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Our lady guide and customers at a HCMC food stall

Travel Tips for Vietnam – Do’s and Don’t’s While Visiting Vietnam

Vietnam – a developing country in Southeast Asia is attracting more and more foreign tourists. Traveling to Vietnam is a good idea since this country has beautiful landscapes, unique culture and tasty cuisine. However, there are several things that tourists should be aware of. To make sure you can avoid any inconveniences, read these do’s and don’t’s while visiting Vietnam.

Search the Weather Forecast Before Arriving

Vietnam is a tropical country in Southeast Asia so its weather is quite warm. However, depending on the month of the year and the region of Vietnam, the weather changes. Thus, the first important tip when you plan to visit Vietnam is to check the weather forecast. For example, if you want to visit Northern and Central Vietnam on sunny days, do not come from October to February. The South is warmer during that time. From April to July, the whole of Vietnam expects to have scorching heat. The temperature can be up to 40 degrees Celsius. So, if you prefer drizzly weather, August to March is better.

See more about weather in Vietnam and recommended destinations each month.

Weather in Vietnam
Weather in Vietnam. Source: www.rvcj.com

Travel Tips about Transport in Vietnam

If you travel to big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Danang, you can catch buses easily and it can take you almost anywhere. However, in other cities, traveling by taxi is a better choice. Of course, the taxi fee is higher than the bus fee. Before getting in a taxicab, consider the taxi company, ask the price, and observe the meter in the car. Some trustworthy tax companies are Mai Linh, Vinasun, and Futa.

Download Grab app

In addition to taxi and bus, Grab bike or car are becoming more common in Vietnam. It’s more flexible and cheaper than a taxi. Consider downloading Grab app as soon as you arrive in Vietnam.

Rent a motorbike

The main mean of transport in Vietnam is the motorbike. If you are an adventurous kind of person, rent one and discover all the corners of Vietnam by yourself. It’s a really cool to experience and  a large part of Vietnamese culture. However, it can be quite dangerous if you are not used to the traffic rules in Vietnam.

Tips for When on the Bus

When traveling by bus, you should always keep your bag in front of you and never behind you, especially if you do not have a seat. This is to ensure that thieves are not able to steal any of your belongings. 

Avoid being pick-pocketed
Avoid being pick-pocketed. Source: www.smartertravel.com

Tips for Crossing the Street in Vietnam

To cross the road and go through the motorbike “tsunami”, you should walk slowly. That allows motorcyclists time to anticipate your movements and to see you crossing the street. When you have trouble crossing the street or finding your way to a destination, ask the local people, they are generally willing to help you. Watch out for the buses, trucks, and containers. They rarely slow down for you to cross the road. Thus, in case there is no traffic light, cross when there are two-wheeled vehicles on the road only. Follow the local people to cross the road if possible.

Tourists are crossing the road in Vietnam
Tourists are crossing the road in Vietnam. Source: www.saigononline.com

Watch Your Bag and Wallet

Of course, there are good people and bad people everywhere in the world. Robbing and stealing also happens in Vietnam, so it’s best to keep your valuable things safe.  We advise you to wear your bag on your front when you are in the crowd or in the market to avoid those who pickpocket.

Hold Your Phone Carefully

Be careful when you use your phone on the road because some thieves may ride their motorbikes quickly and snatch your phone right out of your hand. It’s more dangerous when you are on your bike since you might fall down. Therefore, the tip for you is to avoid using your phone on the road and hold it carefully.

Hold Your Phone Carefully
Hold Your Phone Carefully. Source: www.starofmysore.com

Exchange Your Money

The Vietnamese unit of currency is called the Dong (VND). Changing money before coming to Vietnam is helpful. Using the smaller amounts of the local currency is easier to buy things in Vietnam, because it’s hard for the sellers to give you the change if your money is too big. The tip here is you should change your money into small money in Vietnam. Which means you should ask the bank to give you the denomination at 20 000 VND, 50 000 VND, and 100 000 VND in addition to the bigger ones like 200 000 VND and 500 000 VND. 

You can change the money in a number of places. Banks will let you change foreign currencies and most travelers’ checks; Large hotels, smaller hotels, homestays can offer rates competitive with banks. You also can change money in Gold and jewelry shops.

Vietnamese Currency
Vietnamese Currency. Source: www.vietnamtour.com

Always Ask About the Price Before Buying Something

The products’ price in the supermarket is fixed so you do not have to worry about being overcharged. However, it usually happens in the local market or street vendors. Therefore, whenever you want to buy something, ask the seller or other customers about the price first. In case you think you are overcharged, you can ask other customers. You can show them these sentences to ask for help “Tôi có mua hớ không? Xin hãy hỏi giúp tôi?”

Bargain with Vendors

When going shopping at the market, remember to bargain the price. The art of bargaining in Vietnam does not mean that you are disrespecting the sellers. It is simply a method for getting the best deal between you and the sellers when buying products or souvenirs at a low cost. Firstly, you need to learn some simple phrases in Vietnamese:

How much? – bao nhiêu? (baow new)

So expensive! – mắc quá! (mack wa!)

Cheaper – rẻ hơn (reh hern)

No – không (khom)

Ok – được (dooc)

You can use the previous tip, ask other customers for help.

Bargaining with Shop Keepers
Bargaining with Shop Keepers. Source: www.dulichtoday.com

Be Respectful at Temples

It’s worth visiting Vietnam’s Temples and Pagodas. You can learn a lot about the architecture, the culture, and the biggest religion in Vietnam there. But remember these things if you visit them.

– Keep your shoulders, legs, and chest covered by using respectful clothing.  

– Some pagodas and temples require you to take off your shoes before visiting inside.

Some famous pagodas in Vietnam you might be interested in are Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue, Linh Ung Pagoda in Da Nang, One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi and so on.

Respectful Clothing at Temples and Pagodas
Respectful Clothing at Temples and Pagodas. Source: www.gotothailand.com

Eat All the Street Food

One of the appealing factors of Vietnam is its food. Vietnam’s food is one of the most fascinating parts of the country’s culture. Rice, noodles, meat, sauces, fresh vegetables and herbs play a vital role in daily life. Not only tasty but also healthy, that’s what I can say about Vietnam cuisine. Therefore, do not hesitate to eat at street food vendors because you cannot find them anywhere else.

Find out more about Top Vietnam street food.

Hue Street Food Tour
Hue Street Food Tour. Source: www.iloveasiatour.com

Be Aware of Different Gestures in Society

In the case of traveling with your partner or sweetheart, you should not express your love in public too much. Particularly,  intimate gestures, like kissing, which are considered inappropriate.

Choose the Right Tour with the Right Company

Traveling without guides can be fun and it brings more freedom. Nevertheless, you might miss some things that only locals know. Joining a tour with local guides in Vietnam is not bad, but you have to choose the right tour with the right travel agent. Take a look at TripAdvisor, Expedia or Get Your Guide, the tours with most positive reviews are worth joining.

Moreover, booking a bus tour is quite common, but if you want more privacy and experience real Vietnam lifestyle, an authentic motorbike tour with local female guides is a must. See more information about I Love Asia Tour – local female travel agent.

Our lady guide and customers at a HCMC food stall
Our lady guide and customers at a HCMC food stall. Source: www.iloveasiatour.com

In conclusion, there are a lot of good things in Vietnam to explore. We do hope that you enjoy your trip to Vietnam, see the stunning landscape, try tasty food and make friends with friendly Vietnamese locals. These tips above are just in case and they can help you avoid some troubles in Vietnam.

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