Plugs, phones & digital Vietnam
See below for a few tips on what to take to Vietnam as the country rapidly embraces the digital age.
Phones & Internet Connections
Generally speaking there is good Internet, Wi-Fi and mobile phone coverage in Vietnam’s main towns and cities, but please note that the islands and more remote areas may not be fully covered. Increasingly hotels will offer Wi-Fi access in the lobby, or sometimes your room. Larger hotels may make a charge for this, but many smaller hotels include Wi-Fi access in their rates.
If you plan to make occasional use of your mobile phone whilst abroad you should receive a text on arrival, from your phone provider, outlining the costs to make and receive calls and text messages. The cost of making and receiving calls can be quite expensive, but text messages are normally free to receive and cost around £0.50 to send. If you can’t use your mobile network whilst in Vietnam you will still be able to make calls when you are in a Wi-Fi zone (e.g. hotel lobby or room) by using applications like Viber, Skype and WeChat etc.
Unless you have a suitable tariff, avoid using your phone provider to use the Internet as data roaming charges can be very expensive. If using a local Internet connection on your mobile / tablet ensure the settings are Wi-Fi enabled.
Electricity sockets in Vietnam are two pin, either flat or round, and so you will need an adapter. If you are travelling with multiple devices then you may wish to take a second adapter to facilitate overnight charging.
Tablets & other devices
If you are taking an iPad, or other sort of tablet, then you will be able to download a range of applications that offer assistance with speaking Vietnamese or that provide country guides, maps, or restaurant reviews. If you choose not to take your mobile or tablet most hotels will have access to a PC, or a business centre, for online communication. Failing that there are Internet cafes all over Vietnam and rates for Internet access range from US$1-5 per hour.
There are excellent photographic opportunities in Vietnam so remember to pack your camera. For ease, we recommend taking a memory card for your digital camera that is big enough to store all of the photos and videos that you are likely to take on your whole trip.
If you do need to purchase a new memory card while you are away, or want to transfer photos and videos that you have already taken onto a flash drive or a CD, then there are cyber cafes and photography stores where this can be done in the larger towns and cities, but not necessarily in the more remote parts of the country.
Photographic film, and videotape, are becoming harder to find in Vietnam as digital cameras have become the norm so if you do wish to use a film camera then we recommend taking enough of the appropriate film with you to last for the full length of your holiday.