Getting there: Fly into Vietnam’s international airports at Hanoi’s Noi Bai (HAN), Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat (SGN) and Da Nang (DAD). There are non-stop flights from hubs in Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the USA.
Capital city: Hanoi.
Population: 94.357 million.
Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND).
Climate: Tropical and temperate with variations climatically between north and south. The south has just two seasons; a cool and a hot season with hardly any significant differences in temperature between the two. The north has four distinct seasons with a cold winter and a very hot summer. Rainfall and humidity are high.
Transport: Travel long distances by plane, overland by train or bus and short distances by pedicab and xe ôm (motorcycle taxi). For those with a slightly more adventurous palate, undertaking a journey on a bicycle or motorbike is a wonderful way to experience the country. A boat trip is also recommended as it offers a unique perspective on the destination.
Best time to travel: Visit the north from October to December, the south from December to April and the central coast from February to May.
What to wear: There are no restrictions on clothing as the Vietnamese are accustomed to western dress, however, it is worth noting that the north is more conservative than the south.