What should I avoid as a tourist in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a fine place to be because of its beautiful natural features, historical heritage and the culture of the locals. But that shouldn’t fool you into thinking that it doesn’t have a dark side and surprises. As a tourist, it’s important that you get to understand what is the expectation of the locals including all the documentation you require during your stay. If possible research on the internet to get as much information as possible for proper planning. Carrying out proper background search on your destinations, hotel services, travel documents and any permits makes an easy trip and here are the things you should avoid as a tourist while in Vietnam:

1. Booking train tickets through hotels and agent

As much as that sounds like the fastest way to help you move around with ease, it’s important to be cautious. Since you are a guest and might not be familiar with the rates, not all hotels will be honest with you. Some will charge you exorbitantly taking advantage of your ignorance. You might fall for it thinking that they are just being good and of help. Take charge and only ask for their direction on where to find a taxi ride to the train station. While there book the ticket yourself and they won’t need to lie.

2. Switching money

You should avoid switching money, especially when dealing with motorbike transportation. They may want to exploit you knowing that you do not understand their currencies very well. That way you may end up paying a large amount of money for a lesser distance. To avoid such occurrences, it is advisable to break your money into smaller bills either from reliable stores or restaurants.

3. Street shoe shining

If the local street shoe shiners see you in shoes worth their services, they will tend to approach you for that. Most tourists fall for it as they would want to look good. Without you realizing the shiner will tell the price but for one shoe. Once they shine both your shoe, they will ask for double the price which you will have to agree with them and pay.

4. Travel companies

As much as they are existence of legit travel companies in Vietnam, you won’t miss finding those that are fake and are out to exploit the tourists. It is very important for you to do a proper background check before signing up with a travel company. It will be worse for you if you end up losing all your money and become stranded in a foreign country.

5. Taking a photo shoot

Most street vendors would want you to promote their businesses by asking you to take a coconut photo shoot for those that deal with coconuts. While you are lost in the photo taking activity, they will open one coconut and ask you to take it at a very high cost with less room for negotiation. Daring to walk away will land you into further trouble as they will claim that you are cheating on them.

Going for a trip if very exciting for the majority of people but it’s important that you look out for the above things to avoid negative surprises.