Location

Accommodation

Participants will be accommodated in Huong Giang Hotel Resort and Spa, which is situated in a small private park at a confluence of two rivers. It is a peaceful location but within walking distance to pubs and restaurants. The number of available rooms is limited and they will be given on the first-come first-served basis. Alternatively, the participants can arrange their own accommodation. There are numerous hotels and guest houses charging between 20 and 200 EUR/night within walking distance to the conference hotel.

Currency

Credit cards are only accepted in large hotels, restaurants and shops. Currently (April 2018), the exchange rate is 28,000 Vietnamese Dong per Euro. Not all ATMs accept foreign cards. For actual rates visit currency converter. The ATMs often charge additional fees and give a very limited amount of money. The best exchange rate is obtained at the reception desk of the conference hotel. The exchange rates at the airports are lower (for the buyer) than in the town but acceptable.

Weather

End of February is the best time for visiting central Vietnam since it is rather dry, warm and pleasant. The average maximum day temperature in Hue in the conference period is 26 °C and the average minimum is 19.5 °C. Such a mild climate is due to proximity to the South China Sea; the see water temperature in the end of February is 23 °C. The probability for precipitation is only 5%. More about climate in February is here.

Transportation

Flights

Hue is served by 2 airports. The closest one (10 km) is Hue Phu Bai International Airport. The airport is served by flights from both Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) but there are hardly any international flights. Pick up at Hue Airport will be organized for conference participants (included in the registration fee).

Most international passengers use a larger airport in Da Nang, about 75 km from the conference site. Pick up at Da Nang Airport will be organized for conference participants and the fee is 30 EUR one‑way. The travel time is 1.5 hours. Alternatively, one can hire a taxi but beware of fast‑running meters. The price of a taxi is anywhere between 50 EUR and 140 EUR + toll surcharges. The Da Nang airport is served by about 50 flights per day, most from Saigon and Hanoi. International destinations include Seoul, Busan, Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Siem Reap and several towns in China. Many foreigners require a visa to enter Vietnam. See details below.

Getting around

There are numerous local buses to/from Hue. Public buses are not comfortable but extremely low‑cost (a trip to Da Nang costs about 4 EUR). Private buses are comfortable but much more expensive and often do not leave from a bus station. There are also long distance buses (sometimes with berths) serving popular destinations in Laos. The long distance buses should be booked in advance. The hotel reception can organize purchase against a small extra fee.

The Hue public bus station is located about 3 km from the conference site and a taxi should cost 2 EUR. You will have to negotiate hard to get this price, though. The first offer will be about 6 EUR. Taxis from the conference site can be organized by the hotel. Popular destinations include the small seaside town Thon Thai Duong Ha (from 10 EUR one‑way), vibrant modern city of Da Nang (from 40 EUR one‑way), Hoi An (UNESCO Heritage old town, from 50 EUR one‑way), My Son (UNESCO Heritage sanctuary, from 60 EUR one‑way), Phong Nha Cave (UNESCO Heritage karst caves, from 120 EUR return).

The Hue train station is just over a kilometer east from the conference hotel. Local trains are notoriously slow and often late so they are not recommended for short trips. There are express trains running towards Saigon and Hanoi with sleeping coaches, which are rather basic and recommended only for travelers.

Visa

Citizens of many countries need a visa for entering Vietnam. The simplest way is obtaining visa on arrival at the airport. Application for a tourist visa on arrival requires:

  1. Filling an online form. This service is provided by numerous commercial agencies, not by Vietnamese government. Some are listed here (cost in bracket):
  1. Within 2-3 days you will receive (by email) a document confirming your visa eligibility. You will have to print this form and show in at the airport when you check‑in the plane for Vietnam.
  2. When you arrive at an airport in Vietnam, go to “visa‑on‑arrival office”, which is positioned close to immigration. Show the printed form, provide one photo of passport size (the officials are not picky), provide your passport and pay 25 USD. Only cash in USD is accepted! Provide also the form which you can download here. You will get your visa in few minutes if there is no queue.
  3. Proceed to the immigration to get your passport stamped. There may be queues, but the officials are very effective so you will probably be through the immigration before your luggage arrives to the luggage belt. Your unchecked luggage will be screened at the customs – avoid meat, fruit etc.

The procedure is usually smooth and the clerks do not ask any question. The passport should remain valid for at least half a year after entering Vietnam.

If you do not enter Vietnam at an international airport, the visa on arrival is not issued. If you arrive by ground transport (from Laos, Cambodia or China) you have to arrange your visa at an Embassy/Consulate before entering Vietnam.

Some nations do not need visa to enter Vietnam for a short period.  The list is here. These regulations may change at any time!

Tourist attractions within 150 km around Hue

There are numerous agencies (they call themselves tourist offices) around Hue (one in the conference hotel) organizing interesting, although a bit pricey, packages to nearby attractions, many recognized as UNESCO Heritages. The list of recommended places includes:

Main Organizer

Co-organizers