If lately you and your significant other (or perhaps you and some of your friends) have looked one another in the eye and said, “We could really use a vacation!”, but the thought of spending a week in Florida is not something that particularly interests you, how about really stepping outside of the box and going to a place like Vietnam? The landscapes are amazing, the people are friendly, and you can enjoy yourself without spending a ton of money in the process.
If this sounds like something that you’d like to consider, but you’re curious to know if there are any specific things that first-time visitors should think about ahead of time, you’re in luck. This article is going to share with you five travel tips that can help to make your time in Vietnam one of the best experiences you’ve ever had!
Be nice going through customs. One thing to keep in mind, no matter where you’re traveling to, is to be nice while going through customs, no matter how anxious or tired you may be. Although it doesn’t happen all of the time, there are people who have been turned away at the airport either because their visa was not thoroughly filled out or their extreme rudeness put immigrations officers on alert. Customs can be a taxing process, but it’s necessary. Be sure to be patient.
Be open to booking a hotel once you arrive. Although it is certainly convenient to book hotel reservations online and in some places, it proves to be cheaper as well, for whatever the reason, that is not the case in Vietnam. You will actually end up spending less money by discussing room fees in person. So try and book your flight to where you arrive in the morning and then look for a value hotel on foot. Also, don’t be hesitant to look in small alleys for hotels. The rooms tend to be cleaner, the staff is friendlier, and the rooms are less expensive. For the record, there are lots of hotels in Vietnam, so don’t worry about not being able to find a place to stay.
Be sure to dress appropriately. For the most part, the Vietnamese people are pretty conservative when it comes to dress. So make sure that you don’t show a lot of skin (especially if you’re a woman). That will keep you from drawing a lot of attention to yourself and alerting individuals to the fact that you are a tourist. Also, if it’s on your to-do list to check out a couple of pagodas or temples, avoid wearing shorts. It’s best if you make a point to dress really nicely for those types of venues.
Be willing to take the train and also to ride a motorbike. If you were to speak with a travel agent who works at Blue Ocean Travel about something else that you should know about Vietnam travel, something else that they might tell you is that you should take the train as much as possible while in Vietnam. It’s convenient and it’s really affordable too (just make sure that you buy the ticket at the train station so that you can afford service fees that you might be charged at your hotel). However, on the days when you’d like to ride along the countryside, consider renting a motorbike for the day. You can get one for less than $10 and it will give you a truly unforgettable experience.
Be open to negotiating. You’re probably going to want to purchase some things when you’re visiting Vietnam. Just make sure that you don’t approach prospective vendors by asking them “How much?” Instead, let them know the amount you’re willing to pay for a certain item and start negotiating from there. If they know you are firm, more times than not, they will be willing to work with you within your price range. For more information on Vietnam and all that it has to offer, visit Lonely Planet and put “Vietnam travel” in the search field.