Vietnam travel guide - important information when travelling to Vietnam

Your holidays in Vietnam may not be fulfilled if you encounter pickpocketing, being forced to buy expensive goods or being charged for an excessive bill by food stores.

WHERETO suggests some important information when travelling to Vietnam.

1. Keep your belongings carefully in order to restrict pickpocketing and robbery 

Visitors should take notice of their personal belongings - Photo: Internet

Visitors should take notice of their personal belongings - Photo: Internet

The risk of being pickpocketed or bag robbed occurs wherever tourists go to. Therefore, tourists should not put all important and precious things such as cell phone, wallet and passport into backpack, bag or trousers’ pocket because wrongdoers will slit them to steal these valuable things when you do not take any notice at all.  

It is best to put important things into a bag which has a zipper and carry it in front of your chest to keep them in your view.

When going to crowded places, you need to keep your belongings carefully.

You also should not answer your cell phone when going on the street because evildoers can run to you and snatch your cell phone out of your hands.

When taking photos - particularly with cell phone or mini-camera - you need to be cautious or you will be snatched.

2. Keep calm when crossing the streets

You may absolutely ask youth volunteers (those who are wearing blue shirts) to lead you across the street - Photo: Internet

You may absolutely ask youth volunteers (those who are wearing blue shirts) to lead you across the street - Photo: Internet

Streets in Vietnam, particularly in large cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi - capital of Vietnam, which are always busy with vehicles. If not careful, you may get trouble when crossing the streets in Vietnam.

Many tourists dare not cross the street when seeing excessive vehicles on the road, particularly motorbikes. Essential tip to cross the street is to extremely keep calm walking toward, be sure not to hesitate, ponder and get nervous.

If you really dare not get across the street alone, asking someone who is local people to get you across the street or go with other people to generate a small group – so it will be easier and safer to you.  

3. Be cautious when eating dog and cat meat

Tourists are easy to eat dog and cat meat so you should ask the seller carefully if you doubt whether they can be dog or cat meat - Photo: Internet

Tourists are easy to eat dog and cat meat so you should ask the seller carefully if you doubt whether they can be dog or cat meat - Photo: Internet

In some places in Vietnam, dogs and cats are used to make food. Tourists are easy to eat dog and cat meat if they do not take any notice.

In Vietnamese, dog meat is spelt as “thịt chó" or “cầy tơ" (chow-meat), cat meat is spelt as “thịt mèo" or “tiểu hổ” (mini-tiger). The best thing is to remember these words to recognize them timely by food court’s signboards.  

Vietnamese foodis very abundant and diverse by nature; therefore, to save your health, you need to ask the seller carefully.

4. Check the denomination of money carefully

Vietnamese denominations of money are slightly alike, so you should be careful in order not to get mistake - Photo: Internet

Vietnamese denominations of money are slightly alike, so you should be careful in order not to get mistake - Photo: Internet

Exchange rate: 1 USD is about equal 21.800 VND. You should remember exactly this figure in order to use your money in a right way. On the other hand, Vietnamese denomination of money is rather multiform, some of them are slightly alike so the possibility of mistake is very high.

For example, 20.000 VND (0.91 USD) is green like 500.000 VND (22.93 USD)

The key is to remember the color of different denominations, be careful to check each of them before using.

5. Be ready for dealing with weather in Vietnam

In Vietnam, you often suffer from hot weather, so you should prepare clothes which are suitable with the weather - Photo: Internet

In Vietnam, you often suffer from hot weather, so you should prepare clothes which are suitable with the weather - Photo: Internet

Vietnam has tropical climate, in the summer it is very hot, you should prepare suitable clothes such as T-shirt, skirt, sun-glasses, etc. The winter in South of Vietnam is so cold, you should prepare thick coat.

If you travel at Ho Chi Minh City, remember to bring umbrella because the changeable weather there.

6. Be careful with unofficial taxi (taxi dù)

You should have the hotel reception book a taxi so as not to getting on an unofficial taxi  - Photo: Internet

You should always usereliable taxi agencies in order to not to be overcharged - Photo: Internet

“Taxi dù”is a type of taxis that do not have business registration of any authorities. You are easy to see this taxi at the airport or bus stations. The drivers of this taxi often charge for much more fare than normal, they usually drive the longer way to get more money.

To avoid the mistake of getting on an unofficial taxi, you should have the hotel reception book a taxi from reliable taxi agencies. 

8.  Be cautious to be forced to buy things with excessive cost

If you do not want to become a “victim” of being forced to buy goods with excessive cost, you should strongly refuse the invitations of some vendors on the street - Photo: Internet

If you do not want to become a “victim” of being forced to buy goods with excessive cost, you should strongly refuse the invitations of some vendors on the street - Photo: Internet

Many foreign tourists go to Vietnam, especially go to Ho Chi Minh City become “victims” of some groups asking with insistence, forcing to buy their goods with excessive cost.

Therefore, to avoid losing money and anxiety in your mind, you should skillfully get away from the invitations of some vendors on the street.

9. Buy Vietnamese SIM - card for your phone immediately

You should buy Vietnamese SIM immediately when arriving in Vietnam to contact with necessary people easily - Photo: Internet

You should buy Vietnamese SIM immediately when arriving in Vietnam to contact with necessary people easily - Photo: Internet

As soon as getting off the airplane, you should buy Vietnamese SIM immediately to contact with necessary people easily. SIM and phone card are bought a lot in many stores in Vietnam.

Note: Some problems such as pickpocketing, snatching, cost-forcing tourists and so on - are likely to happen at anywhere in the world. WHERETO hopes that this article will not have any negative affect on the image of Vietnam in your heart. Wish you have wonderful holidays in Vietnam!

PHUONG LINH (whereto)

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