Vietnam Do & Don’t

Beaches – Swimming in Vietnam
The topography of Vietnam means that it possesses an impressive coastline (some 3,200 km of it), with about 125 beaches of varying sizes and in varying…

 

Good and bad tempers – Vietnamese way of thinking
It tends to be the accepted wisdom that Vietnamese people never really lose their tempers or get angry in public. Such behavior is certainly rarely…

 

Civil war aftermath – The north & the south of Vietnam
Beyond mentality, culture and food, political opinions and war history still distinguish the North from the South. Experience shows that civil wars leave…

 

Asking directions – Useful Vietnamese
The tricky part here is to get them to understand your question but never give them a chance to simply answer by ‘yes’. A question like ‘Is this (pointing) the…

 

Culture – 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…

 

DMZ Blues – The wars in Vietnam
After the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the Geneva Accords provided for the temporary separation of Vietnam into two parts at the…

 

Tet, the biggest event of all – Vietnam holidays & festival
You can think of Tet as being the Vietnamese equivalent of Christmas, New Year and the annual holidays rolled into one. ‘Christmas’ as it is Vietnam’s…

 

Ten tips to learning the lingo – Yes or no in Vietnam
1. You have to learn to hear your own voice! Tape yourself… listen – not to the words – but to your intonations and inflexions. Ask someone who has…

 

Attending a funeral – Vietnam wedding & funeral
If a friend or colleague invites you to a relative’s funeral, it is really polite to show up, even if for a short time. Here’s how you should go about it: On the…

 

Visa issues – Entering Vietnam
Visas are still an expensive and rather tiresome aspect of traveling to Vietnam. DO ensure that you apply for a visa well in advance. And if you do so from…

 

Car, motorbike and bicycle rental – on the road in Vietnam
It’s great to be able to drive yourself in Vietnam and go where you want, when you want. For extra comfort but also for a price, cars, Japanese…

 

Gender equality – The Culture of Vietnam
We have no intention of jumping on the gender analysis bandwagon. Numerous evaluations and studies are available to those who would like hard…

 

Administrative divisions – Vietnam cities & Provinces
Vietnam is divided in 64 provinces including…5 cities with ’provincial’ status (Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City), Provinces are…

 

Markets and minim arts – Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping can be an interesting – but also a very exasperating experience. So arm yourself with plenty of time and patience and get out there to find…

 

Why can’t they understand me? – Vietnam language & culture
One of the most irritating hurdles on the rocky road to learning Vietnamese is the seeming inability of Vietnamese to understand what we perceive…

 

Vietnam Do & Don’t

Sensitive areas – Trekking in Vietnam
Some sensitive areas in Vietnam, like military installations, prisons or nuclear research plants (there’s at least one), are no different from restricted zones…

 

 
A bit of context – Religion in Vietnam
Vietnam’s traditional religious background is based on three great philosophies and religions – Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism – that coexist…
 

 
Code of conduct – Mainly for women in Vietnam
DON’T touch Vietnamese men in public unless you are absolutely sure it will not embarrass them and their entourage. Aside from some very rare…
 

 
 
Banks – Vietnam practicalities
The first thing to know about money in Vietnam is that nothing beats a greenback: the US dollar, as in many developing countries, now reigns supreme…
 

 
Government structure – Vietnam government & Politics
The National Assembly is the governing body of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The country’s President is the Head of State. The executive branch…
 

 
Politeness – Character trait of Vietnam
Although in many ways a very polite and Courteous lot, you may sometimes find people in Vietnam to be quite rude by your own standards. DO remember that…
 

 
Family wedding and civil wedding – Mainly for man in Vietnam
Remember the three pillars of Vietnamese society? When it comes to weddings, of course it’s a family affair. The Vietnamese regard the civil marriage…
 

 
Doing it the Vietnamese way – Pagodas & Temples in Vietnam
Trips to the countryside are always accompanied by a short visit to nearby temples. Buy joss sticks, paper money or flowers at the entrance of the premises…
 

 
Checking-in and Checking-out – Sleeping & eating in Vietnam
Vietnam now has a wide range of hotels from the very basic to five-star luxury. A hotel with a permit to accommodate foreign visitors is called a khach san…
 

 
What to bring when you are invited to a friend house in Vietnam
When you are invited by Vietnamese friends, you should arrive bearing some kind of gift. Popular favorites include a bag of fruit (a small selection of what’s in season) or a bunch of flowers…

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