Top 10 Travel Tips for Vietnam

by | Sep 9, 2020 | Uncategorized

Tips for your best backpacking trips in Vietnam

Have you been planning a trip to Vietnam, but you are still a bit unsure of the culture or the good to knows of this amazing country? Stick around and get our top 10 tips for traveling in Vietnam!

Vietnam is one of the most popular destinations for backpackers with stunning coastlines, hundreds of historical attractions and especially excellent traditional food. In this blog, you will find 10 travel tips regarding traveling and backpacking in Vietnam which you may find helpful when planning your upcoming trip to Vietnam. This way the huge difference in culture and living styles will no longer worry you during your visit and you are able to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of this country!

In case you are still looking for travel buddies to accompany you on your trip, head to JoinMyTrip. You can plan your own adventure or find amazing trips planned to destinations around the world.

But for now, enjoy reading about a place far, far away, and start dreaming of tasting that first spoon full of lovely Vietnamese food.

1. Ask the price beforehand

woman offering food at a Vietnamese market
Ask the price beforehand

It is a normal thing in Vietnam that they do not have a menu with a fixed price in most street kitchens. Thus, the fact is that many backpackers in Vietnam, who forgot to ask for the price were charged double or even three times for a 30.000-50.000 VND (~1.5 Euro) bowl of “pho”. The same thing always happens when it comes to souvenirs. Therefore, one of the best Vietnam travel tips is always asking “How much?” in advance and even bargaining. 

2. Clothing for every kind of weather

suitcase being packed on the floor with things outside a travel tip for Vietnam
Clothing for every kind of weather

The weather in Southeast Asian countries is anything but predictable. It might be sunny now, but just within a few hours, you might be in the middle of real monsoon rain. This is why we encourage you to always have some extra clothes with you, including some good, waterproof shoes. Also, the temperature between day and night can be really different. Therefore pack an extra pair of warm socks as well as a few warm pullovers with you for the colder evenings. Remember to add soft jackets, hats, and umbrellas in the packing list for your trip to Vietnam. In addition to clothing, be sure to pack these gadgets in your backpack.

3. Take caution when crossing roads

traffic in Vietnam
Take caution when crossing roads

Crossing a road might sound as simple as picking up the post in the morning. But in Vietnam, it definitely is not. You should pay extra attention when aiming to cross the road while traveling in Vietnam, as the streets are fully crowded with cars, bicycles as well as other vehicles. Traffic jams and the accidents caused by the traffic in Vietnam have opposed a problem for a long time already. This is why we recommend you to keep your head up away from the phone and eyes on the street when aiming to cross the street, especially in the bigger cities of Vietnam like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Overall it is recommended to avoid walking on the streets during the rush hours (9-10 am and 4-5 pm).

4. Beware of taxi scams

Taxis on the road in Vietnam a travel tip in Vietnam
Beware of taxi scams

Taxi scams have become a real threat in Southeast Asian countries, not only in Vietnam. If you happen to be the unlucky one, you might be ending up paying 100.000 VND (approx. 4€) just for a 3km ride. Remember to be cautious and when possible do some research on Google for some reliable taxi brands in Vietnam, before jumping in the first taxi arriving. Especially if you are a woman, please take into consideration these important tips while traveling solo in Southeast Asian countries.

5. The alternative for a taxi: Xe Om and Grab to your Vietnam travel tips

local traffic in Vietnam
The alternative for a taxi: Xe Om and Grab to your Vietnam travel tips

In case you are afraid of taxi scams and only want a short lift, Xe Om and Grab may be the best alternatives for a normal taxi. You can easily find Xe Om (Vietnamese motorbike taxi) on the streets, especially close to the travel sightseeings. In addition, Grab is like an “upgraded” version of Xe Om. Here you need to download the Grab app on your phone and look for a Graber closest to your location. Both of them are known as typical transportation in Vietnam.

6. Be careful when withdrawing money

Somebody Taking Out Money At a Cash Point a travel tip in Vietnam
Be careful when withdrawing money

When thinking of withdrawing money in Vietnam, take into consideration the possible limits that certain local banks may have for this. This limit is usually around $100 per withdrawal. As an option, you may want to consider choosing HSBC or Citibank as your local bank of which both offer you the possibility to withdraw a maximum of $250 per time. As a side note, be sure to check with the bank service if they are asking you to pay the withdrawal fee or not.

7. Tipping is not compulsory

Tipping is not compulsory

Surprisingly, tipping is not a culture in Vietnam. Restaurants or bars are not expecting any tip. In some rare cases, some taxi drivers might expect a little extra tip after the ride but not more than 5%. So all in all tipping is not such a thing in Vietnam as it might be in many Western countries.

8. Get a 3G SIM card

an iphone 4 with a sim card a travel tip for vietnam
Get a 3G SIM card

In case you want to have access to the internet at all times in Vietnam, we would recommend you to get a 3G SIM card, as this provides you with the fastest and safest internet connection all over Vietnam. There are of course also local Wifi spots available (which are actually pretty good!) all over Vietnam as in various cafeterias and restaurants. And while searching for a new 3G SIM card, be sure to check also these 5 tips for your next backpacking trip in the Southeastern Asia trip to be well prepared!

9. Learn how to pronounce “pho” correctly!

Vietnamese Pho soup
Learn how to pronounce “pho” correctly!

You should take into account that all Vietnamese people are most probably not fluent in the English language. Therefore it would be a good idea to learn at least the basics in Vietnam, like a few of their traditional dishes as “pho” and “bun cha”. This way you can sure yourself at least a few dishes to get right when ordering in a restaurant. And as you might know for yourself, it is always quite admiring when a foreigner puts the little effort to learn something in your mother tongue.

10. Find yourself a travel mate to Vietnam 

group of friends a travel tip for vietnam
Find yourself a travel mate to Vietnam

 Travel in a group to Vietnam! How boring would it be if you had no one to share such extraordinary street food experiences or the amazing landscapes, that Vietnam has to offer? Find yourself a travel buddy to Vietnam and also some more Vietnam travel tips with the help of JoinMyTrip!

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