Tips for traveling to Vietnam

  • Tue, 09/05/2017
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A careful preparation before traveling to such a beautiful country as Vietnam is indispensable.
Here is the list of 12 important things that you should know before paying a visit to this country. Just keep in mind those useful tips and you will have the best enjoyment for your trip to Vietnam.

Book an accommodation for the first night you travel to the country

You may suffer from the culture shock when arriving in Ho Chi Minh City or Ha Noi, especially, if you have not traveled to the Asia before. The crazy scooters, the hectic streets and the lack of the guiding for tourists can make you confused on coming here.
Therefore, we highly recommend that you should book your accommodation for the first night you travel to this country. By means of this way, you will clearly know about your destination and can call the taxi to take you to your booked room as soon as you leave the airport.


Beware of the taxi scams

There are a great number of taxis at the airport. You had better book the transfer from your arriving airport to your booked accommodation, through your hostel or hotel. You need not pay for the tolls.

Many drivers in this country usually disobey the traffic laws. Therefore, you must require your driver not to use his mobile phone when driving.
Although it does not apply to every taxi drivers, there are many of dishonest taxi drivers, who will cheat you by inflating the transporting prices. They may make up the price without turning on the meter, negotiate the price above the meter, or tamper the meter.

In order to enjoy the most reliable taxi service, you should use the taxi from those companies: Grab, Uber, Mai Linh or Vinasun. You can observe the odometer, then compare to the meter of your trip. If you believe that it goes up too quickly, you can require the driver to stop and pay up. After that, you can get another taxi and continue to enjoy your trip.

Be ware ofthe taxi scams

Dong vs Dollars

To travel around Vietnam, you will need both Vietnamese Dong and US Dollars. The US Dollars are mainly used for everything touristy such as paying for the hotel, booking the domestic transport or booking tours.

The Vietnamese Dongs are mainly used for market stalls, shops, bars, and restaurants. You are able to withdraw the Vietnamese Dong from the ATM, however, you had better make sure that you prepare enough US Dollars to pay for the visa.
In case you are offered the selection between paying the bill in Dollars or Dong, then paying in Dong is much cheaper.

Unblock your mobile phone before traveling and purchase a SIM card whenever you arrive in the country

You should be careful when running out of minutes because you will easily pay much money for extra minutes of talking. In case you want to use your mobile phone abroad, you must accept that it will cost you a lot. You can also check for the mobile applications, which can offer the international texting with reasonable fees. On the other hand, you can make a free phone call by SKYPE whenever you have the free Wi-Fi.

Choose suitable clothes, which are appropriate for the local climate

In general, Vietnam is very humid and hot in the summer; therefore, you should leave your thick clothes and jeans at your home. However, the Northern region of Vietnam is extremely cold in the winter; thus, make sure that you pack some warm jackets in your luggage.
Moreover, you should check the weather report before traveling. In addition, you had better bring an umbrella along so that it can protect you from the sudden rain of this tropical country.

Choose suitable clothes

Evaluate the currency

You must try to evaluate the Vietnamese Dong before arriving in this country or right after you leave the airport. First of all, the number of zeros on the banknote can be a little bit confusing. Therefore, a simple tip to understand the VND is to memorize the color of the money paper. For example, the banknote of the five dollars is in blue.
However, there are some notes, which are fairly similar, like the 20 000 VND note and 500 000 VND note.
Moreover, you should separate the large and small domination banknotes in the wallet in order to avoid spending too much on the taxi ride or the lunch.

The crazy traffic

Honestly, the traffic of Vietnam is very crazy; however, this is what you must accept if you choose this country as your destination. You may even brave the endless flow of motorbikes to approach your desired destination. Nevertheless, when you begin to cross the streets, it turns out not as bad as you expect.

In some busy cities as Ho Chi Minh City, the traffic is usually bad, therefore, in case you cannot find a suitable place to cross the streets, you can wait for some locals, who have the same intention with you, and follow them.

Moreover, it is useful to raise your arm to tell the motorcyclists that you’re going to cross the roads.
Last but not least, a steady pace will be very helpful since the motorcyclists can anticipate your movement and try to avoid you.

The crazy traffic vietnam

Cover up

Whenever paying a visit to the pagodas or temples, you had better ensure to pack an extra shirt or a shawl so that your shoulders are covered. Because those destinations are holy places, so you should show your respect.

Cover upin pagoda vietnam

Be ready to bargain

Yes, bargain! You should keep in mind that bargaining isn’t rude but expected. Negotiate for the ideal price or overpay for the true price of the item, what will you choose? You can try to walk away so that you can be offered a better price. In case this tip does not work, you can turn back to the vendors later.
In bars and restaurants, the prices are fixed, if it is not the happy hour!

beready to bargain vietnam

Keep your valuable things out of sight

You should keep your valuable things such as your jewelry, smartphone or wallet, etc. out of sight. Although the violent crimes are very hardly witnessed against the tourists, there still are the pickpocket problems – the common problems of all big cities. Especially, you must be more careful in the Old Quarter of Ha Noi and Pham Ngu Lao Street of Ho Chi Minh City. Just attempt to be aware and more cautious of your belongings and surroundings.

In addition, almost of the transactions in this country are cash-based, thus, you may want to leave the plastic at your hotel as well.

wallet grab vietnam

Enjoy yourself

There are so many things to do and to see, however, you should not forget to stop at a coffee shop on the pavement, order a glass of “Ca phe sua da” (Vietnamese milk coffee) and enjoy it. While activities and sights hold interest, you can learn about the wonderful culture of this country by chatting with the local. Anyway, just do your best and enjoy your holiday!  
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