Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia for foreign visitors. When exploring the S-shaped country land, you can sometimes make the same mistakes.
Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia for foreign visitors. When exploring the S-shaped strip of land, they can sometimes make the same mistakes. Vietnam is located in the Indochinese peninsula, and has a long coastline and a lot to explore, from cities and villages to mountains, beaches and caves.
It is also known as one of the most affordable tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Many foreigners from all over the world also choose Vietnam as their “home”, with more than 100.000 people now living permanently in cities.
Lily’s Travel selected some advice from Ian Paynton. He visited Vietnam for the first time in 2007. Three years later, he decided to settle in Hanoi. After about a decade of living in Vietnam, Ian noticed that tourists often misunderstand or suffer from similar problems when traveling to our country.
1. Avoid wearing revealing clothes around the city
The standard of beauty in Vietnam is elegance and wearing revealing clothes too much is inappropriate. This is especially true when visiting temples. In 2016, a foreigner was asked to leave the holy site for wearing a bra and shorts.
The fact that a person travels in the city wearing a “lack of fabric” (such as beach swimsuits) will also make them catch the curious eyes of the locals.
2. Clutter and messy traffic
Despite the positive changes, queuing in Vietnam seems uncommon, except in some locations such as banks or airport immigration counters. Tourists may feel frustrated, especially if they are not used to this. However, the locals do not consider it rude. Some saw others benefiting from the squeeze so they followed suit.
The same thing happens with traffic. Vietnam has more than 65 million computer cars by 2020, according to Statista. In big cities, roads get crowded during rush hour and it’s perfectly normal for road users to try to squeeze in lanes.
Read more: The best city in Vietnam for tourists: 3 Tourist Cities among the Top Destinations in Southeast Asia (Part 1)
3. Respect the altar of the local
As in some other countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnamese houses, restaurants and workplaces often have altars to worship food and drink, paying homage to ancestors and gods.
This is a sacred object and foreign tourists should show respect for the beliefs of the locals. For example, you should take off your shoes to stay outside before entering places with altars.
4. Beware of club scams when using dating apps
Tourists should be careful if asked to meet in a nightclub for a first date. Some have warned that tour guides and staff who manage bars and clubs are using apps like Tinder to find customers. An online topic on Vietnam from November 2022 detailed how this scam is becoming more common.
After pairing up on Tinder, the leads invite guests to the bar where they work. This trick is done to attract more customers. Foreigners who come to these establishments are often invited to a lot of drinks, for high bills, bringing commission benefits to the booking staff.
5. Don’t be afraid to bargain with a street seller
Street vendors are very popular in Vietnam. According to Statista, there were more than 430.000 street food vendors across the country in 2018. Street food sellers often have a sign that says how much food they sell and should not be bargained over. While other street vendors, with items such as clothing and jewelry, often charge too high a price for foreigners, especially at tourist attractions.
A little trick when bargaining with these people is to pay half the list price. Some sellers also collect money from tourists when photographing them. Often happen in Hanoi, fruit street sellers will invite tourists to take pictures with their conical hats and fruit baskets. Interestingly, you are only asked to pay about a dollar or more.
6. Priority experience away from Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh city
When visiting Vietnam, in addition to stops in major cities such as Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City, visitors should research other attractive destinations.
Vietnam has a fairly large area with many natural landscapes stretching from north to south. Some places not to be missed include the terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai), the majestic hills of Ha Giang province, the jungles and caves in Phong Nha (Quang Binh) and the ancient capital of Hue in the central region.
7. Do not be upset if the schedule is not on the schedule
During a trip across Vietnam, travelers are likely to encounter cases where things don’t go as planned. Service providers often say one thing, but the reality can be another. Instead of being disappointed and angry, visitors can look forward to the surprises that will be experienced.
Whether it’s arriving late or changing plans at the last minute, it’s something tourists should be prepared to embrace flexibly because locals believe things will work out in the end, one way or another.
Find out more about Viet Nam tours here: