Do’s and Don’ts while Travelling in Vietnam

Vietnam is a safe country to travel and full of wonders like the Mekong Delta, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, etc. But it can help to keep in mind a few do's and don'ts when travelling on the tours of Vietnam. This is useful to make it possible to abide by local customs and traditions.

The following list of do's and don'ts are certain to make the Vietnam tour packages that much more of a socially and culturally enriching experience.

vietnam tour packages

1 – When entering a temple, church, or other spiritual or religious building, it is practical to dress modestly and smartly. Avoid wearing T-shirts or shorts to visit a Pagoda because there is the risk of not be allowed to enter. The clothing worn should cover the shoulder area and legs. Also, shoes will occasionally have to be removed when visiting certain pagodas.

2 – Drink plenty of bottled water while sightseeing. The heat in Vietnam can get quite intense over a period of time of walking about and heat stroke is a real possibility. There is rarely a need to carry large bottles around with a vendor often nearby and the cost is very inexpensive. Also, only buy the bottled water bottle that is sealed. Make sure to avoid the local tap water because this isn’t advisable to drink.

3 – If you enter the home of a local, make sure to abide by traditional customers and remove your shoes at the entrance. Walking into a room with the shoes still on can be seen as extremely impolite.

4 – Valuables (airline tickets, passports, credit cards, cash, etc.) should be kept in a secure area while left unattended. When booking a hotel room, make sure to ask about the availability of a safe for keeping the valuable stuff.

5 – Make sure to conduct basic due diligence on the local travel agency you plan to use for booking the holiday in Vietnam. This can avoid issues with paying a deposit to the less than reputable agencies and minimizes the risk of falling victim of a scam.  

6 – Agree on the price of a train/bus/taxi/car journey before getting in because the cost is likely to increase if you leave things until the trip has already started or even on arrival at your destination.

7 – Try to shop (or at least compare prices) at a nearby supermarket if there is one locally. Prices at the local markets can be much higher for the tourist – although it may be possible to get the prices down if able to successfully haggle with the trader.

8 – Bargain hard when it comes to buying things on your travels. If a vendor doesn’t wish to negotiate or is too stubborn, just leave that particular shop or market stall, and check the prices elsewhere.

9 – Greeting are much the same as western countries, so there is no real cultural formalities that are likely to be encountered on the tours of Vietnam that need to be practiced or known. Also, try to use a few of common phrases in the native language when interacting with the locals, such “Cam on” for “Thank you” or “Xin Chao” for “Hello”.

10 – Get the most from the travel in Vietnam by travelling with a recommend tour agency. Even with a little research online it can help to avoid issues with the unreliable tour agency or badly run hotel.

11 – Try to experience travel by train in Vietnam for the slow and relaxed pace, as well as the beautiful scenery of the local countryside.

vietnam tours

1 – Avoid wearing high value jewelery or show off valuable items such as clothes, smart phones, or other electronic gadgets. Also, try to avoid wearing a bag or anything with valuables on your back – it is best to keep it at the front and properly locked or zipped. Petty crimes in busy tourist areas can be an issue in Vietnam much like many other popular destinations worldwide.

2 – Try to limit the public signs of affection between partners, such as holding hands, touching and kissing because this may be seen as inappropriate and frowned upon.

3 – Similar to being at home, accidents and losses can happen, but when travelling on the Vietnam tours, the cost and inconvenience is likely to be a lot more apparent. So, organising appropriate travel insurance for the family is certain to be a practical idea.

4 – When using a xe om (motorbike taxi) or other type of open vehicle, make sure your processions like a bag are not easy to grab or on display. While rare, there is a slight risk of bag snatches in the tourist areas that target the foreigners.

5 – Don’t start complaining or rushing people. Even in Vietnam’s bustling cities, the pace of life is still slow and steady. If you have to wait for the morning coffee it is just a case of having to accept the wait. Don’t show how unsatisfied you are because this isn’t likely to make any practical benefit.

6 – Avoid wearing revealing clothes, dresses, skirts, shorts or singlets when the day's travel itinerary includes visits to pagodas or temples. It may be practical to take along a light piece of clothing for these occasions to help with covering up.

7 – Try to avoid losing your temper while travelling in Vietnam. When dealing with the locals, it is best to stay polite and keep a cool head. By remaining calm you have a much greater chance of being successful with any transaction and getting what you want.

8 – Be mindful of taking a video camera into the small minority villages because this can be seen as quite intrusive and the locals may be to polite to ask tourists to stop taking pictures or filming.

Vietnam travel is a safe, friendly, and enjoyable experience. With a little organisation and common sense, a trip travelling this beautiful country should the smooth and trouble-free. Issues that can be encountered such as dangerous driving and over-aggressive street traders can usually be avoided by sensible planning and keeping a cool head.

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