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Thread: Do's and Don'ts when Travelling Within Vietnam

  1. #1
    janev is offline
    SBH New Member Joined: Sep 2012 Posts: 1
    Vietnamese people are very gracious, polite, and generous and will
    make every effort to make guests feel comfortable. These are the experiences that will enrich your visit to Vietnam.

    DO

    * Store your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place. Most 4-star hotels have in-room safes; otherwise ask the reception to keep your valuable things in their deposit facility.
    * Always be careful of the belongings you carry with you during your holiday.
    * Take care of all your valuables. Never leave your bags unattended
    * Vietnamese dress conservatively. Despite the heat, itís best not to show off too much skin. If you do, especially girls, youíll only draw stares from the locals.
    * Dress discreetly while entering temples and other religious places.
    * If invited into a home, always remove your shoes at the front door when entering.
    * Ask for permission when taking a photograph of someone. If they indicate that they do not want you to, then abide by their wishes. DO NOT offer money or push the issue.
    * Use waterproof sun cream if you plan to spend a good amount of time in the water when you travel to Vietnam.
    * Change money from a recognized moneychanger.
    * Indulge in some haggling while buying goods without price tags whenever you go shopping in Vietnam.
    * Travel with recommend tour agencies. Even if you plan to buy tickets when in country, research your journey a little first on the Internet.

    DONíT

    * Never carry more money than you need when walking around the streets.
    * Do not wear large amounts of jewelry. There are two reasons for not doing this: (1) It is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public; (2) It is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher.
    * When taking a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) make sure your bag, if any, is not on display or easy to grab. Bag snatches, although still rare, are probably the most likely crime a tourist would encounter, and it raises the probability immensely if you are tailing a camera or a laptop in the wind.
    * Don't wear singlet, shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas. To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.
    * Avoid giving empty water bottles, sweets and candies or pens to the local people when trekking through ethnic minority villages. You cannot guarantee that the empty bottles will be disposed of in a correct manner, and the people have no access to dental health. If you want to give pens, ask your guide to introduce you to the local teacher and donate them to the whole community.
    * Never sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar when in someoneís house.
    * Do not try to take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security. Never take video cameras into the ethnic minority villages. They are considered to be too intrusive by the local people.
    * Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon. Thatís why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing.
    * Losing your temper in Vietnam means a loss of face. Keep a cool head and remain polite, youíll have a greater chance of getting what you want.
    * Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things donít quite work as you are maybe used to. Donít be paranoid about your safety; just be aware of your surroundings.

    The above advice is meant to help you have a perfect trip to Vietnam.

    Do not be overly paranoid though. Generally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if they see you trying to abide by their customs, and very forgiving if you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded.


    Jane Vu Ė Ecommerce Manager
    Sunway Hotel Hanoi
    19 Pham Dinh Ho Street
    Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam
    T +84 4 3971 3888
    F +84 4 3971 3967

  2. #2
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    "Take care, behave and respect" - works everywhere!

  3. #3
    NHDiane is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2003 New Hampshire Posts: 6,937
    Great advice, thank you!
    Emma Peel: I suppose Mother warned you about women like me?
    John Steed: Until now, I didn't know there were women like you.

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