MarcomBest 11-14 November 2013
Location: National Convention Center, Hanoi, Vietnam
Travel Tips


1. Business Hours

  • Government offices and museums open early, around 07:30 am, and close between 04:30 pm and 5:00 pm.
  • Avoid doing business from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm as people are either at lunch or napping.

2. Currency

  • Vietnam Dong (VND) is the official currency in Vietnam; 20,820 VND to $1 US dollar is the approximate exchange rate. US dollars are widely accepted at hotels, but you will need local currency for use in taxis and shops and everywhere else.
  • Credit cards are accepted in high-end hotels and many restaurants and shops in big cities.

3. Hotel & Registration

  • There is a wide range of accommodations available, at least in Vietnam’s major cities. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City feature a choice of five-star hotels, while guesthouses and mini hotels offer no-frills rooms for around 15 USD.
  • Please be aware that when checking into hotels, in order to properly register you’ll need to present your passport and the staff will need to verify your visa number. Some hotels may also ask to keep your passport during the length of your stay.

4. Safety

  • While Vietnam is one of the safest countries in Asia, you should nonetheless secure your valuables in your hotel’s safe deposit box.
  • If you choose to drive a motorbike you must always wear a helmet. It is not just a good idea; helmets are now required by law in Vietnam.

5. Telecommunications

  • International phone charges are often relatively high in many hotels, especially the pricier up-market ones; who regularly add extra fees. It's a good idea to ask about their rates before dialing.
  • Faxes can be sent from hotels, business centers or post offices.

6. Visas

  • Tourist visas are generally valid for 30 days.
  • Should you wish to extend your visa; most travel and tour operators can facilitate your visa extension for a small fee.
  • The official offices of Immigration are located at the addresses below:
  • In Hanoi: No. 40a Hang Bai Street… Tel: (84-4) 3826-6200
  • In Ho Chi Minh City: No. 254 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1… Tel: (84-8)3920-2300

7. Useful Phone Numbers

  • General Information: 1080 (Difficult in English, have your Vietnamese friend call for information.)
  • Police: 113
  • Fire brigade: 114
  • Ambulance: 115

8. Transportation

  • Motorbike Taxis (“Xe Om”) will cost around VND 15,000 per kilometer; but you should agree on a price upfront.
  • Bus: Bus fare in major cities is very inexpensive and a ticket will usually cost only around; 5,000 - 10,000 VND
  • Taxis: Always take a taxi with a logo on the car; agree on the price upfront.
  • Taxi rates are around 11,000 VND per kilometer. Your hotel can call a taxi for you in most places.


9. Things To Remember:

  • It’s a good idea to store excess cash, credit cards, airline tickets, passport and other valuables in your hotel’s safety box.
  • Carrying a photo copy of your passport with you is a good idea.
  • Take a business card from your hotel so you can easily find your way back.
  • Keeping small bills handy makes it easy to pay small vendors at the market who may not have much change.
  • Make sure that the Vietnamese notes you receive are not torn, as torn currency is not accepted.
  • Not a bad idea to bring tissue paper in your day pack on long excursions from your hotel.
  • Bargain, bargain and bargain! Very few stores have fixed prices and haggling is all part of the sale!
  • It’s always best to ask for permission before taking someone’s picture.
  • As in  most big cities today, wearing large amounts of jewelry is not advisable
  • When visiting Temples or Pagodas remember to dress in conservative clothing
  • Try not to lose your temper in public or when bargaining for a purchase.


10.  Crossing a Busy Street in Traffic:

  • When crossing the street, it’s best to walk at an even measured pace. The “right of way” rule does not apply here the same as in the West.
  • Keep an even pace while you watch the on coming traffic to make sure they see you. Don’t panic, just walk with deliberate movements.
  • It takes a while to get used to… but you can learn how to do it most effectively by watching the locals around you.