Saigon At a Glance
GMT +7 hours
Vietnamese is the official and most widely spoken language. Many older Vietnamese are familiar with French or English.
Vietnamese life revolves around the family and they have high regard for their elders, treating them with utmost respect. As with many other Asian nations, the concept of face is extremely important to the Vietnamese. Someone can be given face by complimenting them for their hospitality or business acumen. Accusing someone of poor performance or public reprimanding will lead to a loss of face.
The standard electrical supply in Vietnam runs at 220V. Guests are recommended to bring their own universal adaptor or request for one from the hotel (subject to availability).
The unit of currency is the Vietnam Dong (VND).
Tipping is discretionary and not always expected, especially at local restaurants, but guests have grown into the practice of giving more or less 10%, depending on the quality of service rendered.
- 10% value-added government tax is automatically added to all goods and services
- 5% service charge is applied in the hotel
The city has a tropical wet and dry climate with an average humidity of 75%. The temperature hardly varies throughout the year, with a maximum of 32°C and minimum of around 22°C. December is usually the coolest month while April and May are the hottest. Be prepared for downpours during wet season and expect intermittent rain showers from June to November.
- Government agencies work eight hours a day from 7.30am to 4.30pm (excluding one-hour lunch) and are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Banks are open from 7.30am or 8:00am to 11.30am and from 1pm to 4pm. They are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Private offices are generally open from 8:30am to 5:30pm.
- Shops are open from 8:00am or 8.30am to 9:00pm or 10:00pm.
For medical emergencies
International SOS Assistance:
+848 829 8520 for emergencies
+848 829 4386 for the clinic
Victoria Healthcare Vietnam: +848 3910 45
Cho Ray Hospital:24-Hour Emergency Number: +848 855 4137
Tel: +848 855 4138/+848 856 3526
Ho Chi Minh City Medical Hospital: +848 932 6579
Saigon Tourism Information Centre: +848 822 6033
Only citizens of most ASEAN countries can visit Vietnam without a Visa for a maximum of 30 days.