 5 working days to get visa processed. Also, ask them for more detail as each Embassy has its own requirement and Vietnam visa fees.

2. Vietnam Visa on arrival

For those who travel to Vietnam by air, Vietnam visa on arrival may be suitable for which applicants can apply online and get full Vietnam visa when arrive at Vietnam airport. The processing time takes only 1 or 2 working days or even a few hours in urgent or super urgent cases.

There are 2 kinds of fees that applicants have to pay including the service fee and visa stamp fee. The service fee is the payment for the visa company's service that you applied for to get approval letter while the latter is the payment for Vietnam Immigration Officer when you get your visa stamped at Vietnam airport.

Full up-to-date information about Vietnam visa on arrival for all travelers around the world is available at https://www.vietnam-visa.com/ - a great portal for visa information and assistance.

3. Vietnam e-visa

Vietnam e-visa is for those who are in the 46 countries list. This list can be found here. Note that this kind of visa is applicable for one single entry only and valid in 30 days so if your stay in Vietnam is longer, please consider 2 above suitable options.

Hope our information can help you prepare for your trip easier and wish you have a wonderful time with your children. Welcome to Vietnam!

 

16 ways to save cost for a Vietnam trip

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Some people said traveling takes a lot of money; nevertheless, this article will prove visitors can save lots of money when traveling. Here are some ways to help you to cut the extra cost when traveling, especially in Vietnam.

1. Choose free activities

If you can spend the time to search, just find many free activities so check out the ongoing activities at your travel destination. Museums usually have a day off during the week and discount tickets at certain times of the day or hiking is also an effective way to save money.

2. Book a room with a fridge/microwave or kitchen

Although some people may not like cooking while traveling, self-catering breakfasts or lunches save a great amount of money.

3. Shop at local markets and shops

Countryside markets often have food with cheap prices at the end of the day therefore shopping at local stores allows you to save money without paying a high price for the restaurant.

4. Choose the convenient hotel

Hotels in the downtown area make travel easier so if you are in town, it’s better to choose the hotel near the subway or bus.

5. Bring water/snacks when going on picnic

Children need snacks when exploring outdoors with their family means you will have to buy these items along the way with higher price. Just put some pieces of cake in the bag and take out when the baby needs energy. Do not forget to bring water while visiting the outdoors.

6. Earn points

Some hotel often has programs to help you accumulate points during your stay there until enough points are needed and guests can stay free in the hotels.

7. Search for travel coupons

Depending on the type of coupon, you may find some free attractive tourist attractions, discounts at restaurants. Or you can go shopping outlets and many other free utilities.

8. Do not choose a deluxe room

Backpackers usually rent a hotel room with the main purpose is to sleep therefore do not need a room with a beautiful view or too wide space. Furthermore, you rarely use swimming pools or gyms so deluxe hotel room is unnecessary.

9. Do not rent a hotel in the crowded areas

‌Hotels in the rural area far from travel destinations are often cheaper than hotels at the city central. Travellers usually go out all day and back to the hotel in the evening just to sleep so renting hotel in this area can be considered then.

‌11. Rent an apartment

‌If you travel in large groups, you can rent apartments instead of many hotel rooms to save costs. Guests can use services such as VRBO, HomeAway, and TripAdvisor.

12. Avoid peak travel season

You can find cheap airline tickets and cheap hotel rooms in low season when tourists don’t face with crowded and noisy conditions as well.

13. Find a discount restaurant

Restaurants usually serve special lunches at lower prices than usual.

14. Do not eat near tourist spots

In some cities, you can walk a few blocks to cheaper restaurants and remember to not to eat near tourist spots as these restaurants often increase prices by the number of guests.

15. Create a travel budget

Planning your spending right from the start, you will avoid the budget deficit during the travel.

16. Choose visa on arrival

Nowadays, people tend to apply for Vietnam e-visa and Vietnam visa on arrival instead of the traditional way obtaining via embassy. Each of them has its own advantages, disadvantages and Vietnam visa cost so just be sure you have enough information in advance to choose the best option.

 

 

Exención de visados para ciudadanos españoles prorrogada hasta el 30 de junio de 2018

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El Gobierno vietnamita ha confirmado su exención extendida de la Vietnam visado para los ciudadanos españoles que tengan previstas estancias en Vietnam por no más de 15 días.

El programa actual permite a los ciudadanos españoles entrar en Vietnam sin necesidad de tramitar un visado, siempre que:

  • su fecha de llegada no sea inferior a 30 días desde la fecha de salida de su última estancia en Vietnam con exención de visado, y
  • que el pasaporte tenga una validez de al menos seis meses.

Se recomienda en todos los casos viajar con la prueba del boleto de salida del país en el plazo de 15 días que rige la exención del visado.

El programa actual permite a los ciudadanos españoles entrar en Vietnam sin necesidad de tramitar visado previo, siempre que se realice una única entrada en el país y que el pasaporte tenga una vigencia mínima de seis meses. Se recomienda en todos los casos viajar con prueba del billete de salida del país dentro del plazo de 15 días que rige la exención del visado.

Para obtener información completa sobre la visa de Vietnam para el español, consulte https://vietnam-visa.es/. 

 

Vietnam visa exemption for 5 European nationalities extended

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As reported by Vietnam-visa.com, the #1 Vietnam visa on arrival service provider, all travelers holding UK, Spain, Italy, France and German are continually entitiled to 15-day Vietnam visa exemption until June 30, 2018. This decision has officially announced by representative of the Vietnamese Government. It is really a great news for those citizens, especially who are planning to visit Vietnam in the coming time.

Vietnam visa exemption overview for those citizens

Accordingly, those citizens may visit Vietnam and stay there up to 15 days until June 30, 2018 without a visa if:

  1. Their passport is valid for at least 6 months since their arrival date in Vietnam; and
  2. Their arrival date does not fall within 30 days since exit date of their last stay in Vietnam with visa exemption.

To get visa exemption, they only need to bring their passport to show to the immigration officer at border gate.

If this is not the case, they will need to obtain a visa beforehand. In this way, they may have up to 3 ways to get a visa for Vietnam:

Tips: What about Vietnam visa if they wish to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days?

Also, according to Vietnam-visa, these citizens who wish to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days or who wish to stay in Vietnam for no more than 15 days but their arrival date fall within 30 days from exit date of their last stay with visa exemption may choose either of the following options to get a visa for Vietnam:

1. If they wish to stay for no more than 30 days:

  • They can obtain a Vietnam e-visa, which is just for tourists with single entry;
  • They can obtain a Vietnam visa on arrival, which is just for those traveling to Vietnam by air; OR
  • They can obtain a Vietnam visa at Vietnam embassy, which is maybe just convenient for those very close to Vietnam Embassy.

2. If they wish to stay for more than 30 days:

  • They can obtain a Vietnam visa on arrival, which is just for those traveling to Vietnam by air;
  • They must obtain Vietnam visa at Vietnam embassy if they do not travel to Vietnam by air.

A brief comparison between these two ways can be found here: https://www.vietnam-visa.com/why-use-vietnam-visa-on-arrival-service/.

 
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