Asian continent is home to some of the striking places on earth. Among the many beautiful destinations, Vietnam is one of them, so I was glad that we choose this country for our family holiday. In a nutshell, this country is a perfect amalgamation of historical significance and modern-day allure. On the one hand, you will see bustling cities; on the other hand, you will get to experience the serenity of nature. Before we embarked on our trip to Vietnam, I did a little research and found that the country offered a visa on arrival.
Get Your Visa Application Sorted
However, you have to apply for a visa and get an approval letter before entering the country. While I thought it would be an arduous process, everything happened in a matter of a week tops. All you have to do is apply online to get an approval letter then pick up my visa on arrival at destination airport in Vietnam. You might have to wait for 2 business days to get your visa approved. However, if you don’t have that much time to spare and tickets are already booked, then you can get your approval letter within 8 or 4 hours on an urgent basis.
Get a hard copy of the approval letter as you will have to show it at the airport during the stamping. Additionally, you also need to submit two passports sized photos as well, so ensure that all these things are in your handbag, ready to submit. While filling the online visa application form, be careful with the details you put in. Make sure everything you write matches all your identification documents. If the details are mismatched, your approval letter could get delayed or even rejected.
As soon as you reach the Vietnam airport, head straight to the visa counter. The queue can get very long, so the earlier you reach, the faster you will be able to get out of the airport. Submit the approval letter, passport sized photos, and stamping fees to the office. For single entry, you will have to pay USD 25 for the visa stamping fee, and for double entry, the stamping fees stand at 50 dollars. Make sure you carry the amount with you in cash because no other mode of payment is accepted at the visa counter.
Note : To avoid long queues at the airport, you can order for extra service called “airport fast track” or “visa fast track”
The Bustling yet Mesmerizing Streets of Vietnam
I found that the streets of Vietnam looked very similar to the streets of India. They were busy and filled with motorbikes and cars passing through. Luckily our accommodation was sorted, and we were taken directly to our hotel from the airport. Accommodation facility in Vietnam is also incredible; whether you are in a 5-star hotel or dorm room facility, you can avail clean and hygienic rooms. Whether you are in a café, hostel, restaurant, or hotel, you will find fantastic and free wi-fi everywhere.
Haggle Your Way Into a Great Deal
If you know how to bargain, you are in luck because the markets in Vietnam are all about haggling. Vietnam markets are among my favorite things to explore in this country. I had so much time exploring the market, getting acquainted with locals, and their ideas. Some of the popular markets in Vietnam include Hoi An Central Market, Han Market, Hanoi Weekend Night Market, Dong Ba Market, etc.
Since we were familiar with motorbikes, we hired them when we set out to explore the nearby city. It was a fun experience to travel around the cities and feel like locals. Of course, for typical tourist destinations, we have to stick to the tourist buses. Some of the places like My Son, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Sapa, etc. are some of the destinations that you just cannot miss.
Delicious Local Cuisine at Every Corner
As for cuisine, Vietnam doesn’t disappoint you in this area as well. Dishes like Pho, Goi Cuon, Banh Xeo, Com Tam, Cau Lao, etc. are some of the popular dishes in Vietnam. If you are vegetarian, then your options are limited but equally delicious. Some of the scrumptious vegetarian food in Vietnam include Xoi Chay, Banh Mi Chay, Banh Khoai Tay Chien, Dau Hu Sot Ca Chua, Rau Muong Xao Toi, etc. The streets are filled with small food stalls that offer a wide range of local cuisine at affordable prices. So if you are on a budget trip, you will still get to try all the signature dishes of Vietnam without straining your wallet.
I liked the fact that Vietnam gave a very chilled and laid back vibe. People here are quite friendly. There is no strict dress code that you have to follow. However, if you are visiting any religious destination, you are required to carry a scarf to cover your shoulder and wear long pants or trousers. No matter what kind of trip you plan, you will have tons of options to suit your preferences. I am all for spontaneity; however, if you plan your itineraries ahead, you can save a lot of confusion and time wastage in a strange country.