Some Vietnam travel tips

1. Greeting & Interaction with Vietnamese 
If asking the age in Europe is something impolite, especially for the women, in contrary, it is very popular in Vietnam or it is the common way of making friends.
The second favorite question Vietnamese love to ask you at the first meeting is about your job and your salary also. It seems a little bit weird in European countries.
When hanging out on the street:
Please get the approval before taking a photo of the local people, especially the hill tribes in the highlands.
In Vietnam, smiling sometimes is multi-function key to the happiness and the joyfulness during your journey. If you need to bargain, just smiling and say “Dat qua” (Too expensive), the local sellers can consider to offer the much better price if they like your smile.
In the past, showing your gesture of affection between men and women in public is not highly recommended. However, until today, this concept has been changed a lot, almost the Vietnamese young people think that it is natural and normal to show our affection in public.
When visiting pagodas or temples or the local family house, one of must-do-thing is to take off your shoes outside and walk barefoot inside.
When entering any religious relics/places, we should wear tee-shirt and shorts over your shoulders and your knees is highly appreciated.
When some local invites you to their home, we need to use both hands to receive a giveaway from someone as well as offer giveaway to someone.

2. Money & Budget
+ Local currency: VIETNAM DONG (VND)
With our local currency, you can find some popular notes of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000, 100 000 and 500 000 VND. 1 USD can be exchanged 22,700 VND

+ US Dollar
The US dollar seems to be used commonly in Vietnam and is also the second currency accepted in the shops/hotels/restaurants, etc… in the big cities such as Hanoi, Danang or Ho Chi Minh as well as at the international airports.

+ Euro
The Euro is not popular in Vietnam, however, it is still accepted at the international airports (to pay your visa for example) or in some hotels, restaurants and trading centers. The exchange rate is 26 830 VND = 1 Euro (25/11/2017).

+ ATM and Credit Cards
Most international credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex are accepted in most ATMs, POS and shops/stores that accept card payments. One notice should be attended is to add an additional bank fee when make payment (a small percentage from 2% – 4%). All ATMs in Vietnam is always Vietnam Dong, no dollars.

+ Traveller Cheques
This payment method is very rare in Vietnam, it seems to be inconvenient to travel in Vietnam with Traveller Cheques. There is only banks located in big cities such as (Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City) keep accepting traveler cheques. You are advised to choose another payment method if possible.

+ Bargaining
While everything is fixed price in your country, Vietnam is well-known for Bargaining Culture. You can bargain at anywhere for anything in Vietnam, except for Trading centers selling brand-name goods/products and the shops with price tag are not open to discount.

+ TIPS
Tips are not a part of Vietnam culture or custom. However, nowadays, it is becoming popular when almost generous travelers are willing to tip their guide as well as driver. As an illustration, you can tip guide after a whole day tour or several day of tour.
In fact, it is not usual to tip a waitress/waiter.

3. Health
Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos are risky mosquito countries. All malaria treatments are inappropriate. Only your doctor will be able to give you the indications according to the situation of your health.
Prevention of diseases transmitted by insect bites: For tourists, the usual protective measures should be observed (long clothing in areas where there are many mosquitoes, mosquito repellents to be used on the skin and on the clothes, electric diffusers). The mosquito net is not compulsory if you respect these rules and it can be bulky during your trip. In addition, some hotels offer mosquito nets to their clients. In the hotel rooms, we advise you to activate the air conditioner to keep the mosquitoes away.
Regarding vaccines before your trip, no vaccine is required. Or your doctor can tell you which vaccines are most useful.
Health Advice
– With the average temperature from 25 – 35 degree in the tropical country, it is necessary to drink plenty of mineral water (normally 2 liters per day).
– The water quality in Vietnam is undrinkable so please don’t drink tap water, only bottled water is drinkable.
– Avoid eating the food, fruits, and raw vegetables at the local food stores without the recommendation from the local or expat communities. Besides it, the local food stores with too less the clients shouldn’t be used as their food is not fresh.
Should find out some suggested options of the nice restaurants highly ranked by the expat communities on Tripadvisor or Lonely Planet.

4. Pre-Departure Tasks
Please take attention on your passport valid, it needs to be at least valid 6 months after the last day of your trip. One more important thing, have a look at the visa requirement to have the correct visa.
Should make a profile of your travel documents and you can double check or find out any information quickly if needed. Before packing your bag should consider medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance.

5. Clothes
Due to the typical character of the weather in Vietnam, the northern area is quite cold during the winter (October to April) while the middle and the southern area are warmer whole year. As the result, you are advised to follow some notice as follows:
Clothing should be lightweight with long sleeves to cover your skin from the fierce sunlight during the summer (May to September). Sunglasses and the hat are also needed.
If traveling Vietnam during winter, the thick jacket/coat should be on the top of your bucket list.
Long trousers made from a lightweight, quick-drying fabric should have multi pockets for day trips. Long trousers that turn into shorts are ideal.
Prepare a simple jacket or a small sweater over light clothing.
Footwear should be comfortable boots for trekking or just walking around.
When watching the traditional performance or visiting restaurant, Smart casual clothes should be used to express your appreciation.

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