- Keep your cash, credit cards, important documents and other valuables in a safe place. Most 4-star hotels and up have in-room safety boxes, otherwise ask the reception to keep your valuable things in their deposit facility.
- Before getting out from your hotel, make sure to bring a hotel business card with you. This will make you return to the hotel by taxi or other vehicles much easier.
- It’s a good idea to carry a roll of toilet paper in the daypack on long excursions from your hotel. You never know when you might need it!
- Always dress appropriately. Not only for the Vietnam weather but also respect to the local and their customs as well. You may find little more relaxing dress codes in major cities, but in many rural areas people still remain conservative in clothing, especially with women.
- Ask for permission if you want to take photograph of someone or something. If they indicate that they do not want you to, then abide by their wishes. DO NOT offer money or push the issue.
- Drink enough water. Especially in summer, you should have a minimum of two liters per day. If you drink tea, coffee and alcohol, you should increase water intake accordingly as it will help to dehydrate you.
- Don’t carry a large amount of money and wear lots of jewelries when walking around the streets for two reasons. Firstly, it is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public. And more important, you might become a victim of pickpockets or drive-by-bag snatchers.
- Don’t wear shorts, dresses or skirts or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders when visiting temples and pagodas as these places are considered to be sacred for Vietnamese people and their culture. To do this is extremely rude and offensive.
- Don’t give sweets, candies to local children when trekking through ethnic minority villages. If you want to make some donations, ask your guide to take you to local schools or authority to do. That is much better for the whole community.
- Don’t sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar when in someone’s house.
- Don’t lose your temper in public or when bargaining for a goods. This is considered a serious loss of face for both sides. Try to maintain a cool and happy demeanor and you will be reciprocated with the same.
The above is our some advice to help you avoid unexpected problems as much as possible to ensure you have a perfect holiday in Vietnam. Do not be overly cautious! Vietnamese people are very friendly and hospitable. They would be very highly appreciated when you try to follow their traditions and customs and forgive when you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded accordingly.