Vietnam Travel Tips

By | June 6, 2022

There is absolutely no religious fanaticism and racial prejudice in the country, therefore, in general, traveling around the country is considered safe (the country is one of the ten safest places in Eurasia).

According to, the main problem is always and everywhere petty theft and importunity of local residents. Private traders and ordinary citizens strive to sell something all the time, and they do it with amazing persistence and in the most unexpected places. It is not easy to get rid of their attention, and even after buying something, it is not easy to get change. There are also cases of outright fraud. Normal security measures should be taken to protect personal property.

Commercialization in Vietnam has reached literally incredible heights. They demand a fee for everything and everywhere, and often (parking, crossing bridges and roads) is illegal.

In many tourist places, the intrusiveness of “sellers” simply exceeds all conceivable norms, while if you satisfy the needs of one, 20-30 new petitioners immediately come to his place. Some Vietnamese are even ready to break something or splash dirt on a gaping tourist in order to immediately offer their “help” in repairing or cleaning. Therefore, nowhere and never should you succumb to even the most innocent at first glance proposals.

In large resort areas, it has come to the point that local traditions and customs are giving way to the previously hated Western culture, including, an unprecedented case, American.

The talk of the town has already become “Dalat cowboys” – local guides dressed in Texan costumes, from whom there seems to be no escape literally anywhere in this popular resort. At the same time, qualified guides and tour guides are quite a rarity.

Rickshaw rides after dark should be avoided.

In no case should you carry large amounts of money, especially when visiting crowded places or markets.

The Vietnamese language is quite complicated, many words, even the names of some specific places or streets, are pronounced in two or three ways, so even an “English-speaking” local resident can be completely incomprehensible to a foreigner (and vice versa). The Russian language, which used to be highly respected here, is now almost not used (however, the story is the same with the French language).

For any movement around the city, it is recommended to write down the names of the necessary points in Vietnamese and show this “guide” to the locals – usually no one refuses to help.

When entering a Buddhist temple, shoes must be left outside the threshold; when leaving the temple, you cannot turn your back on it. Walk around the temple in a clockwise direction.

Photographing places of worship and local residents should be done only after asking permission (in most cases, you will need to pay for this).

State hotels and restaurants usually add 5% to the bill for services, so there is no need to leave a tip. In private establishments, tips should be determined on the spot – some of them do not provide any bills at all (and menus!), others determine the size of the tip themselves.

Vietnam: Money and currency of Vietnam

New dong (VND or D), nominally equal to 10 hao and 100 sous. In circulation there are banknotes in denominations of 500,000, 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 1,000, 500, 200 and 100 dong, as well as coins in 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 200 dong (coins are gradually withdrawn from circulation).

All banknotes are issued in several versions, only banknotes issued after 2003 have a high degree of protection against counterfeiting. Banks are open from 07:30-08:00 to 15:30-16:30. Day off – Saturday and Sunday. Currency can be exchanged at large banks and specialized exchange offices, as well as in the market, where the exchange rate is usually somewhat more profitable, but the risk of encountering scammers is also higher.

The US dollar has almost universal circulation, but only new banknotes are usually accepted for payment – it is almost impossible to pay with old banknotes. In the capital and other major cities, you can pay in euros, yen, yuan or baht. Traveler’s checks in US dollars or euros can be cashed at any major bank.

Credit cards are becoming more common – they are accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (the most widely used are “Master Card” and “Visa”, the commission is usually about 3%). ATMs (located in the buildings of banks, large shops and hotels) issue only dongs.

Vietnam: Cuisine of Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine is varied and delicious. There are restaurants for every taste and budget – Chinese, Thai, Indian, Korean, European and, of course, Vietnamese. Prices range from $2.5 to $25 per person. And often, the food is tastier in small restaurants, where you can dine for four for $10-12. And here – who is closer to the stomach: pancakes fried in oil in Saigon style from thinly rolled rice cakes, in which minced meat, onions, spices, and also frog legs, squid, eel soup are wrapped. The more expensive the restaurant, the fancier the food. Here you go, fried woodworms for lunch, monkey brains, and lots of snake dishes.

Vietnamese cuisine is remembered with pleasure by all foreigners who have tasted Saigon pancakes, pho soup, and various seafood that you can choose directly from the aquarium. Gourmets have a unique opportunity to try frogs, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, woodworms, monkey brains, bats, a dog and even an armadillo baked in its own shell.

The minimal use of fats and the emphasis on fresh ingredients have earned Vietnamese culinary arts a reputation for being very healthy. The Vietnamese eat everything: vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, pastries.

This is the only cuisine in the world that refutes the old culinary precept: a bad smell means a bad taste. Vietnamese cuisine owes its specific aromas to plants: lemongrass, mint and many others. Vietnamese spices are unusual, many of them grow only in this country. In addition, young bamboo shoots are eaten in Vietnam – a very healthy and tasty product, although it does not have a pleasant smell. Even the Vietnamese themselves consider “repulsive smell with excellent taste” as a characteristic feature of their cuisine.

The champion in terms of exotic flavor is nuoc mam fish sauce, the highlight of Vietnamese cuisine.

In Vietnam, rice is the head of everything, and cooking it is considered a great art. The Vietnamese eat rice up to half a kilogram a day, mainly in order to slightly “dilute” the incredible astringency and spiciness of the main dishes. Rice is the basis of Vietnam’s most popular dish, tün, patties.

Food costs in Vietnam are considered the most minimal in the world, as there is an abundance of food and especially fruits all year round. If you are a vegetarian or fruit lover, there will always be a large selection on the table at any time of the year – from the usual oranges, tangerines, pineapples and bananas to such juicy and nutritious fruits as breadfruit, letchi, dragon’s eye, lucuma (egg fruit), papaya and chrysophyllum (milk breast).

Vietnam: Culture of Vietnam

Weekends and holidays:

  • Vietnamese New Year – the first night of the first lunar month when the sun enters the constellation Aquarius
  • January 1 – New Year according to the solar calendar
  • April 30 – Independence Day of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • May 1 – International Workers’ Day
  • September 2 – Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    15th day of the 8th lunar month – Autumn Lunar Festival
  • National holidays last for three days, however, many holidays occur before this date in the south of Vietnam, and after this date in the north of Vietnam.

Vietnam Travel Tips