Are you preparing for a trip to Vietnam? Asia Hero Travel has put together a list of do’s and don’ts for a pleasant stay in Vietnam.
Dress discreetly. Despite the heat, it’s best not to show off too much skin. Vietnamese people are conservative in their dressing style, particularly when you visit pagodas, temples or churches (no shorts, skirts or dresses. You will also have to cover your shoulders when entering a sacred place)
Always take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house. It’s extremely impolite to walk into a room with your shoes on
Buy only bottled water and make sure the bottle is sealed. Locals are likely to pick up some empty bottles from the street, put some tap water in it and sell it !
Make sure you have the business card of your hotel with you, particularly when you want to take a taxi because most local drivers can not speak English, let alone other foreign languages
Ask for the price before you get in a taxi/bus/train, as Vietnamese are likely to make the price much higher once you decide to get in without knowing it
Bargain as much as you can. The longer you haggle, the better price you get. If someone doesn’t want to negotiate the price with you, just leave it
Shopping in the supermarket if there is one around you. Prices for foreigners are much higher when you buy something on the local markets
Keep your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place
Hold your bag in front of you and wrap it around a limb when riding in a cyclo or motorbike – bag snatching is a big problem in Vietnam
Speak some words with people in their native language ! Use “Xin Chao” for “Hello” and “Cam on” for “Thank you”. They will appreciate your efforts
Not to do:
DON’T drink tap water, because it is extremely harmful to your health
DON’T wear valuable jewellery and don’t show off your expensive iPod/phone/clothes. Petty crimes happen a lot here
DON’T wear your bag on your back, keep it in front of you zipped or locked properly. Thieves sometimes use knives to rip your bag, you won’t even feel it…
DON’T rush people, they hate it. If you have to wait 10 minutes for your coffee, just deal with it, don’t scream or show how unsatisfied you are, because people take things slow and easy
DON’T ever lose your temper. If you lose your face, locals won’t speak to you again or will not respect you the way you wish
DON’T show signs of affection in public if you travel with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Kissing, touching or holding hands may be perceived inappropriate. Every physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon
DON’T touch someone at the head or point at someone by your finger (or feet)
DON’T rush as you cross the street. Go slowly without stopping, cars will avoid you
DON’T take pictures of someone without asking for his/her permission first. In case of disapproval, do not insist or offer any money. This should also be kept in mind if you visit military sites, because you could be in breach of national defense
DON’T give money to beggars on the streets or tourist destinations. If you want to help local people, there are a number of philanthropic organizations and donation boxes available in some hotels
DON’T question a Vietnamese by asking him to approach the apple with the hand facing up, this gesture is considered a lack of education. It will be necessary to make the gesture the apple of the hand turned towards the ground.