Vietnam is a beautiful country rich in history and culture, with fascinating cities, stunning nature, and beautiful beaches. At the time of writing (June 2021) only diplomats, officials, foreign investors, and skilled workers are allowed to enter Vietnam, and all have to go through quarantine lasting between 14 and 21 days. Yet, despite sharing a border with China, Vietnam has registered a peak of 400 cases daily and 62 deaths in total, with the virus well contained. Vietnam has an excellent test and contact tracing system, which means it is hopeful that life will soon return to normal and international tourists will be welcomed again.
After the pandemic era, there is no doubt that travelers become much more cautious about safety and hygiene. Below is our guide to preparing for when people are back to visit Vietnam in 2021.
When Vietnam opens up to visitors again, they will find that the country has always been a safe and hospital country for tourists. If you’re married, visiting this wonderful country would be one of the most special 25th wedding anniversary gifts for your spouse that you could consider. While the street vendors can be persistent, professional tour operators and friendly English-speaking locals can quickly help you accustom to the new culture. After the pandemic, vaccine passports would be an up-and-coming trend for both travelers and every country. Generally, Vietnam encourages travelers to be vaccinated and be in good health condition.
Aside from the rule of thumb of keeping a passport, money, airline tickets, and other valuables in a safe and discreet place, it’s best to stay informed and see the reviews online first when looking to book any services to avoid scams and overcharged fees.
Other than that, it is suggested that visitors wear a minimal amount of jewelry to avoid petty criminals seeing an easy target. Vietnam is praised as one of the first places to visit for novice travelers because it is considered safe, with sporadic violent crimes. Just take care of cameras and handbags as petty thieves on scooters could try and snatch them.
Wearing masks is also the norm in Vietnam. Not only is it important during a virus outbreak, but a mask will protect you from harsh sunlight and exhaust fumes from mobile vehicles while traveling in Vietnam.
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Dealing with Traffic
There are thousands of motorbikes on the road in Vietnam and traffic can be hectic. The advice as a pedestrian is to cross the road confidently but carefully as this will allow motorbikes to swerve out of your way. Hesitation increases the risk of an accident.
If you would like to observe Vietnamese life from a local point of view, it is highly recommended that you book a local tour guide, who not only will help you navigate the streets but also tell your stories and share about Vietnamese culture and lifestyle.
Taking Pictures in Vietnam
Vietnam is such a unique country that you will find it nearly irresistible not to capture every moment. Having said that, you may need to pay attention to certain religious places, military areas, and governmental buildings. The chances are that there will be a sign indicating if tourists cannot take pictures. During certain holidays such as Christmas or Tet (Vietnamese New Year), some business owners can charge you if you’re taking pictures of their well-adorned shops. All in all, it is always safe to ask first or read the room before snapping any pictures.
Dress Code in Vietnam
When visiting temples and pagodas, the dress code is strict, with visitors barred from entry if they wear shorts or ragged T-shirts. Other than that, you are free to express your fashion choices. However, it is wise to note Vietnam’s humid weather and the temperature can change drastically when traveling from North to South.
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Public Display of Affections
Physical displays of affection in public are frowned upon, especially in rural areas, so whilst holding hands is acceptable, hugging and kissing may attract unwanted stares. The other form of behavior that is considered unacceptable in Vietnam is to lose your temper. Always remain polite and accept that there are some situations that you cannot change and certainly raising your voice will ensure nothing will be resolved to your liking.
For a small Asian country, Vietnam is surprisingly open to LGBT travelers, with little to no restrictions towards gay visitors. It is worth mentioning, though, that big cities in Vietnam would be more inclusive and offer more gay-friendly activities and entertainment.