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.
* 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
* Take care of all your valuables. Never leave your bags unattended
* Vietnamese dress conservatively. Despite the heat, it’s best not to show off
too much skin. If you do, especially girls, you’ll only draw stares from the
* Dress discreetly while entering temples and other religious places.
* If invited into a home, always remove your shoes at the front door when
* 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
* 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.
* 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
* 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
* Never sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family
altar when in someone’s 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.
That’s why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or
* Losing your temper in Vietnam means a loss of face. Keep a cool head and
remain polite, you’ll have a greater chance of getting what you want.
* Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things don’t quite work
as you are maybe used to. Don’t be paranoid about your safety; just be aware of
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