Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful countries and traveling to the country is very safe. The Vietnamese are very welcoming and you will surely have a great time discovering all the wonders that the country has to offer. But in order to fully enjoy your visit to this amazing country and avoid offending the locals, here are the dos and don’ts when traveling to Vietnam.
Do Take your Visa Very Seriously
It seems like common sense, but there are so many tourists that get turned away at the Vietnam airport every day simply because they don’t possess the right visa or they failed to secure their visa ahead of time. The visa policy of Vietnam changes from time to time so it may be worth it to research the country’s visa policy ahead of your trip.
To save you from all these hassles, it may be best to apply for your visa online at Evisa-Vietnam.com. You just need to fill out the form and make a payment online. Wait for an email for the pre-approval letter and once you receive it, print it out and carry it with you to present to the immigration upon arriving at the airport. Applying for your visa online will definitely save you from all the hassles of having to apply for a visa upon arrival or going to a Vietnamese embassy.
Don’t Leave your Things Unattended
Although Vietnam is a safe country to visit, petty crimes such as theft and robbery are common in some busy cities. When roaming around, make sure you keep all your belongings secure, especially when visiting busy public places such as markets. Hold your bag right in front of you when walking on busy streets so you won’t end up a victim of motorbike riding snatchers.
Do Show Respect at Temples and Other Religious Places
Your trip to Vietnam may include a visit to pagodas, temples, and churches. When visiting these religious sites, dress appropriately. Avoid wearing short dresses, skirts, shorts, and tops that have very low necklines. Carry a scarf or sarong with you as it comes in handy when visiting these religious places. Also, try to avoid making loud noises as some locals might be praying.
Don’t Kiss and Cuddle In the Public
Vietnam is a conservative country and public displays of affection such as kissing and cuddling are often frowned upon. So to avoid offending the locals, try to be discreet with your partner when showing affection. Holding hands is acceptable especially when crossing busy pedestrian lanes. But anything beyond holding hands should be done within the confines of your hotel rooms only.
Do Drink from Bottled Water Only
When in Vietnam, do not drink water from the tap or you could get sick. Drink only from bottled water even when you’re in your hotel. And when buying bottled water, don’t just buy any bottled water you see being peddled in the streets. There are some vendors who tend to scam unsuspecting tourists by selling bottled water coming from taps. If possible, buy your water only from hotels, supermarkets, and restaurants and check to make sure that the bottle is sealed well before you drink from it.
Don’t Offer Money To Beggars
Vietnam’s local authority doesn’t want to promote the begging culture among the poor so avoid offering money to beggars. If you want to help, give food or items instead. You can also give your donations through the donation boxes at some hotels and local establishments. There are also museums that accept donations for the needy. Consider visiting orphanages and the shelter for the homeless and give your donations to the proper authorities.
Do Carry a Map With You At All Times
If you choose to explore some cities on your own, always carry a map with you. Some of the country’s major cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, are a bit confusing to explore especially since the street signs are in the Vietnamese language. So before you explore on your own, ask for a local map from your hotel or from a tourist center. You’ll also find some maps at the airport. Carry a business card of your hotel so when you ended up lost, you can simply show it to a taxi driver. Taxi drivers in Vietnam speak very limited English so you’ll have a hard time finding your way home if you don’t have a copy of your hotel’s address.
Don’t Take Photos Without Asking for Permission
Sure, you can take photos of the tourist attractions in Vietnam, but this is a different story if you’re taking a photo of a religious shrine or altar. Always ask permission when taking pictures of religious monuments as this might get you in trouble. This is also applicable when taking photos of locals because some Vietnamese locals follow superstitious beliefs when it comes to having their pictures taken.
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