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Vietnam

Vietnam is a developing, mainly agrarian country in the process of moving from a centrally planned to a market economy. Political control rests in the Communist Party. Tourist facilities can be basic in rural areas, but are increasingly well established in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and some beach and mountain resorts. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Vietnam for additional information.

Vietnam

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Vietnam
Continent: Asia
Capital City: Hanoi
Boundary Countries:

Cambodia, China, Laos

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang, Vinh, Hong Gai, Lao Cai, Haiphong, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Long Xuyen, Can Tho

Country Size: 329,560 sq km
Population: 86,116,560

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Currency: Dong (VND)
Predominant Religions:

Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 2 September (1945)
Economic Status:

Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that in the last 30 years has had to recover from the ravages of war, the loss of financial support from the old Soviet Bloc, and the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy.

Security:

People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) (includes People's Navy Command (with naval infantry, coast guard), Air and Air Defense Force (Kon Quan Nhan Dan), Border Defense Command), People's Public Security Forces, Militia Force, Self-Defense Forces

US Presence:

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi is located at 170 Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 24 hour telephone number: (84-4) 3850-5000; after hours emergency telephone number: (84-4) 3850-5000; fax: (84-4) 3850-5010.
The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City is located at 4 Le Duan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 24 hour telephone number: (84-8) 3520-4200; fax: (84-8) 3520-4244.

Document Requirements:

A valid passport and Vietnamese visa or visa exemption document are required. A visa or visa exemption document must be obtained from a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate prior to traveling to Vietnam; entry visas are not available upon arrival. Americans arriving without an appropriate Vietnamese visa or exemption document will not be permitted to enter, and will be subject to immediate deportation. Vietnamese visas are usually valid for only one entry. Persons planning to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country should be sure to obtain a visa allowing multiple entries. U.S. citizens wishing to travel to Laos by a land route should obtain the type of Vietnamese visa that adheres to the passport. Detachable visas are removed by Vietnamese immigration authorities upon departure, thereby eliminating any documentation of leaving Vietnam, which is required by Laos immigration for entry. This situation can result in the traveler being returned to Vietnam.

Even while in possession of a valid visa, some travelers have been refused entry to Vietnam. U.S. citizens are cautioned that Vietnamese immigration regulations require foreigners entering Vietnam to undertake only the activity for which their visas were issued. A change in the purpose of your visit requires permission in advance from the appropriate Vietnamese authority. An American whose U.S. passport is lost or stolen in Vietnam must obtain both a replacement passport and a replacement Vietnamese visa. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General can issue limited validity emergency replacement passports in as little as one day, but the Vietnamese government requires three to five working days, not to include the day of application, to issue a replacement visa. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Consulate General can expedite replacement Vietnamese visas.

Current information on visa and entry requirements may be obtained from the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington DC, 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, tel: 202-861-0737, fax: 202-861-0917, the Vietnamese Consulate General, 1700 California Street - Suite 430, San Francisco, CA 94109, tel: (415) 922-1707, fax: 415-922-1848, or from the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate overseas.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Vietnam.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  44, Airports w/paved runways:  37

Hanoi Airport, Vietnam, NASCO, Soc Son District, Hanoi, 10.000, VIETNAM
Tel: +84 (0)4 827 1513, +84 (0)4 826 8522, +84 (0)4 886 5060
Fax: +84 (0)4 825 9222, +84 (0)4 886 5059
Email: nasco-khkd@fpt.vn
Telex: 412260 TCHK VT
Ho Chi Minh City Airport, Vietnam, Southern Airport Service Company, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
Tel: +84 (0)8 844 8358, +84 (0)8 844 6587
Fax: +84 (0)8 844 7812
Email: sasco@saigonairport.com
Website: www.saigonairport.com
Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Official US personnel and tourists are sometimes not authorized to travel to the Central Highland areas without prior consent from the Government of Vietnam. These travel limitations may hinder the ability of the US Government to provide assistance to private US citizens in those areas.
US citizens have been detained after traveling in areas close to the Vietnamese borders with China, Cambodia and Laos. These areas are not always marked, and there are no warnings about prohibited travel. Travelers should avoid such areas unless written permission is obtained in advance from local authorities.
Large gatherings, such as those forming at the scene of traffic accidents, can become violent, and should be avoided.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Dept of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Travel Warnings and Country Specific Information, and the Worldwide Caution, can be found.
Travelers are advised not to resist theft attempts, and to report them both to police and to the US Embassy in Hanoi or the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Travelers are strongly advised to keep passports and other important valuables in hotel safes or other secure locations. Travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of their passport with them when going out. The loss or theft abroad of a US passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the US Embassy or the US Consulate General. US citizens must obtain a police report from the local police office in order to apply for a replacement passport and a Vietnamese exit visa.
Travelers should take precaution in choosing ground transportation upon arrival at the airports in Hanoi and HCMC. Some travelers have reported being robbed by drivers who had greeted them upon arrival with a placard showing the traveler’s name.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 23.61 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 71.33 years  (male 68.52/female 74.33)
Immunization Indicators:

Required: None

Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese encephalitits

Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 220,000

degree of risk: high
Malaria risk area in Vietnam: Rural only,
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Vietnam and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.     
Dengue, chikungunya, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.
Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) to avoid infection with schistosomiasisLeptospirosis, a bacterial infection often contracted through recreational water activities in contaminated water, such as kayaking, is common in tropical areas of Southeast Asia. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.) Measles transmission persists in the region, although vaccination coverage is improving in some countries in Southeast Asia.  Influenza infections can occur throughout the year in tropical areas
 
Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Vietnam do not meet international standards and frequently lack medicines and supplies. Medical personnel in Vietnam, particularly outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, may speak little or no English. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. International health clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can provide acceptable care for minor illnesses and injuries, but more serious problems will often require medical evacuation to Bangkok or Singapore. Although many medications can be purchased at pharmacies without having a prescription, some common US medications are not available in Vietnam. Travelers should bring adequate supplies of their medications for the duration of their stay in Vietnam. Travelers may obtain lists of local English-speaking physicians from the US Embassy in Hanoi or the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Travelers are reminded that neither office may recommend specific medical practitioners or hospitals. Emergency medical response services are generally unresponsive, unreliable, or completely unavailable.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 20
Referrals: 18
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) continues to cause outbreaks in domestic and wild bird populations and has caused human cases in several countries in Southeast Asia. In 2006, the virus continued to spread in poultry populations in Indonesia.  Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Polio resurfaced in Indonesia in 2005.  Imported cases in neighboring countries have occasionally occurred.
 

Communications Info:

Calling Code:  +84    
Internet code:  vn

 



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