Hanoi Youth Hostel offers a full service of Vietnam visa extension & visa renewal and offers the best solutions to any requests you may have. Extending a visa is a simple process, all we require is your current visa information, then we are able to provide reliable advice, suggestions and service fees. Indeed, there are so many questions and concerns in regards to visa extension, and we would like to clear some of most questions asked before showing what you should do in order to extend your visa.



What should I prepare for my visa extension & renewal?

You just need your passport with validity of more than 6 months.

What if I just have 3 days left in my visa but visa extension process takes 5 days or more to complete?

If your passport is received and accepted by immigration before the visa expiry date, your visa validity will be counted from that day. So, there will be no problem for how long the process takes. Please remember to send your passport to us at least 3 days before your visa expiring or you will be fined around 30usd/day.

What types of visa can I extend or renew?

This depends on; your current visa category, your nationality, and your first entry point into Vietnam. We can offer the correct information once we view your passport or you can check our table below for your references.

How long does it take to get a visa extension?

It normally takes 5 to 7 working days for 01 month visa extension and up to 10 working days for 03 months extension/renewal. We also offer an express service of 3 days at your request at an additional cost.

How much for your service?

Unfortunately, until we view your passport and other relevant information, including; current visa category, nationality and first entry point into Vietnam, we are unable to offer an accurate quote.

How many time can I extend/renew my visa?

It depends but you can extend 2 times before you have to get a new visa (visa renewal without leaving Vietnam) and going on until any change in policy from Vietnam immigration.

When do I need to send my passport for my visa extension?

You are required to send your passport, so it is in our possession at least 3 days before your visa expiring. You can visit  Hanoi Youth Hostel at 5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.

How do I contact you?

Hanoi Youth Hostel
Add: 5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Working hours:  8:00 AM – 10:00 PM  everyday.  (GMT +7)
Hotline available 24/7:     (+84) 972004080


  • There will be NO hidden and NO extra charge with our service, all are included.
  • Accept Credit/Debit Cards

Learning to Love ‘the People’s Food’ in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

(The New York Times)

In the summer of 1996, fresh out of college, I moved to Ho Chi Minh City for one simple reason: I loved Vietnamese food. At restaurants in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, I’d grown fond of the staples of the cuisine — grilled meats, startling herbs, crunchy vegetables — and particularly of pho, the aromatic beef noodle soup that is Vietnam’s national dish. As graduation approached, I knew I wanted to live overseas, and Communist Vietnam, which had just opened its doors to the West, was the obvious choice. In fact, it didn’t even feel like a choice at all — it felt like destiny.

But as I quickly discovered, liking a cuisine is not the same as understanding it. My first sense of this disjunction came a couple of weeks into my stay, when I settled in for lunch at a downtown restaurant. The manic energy of the streets — the flood of motorbikes, the clanging construction crews, the gawking tourists — had dissipated in the midday heat. Time to eat, and nap and breathe and think, away from the tropical sun.

This respite is likely the only reason that I happened to notice the man with the gun. He was across the street, standing in the clear sunshine. He was Vietnamese, in his early 40s. He wore sunglasses. And at his side, he held what I assumed was an Uzi. Then he disappeared into a storefront. If the street had been full of 100cc Hondas, as it had been an hour earlier, I would’ve missed him entirely.

It was an odd sight, and I wanted to ask someone — anyone — about it. Was the man a gangster? A cop? Then my food arrived, and I forgot all about him. I hadn’t known what to order, but something on the menu caught my attention: luon nuong mia, freshwater eel wrapped around sugarcane (held in place with a chive bow) and grilled over charcoal. As I bit, I fell in love. The eel was rich and oily, caramelized from the charcoal heat, infused with the tang of garlic and fish sauce and the sweetness of raw cane. And the cane itself, when I gnawed it, released a burst of sugary juice tinged with the meaty slick of the eel.

This, I knew, was what I couldn’t get back home. This was why I’d picked up stakes and moved to Vietnam. The eel was so great that I wanted to turn to my neighbors and tell them that it justified everything.

But I had no neighbors. I was alone in this restaurant — alone and confused. After all, this seemed to be a quality spot; the eel was proof. So where was everyone? What was I doing wrong?

Those first months in Vietnam were full of such confusion. All around me, I was fairly sure, were amazing food experiences waiting to be had, yet I couldn’t figure out what to eat, how to order, and where, and when, and why. At lunch, for example, I’d often order pho at the renowned Pho Hoa Pasteur. But when I told my students in my English classes, they looked confused. To them, pho was breakfast, not a midday meal. I’d protest: Plenty of Vietnamese people were at Pho Hoa Pasteur! My students would backtrack, perhaps wanting not to contradict their teacher, or just to make me feel comfortable. Oh, sure, they’d say, you can eat any food anytime you want. Khong sao — no problem.

But it was a problem. And I knew its roots. At Vietnamese restaurants in America, all kinds of foods are served together — noodles, soups, stir-frys, spring rolls. But in Vietnam, restaurants are often devoted to a single dish: pho, banh xeo (a rice crepe stuffed with pork and bean sprouts), goat hot pot. Adapting to this was hard. Knowing only a small subset of dishes, and only a few words of Vietnamese, I didn’t even know what to commit myself to. I knew that I should just blindly walk in, point to whatever I saw on other tables, and enjoy the result, but fear and shyness kept me at bay. Is there anything more alienating than not knowing how to eat?

Too often I wound up at the non-Vietnamese restaurants in the backpacker and tourist districts. They were often good: excellent Italian fare, thanks in part to fresh tomatoes and basil; a devoted expatriate clientele demanded serious Japanese; and a century of French colonialism meant that pâté, red wine and onion soup were vernacular dishes. But these meals all reminded me of my ongoing failure to penetrate Vietnamese culture.

After a few months, I moved from my sixth-floor rented room to another on the fifth floor. The new room was larger and air-conditioned, but I took it for the simple reason that it had a tiled patio that was ideal for takeout alfresco lunches.

But what to bring home? Ham-and-brie sandwiches? Thai ground pork with holy basil? On a stroll down nearby Bui Vien Street one day, I spotted a man grilling pork chops outside a com binh dan, an institution that translates as “the people’s food.” Com binh dan are everywhere in Vietnam. For less than a dollar, you can have a plate of rice and a serving of, say, pork belly braised in fish sauce and sugar, water spinach (rau muong) stir-fried with garlic, or a soup of bitter melon stuffed with pork and mushrooms

But com binh dan had never appealed to me. Maybe their folding tables, plastic chairs and worn silverware looked too shabby. Maybe the pre-made dishes, sitting in the humid open air, turned me off. Maybe I needed to read a menu. Or maybe I was just afraid. My palate could handle a challenge, my fragile psyche couldn’t.

When I smelled the suon nuong, or pork chops, however, everything changed. Marinated in garlic, sugar, fish sauce and shallots, they gave off an intense aroma of fat and caramelization, one I couldn’t turn away from. So I ordered to-go — suon nuong on a mound of rice, with rau muong and sliced cucumbers — and carried the plastic foam box to my fifth-floor oasis, where I ate in utter bliss.

The com binh dan around the corner quickly became my go-to spot for good, unpretentious food. Usually, I’d get the perfect suon nuong, but the shop also had squid, stuffed with pork and braised until soft, as well as crispy-fried fish. And a fried egg could be added to anything.

Eating on my patio was nice, but more and more I ate at the com binh dan’s flimsy tables, noticing how other customers ate — with chopsticks, with fork and spoon, or with a combination. I studied the way they prepared dipping sauces, either by filling dishes with dark fish sauce and a few shreds of red chiles, or by pouring nuoc cham, a mix of fish sauce, water, lime juice and sugar, from the plastic pitchers placed on each table. (I’d thought it was iced tea — whoops!) People ate without much ceremony. This was good cooking, but it was also a refueling stop. As I watched and copied them, day after day, I didn’t even realize that, for the first time, I was eating like a regular person.

Nor did I realize that mastering this one meal would have collateral effects. Now that I’d locked down lunch, I could eat breakfast and dinner however I wanted. No longer did I have to feel guilty about starting the day with black coffee and fresh croissants; in a few hours, I’d be feasting on pork chops.

I could also experiment at dinner, testing dosas at the new South Indian restaurant, partying with friends in the Siberian Hunting Lodge, or feasting on braised snails and grilled mussels in a converted auto garage near the Saigon River. Whether these meals turned out delicious or dull, authentic or artificial, I knew that the next day I’d be eating a people’s lunch.

There was, however, one casualty of my growing cultural adeptness. Now that I better understood lunch, the restaurant that served sugarcane eel no longer fit into my eating life — by then I knew it was not a lunch spot, and come dinnertime there was so much else to explore. I never returned. The luon nuong mia, so fixed in my memory, seems like a heat-induced hallucination, almost as illusory as the man with the Uzi. Except it was all real, as real as the charcoal smoke that still billows forth from the com binh dan on Bui Vien Street, on a thousand other streets throughout Saigon, and wherever regular folks gather to eat.



Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080


Street food in Vietnam

 By Sivan Askayso

Sivan Askayo is an editorial and commercial photographer specializing in Travel, Food, Portraits and Lifestyle.

vietnam, Street Food, Travel, Ho Chi Minn

It took me only one day in Vietnam to realize the Vietnamese mothers are actually like the Jewish mothers; They like feeding people. It took me only one day to realize the Vietnamese are also like Israelis; Food is at the very heart of their culture. Almost every aspect of social, spiritual, and family life, revolves around food.

In Vietnam, food is everywhere in sight. In every street corner, a woman pulls out plastic stalls around a a dish, or a huge pot of soup. At each train stop, vendors rush up to the passengers, offering homemade treats such as shrimp cakes, sticky rice, grilled corn, mango or pineapple covered with sweet red chilly flakes, sun dried squid, dried fish, dried fruits, little black dotted eggs or French baguette. The Vietnamese cooking is fresh, healthy and light, and more over, colorful and beautiful to behold; Yellow corn, pinkish-orange shrimps, deep orange crabs, red hot chilly peppers, vivid greens, pearl-color glassy noodles.

In Ho Chi Minn I was drawn immediately to Ben Thanh Market, a popular and touristy destination, watching the women washing, peeling, cutting, cooking and serving food. And in Hanoi, I visited particular street vendors who were located in the alleys around the hotel I was staying in. I learned to recognize the specific type of food for every hour of the day; pork sausages on skews served as a morning snack for kids before they go to school, grilled pork in a marinade of sweetened fish sauce with a side of rice vermicelli for their parents, airy baguettes, then throughout the day one can find pork and mushroom dumplings, spicy Pho noodle soup, white porridge soup served with crunchy croutons, grilled seafood on skews, rice noodles in so many variations, and of course, the Vietnamese coffee; thick, rich with a sweetened condensed milk, that makes it all worth it.

Quick tip: If a place is busy, it’s almost certainly fine to eat there. Don’t eat anywhere with slow turnover (this includes fancy-yet empty restaurants) and make sure to drink a lot of water.

Bon Appetite!

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn

Vietnam, Travel, Street Food, Ho Chi Minn



Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080


My First Trip to Vietnam Changed My Life


With the fourth season of his CNN series Parts Unknown premiering on September 28, it’s an excellent time to talk to Anthony Bourdain about the highlights of his life on the road. (Coincidentally, we’re chatting at the hotel he rates above all others: the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.) In the forthcoming season, the globe-trotting chef ventures to offbeat locations such as Tanzania and Iran, focusing on the culture and people of each place as well as the cuisine. He admits it’s his curiosity that drives him to continue exploring. “I like delicious food,” he says, “but I’m just as interested in who’s cooking it and why.” Here, he discusses his favorite destinations, memorable food experiences, and more.

From all of your travels, which destination has made the biggest impression on you?

I’m crazy for Southeast Asia. I think all of us that work on the show love that part of the world. I love Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia for the flavors, the landscape and the people. Going to Vietnam the first time was life-changing for sure; maybe because it was all so new and different to my life before and the world I grew up in. The food, culture, landscape and smell; they’re all inseparable. It just seemed like another planet; a delicious one that sort of sucked me in and never let go.

Has anywhere you’ve been truly exceeded your expectations?

Iran was amazing, surprising and incredibly friendly, and Colombia is an extraordinarily friendly and welcoming place with delicious food. Uruguay was a very pleasant surprise too.

On the other end of the spectrum, has anywhere been a disappointment?

I didn’t have the best time in Romania as it’s difficult to shoot there. The government likes to control what you shoot and how you portray things, if at all possible, and the people there are generally uncomfortable around cameras. It wasn’t the most welcoming place I’ve been.

You’ve eaten at more places around the world than most people ever will; what had been your most memorable food experience while traveling?

There’s been a lot of them but eating with Paul Bocuse was remarkable. It was an epic meal with someone I’d idolized since I was a young man, and he’s one of the greatest chefs in the world. During the meal, I was very aware that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; to eat with the chef himself, with all of those incredibly elaborate, luxurious courses. I was very aware when I was eating it, how fortunate I was. It was an amazing experience.

If I had one meal left to me in life though it would be in Tokyo at Sukiyabashi Jiro. It is the best—if not, one of the best—sushi bars in the world and I’m a sucker for really great, traditional, high-end sushi.

What’s the strangest dish you’ve eaten?

I don’t even know what strange means anymore, as I’ve been travelling for 14 years. It’s entirely each person’s perspective. I am constantly shocked by what we eat in this country though; like, the Cinnabon.

You must spend a lot of time in transit. What do you think of airline food?

I don’t eat it. Some airlines try harder than others for sure, but you never feel better after a meal than you did before it, so I take advantage of my time on a plane to sleep. I like arriving in any country hungry, so I can eat there when I get on the ground.

Do you have a favorite restaurant or is it too hard to choose?

I’m actually happiest eating street food, whether it’s in Mexico or Vietnam. I like eating at casual street food stalls in Asia or Latin America. I like yakitori; I like pho from Vietnam very much; I like the chicken rice in Singapore and the tacos in Mexico. They’re all delicious.

And do you have a favorite hotel?

I love very old colonial hotels in Southeast Asia, like the Metropole in Hanoi, the Majestic in Saigon or the Grand Hotel d’Angkor at Angkor Wat, but I also have a soft spot for the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, which is probably my favorite in the world.

What drives you to travel?

Curiosity about the world in general. I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable. I like delicious food but I’m just as interested in who’s cooking it and why.

What destinations are next on your travel agenda?

I’m hoping to go back to Korea, Madagascar, Beirut, Okinawa, and Borneo; all for very different reasons. I’d like to go back to Borneo because I made a commitment to a tribe called the Dayak there who I stayed with years ago, and I want to go in harvest season. I think Korea is an emerging and important cuisine that I’d like to know more about. There’s always a personal or historical reason, or it’s just out of curiosity.



Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080


Vietnam, and Make It Snappy

By Melissa Clark (The New York Times)

I DIDN’T come up with a banh mi recipe under the illusion that I could improve the classic Vietnamese sandwich.

To my mind, that mouth-tingling combination of intensely flavored meats, crunchy daikon pickles, herbs, mayonnaise and hot sauce is poetry on a crusty bun, wanting for nothing other than a hungry eater to devour it.

But since there are no banh mi places near me, I had to make my own.

Authenticity was not the goal. Nor was coming up with a newfangled banh mi variation like so many I’ve been seeing around town lately (Baoguette’s sloppy Joe banh mi with spicy curry beef and green mango, for example).

I wanted a sandwich that, with quick work, would maintain the porky-pickled-fiery essence of a classic banh mi with easy-to-find ingredients.

At first I tried a version of my favorite style, packed with Vietnamese cold cuts and silken pâté. I tried substituting Italian mortadella and French country pâté. But even when mixed with quick-pickled daikon and carrots and squirts of mayonnaise and sriracha, the sandwich tasted strangely flat.

This is probably because the Vietnamese cold cuts, including the bolognalike sausage called cha lua that’s a staple in my favorite banh mi, are seasoned with fish sauce and spices, which makes them entirely different from the French and Italian flavorings.

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

So, for the next round, I abandoned the charcuterie route and decided to focus on another style of banh mi made primarily from grilled pork. Pork loin and chops are usually used for this type of banh mi, but it can be hard to get them to absorb enough intense flavor of hot sauce and fish sauce without lengthy marinating.

Ground pork, however, would instantly suck up seasonings and add a loose shagginess to each mouthful. To bind it together so it didn’t fall out of the bread as I ate it, I stirred the mayonnaise and hot sauce directly into the pan with the meat.

Then I stuffed it into an airy roll along with my pickled vegetables for crunch and acidity, sprigs of cilantro and mint for freshness and slivers of jalapeño to cut the richness of the mayonnaise-laden pork.

And this hungry eater gobbled it up, my banh mi cravings thoroughly satisfied — at least for the moment.



Hanoi Youth Hostel – No.5 Luong Ngoc Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hotline: (+84) 972004080