There are a few things you should not travel without:
- A map, certainly.
- Photocopies of your passport and visa.
- Cash in US$ 20’s and $ 100’s
- A folding umbrella if you plan to visit during the rainy season. The wettest months are July and August.
- Zip lock bags. They are cheap, disposable, and keep all kinds of things fresh and dry.
- Hotel cards: You should keep your hotel cards or brochures to show people to get guidance in case of missing way back home
- Business Cards. You will discover that practically everyone in Vietnam has a calling card of some kinds. The proper way to offer your card is to hold it by the corners with both hands.
Appropriate dress differs from North to South. Southern Vietnam is tropical year round and people dress comfortably and casually. Lightweight cotton and wool fabrics will be comfortable at any time of year. While they may resist wrinkles, synthetics and are blends miserably hot.
Generally, short pants are inappropriate anywhere but a beach resort or a farm and you will look like a foolish tourist on the streets of most cities. Jeans are almost always fashionable except for business occasions.
Winter (November through April) can be cool in Hanoi, and a coat may be necessary. Dress here is a bit more formal and somber than the fashionable South. If traveling on business, jackets and ties are usually appropriate, regardless of the weather. Saigon’s business community is very image oriented. It’s alright to ask your business partners here what kind of attire is appropriate and expected.
Remember that Vietnam is a tropical country. Most of the year it is warm and humid. If you are not used to tropical weather, be prepared to shower and change your clothes two or three times a day. During rainy season in Saigon the rain is often short (20-30 minutes) and some times quite sudden. Practically every hotel in Vietnam has laundry service, which is usually quite inexpensive.
Vietnamese dong (VND) is the official currency in Vietnam.
Paper notes include: VND 500,000; 200,000; 100,000; 50,000; 20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500; 200 and 100. Coins include VND 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; 500 and 200.
Cheques with value as Vietnamese dong include: VND 1,000,000 and 500,000.
Foreign currencies and tourist cheques can be exchanged into Vietnamese Dong at banks or foreign exchange agencies. Credit cards are popularly used, especially in cities and big tourist centers. Before leave Vietnam, Vietnamese dong can be changed into foreign currencies at the airport.