Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is located on the east of the Indochinese peninsular and has an area of around 330,000 sq km (128,000 sq miles) and a population of about 87 million. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, the South China Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the south-east.
The capital city is Hanoi with a population of over 3 million. The country’s largest city, with over 4 million inhabitants, is Ho Chi Minh City, known as Saigon up to April 1975 when the bloody Vietnam War finally ended. The war is now firmly in the past and tourism has become increasingly important to the country’s economy, now contributing about 5% to the gross domestic product. Vietnam has firmly established itself as a popular South-East Asian destination and foreign visitors have been able to travel freely throughout the country since 1997. Tour operators are now also offering a combination of trips combining Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand – a fascinating experience.
Things to see in Hanoi: The Old Quarter – traditional houses and shopfronts, including Ma May, a restored 19th century house you can go inside. Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum – a marble monument to the leader, built from materials from all over Vietnam, and displaying his embalmed corpse. The Museum of Vietnamese Women – celebrates the culture and strength of the women who survived or took part in the war. Photographs and objects, especially ethnic textiles and clothing.
Ngoc Son Temple is the most visited temple in Hanoi, being built on an island in Hoan Kiem Lake, connected to the shore by a classical Vietnamese bridge. On a hill in the Cai River area of the city is the Long Son Pagoda and behind it, visible from all over the city, is a 14 metre high statue of Buddha seated on a lotus blossom. There are great views from the platform around the statue.
Ho Chi Minh City sights: the largest city in Vietnam and once the French colonial capital, the city still has wide boulevards and elegant buildings. Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace are two buildings in the centre not to miss, but visitors interested in the legacy of the Vietnam War should head for the Cu Chi tunnels to the northwest of the city. This network of tunnels was the Viet Cong’s base for the Tet Offensive of 1968 and played a vital role in the North Vietnamese victory over American forces. The tunnels have been preserved as a war memorial and tourists are admitted to some of the safer ones. If you are too young to remember the Vietnam War, the War Remnants Museum in District 3 displays the full horror of the use of chemical warfare and massacres by US forces.
Vietnam has some glorious beaches, and the city of Nha Trang is famous for its 7 km of white sand and its blue sea. From there you can take a cruise to Mun Island where you can snorkel in the clear waters. For something completely different, the city of Dalat at an altitude of 1500 metres offers lakes and waterfalls among pine forests. This “city of thousands of flowers”, seven hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City, has an ideal climate
How to get a visa for Vietnam in just 3 days
Are you traveling to Vietnam any time soon? Then you should check what kind of travel document you need to cross its borders. That if you need any. Fortunately for some of you, Vietnam is one of the countries that adopted the electronic visa system back in 2017. The purpose of this was to increase tourism, and judging by the statistics in 2017, it worked. Now, we will teach you how to get your visa for Vietnam in just 3 days. All you need to do is follow the steps below.
Step number one: check your eligibility
The first thing you need to do is check whether you qualify for an electronic visa or not. However, it is possible for you to come from a visa-exempt country, in which case you can enter and stay in Vietnam without a visa for a period that varies from 14 to 90 days, depending on your nationality. If that is not the case, check to see if you are on the list of nationalities eligible for an electronic visa.
If the answer is no, then we must tell you that you have no other choice than going to the nearest Vietnamese embassy to apply for a consular visa. If you are lucky, you can proceed to the next step.
Step number two: put together everything you need
Getting a visa online is incredibly convenient. But that does not mean you do not have to invest some effort. For one thing, you must ensure that you have everything that is required for a successful visa application process. For a Vietnam e-visa, you do not need much. First of all, you need a passport. It needs to be valid and remain as such for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in Vietnam. Other requirements involve a scan of your passport’s information page and a digital photo of yourself. Of course, an e-mail address and a credit or debit card are necessary as well.
As soon as you notice that you have everything you need, you can move forward.
Step number three: fill in the application form
You will be happy to know that online forms are nothing like government forms. They are short and accessible, and most of the times it takes about 20 minutes to go over. While you complete the application form, you need to provide your general information, as well as to upload the supporting documents for your application. Other actions are necessary as well. For example, some visa services allow you to make a choice as to how fast you want the processing to happen. An application for a Vietnam e-visa can be processed in as little as 3 days if you choose the right visa service.
At this point, all that is left for you to do is to wait for your visa to arrive. That will happen via e-mail. Your e-visa will come in PDF format. Even though the visa is linked to your passport electronically, you are still required to print out a physical copy before your departure. It would be wise if you printed multiple copies.
All things considered, we think that getting a visa for Vietnam is more than convenient if you are eligible for an electronic visa. There are many visa services that can guarantee a smooth and swift online application process, and as long as you choose the right one, your effort will be close to non-existent. Fortunately, there are many good such services, and the chances of you having a positive experience with one of them are pretty high.