Travel Tips

by Sarah Tilton, Dec 1, 1995 | Destinations: Vietnam / Hanoi

Visa Update

Vietnam is tightening its visa regulations. While it is still easy for foreigners to get one-month tourist visas, you can no longer get an extension within the country. Thus flights to Bangkok and Vientienne are a bit fuller these days as people wishing to spend more than four weeks in Vietnam make "visa runs." What happens to those who overstay their official welcome? We don't want to be the ones to find out.


If you're looking for an adrenaline rush in Saigon or Hanoi it's as easy as crossing the street. Maneuvering through the increasingly crowded intersections is bound to get the blood pumping. To combat the chaos, Vietnam has cracked down on cyclos in some cities and is requiring that owners of motorcycles with engines larger than 70cc get drivers' licenses. Those with smaller bikes also have to take a short course on the rules of the road. Meanwhile, sidewalk vendors in Saigon and Hanoi have been told to pack up to make more room for pedestrians. However, getting rid of a few vegetable stands is unlikely to make a noticeable difference. The country now has more than 330,000 cars and 4 million motorcycles. Last year there were 130,000 reported accidents resulting in 4,800 deaths. Cross at your own risk.

Fly from Hanoi to Halong

If you've ever taken the bus to Halong Bay you know that you don't want to do it again, or at least not until someone takes a leveler to the road. Now there is a new option--helicopters. The Northern Service Flight Corporation recently started helicopter service between Hanoi and Halong. The fifty-minute flight includes a fifteen minute aerial tour of the famed bay before you land and enjoy a four-hour boat ride through the islands. You can take the helicopter back to Hanoi the same day. For more information call the Northern Service Flight Corporation in Hanoi at (844) 523451 / fax 272780.