Practical Vietnam Travel Tips to Perceive before You Go
Vietnam has long been a promising destination for ecotourism, food tour, culture and history discovery, beach vacation, MICE, and more. All kinds of travel are likely to develop well in this charming S-shaped country which attracts a huge number of visitors, including you. Before you go, it’s practical to perceive essential Vietnam Travel Tips so that you know Vietnam “like the back of your hand” and enjoy this Indochina trip to the perfection.
The best time to see Vietnam is from January to March (from the end of Winter to Spring). Besides, the other ideal period is in Fall (from August to October). It’s obvious that the weather becomes comfortable and pleasantly dry during these suggested months. In particular, March and April feature the lowest rainfall and the off-peak season which facilitate your vacation with the low hotel prices, airfares, and fewer crowds.
Across 1.000km length, the weather varies due to the region: The North has the average temperature of 25 Celsius degree and the South is often hotter. Also, the South has the two distinct seasons: the wet season is from May to October while the dry time is from November to April. Good advice for clothing is to bring summer clothes for daytime and light jackets for the night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Tet (Lunar New Year Festival): End of January or Start of February
Often lasting about 7 days, Tet offers the big cities with the weird tranquility because most of the non-resident people will come back to their hometowns to celebrate the New Year with their families. So, the bustling city like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi will turn to be quite peaceful during Tet, and most shops will be closed during three first days of the festival.
Reunification Day: April 30th
On April 30th, Vietnam celebrates the Reunification Day with fireworks and parades in the big cities, and the Vietnamese people will have one official day off. Many of the important cities, including Ho Chi Minh City, gets decorated well with flowers, flags, and lights.
The passport holders of 23 countries can enter Vietnam without a visa during a specific duration varying due to the country, most of them are the members of ASEAN. So, check if you are qualified to receive the policy of Vietnamese visa exemption and how many days you can stay in Vietnam or the application for the eVisa. Note that it’s required to own the valid passport, at least 6 months of validity from your day of arrival to Vietnam.
Enjoy the feeling of being a real millionaire in Vietnam because the exchange rate for US dollar (USD) to Vietnamese Dong (VND) is 1 USD = 22.700 VND. This means with only USD$50, you have the equivalent 1,130,000 VND – obviously, you are the millionaire now! It’s critical to know that local street vendors are unlikely to accept the foreign currency; therefore, ensure that you have the VND in your wallets! And if you want to practice bargaining, try to remember the exchange rate and make the multiplications before you buy something.
If you travel with the Visa or Master Card, it is great because the country’s ATMs do accept these international cards! Though you can easily spot the official money exchange booths in the airports and take advantage of their service, it’s suggested to get the better exchange rates in the local banks because they often offer the more competitive rates.
To avoid the multiple transaction fees, it’s had better to withdraw from Citibank. Also, Citibank allows you to withdraw as much as USD$400 while HSBC ATM allows the limit of USD$250 and the rest of the local banks might limit you at USD$100 at a withdraw time. But if you visit the rural or remote places, the best is to bring cash because it’s uneasy to reach the ATMs in the off-the-beaten-track destinations.
The local language is, of course, very useful for your stay in Vietnam, and that is absolutely fantastic if you can overcome the difficulty of tones and accents to learn several popular Vietnamese phrases such as
- Hello: Xin chào
- Thank you: Cảm ơn
- I’m sorry: Xin lỗi
- How much: Bao nhiêu tiền?
- Too Expensive: Mắc quá
- Too Cheap: Rẻ quá
- The Bill Please: Tính tiền
- No Sugar: Không Đường (if you do not want sugar in the drinks).
- Goodbye: Tạm biệt
Vietnam is relatively safe, except the petty theft on the roads. So, for your sake, do not wear the precious items in the public places, and avoid showing your expensive phones on the busy and crowded streets, keep an eye on your backpacks, and hold your camera carefully.
And, the first-time crossing the road might be the daunting experience as motorbike is everywhere while city buses are careless. Advice for you is to keep the steady pace without running or making the sudden movements. The drivers are quite considerate and skillful. It is best to cross the road together with some locals or the group of people.
Many people might tell you that the Vietnamese people are very friendly, but this just refers to the majority. In most of the instances, do not” judge the book by its cover,” and stay open-minded to meet with the young and old locals.
- Tipping is not a cultural trait of Vietnam. Therefore, you do not need to tip if you don’t want. Due to the places you use the services, self-evaluate if tipping is worth or not. Especially if you enjoy the Vietnamese street food, no need to tip.
Pay extra for the high-quality service of Vietnam Airlines if you demand the no-delay flight. The general picture of the transportation in Vietnam: taxi is numerous with the competitive prices (Vinasun, Mai Linh, Uber, Grab, etc.); Xe Om is around the street (motorbike taxi); coaches are good but for the long drive; city bus us hot and uncomfortable (except the high-quality bus); train is outdated and quite slow; motorbike is everywhere and dominates the streets.
Vietnam Food Tours are sold well in which the culinary tourists can enjoy the local iconic dishes, learn the cuisine essentials, and get the hands-on cooking experiences via the authentic cooking classes. Each of the regions owns their delicacies to enchant the foodies, and the most preferred destinations for the food tour are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, and Mekong Delta. Several of the musts to eat include Hanoi Phở (noodle soup with beef or chicken), “Bánh Mì” (Vietnamese sandwich – the best sandwich in the word), Hoi An Chicken Rice, Hue Mussel Rice, etc.
Vietnam is gifted with many interesting and scenic destinations like Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Sapa, Phu Quoc Island, Da Lat, Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, etc., to mesmerize the guests. Look for a trip of the lifetime? Do it in Vietnam soon!