Tips for travelers in Vietnam - what should I keep in mind?
Every year Vietnam is becoming more and more popular tourist destination. This country, not so long ago destroyed by war, has a rich history and absolutely stunning natural beauty. The scenery of Vietnam leaves no one indifferent. A huge selection of beach and active entertainment allows anyone to find something to their liking. Holidays in this exotic part of the world can be an absolute delight!
To get the most out of the trip, keep a few important points in mind.
1. Language barrier
English is not widely spoken here. Of course, in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City there are quite a lot of English-speaking people, but in the provinces there are very few of them. Residents of small towns are unlikely to be able to explain themselves to you or understand the questions you ask. To overcome this problem, learn a few phrases in Vietnamese before the trip - they will help communicate with employees of local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc.
2. electricity, money and Wi-Fi
The official currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Some establishments accept U.S. dollars as well as euros and rubles. In large cities, you can easily pay by card. But in remote areas of Vietnam there are likely to be problems with it, and ATMs are not found everywhere - it is desirable to have cash in local currency. You can exchange money in banks, jewelry stores, travel agency offices and even in the markets.
The voltage in the electrical system is 220 V, and in large hotels in Vietnam there are universal outlets that are suitable for turning on various appliances. When traveling to remote parts of the country, it is worth carrying a universal travel adapter.
Cell phone service in Vietnam is not a problem, and Wi-Fi zones are available in most restaurants and other public places.
3. Weather surprises
Vietnam has a tropical climate that is hot and humid. During the rainy season, an umbrella and raincoat are a must. To not suffer from the heat at other times, it is better to choose for the trip loose clothing made of natural fabrics. Tourists will also need sunscreen and repellent - mosquitoes and other insects in Vietnam are plenty.
4. Safety on the roads
The abundance of motor vehicles and some "fussiness" in the streets are conspicuous. In general, the rules of the road may seem too democratic, at first it confuses tourists visiting the country for the first time. It is worth to be more attentive on crosswalks, and on sidewalks and roadsides to move away from the edge of the road. At the same time, it is not recommended to waving cell phones, video cameras and bags, so as not to provoke thieves - street crime is rampant in the country.
5. Tip - as the client wishes
In Vietnam, unlike most other countries, it is not customary to tip service workers. A satisfied customer can thank the waiter in a restaurant, but only on his own initiative - the staff will not look askance if you put all the change in your pocket.
6. Respect for the religious feelings of local residents
There are many temples in the country that you will definitely want to see. There are many temples in the country that you will definitely want to visit, but in order not to offend the feelings of the locals, you must follow some simple rules. You should take your shoes off before entering, and inside - do not step on the prayer rugs. You should not walk between people praying, stand between them and the statue of Buddha, turn your back to the shrines. One should choose simple, modest clothing that covers the legs to the knees and shoulders.
7. Paid wipes
A surprising moment of Vietnamese service: in restaurants visitors studying the menu before ordering can get free black or jasmine tea with ice, but you have to pay separately for all used napkins. The waiter will certainly count them and include them in the bill - about 2-3 thousand VND (5-7 rubles) for each napkin.
8. Overpricing for tourists
This peculiarity of local trade can be encountered not only in the markets, but also in stores. Initially, the seller will tell the tourist the cost of goods, significantly higher than the real (sometimes - two or three times). Do not immediately get your purse. The more you haggle, the more you save on the purchase.
9. Difficulties at customs
Be prepared for the fact that you may encounter misunderstandings from customs authorities. Check in advance whether you have all the documents in order, in case of any disputes, try to explain yourself as politely and reasonably as possible. Remember that visa rules for entry into Vietnam vary for citizens of different countries. Russians do not need a visa - but only if the vacation will not last more than 15 days.
10. Individual room reservations
In Vietnam, they know and love to haggle. That is why the fixed cost of living in a hotel or hostel, listed on specialized Internet sites, may be deliberately overstated. Planning to check into a particular hotel, find its personal site and ask about the prices. Sometimes personal communication with the owner can achieve much better conditions. In addition, price lists of some hotels located in picturesque areas far from the center of the country may not be reflected on the Internet.
11 Don't flaunt your valuables
Vietnam is a safe enough country, but you should not provoke criminals. Expensive items left unattended, even for a few minutes, can easily change their owner. Do not leave purses and purses on the tables in cafes. Do not swing your bags and cameras, holding them by the strap, if you walk close to the edge of the roadway - the values from your hands can snatch a passing motorcyclist.
If you want to hang your purse on the back of a chair in a restaurant, slip the strap over one of the legs. Keep your cell phone and money in your breast pocket, and wrap your camera strap around your wrist-especially in busy, low-cost neighborhoods. Don't make close contact with strangers in the dark - even if they seem trustworthy...
12. feel free to count your change carefully
It is quite difficult to orient in the denomination of unfamiliar banknotes, which is often used by swindlers. If you pay a bill in Vietnamese dong or change currency on the street, do not rush to shove the money in your pocket - the amount may be many times less than expected. Recalculate several times, including using a calculator.
13. Be careful with street food
In Vietnam, local delicacies that look very appetizing are sold on every corner. While dreaming of trying more authentic dishes, do not forget about the sanitary requirements. In the tropics, many products spoil quickly, so the risk of food poisoning is very high.
14. Book train tickets at the station
The rail connection is excellent, which opens up a lot of room for excursions. Just do not forget that booking tickets through a hotel will always cost more (hotel charges are about 200 thousand VND). It is best to buy tickets directly at the ticket office, at the station. However, it is advisable to do it in advance.
While maintaining reasonable safety, do not forget that Vietnam is not only beaches and popular "tourist itineraries" offered by agencies. There are magnificent landscapes, friendly people, amazing discoveries, and magical experiences waiting for you. Get off the beaten path and see this fabulous world in your own way!