Over the last ten years, Vietnam has experienced a surge in international arrivals, increasing by over six million annual visitors. In the next decade, arrivals are expected to increase drastically again, and this is a reflection of Vietnam’s business potential and natural beauty. Corporate accommodation and serviced apartments are therefore increasing in demand to accommodate this increasing tourist population.
Home to over ninety-five million people, the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam borders Cambodia, Laos and China. The country is renowned for its coastal views and beaches, with the South Chinese Sea bordering the east. It is also distinguishably S-shaped, long and thin, with a north-to-south distance of one thousand miles. At its narrowest point, the country is only thirty-one miles wide. The topography and climate are so diverse between the north and south, unlike any other country, leaving much for exploration in order to unlock the many secrets of Vietnam.
People have inhabited Vietnam for over 500,000 years, but as early as the 2nd century BC, Vietnam has been occupied by outsiders. However, the Vietnamese primary motive has always been to just brave each storm. The Chinese have always been a particular burden, occupying Vietnam for 1000 years straight and continuing to have other interventions even after being repelled the first time. Independence from colonies such as France and Japan in 1945 through a proclamation.
Famously recognised too was America’s failure to stop North Vietnam from unifying the entire country. Despite America's superior size and military forces, Vietnamese resilience was one of the greatest underdog stories in history. The likes of leader Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh independence forces in recent times are prime examples of Vietnamese immense spirit in continuous hope of securing peaceful autonomy.
The economic progression seen in Vietnam over the recent decades has been one of Asia’s great success stories. Since renovation reforms in 1986 and reverting from an agrarian base to an open market, industrial economy, annual per capita has increased by 5.3 per cent. Sustainable development has been at the forefront, with the government aiming to maintain stability alongside the national currency (Vietnamese Dong, VND). The government acknowledges there is still more that needs doing. Another wave of reforms is underway, reducing ‘red tape’ and underperforming loans, whilst also increasing business transparency. The mixture of economic progress with realisation for more improvement, make Vietnam an encouraging place to conduct or start-up business.
After joining the World Trade Organisation in 2007, several free trade agreements emerged. This marked significant intent to showcase its prospering economy to the rest of the globe. Investors are consequently encouraged to conduct business in Vietnam, realising their production expansion is supported by the economy. This is further facilitated by a massive, young labour market functioning on low labour costs and significant geopolitical advantage. Further incentives include lower corporate income tax and reduction of land rental or use taxes. The development of more serviced apartments in Vietnam also provides perfect assistance for those embarking on Vietnamese business travel.
Visa requirements for Vietnam are very varied. Only residents of twenty-four countries can enter Vietnam visa-free, with many nationals, such as the British, only eligible in the country for a maximum of fifteen days without a visa. E-visas and multiple entry visas are available too depending on your trip. We advise visiting myvietnamvisa.com which covers all the visa requirements for Vietnam.
The Vietnamese people are incredibly accommodating of foreigners. In order to appreciate this though, respect must go both ways. Be sure to not disrespect embodiments of the past, by refraining from photography and dressing insensitively when appropriate. Similarly, be aware of those seeking a bargain or looking to take advantage. You will most likely avoid this kind of behaviour if you approach every situation accordingly and smartly.
Vietnamese driving is perhaps one of the most challenging driving experiences. With that considered, self-drive rental cars are unavailable in Vietnam. Even if you do on some off chance end up driving, you will require an International Driving Permit first. Having a driver capable of speaking fluently in your language is very beneficial. A very popular alternative though is hiring a motorbike. Hiring is very cheap. It is quite easy to identify which hire companies are less like to scam, but just always be aware you know what you are getting before you purchase.
You will notice upon visiting Vietnam that each different town and city has its own character. Each location represents an individual landmark, displaying culture and the past in its own way. Whilst Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are much more urban and active, Hue and Hoi An are much more cultural and preserved. The diversity within Vietnam means that creating an overall representation is virtually impossible. Staying in serviced apartments in one city limits you to such a specific aspect of Vietnam exploration.
Landmarks to look out for though are Halong Bay and Phong Na-Ke Bang National Park. Ha Long Bay encompasses sea views distinct to anywhere else, whilst also containing thousands of stunning limestone islands and remarkable caves. Cruises enable travellers the best chance of soaking up everything the bay has to offer. At Phong Na-Ke Bang National Park there is so much to explore. Whether it’s the Tu Lan ‘wet cave’ or the extraordinary Paradise Cave, extending thirty-one kilometres below ground. With so many places to explore in Vietnam, it’s worth exploring the many serviced apartment options that can support your business lifestyle and leisurely exploration.
There is no doubt that Vietnam is popular for tourists because of its unbelievable exclusivity. Corporates though can look beyond this, realising the substantial growth of the economy and its ongoing progression. SITU recognises this too and has corporate accommodation available to suit the needs of any business traveller to Vietnam.
Translating to ‘the best modern mountain’, Vietnam’s busiest airport serves Ho Chi Minh and much of south-eastern Vietnam. Bus services and taxis are frequent around the airport and grant you access to the city centre.
Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi is similarly popular amongst international arrivals, serving the capital and is only forty-five kilometres from the city centre. It functions as the largest airport in North Vietnam.
This national, government-owned company is responsible for all railway services in Vietnam. One of the most popular routes is almost one thousand miles long, stretching from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City along the North-South Railway Line. This takes over thirty hours to complete but encompasses stunning Vietnamese scenery.
Vietnamese trains are punctual and reliable but are starting to age. The trains are identifiable in different ways, with SE meaning a train is smart and faster compared to TN trains, which are slower and older. Ticket classes include hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper.
These buses are the best option of bus travel, operating on a flexible timetable with a limited number of passengers. Depending on the frequency of your travel, depends on whether you should purchase individual or ‘open’ tickets.
Open tour buses are preferred over state-owned buses but they are more reliable, more comfortable and safer.
Currently planned to open in 2020 are two metro systems, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.