This will make your return to the hotel in a taxi or motorbike much easier. Always firmly negotiate the exact price before you get into a taxi or on the back of a motorbike. Do buy bottled water, but not any bottled water. I have seen people on the streets filling water bottles from the taps, and then with a little machine, sealing them. You will need to drink a lot of water because of the humidity, buy from a convenience store of some repute.
As beer is cheaper than a bottle of water, you could just drink beer, but remember you do need to stay hydrated with water. Do ask permission before you take a photo of people.
Indochina Itinerary by Week
Pay it. It is not a lot of dongs, the currency of Vietnam. Do carry some toilet paper with you at all times. While there are fewer squats in urban areas, there are still many in rural areas. Do us your chopsticks correctly. Sticking them upright in your bowl of rice, for example, is considered unlucky, as this is the symbol of two burning joss sticks used for funerals. Do enjoy the local Vietnamese food, which is some of the best in the world. Consider doing a food tour on the back of a motorbike to get to some of the hidden gems in the back streets of Saigon for example. Here is a guide to kissing etiquette around the world.
Dos & Don'ts for Vietnam
These personal displays of affection are not considered appropriate in Vietnam. Holding hands is ok, particularly as you cross the manically busy roads. Frightening as it can be, just keep walking. The traffic will avoid you. Pick a spot across the road, stare at it and keep walking, no matter what. They are considered to be too intrusive by many local people. If you do, always ask permission first. Dress appropriately…. I understand they like cyclists, but I do want to respect their customs and beliefs.
Any suggestions? Vietnam is one of the safest countries. You will see in the article that there are far more positives than negatives in this absolutely amazing country. Definitely visit Vietnam. Because it is such a beautiful country, the food the people the nature are just awesome. Every country has its problems annoyences and dangers.
If you are scared stay home. Great article, I wish I had known more of these tips before I visited Vietnam but will keep them in mind for our next trip. Having spent the last three days in Ho Chi Minh City I must disagree with your advice on crossing the road. There is no safe way to do it. Even at traffic lights most of the scooters and many cars will simply ignore a red light and drive through whether there are pedestrians crossing or not. Cross roads with your wits about you and keep an eye on all approaching vehicles.
Dos and donts in Vietnam during communication
Many will expect you to get out of their way rather than the other way around. Oh and be careful on the footpaths. Scooters use them as shortcuts all the time.
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Please always dress appropriately. Not only for the Vietnam climate, but also to not cause offense to the local people. Vietnamese and many of tourist sites have conservative dress codes and it is only in larger cities that these codes are relaxed a little. Do drink plenty of bottled water.
During the summer months you should be drinking a minimum of 2 liters per day. If you drink tea, coffee, or alcohol you should increase you water intake accordingly as these will dehydrate you. Please always ask permission first when taking a photograph of someone. If they indicate that they do not want you to, then abide by their wishes. Please do not push the issue or offer money.
To do this is considered extremely rude and offensive.
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