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Currency, time and spelling conventions[edit]

Below is a proposed infobox to let readers know which formatting conventions to use in Wikivoyage articles. Do you agree with these proposals? If you have direct knowledge of what is most commonly used in the country, please let us know. Ground Zero (talk) 13:55, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about Vietnam, please use the 24-hour clock to show times, e.g. 09:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00.

Please show prices in this format: 100 dong, and not ₫100, or 100 VND.

Please use American spelling.

Naming Conventions[edit]

Our article naming conventions say to use the most common English-language name for a place as the destination guide article name.

Saigon was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City, but it's still widely known as Saigon, and many guides, as well as internal tourism offices, use the name.

I don't think Ho Chi Minh City is the right name to use. --(WT-en) Evan 12:17, 31 Dec 2003 (PST)

Most locals will refer to the city as Sai Gon. Ho Chi Minh City (Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh) is to cumbersome and is easily confused with the person. The airport abbreviation for Ho Chi Minh city when I at the Taipei airport was SGN (Sai Gon). Also bring mosquito repellent and itch creme. You'll need them. -- Minh
I think that's actually two different concepts. It seems to me that Saigon is not just the old name, but it only refers to certain area of expanded Ho Chi Minh City. -- 13:08, 31 May 2010 (EDT)
Very often abbreviated in VN to 'HCMC' Roy Bateman (talk) 04:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Standard names: to combine or not to combine syllables?[edit]

Sai Gon or Saigon? Da Lat or Dalat? I think we need to come up with a standard for how to spell these places. My preference would be to use the combined named for English ("Hanoi") and then separate the syllables for the Vietnamese ("Hà Nội"). (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:50, 15 Oct 2005 (EDT)

I think there are only 3 places in Vietnam that are commonly in "westernized" spelling: Hanoi, Saigon, Dalat. Even if it comes to famous Nha Trang or Da Nang, the seperated version is common usage. The language that yielded those place names does never combine the syllables if it is not a foreign word. The "western" spelling is derived from a certain form of ignorance to the indigenous culture and dates back to colonial times. Moreover, there is no apparent advantage to reading or understanding if the name is spelled combined. Should we take an error as the basis for a new rule? Let's not have Wikivoyage continue this tradition, but promote a more respectful approach to the country's language:
Separate the syllables in every English name, add the tone marks in the Vietnamese one.
--(WT-en) Ront 06:02, 18 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'm fine with the suggested policy, although I'd suggest that Danang also should be written together (see eg. Danang's official site). The 'colonial oppression' interpretation is a bit much though — Vietnamese was previously written in Chinese characters, and once free from their own oppressors, the Chinese decided to have romanized Chinese written together ("Beijing"), not apart ("Bei Jing"). Writing Vietnamese in Roman characters, on the other hand, was imposed by the French!

Anyway, see Project:Romanization#Vietnamese for my stab at a policy. (WT-en) Jpatokal 06:46, 18 Oct 2005 (EDT)

It's not about 'colonial oppression', but our ignorance. That's also the reason why I do not criticise the indeed ingenious work of Alexandre de Rhodes and the like. But they decided not to contract the syllables. Pinyin for Chinese is Pinyin for Chinese and a different topic. And the Vietnamese romanization is already there and decided the other way round. It's not our task to invent a new romanization, but to simplify the existing one. I think leaving out the diacritical marks in Wikivoyage-English is simplifying enough. There is nothing bad about the existing system, so otherwise we should use it correctly and not degrade to western slang "corrections". So I still think: Do not combine syllables, not in Hanoi, Saigon, Dalat, Danang or Hochiminh, Rachgia, Ninhbinh. Instead it should be Ha Noi, Sai Gon, Da Lat,.... --(WT-en) Ront 07:18, 18 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I am Vietnamese and since I started surfing the Internet, I've found difficulties with foreign invested name like Saigon, Hanoi, Dalat, Danang... I agree that they are not written in correct Vietnamese format, but historically very familiar with foreigners. Hence, this is an issue of history, and thus because we are talking of travel, we should try to use the most common and recent formats, that's Sai Gon, Ha Noi, Da Lat...

(WT-en) Turalo 16:26, 14 Mar 2008 (ICT)


I'm not entirely convinced the current regions make sense. Should "South" and "Mekong Delta" be rolled into one, and should "Central Highlands" be moved into just "Highlands", as eg. Sapa isn't "central" by any definition? (WT-en) Jpatokal 09:28, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)

Hi Jpatokal, I agree with you, though one suggestion I do have: Why not leave "Central Highlands" and add "Northern Highlands" to do justice to Sa Pa and the surroundings? Both regions are unique and very different, their only common aspect being the geological quality of "Highlands". --(WT-en) Ront 10:09, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)
Certainly merging the Delta into South makes sense, but are the "Northern Highlands" much of a region as a travel destination? Other than Sapa and DBP what is there? If we can gather enough info, than we can make it a "Wikivoyage ad-hoc region", but in most guidebooks the entire north is rolled into one. And the Central Highlands are definitely a region of their own, culturally and geographically. -- (WT-en) Paul Richter
You can easily spend a month travelling the Northern Highlands, provided you are not only going on an Open-Tour-bus to Sa Pa and DBP. First, there is the area around Bac Ha with its flower H'mong villages. Next, consider Lai Chau, which is not only the former provincial capital but the origin of amazing travel to surrounding areas, e.g. Sin Ho with its unique mountainous scenery (In my opinion this was even more impressing than Sa Pa). Third, Son La is a nice place for a short stopover. Fourth, Mai Chau might be the only opportunity for the hasty to encounter ethnic minorities.
So we got a lot here, and: it is definitely as or even more different from the red delta Viet culture as the Central Highlands are from the coastal regions. You cannot do justice to it by having it in the same context as Ha Noi or Ninh Binh. Moreover, a lot of travellers do not go there if they are on a tight itinerary, but almost nobody would miss out on Ha Noi.
I consider Wikivoyage as being a project of its own and not a clone of Lonely Planet and the like. Even if they do give some inspiration, they shouldn't be something like a standard for us. By the way, the reliable Rough Guide is separating the "Far North" from the lowland-North. -- (WT-en) Ront 05:08, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)

Cities . . . I have found in my travels in South Vietnam, that some cities have been moved or renamed. My first experience with this was when I hired a driver to take me to Song Be. I was stationed there during the war and wanted to see the sites (it's there, but not in the same place). I believe some cities that were to friendly to the Americans, and south Vietnam's army, were literly wiped off the map . . . it would be very helpful to list the changes. In the near future many vets will want to travel back to their old familar cities . . . This would be a great resource and I'm sure many vets will be greatful. Also I think it will help not cause some veterans bad feelings and thoughts about the friends they may have left behind in these cities (both vietnamese and American.)I know I will, and have been, taking tour groups back to Vietnam; I intend on resuming my tour groups soon; And this kind of help would be great. Please let me know if there are current maps that show the changes. Thank you very much in advance; From a disabled Vietnam veteran, who wants to help; Both the x-soldier, and the Vietnamese people. Mike Nielsen

Well, in fact, after Vietnam was reunified in 1975, many Southern regional names, such as provinces and cities were restored to their original names (prior to the birth of South VN government). But there have been many changes also, due to regional divisions. Your issue is a great.. I will write a list of changes of regional names in Vietnam.



Whoever wrote the respect section seems to have a real grudge against much of the country. When I travelled there we found everyone to be really nice and friendly. The fact that we were from Australia who participated in the war never came up at all. The person who wrote the section really seems to think otherwise. I think it should be rewritten.

Cities and OD's[edit]

In the process of drawing the Vietnam map I was struck by the lack of a National Park listed in ODs. Surely Cuc Phuong at least should be there as one of the nine? I suggest replacing Vung Tau (which is a town not an OD in any case). Also there are 11 cities listed. We need to cull two and I suggest Da Nang and Can Tho. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 10:38, 28 December 2009 (EST)

just realised that My Son is also missing from the ODs. Suggest Mui Ne goes from the OD's and is replaced with My Son. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 01:59, 29 December 2009 (EST)

In the cities section, the destinations are more than 9. Please limit the number of destinations to 9. - (WT-en) SnappyHip 19:38, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that is the exact point I made above which emerged when I was drawing the map. Sadly nobody has commented on the proposed changes. I will give it another 24 hours and if no comments are forthcoming, do as proposed.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 22:04, 24 January 2010 (EST)
Done. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 22:56, 29 January 2010 (EST)
Agree with Burmesedays about lack of National parks: I have added Cat Tien NP, which now has quite a good infrastructure for visitors. Roy Bateman (talk) 04:45, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Although Vinh is a major city, it's not really a tourist destination - the Vinh article is embarassingly sparse, with no content other than Understand, Get In, and Go Next. I think we should remove, and consider replacing with Sa Pa (assuming we consider that a city - it does have a population of 130,000 or so according to Wikipedia). I'd be tempted to say the same about Haiphong, although at least the article there isn't quite as short, and it's potentially on the way to more popular destinations. --Hanoied (talk) 09:49, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

I don't know enough to have an opinion on your proposal, but I don't think that the fact that a city has a poor-quality article is necessarily a good reason by itself to drop it from the "Cities" section, so my question would be whether Vinh gets a lot of business travel. Travelers aren't tourists only. Addressing one of your points, though, in Wikivoyage terms, a "city" is any populated community, and a place with a population of 130,000 is by no means a tiny town, anyway. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:28, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
I second Hanoied's idea of removing Vinh article from the Cities list (as a city of no interest to the tourists) and replacing it with Sa Pa as the most interesting and famous tourist destination that is not yet on the list. Cities section should list the most prominent and well-known to foreigners cities. And Sa Pa is a favourite here.
Regarding whether Vinh attracts a lot of business travellers, I don't know. And it's hard to measure this. Amount of reviews on tripadvisor is much higher for Sa Pa. Amount of hotels in Vinh (as per - 21, while in Sa Pa - 111. Sure, hotels greatly vary in size, but I don't want to count how many guests they can host precisely in total :) --Kiaora (talk) 16:35, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I think your arguments are pretty convincing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:33, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I started hesitating whether Sa Pa belongs to the Cities or ODs. I just think Wikipedia article w:Sa Pa has a wrong number of people living there (it states 138,622), however w:Sa Pa District which includes Sa Pa town has a population of only 42,095 (which is supported by this page), furthermore vi:w:Sa Pa article says it is only 8.975. So it looks the place is tiny. Ikan Kekek, do you think the town of 10,000-20,000 people can qualify to be listed in the Cities section? --Kiaora (talk) 06:04, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Unambiguously yes, it could, if it is sufficiently important. Its small size would be a strong argument against, but possibly not a conclusive one. However, towns are not "Other destinations". Other destinations means "destinations other than cities (or towns, villages, etc.)". Those include national parks, archeological sites, islands, perhaps very important mountains or unusually special beaches. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:28, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Visa on Arrival Coming from Laos?[edit]

Pardon my intrusion - the main page states that it is possible to get visa at the Laos/Vietnam border. Is this a reliable information? Can anyone confirm for sure that it's possible?

Alas it's not possible - see the new information on the main page. (WT-en) RedKite 08:52, 29 August 2010 (EDT)

My name is Ken and I am new here. I have information about getting visas, but I don't know how to incorporate it properly into the page. I arrived here from Phnom Penh and, for that starting point at least, the fee for the visa is incorrect in the article. It only cost $45 US, and that was for either a one-day turnaround for a 15-day visa or a two-day wait on a 30-day visa. Can anyone suggest how to put that into the article?

Getting to Vietnam[edit]

This is Ken again. When I came from Cambodia to Vietnam, I came by boat Chau Doc on the Mekong delta. How does that information get added into the main page?

Place it in the Get in section :-) Just plunge forward, if its not the correct place, then other Wikivoyagers will put it under the right header :-) --(WT-en) globe-trotter 11:13, 30 August 2011 (EDT)

Vietnamese are in general aggressive people[edit]

This part is a little disturbing me. Of course it is a good thing to tell people to watch up. But this saying is simply not reflecting the truth. In general Vietnamese are as peaceful as any other asians, so very peaceful, but maybe just in a different way than the nearly 100% Buddhist cultures in Thailand for ex.. But this still does not mean that they are aggressive. As long as you're not yelling at them, I have never noticed a vietnamese to be aggressive to me. So, as it is, this part of the text is mainly insulting to vietnamese people, and will not give the traveler a better experience nor more safety. But of course, it is, as in Thailand, a good thing to tell the traveler that it is generally a very bad idea to get into fights with the locals. Caucasians may be taller than asians, but if you deal with 5 asians, you still have no chance.

Please plunge forward and edit anything you consider inaccurate or poorly phrased. (WT-en) Ikan Kekek 01:28, 16 February 2012 (EST)

General Clean Up[edit]

Personally, I feel that this page needs a good spring clean. There are elements that display bias towards certain aspects of Vietnamese life which I feel are not becoming of a website like this, All relevant information should effectively remain impartial. While there is much, well researched information present, I feel that the style of writing retains too much in the way of colloquial speech and possesses an air of informality which effectively makes the reading of this page more difficult for those who are not native, English speakers.

I am by no means and expert but as a British Ex-pat who has lived and worked in Vietnam for the past 5 years and is married to a Vietnamese national, I feel I have much to contribute.

I have already made a few edits and submissions, however, if no-one objects I would like to overhaul this page and bring it up to date. I would also like to edit the current biased diatribe into something that imparts a more neutral stance. —The preceding comment was added by Cockle0979 (talkcontribs)

Please do keep working, but keep in mind that one of our main goals is to have lively informal writing, and that we aren't looking for NPOV. Having a colorful narrative is great, but if it seems unfair, try your hand at a new, hopefully just as lively narrative ;) --Peter Talk 07:24, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
[edit-conflict...Peter beat me] I can't comment on the current state of the page (since I don't know much about Vietnam), but as a Wikivoyage editor I suggest you have a look at Wikivoyage:Tone and Wikivoyage:Be fair. While content should generally be neutral, sometimes there are just issues/circumstances/etc that are worth mentioning despite being negative. Also, the writing should be lively. The first three points of Wikivoyage:Tone sums this up:
Be conversational and informal when writing articles. It should lie in a happy medium between all-out slang informality ("Yosemite National Park is DA BOMB!!!!") and constipated academic stuffiness ("Proceeding peripatetically on a compass bearing of north by northeast, the traveller shall arrive within 20 imperial minutes at the mixological establishment yclept 'Hooters'.")
Lively writing is welcome. The requirement of being fair should not be taken to mean that all writing must be bland and encyclopedic. Wikivoyage should celebrate travel, and you should feel free to share the adventure and excitement of the journey and the destination through your writing. For example, North Korea's human rights situation can and should be summed up as an "Orwellian nightmare", as opposed to noting that "some organizations have expressed concern about less than full compliance to international human rights standards, a charge vigorously denied by the Foreign Ministry."
Address the reader. It's OK to say "you", and much better than awkward constructions involving "one". But never use "I", "we", "my", "our" and so on, since you will not be the article's sole author.
Keeping those guidelines (part of our Manual of Style) in mind, you are welcome to Plunge forward and edit the page as you see fit. If other users disagree with the changes, then you can explain your reasoning on this talk page. AHeneen (talk) 07:31, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Many thanks for the useful input. I do certainly agree that articles like this should be fun to read and I will endeavour to bring a vivacious or even humorous element to anything I may add, if it is of course relevant to the subject at hand. I just felt that a couple of the comments made in the article were not very subjective and border on being both unfair, untrue and do display a degree of political bias. Of course, the truth should not be hidden away, especially when certain negative aspects about a country, city or tourist site, serve to inform travellers and others who make take a personal interest as a whole.

I look forward to making more additions and amendments in the future and will no doubt be calling upon your expertise again. —The preceding comment was added by Cockle0979 (talkcontribs)

Visa situation in Cambodia[edit]

As of July 2013, the visa situation in the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh is as follows: you can get a 30-day single-entry visa for 60 USD, a 30-day multiple-entry visa for 85 USD, a 90-day single-entry visa for 95 USD, and a 90-day multiple-entry visa for 125 USD. The "on the spot" service (waited around 20 minutes) fee is 10 USD for a single-entry visa and 15 USD for a multiple-entry visa.

The notice said that the aforementioned prices went into effect in January 2013, so what they say in the consulate in Battambang (I'm referring to this piece in the article - "When asked, they say the visa fee increased in January 2013 all over Cambodia.") might actually be true. STILL might be cheaper to get a visa in Siahnoukville, though (since there are/used to be whole businesses based around the lower visa fees there).

So, in my opinion, what needs to be done now is:
1. Somebody should provide information on the visa situation in Sihanoukville.
2. Somebody should try and find a way to work all of this info into the visa section of this article... The section IS a mess. 16:06, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Tet traditions[edit]

Former version: "The evening hours are spent drinking and gambling (men) or chatting, playing, singing karaoke, and enjoying traditional snacks and candy (women and children.)"

Current version: "The evening hours are spent drinking and gambling (men) or chatting, playing, singing karaoke, and enjoying traditional snacks and sweets (women and children.)"

Candy is a specific type of sweet. So what kind of sweets are actually traditional for Tet? Candy only, or cakes, etc.? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:25, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Vietnam Article Conventions (Feb 2014[edit]

This is a summary of the conventions used on Vietnam articles. All are either codified in the Manual of Style or were arrived at by discussion or custom.

Currency: 100 dong, not VND100
Temperature: Celsius
Time: 24-hour clock
Measurements: Metric
Spelling:: British English
Telephone numbers: A Vietnam number should be listed like:
+84 35 539-0605

where "84" is the country code for Vietnam, the next one, two or three digits are the area code and the remaining 5 to 8 digits (con-joined with a hyphen) are the "local" part of the subscriber number that can be called from within that particular area code using abbreviated dialling.

Area codes in Vietnam that start with 2, 3, 5, 6 or 7 have 7 digit subscriber numbers.
Area codes that start with 4 (for Hanoi) and 8 (for Ho Chi Minh City) have 8 digit subscriber numbers (except for area code 80 which is used exclusively by the government and is followed by a 5 digit subscriber number).
Area codes starting with 1 or 9 are now used for mobile phone numbers (except 99, which is used for VSAT) and have either 2 or 3 digits. They always have 7 digit mobile subscriber numbers

The fact that you need to dial "0" in front of the geographic area code from outside that particular area code (but when still within Vietnam) should be in the Connect section of the guide.

Mobile numbers in Vietnam must always be dialled with all 9 or 10 digits (including a "0" prefixing the "1nn" or "9nn" within Vietnam), no matter where they are being called from. The 1nn or 9nn is a mobile prefix, not an "area code", as such and the second and sometimes third digits (the nn part) denotes the original mobile network assigned. As is the case with most mobile numbers, they can also be called within or outside Vietnam using the international format - just one reason why Wikivoyage chooses to format them as follows:

+84 996-202-4961

Because most Vietnam toll-free numbers can not be called from outside Vietnam they are not listed in international format:


Seligne (talk) 00:22, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Anti-China Warning[edit]

Many months have passed since the event, so the top warning messages should be removed. There aren't any hostile news with Chinese until now. --minhhuy (talk) 17:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

In that case, please go ahead and remove it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Visa On Arrival Outdated?[edit]

At least according to the US's Vietnamese Embassy, you cannot get a visa on arrival except in cases of emergency.

According to current Vietnamese Immigration Laws (Ordinance on entry, exit, residence of foreigner in Vietnam dated 28/04/2000; Decree No. 21/2001/ND-CP dated 28/05/2001; Circular No. 04/2002/TTLT-BCA-BNG dated 29/01/2002 to implement related Ordinance and Decree), visitors can only apply for a visa upon arrival at Vietnam’s international airports/border gates under the following circumstances:

  • Attending funerals of family members;
  • Taking care of family members who are seriously ill;
  • Providing technical emergency support; medical care for seriously-ill patients; natural disaster and epidemic relief in Vietnam;
  • Being invited by Vietnamese government;
  • Other emergencies.

Under the above-mentioned circumstances, visitors must obtain an approval letter signed and sealed by the Embassy prior to their trips to Vietnam.

We should probably update the "Get in" section accordingly, if this is in fact the case. —The preceding comment was added by GeneralPericles (talkcontribs)

Please plunge forward and update as appropriate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:15, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Please plunge forward and update the information. Though also note that the warning you linked to is dated "Sun, 09/18/2011 - 12:06", while information on visa on arrival in our article seems to be from 2012 and 2013. ϒpsilon (talk) 09:17, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Currently (20150514) many commercial services offer on-line visa on arrivals for Vietnam and have personal experience of 4 of them being effective in last few months for non-US.

"Eastern Sea"[edit]

I just reverted an edit in the Da Nang article that changed "South China Sea" to "Eastern Sea", for the obvious reasons that "South China Sea" is the internationally-accepted name of the sea and that no-one outside of Vietnam is likely to understand "East Sea", which is a parochial term that would be nonsense for the Philippines, for example.

However, wouldn't it be worth mentioning in the guide for the whole country if indeed this body of water is locally known as the "Eastern Sea"? Is it, and is this a more common form than "East Sea"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:12, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

"Vietnam War"[edit]

I just changed two instances of this term to "American War", while leaving one that referred specifically to "sexual escapades of GIs during the Vietnam War", because that probably makes most sense in context. My feeling is that it's rather nonsensical to use this appellation as the default in a guide to Vietnam, especially for a section title, because it suggests that only one war has ever been fought in Vietnam. But I thought it was worth remarking on here, keeping in mind the usual WV standard of using terms most commonly used in English. I'm basically arguing for a logical exception to that policy here, keeping in mind the context. Obviously, when discussing this war in guides to the United States or places in the U.S. like Washington, D.C. where there are prominent memorials, it would make even less sense to call it the "American War" than to call it the "Vietnam War" in this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:08, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Indeed, all wars fought in this country were Vietnam wars. Ground Zero (talk) 20:41, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. By their very definition. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:33, 17 January 2017 (UTC)


Vietnam is divided into eight official regions; see w:List of regions of Vietnam. Should these regions be used here? /Yvwv (talk) 23:35, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

I guess that depends on whether we're writing for the Government of Vietnam or for travellers. If the former, then yes, we should use the official regions. If it's for travellers, then we should split up the country in a way that makes most sense for travellers. Ground Zero (talk) 04:23, 4 September 2017 (UTC)
The current regionalization is just carried over from The Other Site. The national tourist authority [1] uses a seven-region division, similar to the eight regions. /Yvwv (talk) 01:15, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Vietnamese cuisine article[edit]

I was wandering if we should create a separate Vietnamese cuisine article. Vietnamese cuisine is certainly considered to be one of the great cuisines of Asia, and if we have such an article, some of us who have some familiarity can contribute to that article by listing some of the regional specialities. The dog2 (talk) 18:38, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

There is a discussion here about changing our standard currency notation for Vietnam from dong to . Please comment in that discussion. Thank you. Ground Zero (talk) 20:11, 30 November 2019 (UTC)