Vietnam is one of the most beautiful, welcoming and exciting places in the world! No matter if you’re a luxury traveler or a humble backpacker, you’re bound to have a wonderful time. However, there are a few do’s and don’ts that will make your trip a pleasant socially and culturally enriching experience for all parties involved.
Don’t be disrespectful
The first rule you should honor is to be very respectful, especially when visiting temples. Keep your arms, chest and legs covered at least to your elbows and knees. Make sure to pack a handy sarong and you’ll always have something to throw on.
Do dress appropriately
Vietnam is quite a conservative country, so make sure to dress modestly. Wearing skimpy clothing in public is quite disrespectful, especially for girls and women.
Don’t take photos without permission
Many towns, especially those that are under the protection of UNESCO are very picturesque and full of amazing people. However, always ask permission before you photograph people, their kids or their business. Some will allow a photo with a little payment upfront (usually only a few Vietnamese Dongs). But, never photograph anything that’s connected to the military, which is considered a breach of national security and can even land you in jail!
Do try the local food
Vietnamese cuisine is one of the best and most diverse in the world, so make sure to hit all the best local spots. The best way to get familiar with the local food is to book one of the Vietnam foodie tours that will take you to all the best street stalls and hidden restaurants filled with delicious and authentic food! Plus, you’ll get an amazing tour of the city and see parts of it that not many tourists get to see! However, make sure to pick a reliable agency with experienced guides.
Don’t drink just anything
You’ll lose a lot of water in Vietnam because of the humidity, so you’d better stay well hydrated with bottled water. However, it’s advisable that you buy your water from a reputable convenience store and not from the streets. Admittedly, beer is often cheaper than water, but it will definitely not keep you as hydrated and fresh as H2O!
Do negotiate for a good price
Don’t be scared to haggle and bargain! Usually, the longer you do it, the better price you’ll get! Also, when traveling by car, taxi or a bus, make sure to settle on a price before you get in. The price will be much higher if you just hop in without negotiating!
Don’t be scared of the traffic
Crossing a road in Vietnam can be very scary, but just keep your eyes on your destination and go for it. Somehow, the traffic will avoid you as long as you keep walking confidently!
Do take it easy
Vietnamese people love to take their time, so don’t rush them! If you have to wait for your coffee for 15 minutes, just wait. And, never lose your temper! If you make a scene, you’ll lose all respect and people will even avoid you or refuse to do business with you.
Don’t leave yourself exposed
Vietnam is generally a very safe travel destination, but just like anywhere in the world, there are people who will want to take advantage of you. So, make sure to keep your cash hidden, your bag close to your body and your jewelry in a safe.
Do go on an adventure
This country is truly magical, especially when you move away from the beaten road and go exploring! Go on as many tours as possible, wander the streets and just take in the vibe of the place!
Even though most of these do’s and don’ts are mostly common sense and good upbringing, it’s always good to travel prepared and educated! Now, go and enjoy amazing Vietnam!