Must-read stuff before traveling in Vietnam
Vietnam is a cultural country with mesmerizing landscapes and a diversity of tourist spots. Before taking your journey in this beautiful country, let’s go through some facts that will help you know more about it.
1. Be well-prepared, especially with your visa
Be careful with your paper
Visa is very important for a trip to foreign countries. Before entering the entrance of the airport, remember to check your paper and visa more than once. Additionally, note all the necessary information like the location of your booked accommodation, the route, etc. Fill your arrival form with correct details. Finally, after receiving a stamp on your paper, let’s head on your trip.
2. Do not forget to do bargain before paying anything
A good bargain will result in reasonable prices
This feature of Vietnam might be hard to find in other countries. If you have been familiar with buying a product with a fixed price, be ready to forget about that. In Vietnam, especially street stores or local markets, the prices of the goods can be much higher than its value. Therefore, be cautious with the price and you can be surprised with the difference between the actual numbers of the items.
3. Get your train ticket directly at the proper station
Usually, if you buy tickets offered by hotels or indirect sources, the price would be much higher for they will add a “substantial fee” to your ticket, especially if you are a foreigner. To save your money, it is advisable that you should go to the train station and buy your ticket from there. Remember always buy your ticket before your departing day. They might be sold out then.
4. Do not forget the street foods
Street cuisine is a prominent feature of this country
The cuisine in Vietnam is various and abundant. This is one of the features that create the appeal of Vietnam. Delicious dishes can be found almost in every corner of the city. Instead of having your meal in the hotel, which probably cost you more money, enjoying food courses in diners and street hawkers will be more worthy to try. You can pick “Ph?”, a typical dish of Vietnam which combines noodle and beef, or “bánh mì” (bread with sauce, meat, vegetable and other ingredients included). The number of dishes seems to be endless.
5. Feel warm with the hospitality of Vietnamese people
Vietnamese are friendly and always willing to help
When traveling in Vietnam, the foreign travelers often feel annoying when they are “attacked” by beggars asking for money everywhere they go or shop owners who raise a shocking price for everything they sell. These negative points make the image of Vietnamese people goes bad. However, the truth is that not all people in Vietnam are the same. In fact, the local people who do not involve in tourism are really friendly and kind. They would gladly to help tourists.
6. Vietnam might be bigger than you have imagined
Vietnam on the world map may seem to be much smaller than other countries. However, a trip in Vietnam will change your mind about that. In order to travel from the north to south of the nation, it would take a lot of preparation. You should spend more than three weeks to plan and get everything done.
Vietnam has several massive landscapes for a small country
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are two prominent cities of Vietnam. Of course, these locations would take most of your time since the things to do and places to go are too many. Not to mention some interesting cities like Nha Trang, Hai Phong, Da Nang, etc. Vietnam has three main sectors: Northern, South, Central. If you do not have too much time for travel, you should consider spending your time in one region only.
7. Pay attention to your luggage on overnight vehicles
It is important that you should be aware of your property on public transportation such as buses, train, especially with those who choose an overnight vehicle. There were a lot of situations which the tourists realized their money or valuable things stolen after getting off the vehicle. Thus, your belongings should stay with you in a controllable area. Do not hang it, or even let it out of your sight.
8. Cultural versus Modern
Like the things have been mentioned above, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are two most visited areas in Vietnam. Each of them is special and unique in their own way, so it depends on you to choose what suits you best. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam where embraces the exquisite values and cultural aspects. It is easy to catch the sight of ancient pagodas, architectures along with the poetical images of lakesides. If you have heard about Ho Chi Minh and all his great devotions to Vietnam, you would want to pay a visit at his mausoleum in this city.
Hanoi with exquisite beauty
In the contrary, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is more vibrant and exciting, especially the nightlife. You would be overwhelmed with the glittering lights from the streets and the tall buildings. At night, you can have a coffee at a rooftop bar, which delivers a great view of the city, or a café with catching design and excellent drinks. Based on your interest, you can pick one of them, or might be both.
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9. Dress conservatively
The eye of fashion in Vietnam is becoming more and stylish. However, in order to blend in the surrounding, it is recommendable that you should dress in an appropriate way. Be casual, be stylish and moderate. Do not overdress or wear something like a bikini if you do not want any weird looks laying on you. Even though the weather in Vietnam can be extremely hot, but take off your shirt is definitely not a good idea.
Aside from those notices above, you might want to notice some crucial points:
- If you do not get the price that you want in buying, just name a price. If they insist on the price, pretend to walk away to see if the owner calls you back or not. If they do, then they want to lower the price.
- When doing bargain, do not mistake between ‘15’ and ‘50’.
- The traffic in Vietnam can be extremely dangerous. Be careful with transporting.
- If you want to keep your stomach well, try to eat hot dishes instead of cold ones.
Search for hot dishes
- Avoid packaged tours and do the trip in your own way.
- Be aware of your VND. The color and number might be confusing. (10.000VND vs 100.000VND, 20.000VND vs 500.000VND).
- Do not put your digital devices on the table carelessly in public.
- Prioritize Vinasun and Mai Linh Taxis
- Get on rooftop bars for a good view
A rooftop bar in Vietnam
- Search for hotels in the small alleys for a cheaper price.
- Show up in person to book your hotel to get a cheaper price by bargain (private hotels or motels)
- For 2% commission fee, do your cash check at Sacombank.
- Some beaches in Vietnam might not meet the expectations of tourists.
With a few tips above, hope that you could complete your trip in Vietnam with satisfaction and fun. It’s time to get on the plane and accomplish a new journey!