Mobile phone networks cover much of the country and global roaming is available - check with your service provider before leaving home.

1. Cell phone carries in Vietnam?

The major cell phone carriers are: Mobile Phone, Vina Phone, Viettel, S-Phone, E-Telephone. Vina Phone is the best service provider with large coverage throughout Vietnam with the best quality. You can purchase a SIM card in many stores, and buy time at even more. Prices vary.

2. Are there many internet cafes in Vietnam?

You will find internet cafes in almost every town and city, although the service can be slow in regional areas. Rates are generally reasonable. Most hotels offer an internet service however rates are generally higher than in internet cafes.

3. I am travelling with my laptop-will I be able to access WiFi?

WiFi is becoming increasingly common in the major cities of Vietnam where it is available in cafes and other WiFi hotspots. WiFi is also offered in some hotels, either in-room or in certain public areas such as the lobby. Check with your travel expert for availability of WiFi at your chosen hotel/s before departure.

4. Is the postal system reliable in Vietnam?

Slow but, on the whole, reliable. Letters and postcards leaving Vietnam can take anything from four days to a month, depending on where you are; obviously mail takes longer from the countryside. 

Sending a parcel, on the other hand, is more complicated, especially if the post office staff decide to inspect every item. Note that novels or other material about Vietnam printed abroad can cause problems, and you may be charged customs duty on items such as CDs.

Take everything to the post office unwrapped and keep it small: after inspection, and a good deal of form filling (they may charge a nominal amount for the forms), the parcel will be wrapped for you. Surface mail is obviously cheapest and takes around 1-4 months depending on the destination and route taken.

5. How about other kinds of communication?

Phone calls out of Vietnam are very expensive, so a better option might be fax or email. Nearly all hotels and post offices now offer a fax service, though rates are usually cheaper at the post office. Both charge a small fee (5000-10,000d) for receiving faxes.

If your hotel name is specified on the incoming fax, the post office will deliver it at no extra charge. Internet access is now widely available in the main cities, generally at the travellers' cafés. Rates vary from 400-1000d per minute.

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