Hotline: (84) 902 088 698
Frequently Asked Questions
  • 5. Vietnam Visa Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


    Visa Information
    - Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos?

    Cambodia visa:

    You can get a Cambodia visa stamp upon arrival without pre-arrangements. You only need to pay a 25 US$ fee (this fee maybe differ depending on the nationality of passport holder) and 2 pictures for each traveler. You can then expect about 15 minutes for processing at the airport.

    Laos visa:
    You can get a Laos visa stamp upon arrival without pre-arrangements.  You only need to pay a 25 US$ fee (this fee maybe differ depending on the nationality of passport holder) and 2 pictures for each traveler.  You can then expect about 15 minutes for processing at the airport.

    Vietnam visa:

    Unlike Cambodia or Laos, before entry into Vietnam, you must have a Vietnam visa stamp or a Vietnam visa on arrival pre-approved letter.  A tourist visa for Vietnam can be obtained from any Vietnam embassy or consulate office worldwide.  This visa is valid for 30 days and can be extended through our head office in Vietnam.

    - How do I organise my Visa?
    Please contact the relevant local embassy, or visit a travel agent, to organise your visa/s.

    - Do you help with Visas?
    Viet HighlightsTravel can certainly arrange Vietnam visa for you. Please click here for more information on the requirements and procedure of visa application.


    Travel Insurance
    - Do I need travel insurance?
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all Viet Highlights travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum coverage of 200,000 US$. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.

    Safety and Medical Information

    -  How safe are my belongings whilst on the trip?
    While we take all the precautions we can to make sure your belongings are safe, we are travelling to some exciting destinations that are sometimes home to some pretty skilled thieves. Travel insurance is a must and a lockable bag or money belt will always help too.

    - What is the best way to carry money?
    We recommend having access to money from a variety of sources – cash, cards and travel money cards are all commonly used.

    - Will refrigeration be available for medicines? eg. Insulin
    Availability of refrigeration cannot be guaranteed. As a general rule, many of our city hotels provide access to small fridges; however, outside of this, especially when trekking or in homestay environments, you cannot rely on access to refrigeration. Please be sure to advise Viet Highlights Travel if you are travelling with medication that requires refrigeration.

    - What are the medical and vaccination requirements?
    Medical and vaccination requirements differ between nations and as we are not medical practitioners, we unfortunately cannot advise on this issue. Please see your local GP or travel doctor for details and advice about current vaccination requirements.

    - I am over 60 – do I need a medical certificate?
    Viet Highlights Travel does not require a medical certificate for travellers over the age of 60.

    - What if I get ill or injured on the trip and unable to continue?
    Our leaders are trained to deal with these situations and we will endeavour to get you help as quickly as possible. If you must leave the trip early due to illness, our local offices will help you find appropriate medical care and ensure someone at home is aware of the situation. We will do whatever we can to get you home or on your onward journey. Your travel insurance, which is compulsory on all our trips, should cover any costs incurred if illness occurs.

    Currency Information
    - What is the currency in Vietnam? How much should I take in credit cards/cash? Can I use my credit card during my trip?
    The first currency of Vietnam is the dong, which is abbreviated to ‘d’. Banknotes come in denominations of 500d, 1000d, 2000d, 5000d, 10,000d, 20,000d, 50,000d, 100,000d, 200,000d and 500,000d. Now that Ho Chi Minh has been canonised (against his wishes), his picture is on every banknote. Coins are no longer in circulation. The second currency is the US dollar and that needs no introduction.
    Most major currencies can be exchanged at leading banks in Vietnam, but away from the tourist centres the US-dollar remains king.
    Travellers’ cheques are not common practice anymore so it is a good idea to travel with a credit card and ATM card, or a bank issued ‘cash card’ specifically for travel. Having a couple of options will assure that you are covered if one doesn’t work. In certain countries it comes down to potluck if you can withdraw money. One day it’ll work, the next it won’t, but it will work for your friend… Go figure!
    Visa, MasterCard and JCB cards are now widely accepted in all major cities and many tourist centres. However, a 3% commission charge on every transaction is pretty common; check first, as some charge higher commissions than others. Some merchants also accept Amex, but the surcharge is typically 4%. Better hotels and restaurants do not usually slap on an additional charge.

    If you wish to obtain a cash advance from Visa, MasterCard and JCB, this is possible at Vietcombank branches in most cities, as well as at some foreign banks in HCMC and Hanoi. Banks generally charge a 3% commission for this service. This is handy if you want to take out large sums, as the ATMs have low daily limits.

    - What essential documents do I need to take?
    It’s important that you always travel with your current passport, visas, travel insurance and Viet Highlights Travel documentation. 



    Trip Information
    - How many people will be on my trip if I join a group tour?
    Good things come in small packages, which is why we keep our group sizes down. This means we’re small enough to remain flexible as we thread our way through communities without intimidating the locals. On most of our trips you’ll be part of an intimate group of 12-16 people, though our group sizes are on average 10 people. Our overland trips are in purpose-built vehicles that can carry up to 24 travellers.

    - Can I just do part of the trip?

    Although you won’t be reimbursed for any portion of the trip unused, you can opt to sign off the trip if you need to leave a day or so earlier. If you let us know before travel that you’ll be arriving late or need to leave before the trips ends, we will notify our team on the ground to best accommodate your requirements.

    - Can I make any changes to the itinerary of my group trip, either before or during the trip?
    Please make sure you are happy with your group trip itinerary before booking because we are unable to change them for individual travellers. However, if you and a group of friends, colleagues or even your school would like your own personally designed itinerary, get in contact with our very talented Private Groups; they can tailor an itinerary just for you.

    - Can I add an extra night on the beginning or end of my group trip, either before or during the trip?
    You sure can. Just ask your travel specialist at the time of booking.

    - If I am a single traveller will I be charged a single supplement?
    As a single traveller, you will usually have to pay a single supplement.

    - What time can I check in hotel?
    Check-in times can vary from hotel to hotel and region to region. Generally, they are between midday and 2pm. If you do arrive earlier, you’ll be able to store your luggage with the hotel and head out to explore for a couple of hours.

    - Can I request an early check-in?

    We can’t confirm an early check-in, but our sales team can assist in booking you a night of pre accommodation at the same hotel. If you don’t wish to pay for the extra night, you can try your luck locally (they may let you in early if the room is free) or you can store your luggage.

    - I am a Foreigner/ Vietnamese man, can I share a room with a Vietnamese Lady/ Ladies?

    Vietnamese Law requires a Marriage Certificate if a man stays overnight with a Vietnamese woman. We recommend you to mention this if it is your case and we will try to provide with appropriate advice when make the booking with us.

    - What are the different room categories?
    Unless stated otherwise, hotels generally place their bedrooms within five different categories: Standard; Superior; Deluxe; Executive and Suite.
    The actual differences between the bedrooms varies from one hotel to another, with executive or Suite being the highest standard of room.
    * Single room - A single room is designed to accommodate one person only. The room contains one single/ twin bed.
    * Double room - A double room is designed to accommodate two people only. The room contains one queen bed or king size bed, or if not available, a twin bed.
    * Twin room - A twin room is also designed to accommodate two people only. The room contains two single beds, or if not available, a king size bed.

    There are two main types of family rooms, as follows:
    * Triple room - A triple room is designed to accommodate three people only. The room will contain either:
    One queen and one single bed;
    Three single beds.
    Please specify which option you require when sending your reservation form.
    * Quad room - A quad room is designed to accommodate four people only. The room will contain either:
    Two queen beds;
    One queen and two single beds;
    Four single beds.
    * "Run Of House" is abbreviated as "ROH". This  includes the most common or standard  room category in hotels with basic amenities. Your room will be determined by the hotel, based on availability at the time of check-in.

    Please specify which option you require when sending your reservation form. We can also assist you in seeking accommodations that can suit more than four people in a room. Please specify the number of people in your party when completing your reservation request form.

    Tipping Information
    Tipping is not expected in Vietnam, but it is enormously appreciated. For a person who earns 100 US$ per month, a 1 US$ tip is significant. Upmarket hotels and some restaurants may levy a 5% service charge, but this may not make it to the staff. If you stay a couple of days in the same hotel, try and remember to tip the staff who clean your room.

    You should also consider tipping drivers and guides – after all, the time they spend on the road with you means time away from home and family. Typically, travellers on minibus tours will pool together to collect a communal tip to be split between the guide and driver.

    It is considered proper to make a small donation at the end of a visit to a pagoda, especially if a monk has shown you around; most pagodas have contribution boxes for this purpose.



    - How do I reserve my hotels/ tours with you?

    Once you have selected the hotel(s) or tour(s) or other service from our list, please complete and submit the reservation form making sure that you have given us your correct e-mail address or send your travel request via email to As soon as we receive your request we will get back to you for the confirmation. If there are any problems about your order or payment we will contact you to let you know and decide. We promise 24-hour response on emails.

    - I don't want to make a reservation online, what can I do?
    You are welcome to call us at (+84) 4 6293 5858 (GMT+7) Monday - Saturday. For non-office hour emergency booking, please dial 0084 902 088 698 (English speaking staff on duty available from 8:00 to 21:00 daily).

    - Do you have tours available on specific dates?
    Almost our tours are daily departure. We will let you know the availability on your proposed travel date.

    - Can I make a reservation directly through the hotels or other travel agents?
    Yes, of course you can do that but rates advertised on this website are only available from VIET HIGHLIGHTS TRAVEL and it's related online brands and are not available from the hotel or other travel agents directly.
    Due to our close partnerships with major hotel groups and leading hotel room wholesalers we can offer highly discounted rates. If you would like to make a reservation directly with the hotels or other travel agents you will need to contact them directly.

    - What if the preferred hotel is not available?

    You will be notified via an e-mail or telephone (within 24 hours after placing your order) and we will do our best to suggest or book an alternative similar hotel based on your preferences according to our experience.

    - Why do I have to include my credit card details in my hotel/ visa booking?

    To allow us to proceed with your request, we require you to submit your credit card details. Your credit card information is strictly confidential. Please note, we request your credit card details as a form of online security only (SSL). Please be advised that your credit card details guarantee your booking!

    - What is the latest time that I can make my reservation?

    You can make reseras early as you can if you have finalised your travel plan. Final confirmation is subject to availability

    - How do I make a reservation for someone else?

    To complete a reservation for someone else, simply type in his or her name instead of yours for guest name. Use the billing address for the credit card you are using as the address. Don't forget to use your email address to receive your confirmation information.

    - What happens to my booking if my flight is delayed?
    Please inform us and the hotel immediately as any changes or fee will depend on the hotel policy. We will also try our best to offer you similar ground services.

    - Is it reliable to book online?
    Making an online reservation is easy and safe. Just complete the secure reservation form (SSL - 128bit), make sure that you give us your correct e-mail address. As soon as we receive your request we will reply within 24 hours.

    - How safe are my credit card details?
    The importance of security for our clients is the utmost concern to us. We exercise great care in providing secure transactions from your computer to our server. Our website uses a secure connection for your booking:
    Your personal data and credit card details are encrypted.
    Our secure server uses ‘Secure Socket Layer’ (SSL) technology, the online industry’s standard.

    - What do you do with my personal information?

    We have the utmost respect for your privacy and security. We never divulge any information in our fully encrypted database account to anyone without your consent. We take the issues of privacy and security very seriously by the laws.



    - What happens when I make a reservation?
    After receiving your order with your credit card details or payment, we will process the booking. All reservations will be followed up within 24 hours with emails to confirm your booking or suggest you alternative solutions or require your guaranteed payment.

    - How do I know my reservation is confirmed?
    Your reservation is confirmed once we have sent the CONFIRMATION VOUCHER to the email address provided in your booking request. The CONFIRMATION VOUCHER detailing all the booking and price conditions. You should make a printout of this voucher and present when requested. Your voucher will be accompanied by a booking confirmation number. Make sure to have it in hand upon arrival or hotel check in.

    - How long does it take to get a confirmation?

    The confirmations are coordinated by Viet Highlights Travel staff via e-mail and will be in your inbox no later than 24 hours or within 48 hours in the case of public holidays or special events. If you do not receive any mail from us within 24 hours after placing an order, please kindly Contact Us immediately.

    - Do I need to confirm my booking with the hotel directly?
    No. The Confirmation Voucher printed from the confirmation mail is all you need.


    Vietnam Visa Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


    1. What is visa on arrival?
    Visa on arrival works for air travel only which means you are allowed to pick up your visa at any of the three airports: Hanoi Airport, Danang Airport and Tan Son Nhat Airport (in Ho Chi Minh City). This is a legitimate process and your visa is issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. 

    2. Is the “visa on arrival” legitimate?
    Visa on arrival is legitimate and posted in Vietnam Immigration Laws - so it is endorsed by the Vietnamese Government. Legally issued by Vietnam Immigration Department, it has been online for almost 7 years and increasingly becomes the most convenient way to get a visa to Vietnam.
    The Vietnamese government officially announced that Vietnam provided visa-on-arrivals at international airports for all international travelers.

    3. What is the “approval letter”?

    The "Visa approval letter" is a letter issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department that allows you to enter and exit Vietnam for a given time period. With the approval letter, you can pick up your visa upon arrival at one of the three international airports in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang).

    At the airport, the corresponding authority will verify the details on the approval letter based on your passport and travel documents. As long as you make sure you input the correct details when applying, you will surely be granted entry upon arrival in Vietnam with the approval letter. However, it is strongly advised that you read our website and follow all the instructions carefully to avoid problems or delays at the airport.

    4. Are there any exceptions with visa on arrival?

    Yes, visa on arrival is NOT VALID for OVERLAND ENTRY. The three international airports in Vietnam that you can receive your visa stamp with the approval letter are: Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) and Danang Airport (Da Nang).

    Note: If you plan to enter Vietnam by land or cruise, please apply for a visa approval code.

    5. What is the “approval code”?

    The "Visa approval code" is a letter issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department that allows you to enter and exit Vietnam for a given time period. With the approval code, you can pick up your visa at Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country.

    At the Embassy, the corresponding authority will verify the details on the approval letter based on your passport and travel documents. As long as you make sure you input the correct details when applying, you will surely be granted entry visa to Vietnam with the approval letter. However, it is strongly advised that you read our website and follow all the instructions carefully to avoid problems or delays at the Embassy.

    6. What are the photo requirements?

    Most government agency and travel agents will tell you that you need passport sized photos. This can be a confusing message since different countries have different photo specifications. Generally, Vietnamese officers are not too strict about the photo details, but you still need to know the following rules:

    General requirements:
    - Face must be at a neutral expression, without smiling or frowning.
    - Photos must be taken within 6 months of the application date. Dated stamp is not necessary but do not show a photo that is dramatically different from your current look.
    - Photos must be taken against a white back ground and printed on quality photo paper.
    - Do not wear any kind of glasses when taking these photos.
    - Veins, hats and scarfs are strictly prohibited and any other accessories that cover your ears or foreheads.

     Photo sizes:
    - Passport size photos are strictly 4x6 cm
    - Visa photos depend on the country of residence and it can be 4x6 cm or 2x2 inches.

    7. What if my passport has expired?

    To apply for a visa to Vietnam, your passport must have at least 6 month's validity. Therefore, if your passport is about to expire, please get a new one before applying for your visa in order to avoid unwanted problems at the airport or at the Vietnamese Embassy.

    8. Should I provide you with the exact date of arrival?

    No, not necessarily. The arrival date you provide should be the earliest you plan to arrive, but you can arrive after that date. The departure date is the last day you are permitted to be in the country, unless you get a visa extension.

    For example: If you apply for a 1-month visa and submit your arrival date as Jan 1, 2013, the visa letter will be valid from Jan 1, 2013 – Feb 1, 2013. You can arrive anytime between Jan 1 - Feb 1 but must leave the country by Feb 1, 2013."

    9. How long in advance should I apply for a visa?

    A Vietnamese visa application can be applied for 1 day to 6 months in advance. Although it takes only 2-3 working days to get your visa approved, it is strongly advised that you apply for a Vietnamese visa 1 – 2 weeks before your arrival date to avoid any payment or other administrative problems.

    10. What are the airport procedures for a flight to Vietnam?

    You will be asked for your passport (6 month validity beyond intended stay) and a valid Vietnamese visa at the time of check-in, no matter where you fly from. Vietnamese visa can either be a ready visa stamp into your passport or a signed visa approval letter (visa on arrival).

    Upon presenting your reservation code of air ticket booking or ticket number or a print-out of the e-ticket, your passport and visa/ visa approval letter, you will be provided a boarding pass to fly to Vietnam.

    11. What are the procedures at Vietnam airport?

    When you arrive in one of the three airports (Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City), the first thing you will see – often before or right besides the Customs area – is the Immigration Office with the bright sigh saying “visa-on-arrival” or “landing visa”.

    If you already possess a visa stamp, head straight to the Customs area, hand in your passport for checking and proceed to the baggage area.

    If you use the visa on arrival service, you need to present the following documents: your passport, a print-out of the pre-approval letter, a full-filled Application for Entry and Exit Visa form with one passport-size photo (see photo requirement) affixed on the form and pay US$ cash for the stamp fee to collect the visa.
    After receiving the visa stamp on your passport you can proceed to customs.

    Once granted entry by immigration officers and customs officers, you can collect your luggage and leave the airport.

    When you leave Vietnam, you just need to show your passport at the immigration stations before heading to security checkpoint. If you stay longer than allowed in the visa, you may face some fines, so make sure you note down the date.

    12. Can I extend my visa if I want to stay longer after expiry date?

    A 30 day visa extension can be done within 04 working days (not available on weekend and Public Holidays) at the Vietnamese Immigration Department in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. You can also contact a Vietnamese travel agency and request a similar service. 

    13. Do I need a transit visa if I have a connecting flight?

    You do not need a transit visa in Vietnam if you do not cross passport control when catching connecting flights.

    Note, however, international airports such as Hanoi and Da Nang are rather small and not the best places for a light-sleeper. Therefore if you have an overnight transit, you might want to exit the airport and stay at a nearby hotel. In those cases, you will need a normal single entry visa.

    14. What if I change my flight and arrive at another airport in Vietnam?

    Visa on arrival works if you arrive at any of the three international airports: Tan Son Nhat (in Ho Chi Minh City); Noi Bai (in Hanoi) and Da Nang (in Da Nang). There is no problem with switching between these three airports.




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    Tel: (+84)4 6293 5858 - Hotline: (+84) 902 088 698 - Fax: (+84) 4 3824 7307
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