Americans have obvious reason to be curious about Vietnam, and most return from their visits stirred by the beauty of the landscape and the generosity of their hosts. Hotels and resorts in Vietnam have attained a commendable level of excellence. Ho Chi Minh City, which nearly everyone still calls Saigon, is the bustling commercial capital. Hanoi is an unexpectedly gracious French colonial city with tree-lined boulevards and fine neoclassical buildings.
To phone hotels in Vietnam, dial 011 (international access) + 84 (Vietnam code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
In the north, May-September is the hot and humid rainy season, with daytime temperatures cooling to the upper 60s in winter. In the south, the rainy season is May-October, though daytime temperatures average 88-95 all year. The best compromise for a north-south visit is fall, preferably November.
11 hours ahead of New York (EST). (Time listed is for DST in the West. Difference is one hour more November to mid-March.)
Hanoi, Tel. 4-3850-5000. Consulate: Ho Chi Minh City, Tel. 8-3520-4200.
Vietnamese dong (VND). Fluctuating rate valued at VND22,472 = US$1.00 as of October 2016. Note: One of our suggested hotels quotes rates in US$.