Posts & Communications
Thien Hau Temple Sai Gon China Town

Posts & Communications

Postage in Vietnam is fairly inexpensive and reliable. There are tens of companies servicing postal service within Vietnam and between Vietnam and other countries such as VNPT, EMS, Saigon Post, DHL, FedEx...to name a few. As Vietnam is a member of the World Trade Organization and Vietnam's international trade is growing, it's expected that there are more and more postal companies expanding their network to Vietnam.

The government-run post office system is available in all residential areas in Vietnam. The open time is 07:30 - 08:00 A.M and the close time is 17:00 in rural areas and 21:00 in cities.

Post cards and stamps are available at all post offices and most souvenir shops in cities. All postal stamps have glue. Normally stamps and postal service are available right at the souvenir shops and at some hotels. If the traveller wants to send post cards abroad, then it's recommended to send them from cities rather than from far-flung mountainous regions.

When posting a parcel, the sender must leave it open for inspection. All incoming parcels are expected to be opened for inspection. The sender or receiver may have to pay export/import tariffs for outgoing/incoming parcels depending on the items sent/received.

There are tens of shipping companies in Vietnam servicing worldwide. Normally for fragile items, the shipping companies take the responsibility to buy insurance to cover possible incidents. Still this should be written in the agreements between the cargo owner and the shipper/or shop owner (if the item bought from a shop).

Telephone
Telephone service in Vietnam for both domestic and international is very good and reasonably priced. International direct dialing (IDD) is available from any location in the country. There are also different networks for internet phone which require dialing certain codes when calling and which make the cost much cheaper. Calls made after 21:00 hours and before 05:00 hours have discounted rates. Making phone calls from hotels are likely much more expensive than from a puplic phone booth or post office.

Telephone cards for calls made from public phone booth are available in most cities and towns. Internet phone cards which have the cheapest rates are also available at most post offices and some phone shops. Illegal internet phone cards are available at some phone shops also; these are cheap and very likely not offering good-quality calls.

Wireless telephones using internet technology are also available, but normally only locals can apply for it with a long-term contract.

Fax:
Fax service is available at most hotels and post offices.

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are very advanced and developed with GSM or CDMA technology. GSM network seems to be more popular at the time of writing. GSM phone signals are available almost all areas of Vietnam including many far-flung mountainous regions.

GSM phones are for sales everywhere with very inexpensive prices. Once having a GSM mobile phone with a local SIM card or a SIM card from your home country of which roaming service is registered, you can make phone calls from your phone without any difficulty. The GSM network in Vietnam supports signal range of 850-900 MHz.

For the traveller equiped with a mobile phone from a country in Asia, South Pacific Region and Europe, then having a Vietnam SIM card or having registered the roaming service with your phone company is all you need to do to make/ or receive phone calls on your phone. People from the USA may need to acquire a signal-converter to make your GSM phone useable in Vietnam as your GSM mobile phone from the US supports only 1900 MHz.

When acquiring a SIM card, be sure you know which company you are buying the SIM card from. Some companies offer very good rates, but acquiring phone cards to put money into your phone account requires great efforts as the sales network is limited, or simply the signals are not widely available. So it's recommended you check with the vendors, your  local friends or tour guides for more information. At the time of writing, if you have a SIM card with the beginning numbers like 090, 091, 092, 094, 098, then you are more able to buy cards for putting money into your phone account in most cities and towns. As more and more companies providing mobile phone service in Vietnam with better and better quality and rates, it's recommended you check with the local when arriving.

Making Phone Calls

Domestic local calls (within province/city), just dial the phone number (For example: call Private Tour Vietnam in Hanoi from Hanoi: 7150210) 

Domestic calls (inter-provincial/city), dial: 0 and area code and phone number (for example: call Private Tour Vietnam in Hanoi from Saigon or any cities in Vietnam: 0 4 7150210)

International calls from Vietnam, dial: 00 and country code and area code and phone number (for example:call from Vietnam to Thailand: 00 66 78 000000)

International calls to Vietnam, dial: "+" (84) (area code)  (phone number) (for example, call Private Tour Vietnam from the USA: +84 4 7150210 ) (note: The plus sign "+" indicates international calls, if you make phone calls from a mobile phone, then using the plus sign "+", if calling from a fixed phone, then replace the plus sign "+" with your country international dialing code, this can vary from country to country such as 00, 001...depending on each country).

Vietnam Area Codes

An Giang, Bac Giang (240), Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh (241), Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Can Tho*, Cao Bang, Dac Lak, Dak Nong, Da Nang*(511), Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Hai Duong, Hai Phong*(31), Ha Nam, Ha Noi*(4), Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hoa Binh, Ho Chi Minh*(8), Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam (510), Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh (33), Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue (54), Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai. 

Internet

Internet in Vietnam is very easy to access. With more and more ISPs, better and better internet traffic and service quality are expected. Some ISPs are testing their infrastructure for WIMAX internet (broadband wireless internet); very soon the local people can watch online films from their laptop computer.

There are internet cafes or cyber centers almost every quarter of big cities such as Ha Noi, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Sai Gon...You don't have to remember their address as they are just ubiquitous. The charge is cheap, around VND 3,000 (20 cents)/hour. Webcam and voice chat are available at most internet cafes.

There are both dial-up internet using a modem and ADSL broadband internet. Nowadays most people use ADSL broadband as the speed is much better and the price is much cheaper. Still as a traveller with a laptop computer, you can hook your computer to the hotel phone line and establish a dial-up connection from there. Remember the details for establishing dial-up connection are phone number: 1269; user name: vnn1269; password: vnn1269. This is for hotels which don't offer ADSL internet only.

Many hotels offer highspeed internet, wired or wireless. If you have a laptop computer, then you can surf the web from your own room or hotel. Normally the hotels don't charge their staying guests for using the internet from their laptop computer, but it's reported that some hotels charge a hefty sum for this.

Alternatively there are numerous cafes with free WIFI Internet in most cities in Vietnam.