Vietnam - Facts

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  • After years of isolation, the late 1980s saw an opening up of the country to independent travel. By the 1990s foreign tourists were enjoying a remarkable amount of freedom to visit the interior of the country.
  • The new Ana Marina in Nah Trang was declared a seaport in 2023 and it does appear that entry here is possible. Sailing, however, is still greatly restricted in Vietnam and onward cruising is unlikely to be possible.
  • The general consensus seems to be that Vietnam still falls into the “too hard” basket as a cruising destination. The Vietnam race – HK – Nah Trang was only ever held once despite being conceived as an annual event, as the logistics were just too complicated and the cost of immigration services was prohibitive. Several competitors were impounded on their boats because they did not have the right type of visa. Since then there have been further reports of yachts being impounded because of visa/clearance problems and therefore any sailor would be very well advised to research all bureaucratic requirements before entering Vietnamese waters.
  • Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the largest city and main commercial centre of southern Vietnam, where evidence of the new climate of free enterprise is very much in evidence.
  • Haiphong lies on the delta of the Red River and is the main port serving Hanoi, to which there are rail links. Nearby is the spectacular Halong Bay where some 3000 chalk islands form strange and fascinating shapes and grottos.
  • Facilities for yachts are very basic. Fuel and water are available in Ho Chi Minh City and Nah Trang, and provisioning – especially with local produce – is plentiful. Repair facilities are limited although workshops dealing with local fishing boats would be able to deal with some emergencies.

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Vietnam was last updated 8 months ago.

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  1. December 6, 2019 at 6:13 AM
    luckysailor99 says:

    Hi, I am Reinhard. We (my wife and myself) sail our Ovni 435, named “Exit Strategy” under Flag of Austria and would like to visit Vietnam in March/April 2020, furthermore we would like to pick up 2 friends in Vietnam and sail later to Malaysian Islands. What authority issues we have to prepare?

    1. February 3, 2020 at 3:57 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Reinhard,
      Sadly Vietnam still seems very much “off limits” to foreign yachts. The latest information we have on formalities is in the Vietnam formalities section – https://www.noonsite.com/place/vietnam/formalities/. It appears using a clearance agent can ease the process, however, we don’t have any contacts in that area. Even the new South China Sea pilot says “make absolutely certain that all your paperwork is in places. Yachts without the correct paperwork have been impounded and crew have spent several days in prison.” It however does not indicate exactly what paperwork is required.
      Quite possibly the simplest option is to leave the boat in Malaysia and travel overland to Vietnam.
      I will however put some feelers out and see if we can get some more up to date information for you.

    2. August 14, 2020 at 1:28 AM
      mjaumock says:

      I’m in Vietnam. If I can help (and I’m quite sure I can) please let me know.

    3. October 26, 2020 at 5:27 PM
      francescorrigan says:

      Hi Michael. I am buying a Seawind1260 and the plan was to pick it up from Vietnam but that will be delayed now. I have some questions about purchasing items from a chandlery in Vietnam but can’t really see too much information on line. Would you be able to give me some advice?
      Frances

    4. February 14, 2020 at 8:16 PM
      profile photo
      eddiesmit says:

      Ruurd van Putten is a Dutch guy providing several yachting services. Contact him at [email protected]

  2. September 23, 2019 at 11:33 PM
    mjaumock says:

    It’s spectacular cruising grounds, to be sure. We are working daily to open things up and simplify the process.
    It’s a grind, but we are making slow and steady progress.
    Ana Marina plans to open in Q-4 2019, and hopefully that will create a little momentum in the ministry offices.
    If I can be of any help, feel free to get in touch
    Michael Aumock
    [email protected]

    1. September 24, 2019 at 12:15 AM
      josef-fuchs says:

      Hi this is Josef..I have a 43 Gulfstar presently in Philippines verry interested to sail Vietnam
      Taking my Philipiena along ..how would I proceed??

    2. September 26, 2019 at 12:22 AM
      mjaumock says:

      [email protected]

      Realistically you are looking at Q2 2020 for relatively easy access, unless you want to flag it as Vietnamese

    3. October 14, 2019 at 6:17 AM
      johgiri1 says:

      Hi Michael, it appears that the email address is not working. Is there another email address?
      Thank You.
      Johnathan G.A.Bravo

  3. May 14, 2019 at 2:23 PM
    rivierawillie says:

    Am keen to cruise Vietnam but it still seems a bit of a struggle.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Apart from the new “Ana Marina” in Nha Trang – are there any other marinas in Vietnam?

    Are there any other marinas planned or mooted??

    Is it still a nightmare to cruise in Vietnam?