Visa and entry requirements Vietnam:
Passport required
For German citizens, entry is visa-free for a stay of up to 15 days.

Information from the Foreign Office about your trip to Vietnam:

Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia with around 97 million inhabitants. The country borders Cambodia in the southwest, Laos in the west, China in the north, the South China Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the south.

The official language of the country is Vietnamese and the Vietnamese dong is used as the national currency, with 1 euro equivalent to around 25,000 VND.

Vietnam's territory includes several beautiful offshore islands, such as Phu Quoc, Cat Ba, Ly Son, Con Dao, Cu Lao Cham, Nam Du, Ba Lua, Co To, Binh Ba and Phu Quy.

The country's largest cities include Ho Chi Minh City - formerly called Saigon, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Bien Hoa and Hue. The majority of the Vietnamese population has no religion.

The predominantly flat land area of Vietnam is crossed by a mountain range from north to south. The country's highest peak is the 3,144 meter high Phan-Xi-Pang mountain, on the northern border with China.

In the far south is the large and fertile Mekong Delta. Numerous animal species such as elephants, tigers, rhinos, gibbons, bears, pheasants, owls, crocodiles and various birds of prey live in the forests of Vietnam.

Vietnam's economy is based primarily on agriculture, with the cultivation of coffee and rice - Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, the extraction of raw materials such as petroleum and hard coal, the textile industry and constantly increasing tourism.

The most visited attractions by around 12 million foreign tourists every year include the spectacular Halong Bay, the mountain town of Sapa, the world heritage site of Hoi An, the citadel of the ancient imperial city of Hue, the desert landscape of Mui Ne, the historic town of Hoi An, the nature reserve of Ninh Binh, the many channels of the Mekong Delta, the white sandy beaches of Da Nang and Nha Trang, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with its caves, the Muong Hoa Valley, the Vietcong tunnel system in Cu Chi and the Ban waterfalls Gioc and Pongour.

The capital and second largest city of Vietnam is Hanoi with around 7.5 million inhabitants. Hanoi is one of the oldest cities in the world and is located in the geographical north of the country.

Hanoi's major landmarks include Long Bien Bridge, Old Quarter, Temple of Literature, Opera House, Chua Tran Quoc Pagoda, Quan Thanh Temple, St. Joseph Cathedral, Thang Long Citadel, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Water Puppet Theater, the Old Citadel and the 33 meter high Flag Tower.

The largest city in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City, with almost ten million inhabitants, in the south of the country. The city, better known by its old and still common name Saigon, is the economic center of the South Asian state.

Saigon's main attractions include the Opera House, the Central Post Office, the War Victims Museum, the historic Cu Chi and Ben Dinh Tunnels from the Vietnamese War, and Ho Chi Minh Square.

In April 2012 I visited Vietnam for the only time so far. I spent my week-long stay first in the tourist city of Nha Trang and then in the metropolis of Saigon.

The slightly hilly landscape around the popular coastal city of Nha Trang, with its adjacent tropical rainforests and long sandy beaches, was really impressive. However, it was also partly like a return to the former communism, due to the many old and unfinished ruins. You could clearly see that many years ago the city had suddenly run out of socialist money.

However, I was really surprised by the extremely high prices charged in the city's restaurants and bars. Up until this point, I had imagined Vietnam to be a little different.

After four days in the somewhat overpriced tourist city, I took the train to Saigon. The approximately eight-hour drive through the beautiful landscape of Vietnam was very eventful and great fun. The numerous rice fields and huge coffee plantations along the railway line in particular offered me several impressive photo opportunities.

The city of Ho Chi Minh City actually felt like it only consisted of mopeds and was one of the biggest disappointments of my entire travel life. There is probably no other major city in the world that has as little to offer in terms of tourism as Saigon. The horrendous traffic is a mess, sometimes even funny, but otherwise I didn't feel comfortable in the city at all.

After two nights in Vietnam's largest city, I took the bus to neighboring Cambodia.