When planning a trip to Vietnam, the Vietnam travel tip you must keep in mind is that no matter how open-minded and carefree you are, others around you may be judgmental. But don’t let this discourage you in any way. Read more on the Dos and Don’ts when you travel to Vietnam.
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VIETNAM TRAVEL TIPS: THE DOS AND DON’TS WHEN YOU TRAVEL IN VIETNAM
- DO carry water
During the summer days in Vietnam, a lot of water intake is required to help rehydrate. Whether you’re walking around on foot or taking part in a tour, don’t underestimate the heat and the humidity.
The tropical weather can be oppressive and heat stroke can happen, so take advice and drink up water that is clean. If you’re not sure of the water source, buy bottled water instead. In larger cities, there are many convenience stores (Circle K, Family Mart, Shop & Go) where you can easily pick up a nice, cold bottle of water for VND 5,000.
- DO have a map
With the capital city and most urban centers being congested, always make sure that you have a local map whenever you navigate around the area. Free maps are available at reception counters at the hotels. With this, make sure you have a business card from your hotel when you take a taxi because most local taxi drivers speak limited English. Read more on tips to avoid taxi scams here.
Most public cafes and restaurants have free WiFi so Google Maps can come in handy. If you can, pre-download the maps to use offline. If you have an unlocked phone and would like to buy a local SIM card for mobile data usage, this is recommended for those wanting to explore places on their own.
- DO dress appropriately when visiting temples or pagodas
Travelers are advised to do what the locals do especially when visiting temples or pagodas. It is advised that visitors should not wear revealing clothes that show too much skin. Avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved shirts. In some places, visitors will have to leave the shoes at the front door when entering the local pagoda, temples, or even someone’s house. Here are the amazing Vietnam Pagodas you have to see.
- DO know the currency exchange rates
An important Vietnam travel tip is that you should know the rates before exchanging any money. Hotels, certified currency exchange shops, and jewelry shops are common places of exchange. If you wish to make exchanges at the local banks, do carry your passport and visa immigration stamp. And do carry small change at all times.
- DO ask for permission before taking photos
Tourists taking a trip to Vietnam are advised not to take photos without asking permission, especially pictures of religious or ancestral shrines because it can be considered as a bad omen. Also when taking pictures of people at the local markets, ask them for permission first. Some vendors are superstitious when it comes to having their pictures taken, especially before they haven’t had any sales that day.
- DO keep your valuables out of sight
When you travel to Vietnam, it is recommended that you store your cash, passports, gadgets, and other valuable things in a safe place and out of sight. Most 5-star hotels contain safes in their rooms making it much safer, but other hotels ask the receptionist to keep your belongings in their safes or deposit facilities to be more secure. Before taking your trip to Vietnam, do consider your items of clothing, so that you may reduce the risk of becoming a target of pickpockets, drive-by snatchers, and thieves. Never leave your property unattended.
- DON’T offer money to beggars
The local authority is avoiding promoting the begging culture among the poor in Vietnam, so don’t offer money to beggars.
If you would like to help the impoverished, consider buying them needed items or food instead. Some hotels have donation boxes where you can put your money instead of giving them directly to beggars. These financial supports will be collected or transferred into physical items and then sent to charitable organizations. Additionally, you can check out more information on our Give Back Program and how you can help orphans and the homeless.
- DON’T “lose your head” when bargaining
Never lose your temper in public especially when negotiating as it is considered as picking a fight, especially if you’re a tourist. It is best to maintain cool and a happy gesture and the other party will do the same. It is said if you treat everybody well you will be treated well in return. Courtesy is the key factor.
If the final price does not reach your expectation, just visit other shops down the road. Chances are, there are much better offers!
Read more on How to Bargain in Vietnam.
- DON’T show too much intimacy in public
Physical displays of affection or romance between lovers in public are considered non-conservative and are frowned upon. You may come across couples holding hands but rarely kissing or hugging because they show respect to the public and they expect you to do the same. Avoid behaviors that will attract attention.
- DON’T lose your attention on the environment
Although we all want to be carefree and enjoy every single moment of the trip, please be aware of the surrounding. All you have to do is to prepare for unexpected situations and not attract attention to yourself! It pays to be on the alert for your trip to Vietnam. Check out our other Vietnam travel tips on common scams and annoyances in Vietnam.
Planning Your Trip to Vietnam
Vietnam is a developing and progressing country, and it is changing rapidly. It is a wonderful country and has been making remarkable progress since opening doors to foreign investment and allowing travelers and tourists to visit the great nation. The Dos and Don’ts are some of the steps to ensure that visitors and travelers are aware of the local culture and respect them. It also helps you with planning your trip to Vietnam.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments.
Read more on Vietnamese Culture.