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How to: Gain Entry to Vietnam

Updated on September 7, 2017
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Roselyn has been a freelancer for 40 years. She had been a street vendor, a baker and a cook. Until she finds her niche -- writing. :)

Ha Long Bay - World Natural Heritage Site

Ha Long Bay, World Natural Heritage Site
Ha Long Bay, World Natural Heritage Site | Source

How to Gain Entry to Vietnam

First, you must have passport. It should have at least one empty page for visa.

Second, you must obtain tourist visa before you land in Vietnam. Since travel agencies are authorized to have a pre-approval for visa on arrival, ask your travel agent about this.

Otherwise, you will apply for a visa at the Embassy of Vietnam. You could also apply online for their e-visa program which should ran until January 2019. Whichever you choose, the payment shall be sent thru Money Order, Manager’s check, Company Check, credit card, or Paypal.

Processing time upon application is 5 business days, but give your visa at least a month. You can track it down through your passport number.

Visas are used to enter and to exit Vietnam.

How to Apply for Visa

You should submit the following to begin the process. After you paid the charges, start counting working days.

  1. Attach photo (2”x2”) with application form
  2. Passport (or photocopy of passport)
  3. Visa approval issued by the Immigration Department of Vietnam

Your visa has arrived? What are you waiting for? Let’s go to Vietnam!

VIetnam Faces the South China Sea

Vietnam faces the South China Sea.
Vietnam faces the South China Sea. | Source

A Brief Geography and History

Vietnam has more than 90 million inhabitants and is 14th most populated country in the world and ranked 9th in Asia.

Bordered by Laos on the northwest, Cambodia on the southwest, and China on the north, Vietnam is found on the seaside of South China Sea.

Like several Asian countries, Vietnam has its colorful history. Its northern part was part of Imperial China (111 BC to AD 939). In the mid-19th century, the Indochina Peninsula was French colonized. Vietnam expelled the French in 1954.

The country was divided into two rival states: North Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam). Vietnam war lasted from 1965 to 1973, which ended with a North Vietnam’s victory in 1975.

Vietnam had the highest Global Growth Generators Index among 11 major economies in 2011.

Vietnam is one of the four one-party socialist states officially espousing communism. The other three are: China (People’s Republic of China); Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic); Cuba (Republic of Cuba); and, Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam).

Giant Golden Buddha

Giant Golden Buddha
Giant Golden Buddha | Source

Key Culture Symbols and Values

Vietnamese culture focuses on humanity and harmony. It gives high regard to family and community values.

Cultural symbols are the Vietnamese dragon (derived from crocodile and snake), a holy dragon (known as Vietnam’s National Father, Lạc Long Quân), and a holy bird (known as National Mother). Images of turtle and horse are also shown great respect.

Buddhism, is the national religion but strongly intertwined

by immigrant influences of Hainan, Hakka, Hokien, and Cantonese cultures. Recently, Vietnam is influenced by Western Cultures (French and the United States) and also to Southeast Asian and European cultures.

Cruising Along Ha Long Bay

Cruising Along Ha Long Bay
Cruising Along Ha Long Bay | Source

Tu Lan Caves, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Tu Lan Caves
Tu Lan Caves | Source

Tourist Spots

Vietnam has 2 World Natural Heritage Sites: Hạ Long Bay and Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park.

Popular tourist destinations also include the Hué, Hội An and Mỹ Sơn, Nha Trang, and the Marble Mountains.

Dai Nam Park is a large 22-hectare amusement tourism complex. It has a zoo, a waterpark, and lots of amusement rides. It also has a hotel and restaurants. Do you like camping? Tent and mattress are for rent, too.

Dragon Park in Ha Long City is a magical world with fairy-tale-inspired rides. The longest rollercoaster in Asia—the Phi Long Than Toc rollercoaster—is 1.1 kilometers at length.

It has more than 100,000 flower plants and 10,000 trees. Visitors will also want to try every restaurant with different dishes.

Dragon Park has 30 rides and the first theme park in Asia managed by Spanish group, Parques Reunidos. Rides are suited to people of all ages.

Port Citadel, Hue

Hue, Port Citadel
Hue, Port Citadel | Source

Chua Cau, Hoi An

Chua Cau, Hoi An
Chua Cau, Hoi An | Source

The Ancient Ruins of My Son (My Son, Vietnam)

The Ancient Ruins of My Son
The Ancient Ruins of My Son | Source

Nha Trang Beach

Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang Beach | Source

Marble Mountain, Vietnam

Marble Mountain, Vietnam
Marble Mountain, Vietnam | Source

Dragon Park - The Largest Theme Park in Southeast Asia

Vietnamese Cuisine

Five fundamental tastes feature the Vietnamese cuisine. Spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet. They represent the five elements: metal, wood, fire, water, and earth, respectively.

Fish sauce, shrimp paste, prawn sauce, and soy sauce are the common ingredients. While rice, fruits, vegetables, and herbs are the fresh parts.

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is one of healthiest cuisines in the world. Known for its fresh ingredients, least use of oil, and practice of garden-fresh herbs and vegetables.

Vietnamese recipes often use ginger, basil leaves, lime, lemongrass, mint, long coriander, bird’s eye chili, Saigon cinnamon and Vietnamese mint.

Use of meats such as pork, beef, and chicken was limited in rural areas. Freshwater fish, crabs, and mollusks are widely used.

Signature Vietnamese dishes originated in the northern Vietnam like bún riêu and bánh cuốn and were spread through central and southern Vietnam.

Bun rieu is rice vermicelli meat soup. It has a fresh sour flavor.

Banh cuon is made from thin sheet of rice batter, steamed, then it is filled by a mixture of seasoned ground pork, minced mushroom, and shallots.

A Bowl of Bun Rieu is Often Served with Steamed Vegetables

A Bowl of Bun Rieu is Often Served with Steamed Vegetables
A Bowl of Bun Rieu is Often Served with Steamed Vegetables | Source

Thanh Tri Style Banh Cuon

Thanh Tri Style Banh Cuon
Thanh Tri Style Banh Cuon | Source

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