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156 votes
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Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

According to Fodor's Guide to Vietnam, 4th Edition, published 2016, under Introduction to Ho Chi Minh City on page 38: Still called Saigon by most residents, According to National Geographic ...
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80 votes
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I was denied boarding due to outdated information on passport validity? What to do?

Check-in staff go by Timatic, which is based on information provided to IATA by local immigration authorities. They won't change their mind even if you call an embassy in front of them. Unfortunately ...
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  • 72.9k
67 votes

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

My wife is Vietnamese, and her entire family. I also visited Vietnam with them previously. They all spent most of their life in Vietnam prior to moving to another country. When I inquired (while ...
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58 votes

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

I was born and grew up in Saigon. Saigon has always been and will forever be Saigon. Don't call it by any other name! A historical allusion to these naming is Leningrad, which, similar to most ...
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50 votes
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Can I travel to Vietnam for Christmas in 2020?

Nope. Not going to work. Stay home. Vietnam suspended most inbound commercial flights on December 1 and imposed other restrictions after detecting community transmission following a several month ...
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  • 84.7k
22 votes

Legality of Driving a Motorcyle in Vietnam as a Foreigner

Three unalterable facts: Yes, you need a Vietnamese DL to lawfully operate a scooter in Vietnam No, a tourist cannot get a Vietnamese DL Nobody, nobody, in Vietnam cares about the above two ...
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21 votes

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

No. Everyone will be fine with it. Ho Chi Minh City is the official name of the city, you need to use it in all paper work. No exception. The Vietnamese who stays in Ho Chi Minh City and its ...
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  • 494
19 votes
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Legality of Driving a Motorcyle in Vietnam as a Foreigner

Little Bikes are Simple No license is necessary for motorcycles under 50cc, or electric bikes (e.g. Australian Embassy). You may, however, struggle to find such a bike for rental; electric bikes might ...
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  • 2,108
14 votes
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Tipping in Vietnam

Generally tipping is not required or expected in Vietnam. However, any extra money is appreciated. Tipping bellmen is always appreciated, even a token amount. Round up to the nearest 5,000 Dong (or ...
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14 votes
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Overstaying visa in Vietnam by 5(!) minutes

Extended my visa in Da Nang. Costed me 70 USD and took 1 day :-) I am pretty sure you can just take the fine, but there is cases where you are sent back to the city to "fix it". So I didn't take the ...
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14 votes

How to prepare a picky eater for Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine?

Most typical Thai food is very flavorful. There is certainly a fare share of spicy dishes but there are also plenty of other flavors, herbal, fragrant, salty and sweet. Obviously, the difficult part ...
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  • 40.3k
12 votes

How to prepare a picky eater for Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine?

Vietnamese Pho (most variants anyway- iirc Hue type is already spicy) noodle soup have the spice optionally added by the end user. Similarly the rice and vermicelli dishes are not inherently spicy (...
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11 votes
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Can foreigners cross from Cambodia to Vietnam at the Binh Di river?

NO IT IS NOT OPEN TO FOREIGNERS! My suspicions this time turned out to be warranted. I arrived at the Chrey Thum border checkpoint at 5.30pm yesterday afternoon. Even though I intended to spend a ...
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  • 75.2k
11 votes

Is there ferry service from Vietnam to Borneo?

No, there isn't. More generally, as far as I'm aware there are no scheduled international ferry services from Vietnam to anywhere. The easiest (but not the cheapest) option for getting to Brunei is ...
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10 votes
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Dos and don'ts at a Vietnamese wedding

TL;DR: Give money, wear regular formal attire. Of course, if you know the groom very well, just ask him what will be expected of you. He will understand that you're not familiar with Vietnamese ...
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  • 2,201
9 votes
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Which airlines with routes connecting Vietnam and China have free cancellations and can be booked online?

Since you're not using an agency, you'll need a credit card with a big enough limit. In order to get the confirmation in order, they will need to get the charge approved and posted to your account. ...
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9 votes
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How close to the end of my Vietnam tourist visa can I still get an extension (through an agent)?

The travel desk at my hotel has made some calls so I'll share the information. Three days left is no problem. It will be ready tomorrow afternoon much faster than my hotel in MCMC! It will cost USD $...
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  • 75.2k
9 votes

Running in Da Nang, Vietnam

Writing this sat in Da Nang airport. You're going to find the heat and sun difficult. Plenty of water (take some cash and you'll be able to buy bottles along your route) and sun cream required. In ...
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  • 12.6k
9 votes

What mobile network in Vietnam has the best 3G coverage?

There are mainly 3 mobile network operators in Vietnam. Viettel is currently the biggest one and also the only one that invests in other countries (Cambodia, Laos, Haiti, Peru...). It has very good ...
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  • 568
9 votes

How to prepare a picky eater for Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine?

Thailand-specific advice here from someone who doesn’t tolerate any spice at all. In my experience, in Thailand there’s a huge number of small low-key local shops serving basic meals like rice/...
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9 votes
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Can I bring snake wine from Vietnam to Europe?

FYI, according to the information you can read in Carrying habushu (snake wine) from Japan to USA, it is not so easy to import alcohol with a snake to the U.S.: the main concern for bringing snake ...
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  • 1,227
8 votes

Can I leave on the day of expiration of my Vietnam Visa?

As it is said in the approval letter and your visa: It will be valid from 1 April 2014 through 1 May 2014. Thus you feel free to stay until the end of 1 May, no need to exit before. Even several ...
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8 votes

Middle name on ticket and passport but not in system -- missed flight

This sounds like a very poor judgment on behalf of Korean Airlines. Technically speaking, it is required that the ticket will show the same name on the passport but first and last are sufficient. I've ...
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  • 729
8 votes

What are the current requirements and process of obtaining a multiple-entry Chinese visa for an Australian citizen in Ho Chi Minh City?

Here is the official visa page for the Chinese embassy in Saigon. You can download a Word doc with English instructions; for the same information in HTML form visit the Chinese consulate in Vietnam's ...
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8 votes

Do l need a room booked before arriving in Vietnam?

My very first trip to Vietnam, I was in the immigration line and the German guy ahead of me was trying to explain that he couldn't give the name of the hotel, because he had hired a guide, who was ...
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8 votes

Is it offensive to use 'Saigon' instead of 'Ho Chi Minh City'?

I'm Vietnamese born and raised in Saigon. No, most Vietnamese would not be offended if you were to use Saigon instead of HCM. I said "most" because obviously there will always be a minority of people ...
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