When visitting a country with a culture so different to that at home it’s easy to make a faux pas sometimes without knowing it . Using your basic manners and treating others how you would like to be treated is a great starting point .
Below are some tourist do’s and don’ts for the finer cultural details.
- Greetings are no different to western countries , you aren’t expected to perform any formalities just a simple hi or a smile will do.
- As a general the vietnamese local dress modestly and don’t expose too much skin . If you go out with a lot of flesh on display then you can expect to receive a lot of stares and potetially some unwanted attention.
- Follow etiquette and rules when visiting temples and pagodas . Ensure that you are dressed respectfully with your shoulders and knees covered . You will generally be allowed to keep your shoes on but if in doubt then just follow what the locals do.
- Drink plenty of bottled water ,especially when walking around and sightseeing ,it’s easy to get dehydrated even in cooler weather due to the humidity . Bottled water is available everywhere and cheap to buy.
- Keep your cash ,credit cards ,ariline tickets and other valuables in safe place .If you aren’t 100% sure about the security of your beloinging at your accommodation then utilize a money belt to carry your essentials on your person.
- Travel with recommended and reliable tour agencies. Even if you book your tour and ticksets in vietnam make sure that you do a little internet research first to ensure the quality and reasonable but if something seems too cheap to be true then usually it is!
- Remove your shoes before entering anyone’s house unless they say otherwise.
- Greasp every opprtunity and adventure with both hands, embrace the trip and the culture of vietnam and you are guaranteed the trip of a lifetime.
- Wear a lot of jewelry ,flash expensive electronic goods or carry a bag or digital camera with you .As mentioned previously ,violent crime is highly unusua in VietNam, but petty crime is fairly common and you have to stay savvy . If you have a bag ,or tout a digital camera around your neck ,you are much more likely to become a target.
- When taking a rede by motorbike taxi (xe ôm) make sure your bag is not on display or easy to grab . The bag snatch is the most common crime against tourists and when you are on the back of a moped there is no way that you can give chase to your attckers.
- Physical displays of affection between lovesrs in public are forwned upon . Holding hands is generrally acceptable but not hugging of kissing especially in non tourist areas .If you want to gain respect form locals then abhere to their cultural standards.
- Losing your temper in vietnam means a loss of face . No matter how frustrating the situation is , make sure that you remain calm . Keep your voice volume and tone in check and don’t gesticulate too much . Keep calm and carry on!
- Remember that vietnam is a developing country and it’s different to how people behave at home. Don’t be paranoid about your safety ; just be aware of your surroundings.