6 Top Things to Know About Vietnam
One of the places that I wanted to tour since I was young was Vietnam. From reading history and watching movies about Vietnam, I became interested to know much about this beautiful country, its people, and their culture. Last year, I fulfilled my childhood dream of touring Vietnam, and that is why I am sharing the wonderful experience from my trip. Entry documentation, the hospitality of the locals, and the Vietnamese delicacy are among the things you need to know about while visiting there. Here are the useful tips that you can consider.
Get an Entry Visa
When visiting Vietnam, you need to have a valid Visa. It is not a surprise to find visitors stranded at the airport due to the lack of appropriate documents. Getting a Vietnamese Visa is not a complicated process as you can find many online companies handling the services. Like most countries in Asia, you will have to provide all the necessary papers to entry Vietnam. It is, therefore, crucial to double-check if you have all the prerequisites such as the passport, pre-approval documents, personal photos as well as cash. When my friends and I were planning for the visit, we had a challenge in deciding what currency to use in Vietnam. So, don’t worry much as you can use USD or EUR. However, you need to convert your foreign currency to the Vietnamese Dong (though at very exuberant exchange rates).
Phone services in Vietnam are relatively affordable, and you can acquire a Sim Card without a lot of hustle. In fact, you can find vendors selling the cards at almost every corner in the streets. Internet connectivity is practically available everywhere, and most restaurants and hotels offer free Wi-Fi to customers. You can easily use digital maps such as Google Maps to know the names of the streets, towns, or even attractive destinations to visit. Vietnamese can be challenging to understand especially the names of foods, hotels, roads, thus the need for a helping guide. When communicating to the locals, you can use website to translate English to Vietnamese. With such a tool, you will find your stay enjoyable as you will be able to engage with people easily.
Be Wary of Scam
Though Vietnam is a safe country to visit, you can encounter some malicious agents, taxi drivers, or companies that want to make some extra money from you. Since the country is rebuilding its economy after the war, everyone is trying to earn as much money as possible to overcome poverty. You will, therefore, get a higher price on commodities or simple services such as shoe shining. For instance, in Thailand, you cannot negotiate the cost of most items. However, in Vietnam, you can bargain for a better deal. Walking away respectfully will allow the seller to reconsider their decision and give a considerable offer. Taxi scam is also rampant in Vietnam, and you should know the charges beforehand to avoid a rip off from malicious driver.
On top of that, knowing the specific place and the directions will save you the hustle of being conned. To avoid being overcharged, you can get Uber, Grab, or commute using the other public transport means. Alternatively, use motorcycle taxes are the most common transportation means, especially in the capital Hanoi and other bigger towns.
Bargain for Commodities
Vietnamese are hardworking and money-oriented people. They have a unique model of doing business from their South Asian neighbors, and bartering is the most common way of trading. You will, therefore, not be surprised to pay a higher price for an item than a local. However, don’t be afraid to bargain for a reasonable price, and, as mentioned earlier, you can walk away if the cost is not favorable. When you try to walk away, the seller is likely to call you back if the deal is worthy or even offer you a better price. In addition to that, Vietnam does not have a tipping culture, so you should not feel obliged to give a tip.
Enjoy Favorable Weather
Depending on the purpose and time of your visit to Vietnam, you will experience different climates. If you are touring the country for adventure, the best time is between December to February. Another suitable season to visit this incredible country is from June to August.
Enjoy the Hospitality
Vietnamese are very hospitable and friendly people. They are also not intrusive or curious about foreign visitors as their Asian counterparts in Myanmar or Cambodia. They are as well welcoming and generous to any visitor who shows appreciation and interest in the local activities. Despite learning English in school, the locals are not much prolific in the language, but if you engage them in clear and simple English, you will definitely get along. Knowing some Vietnamese phrases such as simple greeting, ‘Xin Chao’ which means ‘hello,’ ‘Cam on’ which means ‘thank you’ is appreciated and can help you easily interact with the people.
Enjoy the Dishes
Vietnam delicacy is sweet and mouthwatering. You should try ‘Pho’- a ubiquitous dish containing noodles, meat soup, and local fresh herbs. The meal is good for breakfast and is served in almost every food joint, hotel or restaurants. During our stay in Vietnam, we loved sampling the menus in the streets rather than the restaurants. The presence and buzzing of the motorbikes around almost every corner of the city made the stay exciting. Also, the scenery of busy streets with people doing all manner of businesses make the meals not only enjoyable but memorable. There is also a variety of delicacies worth trying. For example, my favorite meal was ‘Bun cha’ (grilled pork served with noodles and spicy herbs).
On top that, Vietnamese super tasty coffee which is served almost everywhere; in the street, at coffee houses, restaurants, etc.
When you are planning a visit to Vietnam, you should ensure that you not only apply for a Visa in time but also conduct an investigation on ideal places to visit. Also, you need research on the weather throughout the time of your visit to know what to pack. Some Vietnamese can make a difference when interacting with the locals, and it is, therefore, crucial to learn the language. Sample the food, hire, and ride a motorcycle and make your stay as memorable and enjoyable as possible.