Vietnam is an interesting country to visit. It’s packed with history and surrounded by stunning landscapes. Above all, the country is cheap and easy to navigate around. However, if you don’t come prepared, your travel to Vietnam may not end up a pleasant experience. So I’m sharing these tips in order to have a hassle-free travel to the country, especially for first-time travelers to Vietnam.
Obtain a Visa
First things first – you need to sort our your Vietnam Visa. It’s surprising to know that there are plenty of travelers who would come to Vietnam with no idea on how they can obtain a visa to the country. I agree that applying for a visa is a bit daunting, but this is one important thing that all travelers to Vietnam should never overlook.
Fortunately, I found a reliable company that can process my visa for me for a minimal fee. I applied for my visa through eVisa-Vietnam.com. It’s a legit website for visa processing and the process of applying for a visa is very easy. You just need to fill out the form on the website and an email will be sent to you for your visa. You can click on this link to see how it works.
Before arriving in the country, make sure you bring a copy of the pre-approved visa. You can just present it to the immigration along with your passport and you will be allowed to get into the country.
Beware of Counterfeit Tour Agencies
Although not as common as other Asian countries, there are a few tour agencies in Vietnam that are a scam. These counterfeit tour agencies would lure you into buying cheap but fake airline tickets, hotel booking, tours, and other travel-related products and services.
When booking your tour online, make sure you research the company and double check. Although it’s always a good idea to book your tour ahead of your trip, it may be better to look for a reputable agency when you arrive in the country. That way, you can be sure that you are dealing with a real and legit company.
Always Watch your Belongings
Petty theft and bag snatching are common in the busy streets of Vietnam, such as in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, so you should always be watchful of your belongings. Criminals would often target wealthy looking tourists who are looking naive and distracted.
When walking the streets, always have your camera and bag right in front of you. If possible, hold all your things close to your body and avoid using expensive gadgets in public. Be street smart so you will not be an easy target especially if you’re traveling alone.
Know When To Haggle
Haggling is a way of life in most Vietnamese markets, but you should know when the best time to haggle. Sometimes, even if you will only ask for the price of an item, the vendor could end up forcing you into buying the stuff even if you don’t have any intention to buy. So if you are just curious and have no plan to buy, you might as well not ask for the price.
On the other hand, if you want to buy some stuff and would like to haggle the price, my biggest tip would be to avoid looking rich. So when going to markets, try to dress casual and remove all your bigger bills from your purse. If the seller sees that you don’t have enough cash, they might give in to the price you’re willing to pay.
Some of the Places Have Curfews
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh have a lively nightlife scene, but when going out at night, you should know that some places have curfews. Although most clubs and bars stay open even after 11 PM, some businesses will already be closed. This could mean that your hostel or guesthouse will also be closed by that time and you might have a hard time getting inside when going home late!
Make sure you inform the hostel or guesthouse if you are going out at night and what time you are expected to go home. Ask what their rules are and what will you do in case you end up going home late.
Prepare Yourself for the Constant Honking
Honking may not come as a surprise to some tourists who have already been to other Asian cities. But for others who are new to the region, constant honking in the street might surprise you.
In the busy streets of Vietnam, you’ll hear motorbikes, trucks, and cars honking very loud at all times. You should get used to the noise after a few days in the country. Besides, this is also a safety precaution for pedestrians.
Vietnam is a very beautiful country that everyone should visit for at least once in his or her life. It’s pretty safe even for solo travelers. For as long as you follow the tips above, your trip to Vietnam should be hassle-free and stress-free!