Vietnam is well known as a friendly and non-religious country. Vietnam still preserves customs which have lasted for thousands of years. As a result, to have a happy in your Vietnam holiday, you should glance at this list of dos and don’ts in Vietnam.
- Greet Vietnamese in their native language which is “Xin Chao” for “ Hello” and “ Cam On” for “ Thank you” with bent head. That is a great way to make friends with Vietnamese.
- Wear polite dress code (long and body covering clothes) when going to religious places to show your respect to locals’ belief
- Travel with reputed travel agents (Tripadvisor is a good source). If you don’t check the reputation of the travel agents you choose, you may get low-quality service. In the worse case, you will have a terrible journey: dirty hotel, uncomfortable car, bad food, etc.
- Store passport, visa, cash, credit card, airplane tickets and other valuable things in a safe place. It is undeniable that robberies still take place in Vietnam especially in Ho Chi Minh City. In fact, there were many travelers robbed in the streets of Saigon.
- Ask for permission before taking photos at a site or with someone. There are some places (especially temples or pagodas) in Vietnam that do not allow photography.
- Remove your shoes before entering a house. Vietnamese do not wear shoes inside the house. Not removing your shoes is seen not very polite.
- Bring a map or hotel business card when going out alone in case you get lost. The traffic in Vietnam is complicated.
- Receive things from others (especially elders) with both hands to show the respect to them.
- Check the weather forecast before going out because the weather in Vietnam changes very quickly.
- Take an umbrella/raincoat/hat and water with you before going out
- Watch carefully before crossing the road because traffic in Vietnam is chaotic.
- Bargain before purchasing anything. Vendors in Vietnam, especially in the North of Vietnam, often claim the higher price at first then they will settle for lower
- Take off your hat when you go inside religious places like pagodas or temples to show respect to these places.
- Hold your bag in front of you especially when you hire a motorbike taxi to avoid bag snatching.
- Do learn to use chopsticks. In many places, especially remote areas, it is not easy to find forks or knives
- Try to finish everything on your plate. Leaving too much food on your plate seems impolite, especially with the local families.
- Try to have plenty of change in your pocket so that you will have an easier time making purchases from local street vendors
- Do get medical insurance before for your trip. Health care services may cost a lot abroad so medical insurance is good way in case you need any health care services.
Remove your shoes before entering a house
in the list of the Dos and Don'ts in Vietnam you may take care with the list of Don'ts in Vietnam more because knowing this you can avoid the trouble when you take the trip to Vietnam.
- Don’t wear valuable jewelry or bring lots of money when walking around the street in case of robbery.
- Don’t uncontrollably eat at vendors (only eat food when you are sure of its elements and quality). Until now, Vietnam has failed in controlling the quality of food at vendors so use precautions when finding restaurants.
- Don’t wear shorts or tank tops to the pagodas, temples or other religious places. You will be considered rude and sometimes you will not be allowed to be in.
- Don’t take picture of military sites in Vietnam
- Don’t stay out too late, especially in some remote areas - it can be unsafe.
- Don’t rush the locals, they hate being rushed
- Don’t have aggressive behavior in public. Vietnamese are quite closed and conservative. Therefore, you should not have extreme behavior, it will be considered rude.
- Don’t cause Vietnamese to “lose face”. Keeping big face is very important for Asian people and Vietnamese.
- Don’t show public personal affection to your boyfriend/girlfriend. Kissing, touching or holding hands may be perceived inappropriate especially in the countryside or mountainous area.
- Don’t touch someone’s head, especially when this someone is older than you are. It is considered insulting.
- Don’t sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar in someone’s house especially when you visit the local family or stay in the homestay.
- Don’t run too fast or stop suddenly when you cross the road in Vietnam. Keep eye contact with the coming drivers and try to keep your speed. Crossing the road with our guide for the first days will be great to learn.
Lastly, don’t be too nervous. Most of Vietnamese will forgive if you don’t know or you forget the don’t - things above because you are foreigners. However, trying your best is appreciated!
Read carefully the list of Dos and Don'ts in Vietnam. Wish you have a great holiday in Vietnam!
Don't wear short in Pagoda