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Capital city: Hanoi.
Currency: Dong (in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 20000, 50000, 100000 and 200000 notes).
Cuisine: It’s extremely varied – different regions have their own specialities. An example of a classic dish is cha ca – white fish sautéed in butter with dill and spring onions, served with rice noodles and a sprinkling of peanuts.
Tipping etiquette: It’s not expected, but often appreciated.
Saying hello: “Chao anh” to men and “chao chi” to women.
WHEN TO GO
Any time of year is good to visit Vietnam. The north in particular has four distinct seasons, while the central region of the country can experience monsoons during September to February. If you’d like to see the country join together for one mass party, try to come during Tet, the celebration of the New Year. Dates change every year, but Tet normally occurs between late January and early March.
You don’t need to buy bus tickets via travel agents in the cities as they may mark up prices – just head for the bus stations and start exploring the vast landscape.
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