Astonishingly beautiful with a culture that is compelling, there is no doubt that Vietnam is shaped by its history. Ruled by the ancient Chinese for over a millennium, the Chinese influences are apparent – especially in the north. So, too, are the vestiges of French colonialism that can be found in the architecture of its cities, such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, as well as the ubiquitous coffee shops and French baguettes. Add to this the heritage of the Americans, Indians and indigenous tribes, and you have a country that offers a diverse philosophy that is undeniably captivating.
From the remarkable limestone pillars of Ha Long Bay with its unique eco-system, to the sweeping arc of Nha Trang Beach, and from the forbidden imperial city of Hue to the giddy dynamism of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam offers a variety of landscapes to stimulate the senses.
The energy of its people – friendly and inquisitive - and a cuisine that is not only one of the tastiest in the world, but also one of the healthiest, and you have the basis for an incredible holiday and the time-of-your-life.
Of course, a trip to Vietnam is not just about sitting back and taking it all in - some activities require a little more effort – and boy are there loads to get your teeth into! Trekking and hiking enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice, whether striking out alone or with organized tour companies. Mountain-biking, canyoning, rock-climbing, wind surfing, kite surfing and scuba diving are just some of the other high-octane activities on offer, as well as bird-watching and golfing.
Devotees of that other 21st century pastime, shopping, will be tempted by the sheer array and quality of goods on offer, notwithstanding the low prices. Bartering is part of the fun, especially if you can manage to get up to two-thirds off the original price on bespoke tailoring, textiles, jewelery and local handicrafts.
For dental tourists, savings of up to 75% are not unusual – and if you needed an excuse to visit Vietnam then maybe this is it.
The furthest east country of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, it borders China in the north, Laos in the west and Cambodia in the southwest. To the east is the South China Sea, referred to as the East Sea in Vietnam.
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Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. Tourism is on the increase and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has made long-term plans to encourage this. Where backbackers go, moneyed tourists eventually follow, and where moneyed tourists go so do dental and medical tourists. It is a symbiotic relationship - as more money is brought into the economy, then more is ploughed back into amenities to make services even more appealing to future tourists.
Professional memberships of recognizable international organizations, while not a pre-requisite, may be a deciding factor for some patients. As the world becomes a smaller place so healthcare professionals and institutions are keen to demonstrate they are up-to-date with their knowledge, skills and standards. More and more you will find Vietnamese affiliates of, for example, the American Dental Association, the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the International Standards Organization and, for hospitals, accreditation by the Joint Commission International.
Reputable dental and medical clinics in Vietnam have modern technology, skilled and highly-trained doctors and dentists (many of whom have been trained internationally in the US, Australia or Japan) and the professionalism that international visitors expect.
Just like dental clinics in Western countries, there are a wide variety of materials used in dental care for crowns, fillings and dentures. They are imported from world-renowned companies that supply dentists in Europe, the United States and Japan. The savings in Vietnam come from the lower overheads and cost of living, not because inferior quality products are used. The savings on the cost of dental care here cam be immense:
• Average cost of a dental crown in the Australia $1,450, At a Vietnamese dentist as little as $160• Average cost of root canal, post and crown in Australia $2,800, At a Heredia dentist only $280• Average cost of dental implant and crown in Australia $5,000, At a Vietnamese dentist around $1,300
For most Westerners the price of accommodation in Vietnam is cheap – the price of 5* luxury, even in the big cities like Hanoi, is equivalent to or less than some standard hotel accommodation at home – and if you are really on a budget, there are plenty of, clean, basic accommodations for less than a few dollars a night.
Yes. The UK Foreign Office has no warnings about travel to Vietnam, and there is a low threat from terrorism.
Tropical cyclones affect eastern coastal regions from May to November, although they can happen at other times.
If you go to a reliable dentist then your dental care should be comparable to dental care you receive at home. Both good dentists and bad dentists exist the world over, even at home, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that you will receive any lesser treatment by going to another country.
It’s always important to do a little research – you should do this for finding a dentist at home too, but how many of us do? In fact, it almost seems these days that you can find out more about dentists in another country than you can your own! This is because dentists in other countries who tend to treat international patients have been doing it for some time. They typically have high-quality clinics, are trained internationally and usually have a visible web presence – either via their own website, or an affiliation with a dental tourism operator.
This is all very well and good but still doesn’t necessarily tell you whether the quality of care is any good, which is why Dental Departures have made it our mission to find out.
We only list dentists that we would go to ourselves, and it is through a number of processes that we decide whether to promote their services. Our background checks include criminal and legal records, dentist qualifications and professional memberships, but they also include site visits and real patient reviews. Site visits and testimonials are a really important feature of establishing trustworthiness, and with our high-definition photographs gives you the chance to see and make a decision yourself as to whether a clinic is right for you.
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The best way of mitigating any problems is by choosing a reliable dentist. It is an extremely rare occurrence that our patients have suffered any problems with their dental care – and of those that have the issues have been minor.
However, no-one is infallible, and dentists are only human – mistakes do happen. No dental or medical procedure can ever be guaranteed completely because of this reason, but also the nature of the human body is that what may be fine for thousands of people may not be for one – we are all unique and respond to things differently.
If you do have any problem with your dental care Dental Departures will work with your dentist on your behalf to see that it is put right. All of our dentists have guarantees or warranties on their work, and so any remedial work will be carried out free-of-charge.
What our dentists’ warranties do not cover is additional travel or accommodation expenses you may incur. For this reason we would urge you to consider taking out additional medical complications insurance – which for a small additional premium will give you complete peace of mind, knowing your expenses will be covered.
Yes – your dentist will speak English.
The majority of the population speak Vietnamese and French is spoken as a second language by educated people, especially by the older generation. English is now taught in schools and has become more popular as a second language with the younger generation.
Cash is accepted by all of our dentists and but check out our website for the individual clinic listings on debit/credit cards; personal/traveler checks and bank transfers. Please note that credit card transactions may incur an additional processing fee of 3-4%.
It is highly unlikely that your dental insurance will be accepted in Vietnam. However, it is worth checking your policy to see if it covers for ‘out-of-network’ care, in which case you may be able to claim back your expenses once you are home. If in doubt, phone your insurance provider to check.
Except for major holidays, our dentists are open throughout the year, so you can take advantage of off-peak rates on accommodation and flights if you travel outside of busy times or in the low season.
Like most countries in Southeast Asia, disabled access is not really a concept like it is in the developed world. Sidewalks are rarely used for walking on - congregating, cooking, parking, selling – you name it, everything but… If you want to pass by it’s your responsibility to get around the obstruction, even if that is in the road with the traffic!
While ground floor access may be reasonable for many buildings (they tend to have wide doors pretty-much level with the sidewalk to store motor-scooters in at night), getting up a level or two, or even to the bathroom, is likely to be more problematical as few have lifts. That said, the people are friendly and it’s amazing how creative people can be when trying to help you out.
The newer, decent hotels will be handicapped-friendly so if you make one of these your base it shouldn’t be too arduous getting around the rest of the time.
Ask our Customer Care teams about wheelchair-friendly dentists in Vietnam and they will come up with some suggestions for you.
Vietnam is a very safe country for travelers and violent crime is rare. Be aware of scams in some cities.
The roads in Vietnam are chaotic and road traffic accidents account for the majority of visitor injuries. Vehicle pollution is a problem in major cities, and could be an issue if you have respiratory disease.
The drinking water is heavily chlorinated but it’s best to stick to bottled water; peel fruit before you eat it and don’t eat raw food.
Remember to wear a high factor sunscreen – even on cloudy days the sun can and will burn.
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There are two UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites in Vietnam – Ha Long Bay, probably the most popular attraction in the country, noted for the thousands of spectacular limestone karsts and isles jutting out of the bay – and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, featuring fascinating caves, grottos and rock formations.
There are also five Cultural World Heritage Sites:
The Hue complex of monuments – Features ruins from Vietnam’s first capital city, Hue, including the Forbidden Purple City and the Imperial City.
The Ancient Town of Hoi An – This seaside town was a major trading post in the 16th and 17th centuries but is now a living museum featuring Chinese, Japanese and French architecture with wooden pagodas, and colonial houses overlooking canals. The riverside is particularly beautiful and atmospheric at night and is lit with old-fashioned lanterns.
My Son Sanctuary - Hindu-themed ruins from the ancient Champa civilization featuring sculptures and temples in jungle surroundings.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is in Hanoi – At this archaeological site relics were found from as early as 6BC. The site features relics, ancient roads, old palace foundations, ponds and wells.
The Citadel of the Ho Dynasty – Built in the 14th century on feng shui principles and said to be an outstanding example of architectural Neo-Confucianism.
Notwithstanding the many beautiful beaches around the country, the Saharan-like sand dunes near Mui Ne are a popular attraction, and there are vendors selling food and drinks, as well as an area of pine trees providing welcome shade.
The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is a fascinating, if gruesome, reminder of the brutality of war, with graphic exhibits from the Vietnamese War, including photographs, equipment, the ‘tiger cages’ used to keep prisoners captive and even a French guillotine used to execute prisoners.
A really small snapshot of Vietnam, you will find many more enthralling places to see, and absorbing pastimes to pursue as you get to know this captivating country.
Visitors from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand must obtain a visa for entry to Vietnam, and have a passport valid for 6 months.
The two major international airports are at Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi where frequent flights arrive from across the world.
There are border crossings shared with Vietnam’s neighbours, Cambodia, China and Laos open to foreigners if you are traveling in from one of these destinations.
Getting around Vietnam is a breeze.
Cyclo – These bicycle rickshaws are cheap and you can find the drivers hanging out near hotels and markets in the major cities. Always agree a fare before getting in, and bargain hard.
Xe Om – Motorbike taxi. Great if you don’t have any luggage. Prices are similar to Cyclos but settle on a fare beforehand.
Taxi – Metered taxis are cheap by international standards. They’re plentiful in major cities and the safest way to travel at night.
Bus – There are buses but the proliferation and inexpensive nature of other modes of transport means that few travelers use them.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport: 4 miles (7 kms), 15 minsNha Trang: 270 miles (436 kms), 8 hoursHa long Bay: 1115 miles (1795 kms), 29 hours (flying 2 hours)Hanoi: 1066 miles (1716 kms), 27 hours (flying 2 hours)Vung Tau: 59 miles (147 kms), 2 hours
Find your dentist on our website and book online, of call our toll-free number and speak with our Customer Care team.
Check our online reviews, clinic photos, virtual tours and discover excusive discounts with Dental Departures for your dental appointment in Vietnam. We always guarantee the best prices.
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