Are you wondering what you need to prepare for your trip to Vietnam? Accommodations, destinations or restaurants, etc. Or is it safe to travel in Vietnam?
The answer for you is Yes. However, you should know some following small tips, which must be helpful for your trip without any troubles.
Traffic is incredibly crazy
Saigon is the city with the largest concentration of motorbikes in the world. Traffic in Ha Noi is not any better too. Crossroad is very difficult to pedestrians, especially, foreigners. It will take some time before you feel comfortable, but keep calm!
The best way to cross a road in Vietnam is to always keep a slow pace all the way. Make yourself predictable on your route and walking speed.
Avoid the tap water
Bottled water is cheap and readily available from shops, hotels and restaurants across the country. Always check that the seal on the bottle cap is intact.
To keep yourself hydrated, you should carry your own bottled water or use a water filtering system at all times.
Vietnam is not by any means a conservative country in what it comes to clothing. You do not need to dress like an Afghan woman and the hot weather does even force some skin to be shown amongst locals. If you want to wear shorts, a shirt and flip-flops, which is absolutely fine. If you are unsure what to wear, do as locals do.
Take care of your belongings
Vietnam is a diverse travel destination from the busy cities of Ha Noi and Saigon to the beautiful beaches in Da Nang and Hoi An. However, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and hold onto your belongings. Although people seem friendly and warm, most are not and just want your money.
One of the typical crimes in Vietnam is pickpocketing. If you are walking around the city center, especially in the backpacker's area, be aware of the women who start becoming a little too friendly. You may think they are just offering their "services", but they are distracting you by touching and holding your arm, and without realizing it, you have lost your wallet and phone. This is common in Vietnam, and people tend to see westerners as easy targets.
Bag snatching is another common crime by opportunistic thieves. If you are carrying a bag, make sure you hold it close. Keep your passports and money in a money belt.
So, here are some advices for you:
• Don’t show off any expensive items carelessly.
• Spread your most valuable items across different pockets or bags.
• Avoid using your phone on busy streets.
• Carry your camera with the strip around your body.
Try to bargain when buying something
Bargaining for goods is part of the Vietnamese culture and it is acceptable in markets and even in some stores. The act of bargaining is seen as entertainment so always approach transactions with a smile and a friendly manner. The amount you can negotiate off varies but you will get better rates if you bargain in the local currency rather than USD, which is also widely accepted.