Do's & Dont's
Visiting a foreign country is always an unique adventure, where you experience a difference in culture, history and meet many new people. Therefore it is handy to know what your expected behaviour is, so that it might help you on your travels.
Below are the most common Do's and Don'ts of Vietnam.
Things to remember
- It’s in your best interest not to drink water from the tap, especially after heavy rainfall as occurred. We advise to drink water from sealed bottles.
- Dress modestly and appropriately when visiting local dwellings and religious sites or during any other cultural activity
- Leave your valuables behind if you plan to go out at night or to the beach.
- When crossing the road, especially in Ho Chi Minh city, walk slowly and constantly pay attention to your left and right
- Do not offer money directly to the less fortunate, if you want to support the minorities it is best to donate to local charities,
- unless you want to give something directly you should do so by offering small gifts such as pens and books.
- Try out the delicious local street food at least once during your stay, you will be surprised!
- Always ask permission before you take a photograph, especially in minority areas, they hardly refuse but still ask!
- Have at least some local currency valued of about $100 which you can change at the hotel or bank
- Avoid riding the rickshaw at night (if you really want to, check the prices carefully)
- If you take a taxi, make sure there is a meter or discuss a price beforehand (suggestions for taxi’s: Hanoi Taxi, Mai Linh Taxi, Vina Sun Taxi)
- Any insurance claim will require a police witness, you guide and your company stamp as well as you detailed report on the matter.
Should not be missed during your holiday
- Sleep outside on the deck of the cruise ship in Ha Long Bay
- Order custom-made clothing from the local tailor shops
- Take a slow rickshaw through the French Quarter in Saigon
- Eat some Pho ga (chicken noodle soup) at a local street stall
- Watch the traditional water puppet performance in Hanoi
- Experience the full moon festivities in the ancient town of Hoi An
- Drink some rice-wine in the minority villages in the north of Vietnam
- Take a boat along Hue’s Huong river (Perfume river) that takes you to the Royal Mausoleums
- Barter in Saigon’s largest market, Ben Thanh Market
- Take a stroll through Hanoi’s Old Quarters
Tipping wide accepted as the way you appreciated their services provide
- Tipping is widely accepted as to show your appreciation with the service provided, below is the norm of Vietnam’s tipping.
- At restaurants: Some restaurants already include a service charge, if this is the case you do not need to tip, if this is not the case and you want to tip, 10% of your total bill is the norm
- At hotels: The bell man who takes care of your luggage is equivalent to $1.00 per bag
- For boats: about $5.00 for a boat ride (There are some small boat rides that are included in the tour program)
- Cruise crew: From $3.00 to $5.00 dollar per person for the entire crew (If you want to give someone a bonus it is the norm to give so to the Captain of the ship)
- The driver of a big bus: $2.00 per person per day for both the driver and his assistant
- The driver of a minivan or car: $3.00 per person per day
- Tour guide: $5.00 to $10.00 per person per day for a group of 2-8 people
- Tour guide: $3.00 to $7.00 per person per day for a group of 9 or more people