Vietnam Culture and Well behavior travelers in Vietnam
DON’T encourage the habit of paying local people to take photographs of them, as it encourages a begging mentality.
Never give money to begging children. It is far better to pay for shoeshine, postcards or books…even if you do pay a few dongs more than the rock bottom price.
DON’T give sweets or chocolate. It will just make children’s lives more miserable by adding dental problems to their already numerous health problems.
When it is appropriate to give gifts, choose useful objects such as pencils, pens and notebooks, school bags or even clothing.
DO beware of anyone begging while carrying a sleeping child. More often than not, this is a scam. Children are rented and drugged to keep them quiet. Observe the locals. Who do they give money to? Most likely to the very old and to the handicapped. If you want to hand out cash, follow their example.
DO be aware that in some communities, it is still taboo to conduct an intimate relationship with a local. You will leave the country in a short time, but people left behind will bear the consequences for the rest of their lives.