Vietnam has drawn the attention of people from different parts of the world with its exquisite landscapes and indigenous culture. And American is not an exception. Thousands of people have paid their Vietnam tour packages from the US to get a closer look at this beautiful land.
Followings are some must-know guides and tips for a tour from the US to the North of Vietnam – the home to several worldwide famous natural and cultural attractions.
Halong Bay – the new Wonder of the World
North Vietnam at a glance
The northern part of Vietnam is an exceptionally wonderful land which is naturally blessed with spectacular natural settings of soaring mountains, fertile deltas, and pristine beaches. The eastern part is the paradise with Colgate-white sandbanks and turquoise sea water. It is home to Halong Bay – the masterpiece of nature which has been recognized as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Other beaches and islands like Co To, Cat Ba, Do Son, and Quan Lan are also fascinating destinations for Vietnam tours. The western part of North Vietnam is the spectacular mountainous terrain which attracts tourists with its heaven-touching mountains, steep hills, and narrow yet wonderful passes. The northwest is hence an ideal choice for adventurous travelers. Sapa and Ha Giang are the must-stop destinations for any Vietnam trips.
The Northwest in spring
Discovering the life and traditions of northern people is also a cannot-miss activity when visitors travel to northern Vietnam. The North has experienced all the up-and-down of the country for thousands of years, thus possessing a huge cultural heritage. You can get a closer look at the history of Vietnam via various historical and cultural relics in different cities like Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Phu Tho, etc. Also, the North is home to several ethnic groups, each of which has distinctive lifestyle and culture. Having a deeper approach to the life of the ethnic people, you will surely fall in love with them.
When to travel to North Vietnam?
The best time to take Vietnam tour packages from the US to the North is from November to March when the region experiences the best weather conditions with lots of sunshine, blue skies, and low humidity. It might be freezing cold in the far north between December and January, yet it still offers perfect scenery for sightseeing tours. In the spring, the weather is exceptionally beautiful, providing best conditions for intrepid tours.
Terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai
Other periods of time are also great to travel, too. Though there expects to be extremely hot or humid, the North is still appealing. The tourist attractions are less crowded while the landscapes are still wonderful.
Visas and Customs
To be able to enter Vietnamese land, travelers must bring along your passports which are valid for 6 months upon arrival here. Regarding visas, a tourist visa enables you to stay for 30 days. If you want to stay for a longer time, you should apply for a multiple-entry visa (90 days of validity) or extend your visa.
Tam Coc, Ninh Binh
The process to get a visa is quite simple. You can get your Visas on Arrival (VOA) at Vietnamese international airports. You just need to fill in an online application form, print and get it stamped at the customs and pay a total fee of about $50 for a single-entry visa and about $75 for a multiple-entry one. Travelers can also get Vietnam visas via Vietnamese Embassy and Consulates in the US but the process might be lower. Another way is to apply for E-visas. But the E-visas are single-entry only and cannot be extended.
Customs regulations are becoming much simpler now thanks to Vietnamese government effort to boost its tourism industry. However, there are still things to notice when taking Vietnam tour packages from the US. The maximum amount of some items are set and you will need to clarify your stuff and pay import taxes if it exceeds the limit. For instance, you can only bring a maximal amount of 400 cigarettes, 100 grams of tobacco, 1.5 liters of liquor, and souvenirs and gift items valued under USD 300. There is no restriction on the amount of money, gold, or precious materials; however, large sums of foreign currency ($5000 and greater) or gold (more than 300 gram) must be declared.
And of course, you are not allowed to bring along the following banned items: Weapon, ammunition, explosives, and inflammable objects; military equipment; drugs, opium and other narcotics; and anti-government or pornographic literature.
Festival of ethnic people
There are always things that need to be paid attention when traveling to a strange country. The North Vietnam travel guides above will partly help the US travelers to better prepare for the upcoming Vietnam trips.