6 advisories for Vietnam travel journey

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1. Transport

Hanoi, Hochiminh and other big citis in Viettnam have a densify traffic. You may find the roads are always congested during rush hours. At that point of time, it seems to have no rules and regulations to following. The types of transport in the roads often run follow several directions that depend on the operator’s inspiration as freely moving lane, turning, honk… They are very easily turn right or left at any places they like without observations.

So you must:

  • Always look around when cross the road, whether you are at the right lane and right signals
  • Hold hands, slowly passing together instead of trying to pass quickly
  • Take a walk on the sidewalk (if possible) or on your right-hand line but still pay attention to avoid vehicles because motorbikes and bicycles can still climb up the side walk to passing
  • Don’t worry if the vehicles shortly close around you, it is normally distance in Vietnam

Taxi: Using the reliable taxi services of reputable agency, such as MaiLinh, Vinasun… to ensure that you are not ripped off by taxi drivers and mustn’t pay 3 – 4 times as much

Cyclos and electric car: Great fun as a one off experience, especially for a trip around the Old Quarter in Hanoi, but costly in comparison to taxis.

Bus: Bus travel is very cheap in Vietnam. But do not use public transportation during the rush hours when it is not necessary. It will be inconvenient and waste of your time.

Motorbike rental: Motorbike is a good option for you with its mobility and suitable cost. You can rent a motorbike or a bicycle along Dinh Liet or Hang Bac street, Hoan Kiem Dist. You will also need to show your passport. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with helmets as it is compulsory since 15th Dec 2007.

 

2. The dress code

Vietnamese have conservative dress codes.

Don't wear 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. Shoes are fine, and rarely will you have to remove them.

 

3. Purchasing

Currency exchange

Goods can be usually quoted both in USD and VND. But it is advisable to keep VND to make it easier for shopping in markets, especially things sold on the sidewalk.

Bargaining

Although bargaining is often an uncomfortable process for Westerners, it is a part of daily life for locals of Vietnam. Some shops display a “fixed price” sign” no hope there! But there are many places to practice your bargaining techniques: markets, stalls, souvenir shops and so on. Try your luck in the morning: many vendors will accept a very favorable price to secure the first scale of the day. It brings them luck. Remain friendly manner at all times: a deal will only be struck if both parties agree to it. Bargain should be an enjoyable experience, not a battle, and leave both sides satisfied.

 

4. Taking photos

  • Always ask someone’s permission first when taking a photograph of them
  • Do not take photos of military installations.
  • Do not encourage the habit of paying local people to take photographs of them, as it encourages a begging mentality

 

5. Street beggars

Vietnam remains a poor country, thus, you could meet many people who have poor living conditions and have difficulties in their life. They could be the hawkers on the streets in Hanoi, street kids in Halong’s fishing village or Sapa kids always follow visitors. It is not a good idea to give them money. Giving money is not the smart charity. Instead, we strongly advise tourists to give small gifts such as pens, pencils, school bags, notebooks, books or even clothing. Those gifts are extremely helpful and meaningful to ethnic minority kids.

 

6. Keep your assets safe

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.

Never carry more money than you need when walking around the streets. Do not wear large amounts of jewelry and keep your wallets, bags… sit close to your body because it is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher.

 

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