All Canadian citizens and most Permanent Residents need a visa to visit or do business in Vietnam. Nationals of only 23 countries are visa exempt, and those nationals are limited in the time they are allowed to spend in the country without a visa, based on their nationality - 14 days, 15 days, 21 days or 30 days.
So, most likely, you need a visa to go to Vietnam.
- Vietnamese Climate
- Vietnamese Culture
- Vietnamese Visa
- Vietnamese Embassy
- Vietnamese Vaccines
- Calling Vietnam
- Vietnamese Money
- Vietnamese Cost of Living
- Vietnamese Electricity
- Vietnamese Travel Alerts
- Calling Canada from Vietnam
- Maps of Vietnam
- Driving in Vietnam
- Transportation in Vietnam
- Vietnamese Internet
Perhaps surprisingly, the climate of Vietnam varies a fair amount between the northern, central and southern parts of the country. That's because Vietnam is a very long country, with a coastline of over 3,2000 kilometres.
In the south of the country they have a tropical savananna climate, i.e. one that is warm to hot and humid. Temperatures never fall below 18 celcius and there is a dry season. However, in the north of the country, they experience a cool winter, with temperatures in the low double digits. And in the mountains in the north, the temperature can fall as low as the low single digits in December and January.
Here is the climate datat for a few of Vietnam's biggest cities to give you a better idea of the weather you will face:
Climate of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's largest city and is located in the south of the country.
|Average High °C||31.6||32.9||33.9||34.6||34.0||32.4||32.0||31.8||31.3||31.2||31.0||30.8||32.3|
|Average rainfall (mm)||13.8||4.1||10.5||50.4||218.4||311.7||293.7||269.8||327.1||266.7||116.5||48.3||1,931|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||245||246||272||239||195||171||180||172||162||182||200||226||2,489|
Climate of Hanoi
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is at the other end of the country from Ho Chi Minh City:
|Average High °C||19.3||19.9||22.8||27.0||31.5||32.6||32.9||31.9||30.9||28.6||25.2||21.8||27.0|
|Average rainfall (mm)||18.6||26.2||43.8||90.1||188.5||239.9||288.2||318.0||265.4||130.7||43.4||23.4||1,676.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||68.2||45.2||43.4||81.0||164.3||156.0||182.9||164.3||162.0||164.3||126.0||108.5||1,466.1|
Climate of Da Nang
Da Nang, the country's 6th largest city, is right in the middle of the country:
|Average High °C||24.8||26.1||28.7||31.0||33.4||33.9||34.3||33.9||31.5||29.6||27.0||24.9||29.9|
|Average precipitation (mm)||96.2||33.0||22.4||26.9||62.6||87.1||85.6||103.0||349.7||612.8||366.2||199.0||2,044.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||136.4||152.6||179.8||210.0||254.2||240.0||241.8||217.0||174.0||158.1||138.0||124.0||2,225.9|
Vietnam is actually a very diverse country, despite what we in the West may think.
Ethnicity in Vietnam
There are numerous ethnic groups in Vietnam:
|Vietic||Kinh||73,594,427||85.73%||also called Viet|
|Mường||1,268,963||1.48%||Closest to the Kinh, the other main part of the Viet–Mường branch of the Vietic subfamily|
|Tai–Kadai||Bố Y||2,273||less than 0.01%||Bouyei|
|Sán Chay||169,410||0.2%||San Chay, Cao Lan|
|Tày||1,626,392||1.89%||The largest minority in Vietnam|
|Kadai(Kra)||Cờ Lao||2,636||less than 0.01%||Gelao|
|Pu Péo||687||less than 0.01%||Qabiao, Pubiao|
|Brâu||397||less than 0.01%|
|Mảng||3,700||less than 0.01%|
|Ơ Đu||376||less than 0.01%|
|Rơ Măm||436||less than 0.01%|
|Xơ Đăng||169,501||0.2%||Sedang, Xo Dang|
|Hmong–Mien||Dao||751,067||0.87%||Yao people, also known as Mien, many speak Iu Mien language|
|Hmong||1,068,189||1.02%||formerly known as Mèo|
|Chinese||Hoa people||823,071||0.96%||Overseas Chinese|
|Ngái||1,035||less than 0.01%||Hakka Chinese|
|Sán Dìu||146,821||0.17%||Yao that speak Cantonese|
|Tibeto-Burman||Phunoi||2,029||less than 0.01%||Cống|
|Lô Lô||4,541||less than 0.01%||Yi|
|Si La||709||less than 0.01%|
This official list of ethnicities obviously doesn't include foreigners (beyond the Chinese), so it does not add up to the total population.
Language in Vietnam
Most people in Vietnam speak Vietnamese. Most of the above ethnic groups speak Vietnamese as a second or third language, even if they were born into an ethnic group that traditionally does not speak Vietnamese.
Religion in Vietnam
In 2010, PEW estimated religious beliefs in Vietnam as the following:
- Vietnamese folk religions (similar to Chinese folk religions): 45.3%
- Buddhism: 16.4%
- Christianity: 8.2%
- Non-religious/other: 29.6%
Though the Vietnamese government has discussed removing the visa requirement for Canadian travellers to Vietnam, this has not yet occurred and it will likely occur until July 1, 2016 at the very earliest. In the meantime, you need to apply for a visa. You can do so online here (and then you have to print off the application and submit it) or you can use one of the many prviate services (for an additional fee). You can also apply by email or mail. The application process is the same whether applying for a tourist or business visa.
- Get your visa photo taken (it should be the same size as a passport photograph)
- Go to the Vietnamese government's visa site here.
- Complete the application and save it to your desktop.
- Complete the credit card payment form and save it to your desktop.
- Include in your email your shipping preferences for your visa and do not forget to include your mailing address.
- If you are applying for a business visa, include the invitation letter you received from the Vietnamese business/organization you are dealing with.
- Email everything to [email protected]
Submitting your Application by Mail
- Get your visa photo taken (see above).
- Complete the application form online and print it off.
- Complete the credit form and print it off.
- Make sure to include in your package something indicating your choice between Xpress Post and FedEx for delivery.
- Include your invitation letter, if you applying for a business visa.
- Mail everything to the Vietnamese Embassy in Ottawa.
Submitting your Application in Person
- Get your visa photo taken.
- Complete the visa application form and print it off.
- Bring your credit card, as the Embassy only accepts US money.
- If you're applying for a business visa, bring your invitation letter.
- Travel to the Embassy.
Tel: (613) 236 0772
Fax: (613) 236 2704
|Vaccination or Disease||Recommendations or Requirements for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases|
|Routine||Required if you are not up-to-date with routine shots, such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.|
|Hepatitis A||Highly recommended for all unvaccinated travellers, as you can get it at restaurants or hotels|
|Hepatitis B||Recommended for all unvaccinated travellers who will have sex, get a tattoo or receive medical care while in Vietnam|
|Japanese Encephalitis||Only recommended to those traveling to Vietnam for more than a month or if you are traveling to rural areas|
|Malaria||There is no vaccine, but you can take preventative steps to avoid contacting malaria. Speak to your doctor.|
|Typhoid||Highy recommended for all unvaccinated travellers, as you can get it even at restaurants or hotels|
|Yellow Fever||The government of Vietnam requires proof that you have been vaccinated for yellow fever in order for you to be let into the country.|
- The exit code for Canada is 011
- The country code for Vietnam is 84
- Area codes range from one to three digits long and indicate the region of the country or the city. Please note: Area Codes will change in 2017.
- Mobile/Cell codes are 1 or 9 only.
- The local number is five to eight digits long.
So to call Vietnam dial:
Landline: 011-84-(area code)-local number
When to Call - Time Difference
|Canadian Time Zone||
# of Hours Difference with Vietnam
|# of Hours Difference during Canadian DST|
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||15 hours||14 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||14 hours||13 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan)||13 hours||12 hours (except Saskatchewan)|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||12 hours||11 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||11 hours||10 hours|
|Newfoundland||10.5 hours||9.5 hours|
All prices below are in CAD
|Three Course Meal for 2 People, at a regular restaurant||$18.53||$12.36-$37.07|
|Fast Food Combo||$5.56||$4.32-$7.41|
|Pint of Domestic Beer||$0.96||$0.74-$1.54|
|Bottle of Imported Beer (333ml)||$1.85||$1.24-$2.47|
|Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (335ml)||$0.59||$0.43-$0.93|
|Bottle of Water (0.335ml)||$0.37||$0.28-$0.62|
|1 litre of Milk||$1.92||$1.54-$2.47|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||$1.06||$0.62-$1.54|
|White Rice (1kg)||$1.09||$0.80-$1.36|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||$12.36||$6.18-$20.39|
|Boneless, SkinlessChicken Breasts (1kg)||$5.53||$3.71-$9.27|
|Beef Round (1kg)||$13.78||$9.27-$17.30|
|Head of Lettuce||$0.75||$0.43-$1.24|
|Water (1.5 litre bottle)||$0.71||$0.49-$1.17|
|Bottle of Wine||$15.44||$6.18-$20.66|
|Pint bottle of Domestic Beer||$0.92||$0.62-$1.24|
|Bottle of Imported Beer (335ml)||$1.68||$1.06-$2.78|
|Pack of Cigarettes||1.42||$1.24-$1.54|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transit)||$0.43||$0.31-0.43|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||$9.27||$6.18-12.36|
|Taxi Start (Normal Fare)||$0.74||$0.56-0.93|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Fare)||$0.74||$0.62-$0.99|
|Taxi 1 hour Waiting (Normal Fare)||$1.85||$1.24-$2.16|
|Gasoline (1 litre)||$1.22||$1.11-$1.42|
|New Car (sedan)||$64,559.96||$40,156.92-74,135.84|
|Utilities (Monthly)||Average||Price Range|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||$73.08||$43.25-$123.56|
|Prepaid Mobile Local (1 minute)||$0.10||$0.07-0.15|
|Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$15.13||$12.36-$18.53|
|Sports And Leisure||Average||Price Range|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$39.33||$18.53-$61.78|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)||$9.29||$4.94-$15.44|
|1 Movie ticket||$5.56||$4.32-7.41|
|Clothing And Shoes||Average|
|1 Pair of Jeans||$48.52||$24.71-$74.14|
|1 Summer Dress||$32.42||$14.21-$49.42|
|1 Pair of Running Shoes||$96.82||$61.78-$123.56|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||$79.68||$33.98-$123.56|
|Rent Per Month||Average||Price Range|
|1 Bedroom Apartment in City Centre||$493.62||$275.45-$741.36|
|1 Bedroom Apartment Outside of Centre||$332.09||$154.45-$494.24|
|3 Bedrooms Apartment in City Centre||$1,182.48||$772.25-$1,853.40|
|3 Bedroom Apartment Outside of Centre||$732.82||$432.46-$1,050.26|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Condo in City Centre||$3,336.15||$1,853.40-$6,177.99|
|Price per Square Meter to Buy Condo Outside of Centre||$1,191.69||$803.14-$1,853.40|
|Salaries And Financing||Average|
|Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax)||$328.07||$216.23-$463.35|
|Mortgage Interest Rate (%)||$9.10|
If you are using your North American electrical devices in Vietnam, you will need a voltage converter and probably an adapter as well.
If your device isn't rated for 220-240 volts (and many Canadian and American devices are not), you will need a voltage converter in order to use them safely while in Vietnam.
Vietnam uses three different types of sockets, unfortunately . They use the standard North American plugs, but they also use the "Europlug" and the British style of plug, so you will need an adapter if you are staying at more than one hotel, or that hotel uses one of the two below plugs:
Europlug [Public Domain]
British-style plug [Public Domain]
- The international code is 00
- The country code for Canada is 1
- Dial 00 – 1 – area code – local number
Area Codes in Canada
403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
To see time differences, go back to the section on calling Vietnam. Canada is ahead, Canada is behind.
Provinces of Vietnam:
Topographic Map of Vietnam
Vietnam does not recognize the International Driver's License. However, it seems you can register your driver's license with the local authorities and be issued a Vietnamese driver's license without taking any tests. You must also provide your visa to the license-granting authority. The visa must be good for 3 months minimum so you can only get one if you are planning on staying for a while.
However, driving in Vietnam is extremely difficult and is not recommended. Traffic is cities is "chaotic" and unregulated. Traffic outside of the cities is better, but the roads are in significantly worse shape.
Within cities the main ways of getting around include Xe Om (motorcyle taxis), buses (not recommended unless you speak Vietnamese), taxis (the most common way to travel for tourists), and cyclos (rickshaws). Especially if you have luggage, most travel sites recommend taxies as taxis are metered and other forms of transport are not.
Between cities, plane or rail is recommended if it is available. Buses are fine if you are traveling from city to city; however if you are boarding a bus between cities, there are reports of drivers charging up to 10 times as much for the fare for foreigners. The same holds true for boat travel for smaller boats.
Most hotels now provide wi-fi, however they routinely charge fees for the privilege.
As for outside of hotels, you will have to rely on internet cafes as hotspots, though they exist, are not yet common. Outside the major cities, you will likely have trouble finding even internet cafes.