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Vietnam Travel Tips

Keep your phone and your wallet out of sights

The first advice for Vietnam Travel Tips is that safety. Violent crime is rare, but like any large city, both have their fair share of pickpockets. Be especially aware in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao, known as the backpackers’ district. Carry a purse with a strap that goes across your body and keep it in front of you.

Never put your passport in your backpack. Either put it in a special carrying case that fits under your clothes or leave it in the safe at your (reputable) hotel.

Get your hotel details

Vietnam Travel Tips

Remember to take your hotel’s business card to make your return to the hotel much easier by handing it to your taxi, xe om, or cyclo driver.

Walk slowly when crossing the road

Vietnam travel tips

One sentence which a lot of foreigners conclude about traffic Vietnam “It’scrazy”. Forget the epic colors of Halong Bay and the windy beaches of Mui Ne, the single most impressive sight in Vietnam is seeing a line of people crossing the street as a torrent of motorbikes hurtle towards them. Newcomers to Vietnam may find the practice of stepping into traffic more than a little terrifying but there is a logic to the madness.

Motorbikes are trying to anticipate your movements to avoid hitting you, so keep a slow and steady pace. It’s also advisable to hold out your arm to let the cyclists know that you are actually crossing the street. In Hanoi, people often hold hands and walk across in a single file, but in HCMC where traffic lights are a bit more a courant, this practice is less common. Traffic lights don’t mean traffic will stop, however. Be prepared for stragglers to still cross after the light changes and those who are turning right won’t wait for you to clear the street. Never try to test your might with the buses.

Always be aware of everything around you whether you’re crossing the street or walking on a sidewalk. Roads can be an abstract concept in Vietnam’s cities.

Motorbike safety

Vietnam travel tips

If you’re going to brave the traffic on a bike, make sure you take proper precautions. Always wear a helmet, avoid dangly jewelry, flip flops and miniskirts and clip your bag to the bike to keep it safe from snatchers. Also, see if there is a storage area underneath the seat. If you have the app on your phone it is easy to hail a Grab motorbike from anywhere in the cities.

Tipping

While tipping is not always expected, especially at local restaurants, international venues have become used to the practice. Leave tip amount enough based on their salary. You should ask the salary before give them tip. Of course, it totally depends on your decision.

Cover up

When visiting temples or pagodas, make sure to bring that extra scarf to cover your shoulders. Remember that you are visiting a piece of history so show some respect and follow the rules of the place of worship. Some locations will have loose robes that you can rent and don during your visit.

Don’t trust the taxi meter

Vietnam Travel Tips

Ripping off unsuspecting passengers is an art form for dishonest drivers. Most taxi drivers are not frauds but to be safe, stick with reliable companies such as Hanoi Taxi, Mai Linh and Vinasun. Get out of any taxi that refuses to turn on the meter. Or for a sure thing just book a car through Grab. You can see the price on the app ahead of time.

To resolve this issue, you should ask the guide or the hotel receptionist to book for you first. Remember to confirm the amount before taking on the taxi.

It is now a law to buckle up in Vietnam, yet many taxis do not come complete with functional safety belts. Do your best by using your seatbelt whenever one is available.

If your trip costs VND17,000 dong and you only have VND20,000 the driver will often expect the extra as a tip. It’s a nice gesture to let them keep the change if you’re happy with their service.

Be a sensitive photographer

Photographer

Get permission before taking anyone’s photograph. Most people in Vietnam love having their picture taken and will ask to have one with you, but it’s always nice to ask. Also, there are some places like Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum or military buildings where taking photos is prohibited.

If you have children don’t be surprised if people ask to take pictures with the kids. Children, especially those that look different than the local population, can be treated like superstars with the paparazzi to match.

Bargain

Remember that negotiating is not rude but expected. Haggle for the best price or risk paying well over the actual price of an item. Try ‘walking away’ to get a better price. If that doesn’t work, you can always go back to the vendor later.

Learn a little bit off Vietnamese

Vietnamese is a difficult language to perfect but that shouldn’t stop you from memorizing a few key phrases to facilitate your voyage. Even if you don’t say something correctly you’ll often be rewarded with a smile from whoever you’re talking to. The Vietnamese are usually happy to help you out and the effort made can reward you with a new friend. Please learn some necessary words as below:

  • Hello = Xin Chào
  • Thank you = Cảm ơn
  • Goodbye, see you again = Tạm biệt, hẹn gặp lại.
  • Restroom = Phòng vệ sinh (toilet is a useful word as well)

Enjoy local delicious food

Hanoi food tour

There is so much to do and see, but don’t forget to stop every once in a while to pull up a plastic chair, order the local coffee, ca phe sua da, and take it all in. While sights and activities hold interest, sometimes you can learn more about the culture by speaking to the locals and taking your time to adjust to the country’s pace. Remember that you are on holiday! Enjoy street food also fantastic in Vietnam. There are some famous foods such as: Bánh mỳ, Phở, Bánh Xèo, Bún đậu, Bánh cuốn, cà phê Trứng,… If you don’t know which place you should go to eat, let Go Vietnam Travel to guide your step. An amazing street food tour with an affordable price will make your money be valued.

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