The Vietnamese telephone system has been radically overhauled and expanded over the last decade, and is generally of a good quality, especially in urban areas. International call charges, however, remain high. You can save significantly on international calls by using an “internet phone” in many of the internet cafes.

Students communicating with tourist in Hanoi

Students communicating with tourist in Hanoi

Most hotels have International Direct Dialing (IDD) and more up-market operators provide fax facilities, sometimes even in-room. Be warned – all will add a hefty surcharge to your bill. There are however a couple of cheap rate services. Dial 171 or 178 before making international calls to significantly reduce rates to a pretty comprehensive range of countries.

Email is available in many hotels and there are plenty of cyber cafes in major towns and tourist destinations. Some cafes and restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City now offer wireless services.