Things you need to know before visiting Vietnam

Things you need to know before visiting Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia. It is known for its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and delicious food. Vietnam is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. However, before visiting Vietnam, there are certain things that you should know.

Things you need to know before visiting Vietnam:

  1. Visa Requirements

If you plan to visit Vietnam, you will need a visa to enter the country. There are a few ways to get a visa for Vietnam. One way is to apply for an e-visa online. This process is straightforward and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Another way to get a visa for Vietnam is to apply for a visa on arrival. This method requires you to obtain a visa approval letter before arriving in Vietnam. You will then need to present this letter along with your passport to the immigration officer upon arrival.

  1. Currency

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). It is important to note that US dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam, especially in tourist areas. However, it is still advisable to carry some Vietnamese Dong with you for small purchases and transactions. ATMs are widely available in Vietnam, so you can easily withdraw money using your debit or credit card.

  1. Weather

Vietnam has a tropical climate, which means that it is hot and humid throughout the year. However, the weather can vary depending on where you are in the country. The northern region of Vietnam experiences four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. The central and southern regions of Vietnam have two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. The wet season in these regions lasts from May to November, while the dry season lasts from December to April. Click HERE to find out what the best time to visit Vietnam is for your trip.

  1. Language

The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, and it is spoken by the majority of the population. However, English is also widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. It is still a good idea to learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases before your trip, as it will help you communicate with the locals and navigate your way around the country.

  1. Culture

Vietnamese culture is deeply rooted in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It is essential to respect the local culture and customs when visiting Vietnam. For example, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. It is also considered impolite to touch someone’s head or point your feet at someone. When visiting religious sites, it is essential to dress modestly and behave respectfully.

  1. Food

Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and healthy dishes. Some of the must-try dishes in Vietnam include pho (noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and bun cha (grilled pork with noodles). Vietnamese food is typically served family-style, with multiple dishes being served at once. It is also common to share dishes with others at the table.

  1. Transportation

Transportation in Vietnam can be challenging, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The most common modes of transportation in Vietnam are motorbikes and bicycles. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are also available in big cities. It is important to be careful when crossing the road in Vietnam, as traffic can be chaotic and unpredictable.

  1. Accommodation

Vietnam has a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. It is important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Homestays are also a popular option in Vietnam, as they allow you to experience local culture and hospitality firsthand.

  1. Safety

Vietnam is generally a safe country to visit. However, like any other tourist destination, there are certain safety precautions that you should take. Petty theft and pickpocketing can occur in tourist areas, so it is important to be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. It is also advisable to avoid walking alone in isolated areas at night.

  1. Etiquette

Vietnamese people are generally polite and respectful, and they appreciate visitors who show the same level of respect. When greeting someone, it is customary to bow slightly and say “xin chao” (hello) or “cam on” (thank you). It is also polite to remove your hat and shoes when entering someone’s home. When dining with locals, it is customary to wait for the host to invite you to start eating.

  1. Health

It is advisable to visit a travel clinic before visiting Vietnam to receive vaccinations and medication for any potential health risks. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever and malaria are present in Vietnam, so it is important to take precautions such as using mosquito repellent and wearing long-sleeved clothing. Tap water in Vietnam is not safe to drink, so it is important to stick to bottled water.

  1. Tipping

Tipping is not a common practice in Vietnam, but it is appreciated in the service industry. In restaurants, it is common to round up the bill or leave a small tip of 10-15%. Tipping taxi drivers is not necessary, but rounding up the fare is appreciated.

  1. Bargaining

Bargaining is a common practice in Vietnam, especially in markets and street vendors. It is important to negotiate politely and not to haggle too aggressively. It is also advisable to research the average price of goods before bargaining to ensure that you are not overpaying.

  1. Internet Access

Internet access is widely available in Vietnam, with free Wi-Fi available in many cafes and restaurants. However, it is important to note that some websites and social media platforms may be restricted in Vietnam.

  1. Getting Around

Vietnam is a relatively small country, and it is easy to travel between cities and regions. Domestic flights, trains, and buses are all available, and they are relatively affordable. However, it is important to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist season.

Conclusion

Vietnam is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich culture and history. Before visiting Vietnam, it is important to familiarize yourself with the visa requirements, currency, weather, language, culture, food, transportation, accommodation, safety, etiquette, health, tipping, bargaining, internet access, and getting around. By being well-informed, you can ensure that your trip to Vietnam is safe, enjoyable, and memorable.

Things you need to know before visiting Vietnam

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