07 Mar

• Keep your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place. Some hotels have in-room safes, otherwise you can ask the reception to keep your valuable things in their deposit facility.
• Greetings are no different to western countries, there are no cultural formalities that as a foreigner you would be expected to know or practice.
• Travel with recommend tour agencies. Even if you plan to buy tickets when in country, research your journey a little first on the Internet. A good resource is Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum, where fellow tourists discuss travel in Vietnam. This way you avoid unreliable tour agencies and badly run hotels.
• Take a hotel business card before you leave the hotel so you could return to the hotel easier.
• Don’t for get to carry a roll of toilet paper on long excursions from your base hotel. You would need it.
• Dress appropriately especially when you go to the Pagodas and Temples
• If you are invited into someone’s home, don’t forget to remove your shoes at the front door..
• Drink plenty of bottled water. During the summer months you should be drinking a minimum of two liters per day.

• Never carry more money than you need when walking around the streets. Do not wear large amounts of jewelry. There are two reasons for not doing this:
(1) It is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public;
(2) It is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher.
• Don’t be paranoid about your security, just be aware of your surroundings.
• Don’t wear singlets, shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas. To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.
• Never lose your temper in public or when bargaining for a purchase. This is considered a serious loss of face for both parties. Always maintain a cool and happy demeanor and you will be reciprocated with the same.
• Do not try to take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security.
• Do not carry your passport a leave it in the safe in your hotel. A photocopy will suffice if local law states that you need to.
Vietnam is a friendly and safe place to travel with the hidden charm. But each country have special different, Vietnam too. Different about culture, history and style life… With a sprinkling of common sense, your trip should be smooth and trouble free.

Generally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if they see you trying to abide by the customs, and very forgiving if you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded. With a cool head and sensible planning, one can avoid these problems.

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Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Living in Saigon


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