ANROEV AND ABAN CONFERENCE 2015 GENERAL to Know ANROEV AND ABAN CONFERENCE 2015 10| send

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    GENERAL INFORMATION GENERAL INFORMATION ON VIETNAM

    Quick Facts ▪ Country name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam ▪ Area: 329,566 sq km ▪ Population: 89 million (approx) ▪ Capital city: Hanoi ▪ People: The majority of the population is Viet. Vietnam is also home to 54 minority groups. ▪ Weather: Vietnam is a tropical country with four distinctive seasons. ▪ Language: Vietnamese is the official language. Foreign languages are widely spoken: English,

    French, Chinese, and Russian. ▪ Religion: Vietnam is a secular country, Buddhism is quite popular, there are also population

    following Confucian, Taoist, Caodaists, Muslim and Christian ▪ Administration: the country is divided into Provinces/Cities, Districts and Communes.

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    HANOI CITY – THE HEART OF VIETNAM Hanoi, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is a pleasant and charming city with famous lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks. The city is about 110 km inland from the East Sea and 1,760 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi ranks among the world’s most attractive and interesting cities. Originally named Thang Long or “City of the Ascending Dragon”, the city was first the capital of Vietnam in A.D.1010 and has had many names until its current incarnation. The name Hanoi, in fact, means “bend in the river” and denotes the city’s strategic location along the vital waterway. Hanoi is dotted with dozens of lakes - small and large - around which you can usually find a cafe, a pagoda or two, and absorbing vignettes of street life.

    Hanoi has a reputation, doubtless accrued from the Vietnam War years, as a dour northern political outpost. It was renamed as Hanoi in 1831 at a time when Hue was the capital. Large areas of present-

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    day Hanoi were built during the French occupation, reflected in its broad boulevards and French- inspired architecture, which give the city a definite charm. The city is certainly smaller, slower, and far less developed than chaotic Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh), but Hanoi’s residents still seem to be in constant motion – an endless stream of motorbike traffic. As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered to be the cultural center of Vietnam, where every dynasty has left behind their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Additional information about Vietnam including specific information about Hanoi can be found on The Vietnam Tourism Information website: www.vietnamtourism.com.vn

    BEFORE TRAVELLING TO VIETNAM Currency The Vietnamese currency, the Dong (VND) comes in notes of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000 and 500000 VND and in coins of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 VND. US dollar and some credit cards like Visa, Master Card, ANZ, HSBC or American Express are accepted in hotels, shops and banks. ATM can help you to withdraw Vietnam Dong with your credit card in Hanoi. The exchange rate1 is approximately USD 1.00 = VND 22,105.00

    EUR 1.00 = VND 24,732.35 GBP 1.00 = VND 34,652.81 JPY 1.00 = VND 178.38

    Generally, cash in US dollars is favourable. When leaving the country, remaining Vietnamese currency can be exchanged for US dollars at the exchange bureau at the airport.

    1 Based on the inter-bank exchange rate of 14 August 2015 on website https://www.vietcombank.com.vn/

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    Time difference Vietnam time is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+7GMT). It lies in the same time zone as its neighbours Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Electricity The electric system is 220 Volt AC. There are many plugs and sockets in use. Travellers with shavers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry a plug-adapter kit. Plug type: Please see the images below

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    Climate / Clothing Vietnam is situated in a tropical monsoon zone. The climate in the country’s northern part is divided in four main seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Two main seasons are: the rainy season from May to September (it’s hot, heavy rain), and the dry season from October to April (it’s cold, little rainfall). The annual average temperature is 23.2oC, but in winter the average temperature is 17.2oC. From September to October (Autumn), the weather is a little bit cooler early in the morning and late at night. During the day time (especially at noon), there’s a lot of sunshine, and rather hot. Please bring light cotton clothes together with light coat/ sweater. Sun protection lotion and large hat would also be needed. It would be cold in the meeting rooms, hence carry light sweater / coat/ shawl Health Precautions No vaccinations are presently required for a visit to Vietnam. It is recommended that you be immunized against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, and Malaria. Although it is safe to brush your teeth in tap water, do not drink it. Boiled water or bottled purified or mineral water is recommended.

    ARRIVALS - DEPARTURES Use of electronic gadgets; laptops, wireless and mobile phones If you do not have or do not want to use the roaming service on your current phone, you can buy a prepaid (pay-as-you-go) SIM card (Vinaphone, Mobile phone or Viettel) that is cheap and easy to use. The prepaid cards are available in most post-offices, book stores and newspaper stalls. Local and international calling cards are available wherever SIM cards are sold. The international prefix for Vietnam is 84 plus city code (Hanoi: 04) then plus 3. For example, to call CDI office in Hanoi from your country, please dial. +8443…... In Hanoi, Internet is very popular. You can have e-mail access in almost all hotels, in many shopping malls or coffee shops with wifi coverage. If you want to surf web elsewhere you go, a 3G USB is available for you to register and buy.

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    Safety and Security Tips Though there is no major conflict or security situation, Hanoi and other city in Vietnam are not different from any other cities, and visitors are urged to be responsible with their possessions, especially in public places including public transport. It is advisable to always ask for guidance when going around Hanoi at night; and do not go out late on your own. Never leave bags or personal belonging unattended. Transport ▪ Cylco – Approx. 120,000 –150,000 VND for a short tour around the old quarter.

    ▪ Xe om (Motorbike Taxi) – try to always negotiate the price first. 15,000 VND per 2km ▪ Taxi – 15,000 VND for first km, every kilometer thereafter costs between 12,000-18,000 VND

    depending on which company you choose. We recommend Mai Linh Taxi - 38.222 666 or Hanoi taxi 38.535353

    Recommended Cafes /Restaurants ▪ Quan an ngon – Good and various food options, reasonable price. 34 Phan Dinh Phung Str. *Close

    to Army Hotel, a few minute walk. Here you can try traditional Vietnamese foods like Banh Xeo – Rice pancakes made with coconut essence often filled with browned chicken/pork and bean sprouts or many type of “Bún” or “Phở”

    ▪ La Salsa Tapas 25 Nha Tho ▪ Luna d’autunno* – Pizza & Pasta, 78 Tho Nhuom Street ▪ Bun – Type of rice vernicelli, comes in many forms e.g. bun roi, vermacelli with pickled fish. (Bun

    Cha Dac Kim – 1 Hang Manh)

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    ▪ Banh Cuon- Thin steam rolled rice pancakes, dipped in fish sauce and eaten with cinnamon flavoured pork paste.

    ▪ Nom – Spicy papaya salad with dried beef (Corner of Cau Go Str) ▪ Pho Ga/Bo- Famous Chicken/Beef Rice noodle soup (Pho Gia Truyen – 49 Bat Ban) ▪ Mien Luon – (Nha Hang - 87 Hang Dieu)

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    Tourist hot spots nearby Army Hotel Hoàn Kiếm lake and The Old Quater 2 km walk from Army Hotel, this the central of Hanoi

    Hoan Kiem Lake The "Lake of the Restored Sword" is situated in the center of Hanoi on the edge of the Old Quarter. This is the perfect place to find respite from traffic and noise. A stroll around the lake introduces you to Ngoc Son Pagoda, the tortoise tower and plenty of students practicing English. Or you can sit and relax at one of the lakeside cafes which serve delicious ice cream and even better coffee. Very popular too on a Hanoi morning (before the sun rises), is Tai Chi where all ages participates, (Hang Bac), hand made stamps (Dinh Liet, Ta Hien),... and much much more.

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    The Old Quarter Also known as the 36 streets, this network of crooked lanes is one of the most fascinating and well- preserved parts of the city. Street names reflect the wares they sell or used to sell in times gone by.. The entire area is an intricate web of colour and life, and hours can be spent exploring and discovering all manner of wonders. Ba Dinh Square About 1.2 km walk from Army Hotel:

    The square adjacent to the Ho Chi Minh complex is called Ba Dinh square, where