Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure junkie, or a dedicated foodie, Vietnam will not disappoint. From Hanoi and Sapa in the north to Ho Chi Minh and Phu Quoc Island in the south, there are things to do nearly every step of the way. Just make sure you’re prepared for your trip – and that means bringing all the essentials, like your camera, Kindle, and the right US to Vietnam power adapter to plug them all in.
Info on power adapter plugs for Vietnam
Which power outlets do they use in Vietnam?
Vietnam doesn’t use one common plug type, so you’re likely to encounter a couple of different kinds of electrical sockets while you’re there. The main ones are Type A, which takes two flat pins like in the US, and Type C and F, both of which are found across Europe and take two round pins. Whether you’re in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, or elsewhere, you may encounter any of these three types of outlets. Also common in Vietnam are multi-type sockets that can take either a flat or round plug type without needing an adapter.
Like most countries outside the US, Vietnam’s electrical grid operates on a voltage of 220V and a frequency of 50Hz.
What kind of power adapter do I need for Vietnam?
“What plug do I need for Vietnam?” is a common question posed by travelers. Some hotels do use Type A sockets, the same used in the US in which case no adapter is needed. However, if you are traveling around the country it’s likely you’ll run into cases where one will be required. Type C and F sockets are the other types of outlets you could encounter. Since Vietnam does not have one standard outlet type, it’s especially useful to purchase a Universal Adapter that will cover a wide range of outlets.
What’s the electricity and power supply like in Vietnam?
The vast majority of Vietnam has electricity, although some remote villages do not, especially in the far north. Still, you most likely won’t encounter places without electricity unless you go on an extensive trekking trip. Even in Vietnam’s cities, however, power outages do occur. They have many causes, including poor maintenance, storms, accidents, and excessive strain on the electrical system. The difficult thing about power cuts is that you just never know how long they’re going to last, so if you do experience one, try to be patient!
Lastly, be aware that plugging too many devices in at the same time commonly causes the circuit breaker to trip (though fortunately that can easily be fixed).
Do I Need A Voltage Converter for Vietnam?
Most American devices, including laptops and phones, are designed to work with a voltage of up to 240V. That means you can safely plug them in without needing to use voltage converter. There are a few types of devices, however, that are usually only rated to 120V in the US, including hairdryers, and curling irons. If you plan to bring one of these appliances on your trip, you’ll need to bring a voltage converter, too. Plugging them into the wall in Vietnam without one could fry your device or even cause a fire. Alternatively, you could order international versions of the devices you want to bring, which will be rated to up to 240V and won’t require a converter.
Other Vietnam Packing List Items
In addition to your US to Vietnam power adapter these items will help you on your travels:
1. Neck Wallet
Vietnam’s big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are incredibly crowded, which makes them a haven for pickpockets. To protect yourself against would-be thieves, keep your valuables in a neck wallet while you’re out. Things like cash, credit cards, and even your phone will be much safer around your neck than in a bag or pocket.
Whether you prefer to travel with a backpack or a suitcase, packing cubes will help you stay much more organized on the road. Instead of packing each item of clothing into your bag individually, fold or roll your clothes into the packing cubes, and then place the cubes in your luggage. Once you reach your destination it will be much easier to find what you are looking for.
If you’re going to be out all day, you don’t want your phone to die, especially if you’ll be using the camera or map functions. Fortunately, USB chargers are smaller and more portable than ever. Carry this tiny charger with you, and you can easily charge up your phone in your purse or backpack while you’re out.
If you are travelling during the rainy season, which in most parts of the country is in the summer and early Fall, then you definitely want to bring an umbrella. Even during the less rainy parts of the year it can be a good idea to use an umbrella as protection from beating sun, especially in the South. We recommend this compact travel umbrella that comes with a convenient storage case.
Vietnam is eleven hours ahead of the East Coast of the US, which means most travelers will be contending with significant jet lag. To help your body adapt to the new time zone, bring along some jet lag relief pills. Otherwise, you may find that your vacation is nearly over by the time you’ve adjusted!
Southern Vietnam doesn’t typically block websites as China does, but Northern Vietnam does have some restrictions to websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube that would require a VPN to access. Using a VPN is always a good idea since it helps protect your privacy and keeps your data safe. Internet security is especially important when you’re traveling and logging onto different public Wi-Fi networks, so set up a VPN before you leave.
Whenever you go abroad, travel insurance is a must. If you get sick or injured while you’re out of the country, your US health insurance probably won’t cover it, which means you could get stuck paying a large bill out of pocket. Sign up for a travel insurance plan before you go to Vietnam so you know you’ll be covered if anything happens. It’s easy to find the right plan on TravelInsurance.com. You’re able to compare policies from top companies to find one that best fits your trip. I’ve gotten sick more times than I’d like to admit when on vacation but I’ve always had my doctor bills covered since I never travel without travel insurance.
Other FAQs about traveling in Vietnam
1. When to Travel to Vietnam?
The best time of year to go to Vietnam depends on what part of the country you’re visiting. Northern Vietnam is most pleasant in late-fall and early-spring when the weather is more temperate. In the central part of the country, January and February are usually the best months, just after the rains have ended. Southern Vietnam will be steamy whenever you visit, but fall is the beginning of the dry season, making it the best time to go.
Keep in mind that tourist season typically runs from November to April all throughout the country, meaning it will be more crowded and things will book up further in advance. Be sure to check current Vietnam travel advisories before you go.
2. What is the weather like in Vietnam?
Because Vietnam extends so far from north to south, the weather varies substantially throughout the country. While its climate is mostly tropical overall, the north of the country experiences more seasonal variation and gets surprisingly chilly in the winter. Summer and early fall is the rainiest time of year in the north. In central Vietnam, the temperatures are generally warmer, and the rainy season is in the fall. Southern Vietnam is hot and humid year-round, with the heaviest rains in the summer and early fall.
3. What to do in Hanoi?
For an introduction to the city, join a tour with Hanoi Free Walking Tours, and save time to wander the Old Quarter on your own as well. Hanoi’s top attraction is Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can view Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body if you’re so inclined. Another popular spot is Ngoc Son Temple, which sits in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, a great spot for enjoying nature in the middle of the city.
Hanoi also has several museums that are worth a visit, including the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, and the Hoa Lo Prison Museum (nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton).
4. Where to do in Vietnam?
At the top of any list of things to do in Vietnam is a cruise through the world-famous Halong Bay – or better yet, one of its less-crowded neighbors, Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay. Beyond this must-do, take a boat or bike ride around Ninh Binh, nicknamed “Halong Bay on Land,” and wander the old town in Hoi An. Further south, frolic in the sand dunes at Mui Ne, and explore the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh. For a beach vacation, head to the far western island of Phu Quoc.
5. How to Get Around in Vietnam?
Because Vietnam covers such a big distance, travelers wanting to visit more than one area often fly. Domestic flights will be under two hours, and tickets are usually very affordable. Vietnam also has an extensive rail system, and lovers of train travel will probably be intrigued by the 32-hour trip between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The air-conditioned cars are very comfortable, and the trains are safer and more secure than the bus.
However, the buses don’t book up as far in advance, and they go to destinations the train doesn’t, so a bus is sometimes the only choice.
You’ll also have several options for getting around within towns. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are set to open metro systems in the coming months, which will allow visitors to bypass some of the cities’ notorious traffic jams. In the meantime, both have extensive bus systems, as do some of the other major cities. Grab is also getting increasingly popular in Vietnam’s towns, and taxis and motorbike taxis are extremely common in most areas.
Many tourists in Vietnam choose to rent a motorcycle, either to take on long-distance rides or for getting around within a town. However, both the roads and the bikes are often in disrepair and Vietnamese traffic follows few recognizable rules, so this is really only recommended for experienced riders.