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Vietnam Travel Tips to keep in Mind in 2024

Vietnam Travel Tips to keep in Mind in 2024

8 December 2023

17 Essential Vietnam Travel Tips to Ease Your Visit in 2024


Are you planning your next trip to Vietnam? 


Before you go ahead and arrange a 5-day Vietnam itinerary, you should learn a few things about this Southeast nation and what to expect to avoid any inconvenience or cultural shock when you arrive. 


To help you, here are the top Vietnam travel tips you should know before packing bags and embarking on your journey.


  1. Get Your Indian Visa for Vietnam Ready


Travelling to Vietnam from India is a piece of cake. Flying from Bangalore to this gorgeous country takes about 4 to 5 hours. What matters is that you receive your visa on schedule. 


Here is a good news. Securing your visa for Vietnam is simple. 


As an Indian traveller, you can opt for the Vietnam eVisa, valid for 90 days. It's an efficient digital solution offering you a streamlined application process. Within a mere 4-5 days, you'll have your eVisa ready, allowing you a generous 30-day stay in the vibrant land of Vietnam. This hassle-free approach saves you time and ensures a smoother journey, leaving ample room to focus on the thrilling experiences awaiting you. 


  1. Check Out any Recommendations or Requirements


This is an important tip for travelling to Vietnam. Before you move ahead in your journey, make sure you have cross-checked with Vietnam International Travel Information for any updates. Look out for any health recommendations and requirements, as these details can significantly impact your journey. 


It's always a good idea to verify whether any vaccinations or health precautions are necessary for your trip. This proactive approach ensures that you're well-prepared and can enjoy a safe and worry-free experience while exploring the beauty and culture that Vietnam has to offer.   


  1. Know Where You’ll Land


When you are planning your trip to Vietnam, get an idea about where you should land. This Southeast Asian gem offers you three major gateways:


  • In the north - Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi

This is your perfect destination if you wish to start your Vietnam trip with the capital's vibrant energy and historical richness.

  • In the central region - Da Nang International Airport 


This airport is strategically located for exploration in this culturally diverse part of the country.

  • In the south - Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City Choose to land here if you wish to introduce yourself to the bustling southern charm and modern vibrancy of Vietnam's largest metropolis.


Each airport represents a unique starting point for your Vietnamese adventure, catering to different preferences and itineraries. Choose your landing spot wisely,


  1. Familiarise Yourself with the Native Language


Although English is sufficient for travel throughout the country, knowing basic Vietnamese words might be especially useful in smaller restaurants or rural markets, as some vendors may not be fluent in English. 


You do not need to become fluent in Vietnamese. Learning a few words and phrases will be enough. Here are a few phrases you should know before visiting Vietnam:


  • Hello - Jaow

  • Good morning - Jaow Bui Sang

  • Please - Lahm Uhn

  • Thank you - Gahm Uhn

  • No Problem - Khohm Gaw Chee

  • Yes - Ya

  • No - Khohm

  • Excuse me/ I’m sorry - Seen loy

  • Do you speak English? - Gaw noy dee-ing ahn khohm?

  • Where is ___? -  ____ uh doh?

  • Water - Nu-uhc

  • Help - Yoop-aym

  • Bill please - Hwhoa duhn


If you find it difficult to communicate, don't worry - Google Translate is always there to help.


  1. Learn about Vietnam's complex history 


From ancient dynasties to colonial influences and the more recent Vietnam War, Vietnam’s past has shaped its vibrant present. Learning about Vietnam's complicated past will offer you a valuable perspective and insights that will greatly enrich your tour. 


Before embarking on your Vietnam tour, make sure you understand the cultural subtleties, tenacity, and spirit of the Vietnamese people. A little information could turn historical sites into more than just mere landmarks, filling them with stories that speak to the nation's resilience and resolve. 


So, take the time to explore Vietnam's rich history, and you'll find that each step becomes a journey through time, enriching your travel adventure in this captivating land.

  1. Vietnam is Larger than you may Imagine - Plan Accordingly


Vietnam boasts a diverse landscape. From mountains and beaches to historic architecture and sand dunes, you can find it all here. 


Whether you're drawn to the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, the terraced rice fields in Sapa, or the ancient temples of Hue, each region has its unique allure. So, when you plan your Vietnam itinerary, make sure you get enough time to uncover the vast and varied beauty that Vietnam proudly presents to its visitors.


Bonus tip: Bring hiking shoes; Vietnam is a very trekking-friendly country. Reaching the summits is something you would not want to skip, especially Mt. Fansipan - the highest peak in the country.


  1. Choose the Right Time to Visit Vietnam


You may assume that being a Southeast Asia country, Vietnam is all hot and humid. Well, that’s not true. In fact, this country’s climate is quite diverse. While you can call South Vietnam a bit warm and humid, Northern Vietnam can be colder than you think. So here is another important tip for your Vietnam travel - bring a mix of clothes for hot as well as cold weather.


The unique weather patterns are influenced not only by the location but also by the season. Therefore, it's crucial to research the country's weather at a certain period before choosing when to visit Vietnam. 


The ideal time to go is usually during the dry season. From November to April, the north and central areas enjoy cooler, drier weather, making it ideal for exploring Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Hue. In the south, the dry season is from December to April, perfect for Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. 


However, if you're planning to explore the central regions like Hoi An and Da Nang, the period from February to August offers pleasant weather. It’s better to avoid the peak of the rainy season, typically from September to November, as heavy rains can impact travel plans.


Bonus tip: Be mindful of Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year Celebrations. Booking accommodations and travelling can be challenging during this time as many locals travel, and businesses may close.

  1. Carry Your Cash


Vietnam tends to be less credit card-friendly, so it's wise to carry your cash for local transactions. Before your journey, familiarize yourself with exchange rates and calculate an estimated budget to ensure you have sufficient funds. 


Learning beforehand about the local currency and costs of travel helps you navigate seamlessly, making your Vietnamese adventure more financially convenient and enjoyable.


It's interesting to know that the currency rate of Vietnam is lower than many countries. If you are an Indian travelling to Vietnam, you might feel happy to know that 1 INR = 291.43 (November 2023). So, having 5,000 INR makes you a millionaire in Vietnam. Isn’t that amazing?


  1. Learn Some Food Terms


When on your Vietnam trip, you would definitely want to savour some local delicacies. But won't it be a hassle if you don’t know what exactly to order? Here is a tip for you. Learn a few food terms before you head out on your journey. This will you enjoy Vietnam's rich culinary scene to the fullest and turn your mealtime into a cultural exploration.


Learn the basics, like:


  • "pho" is noodle soup

  • "banh mi" is baguette sandwich,

  •  "com" is rice,

  • “Goi Cuon” is spring rolls,

  • “Che” is sweet dessert soup.


This understanding of local cuisine not only allows you to order confidently, but it also opens up a world of delectable options, promising that your taste buds go on a genuine Vietnamese gastronomic trip.


Bonus tip: Don’t forget to try out the famous Egg Coffee when you’re in Hanoi. It’s a Vietnam speciality you may not find the same taste anywhere else.


  1. Learn about Vietnamese Ethnicities


Vietnam is a tapestry of rich heritage, with over 50 recognised ethnic groups each contributing their own traditions and customs. It's intriguing to learn about the contrasts across communities such as the Kinh, H'Mong, and Tay. 


Furthermore, there is a significant cultural divide between North and South Vietnam, with the North being more conservative than the South. It is preferable to learn about the country's cultural peculiarities before embarking on your tour.


  1. Understand the Religious Landscape


Understanding how religion operates is also crucial. Despite the fact that Vietnam has historically been affected by many religions, around 75% of the population is atheist. This cultural understanding helps you appreciate the social fibre of the country and you can establish a stronger connection with the local way of life. Accepting this difference adds a meaningful element to your tour, turning it into a cultural and spiritual excursion through the heart of Vietnam.


Another crucial Vietnam travel trip is to observe temple etiquette. You should dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees, and remove shoes before entering the temple grounds. 


  1. Choose How to Get Around Vietnam


Navigating Vietnam is an adventure in itself. The country offers various transportation options to suit your travel style. You can opt for the scenic route on trains or buses to witness the country's diverse landscapes comfortably. 


For a more adventurous experience, consider renting motorbikes. This will allow you to explore at your own pace and uncover hidden gems along the way. In urban areas, the Grab app can be your go-to companion, providing a convenient and reliable means of commuting. 

Bonus tip: When crossing the roads in Vietnam, stay alert as the bustling streets are often filled with an abundance of motorbikes. Take your time, be vigilant, and follow the local rhythm—slow and steady—to navigate the lively traffic and ensure a safe crossing experience.


  1. Get a Local SIM Card


Getting a local SIM card when travelling in Vietnam will significantly boost your connectivity, especially if you need both internet and calling services. The internet service is reliable in many areas, even in remote locations, making it easy to stay connected. 


If you want to make calls to your family and friends, you can choose among different service providers, including Viettel, MobiFone, Vinaphone, and others. Having a local SIM card will help you communicate, navigate, share your experiences, and stay in touch while in Vietnam.


  1. Avoid Drinking Tap Water


Here is one crucial travel tip for Vietnam as well as other tourist destinations - steer clear of tap water. 


While locals are used to it, the composition may not agree with foreign stomachs. 


Instead, choose readily available and reasonably priced bottled water, a modest investment in keeping excellent health throughout your travel. With bottled water being inexpensive and abundantly available in Vietnam, it's a tiny but significant step towards ensuring a safe and happy trip in this captivating country.


  1. Carry Your Tissues to Restaurants


You may be astonished to see how much napkins cost in Vietnamese restaurants. Yes, they are not free. While this may differ from what you're used to, it's a cultural distinction worth noting. 


It's typical for customers to carry their own tissues or use those sold by vendors in local cafes and street food stalls. Embracing this cultural custom adds an authentic touch to your dining experience, and it's a little modification that adds to a more culturally engaging tour across Vietnam.


  1. Beware of Scams


Here is another travel tip for Vietnam to add to your kit. Stay vigilant and be aware of potential scams. 


Like in many tourist destinations, be cautious of overly friendly locals offering unwanted assistance, especially in popular tourist spots.


Always double-check costs before making a purchase, negotiate cab fares ahead of time, and be careful of hidden charges. Although there are many genuine tour companies, it is necessary to confirm their legitimacy through trusted sources. Staying informed and trusting your instincts will help you have a safe and happy trip.


  1. Choose the Right Vietnam Tour Package


With so many alternatives catering to different tastes, it's important to match your preferences with your hobbies and travel style. There's a travel package for you whether you're drawn to the old charm of Hanoi, the beautiful beauty of Ha Long Bay, or the dynamic hustle of Ho Chi Minh City. 


Consider how long you'll stay; what activities you wish to get involved with, where you want to stay and so on. Research and read reviews to ensure that the chosen package meets your expectations. By selecting the right Vietnam tour package, you set the stage for a seamless, enriching, and fascinating exploration of Vietnam's breathtaking landscapes and cultural attractions.


Take Away!


Embarking on a journey to Vietnam becomes an enriching and seamless experience with a blend of practical knowledge and cultural awareness. From learning various ethnicities and fascinating history to navigating the bustling streets and savouring local cuisine, these Vietnam travel tips aim to boost your adventure. 


Whether you're travelling bustling cities or exploring quiet landscapes, being aware of cultural nuances, choosing the best time to visit, and selecting the right transportation modes - all contribute to a more immersive and pleasurable experience of Vietnam's beauty and charm.


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