Travel Guide

Vietnam travel guides: Don’ts for tourists in Vietnam


With breathtaking landscapes, fascinating history, unique cuisine and undoubted hospitality, Vietnam has been one of the most exciting destinations in Southeast Asia for years. All across of Vietnam, there are dozens of locations that will stimulate the senses of the travelers adequately.

The appealing of Vietnam is from the ancient beauty of the capital city, the energetic lifestyle of Saigon or the magnificent natural wonders in the middle regions. However, due to cultural and lifestyle differences, there are some Vietnam travel guides you should bear in mind to avoid doing. Here are some of the top things on the not-to-do list:

Vietnam travel destinations

Vietnam travel destinations

Vietnam travel guides about pickpockets and bag snatching

Vietnam is a place where bag snatching usually happens; especially foreign tourists are often potential targets. Many tourists come to Vietnam have to suffer bad experiences from bag snatching and scams when going on a bus,  crossing the street or even standing on the sidewalk. The pickpockets and bag snatching happen very frequently so if you walk around the city or ride on motorbikes, you should never put on expensive jewelry, tout digital devices or bags around your necks and be cautious when you are talking on the phone. You should be mindful of your belongings and consider using a backpack to safely keep your valuables.

Always be aware of pickpocket and theft in Vietnam

Always be aware of pickpocket and theft in Vietnam

Wearing revealing clothes to religious locations

Vietnam is a country of religions as there are about 13 religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Caodaism, Hoahaoism and so on. Of all the religions in Vietnam, Buddhism is the most popular, therefore, the number of temples and pagodas is very huge and they attract numerous visitors each year. Tourists should be acknowledged in the appropriate attire to temples and pagodas. Wearing skirts, shorts, crop-tops or bare midriffs when visiting temples or shrines are what you don’t do in Vietnam and in some places, it is not allowed. Wearing coverage and respectful clothes is a way to respect your religion and people around you also.

Giving inappropriate gifts for special occasions

Giving presents is a way to show respect and blessing towards other people. In Vietnam, giving gifts is an important tradition which happens on some special occasions such as Tet, birthday, housewarming and other intimate get together parties. If you are invited to a Vietnamese party, you should avoid giving some kinds of present including handkerchiefs, yellow flower, chrysanthemums or anything black; these gifts usually express sorrow and they are used for worshipping in Vietnamese culture.

Chrysanthemums are only used for worshipping

Chrysanthemums are only used for worshipping

In addition, in Vietnamese weddings or housewarmings, it is common that people in Vietnam usually give the host money as their gifts. This is very different from Western culture where people often give more practical give to the couple.

Showing personal displays in public

If you travel to Vietnam and walk around the town or the parks, it is rare to encounter any couples hugging or kissing passionately. It is because Vietnamese people consider the action of hugging or kissing in public impolite and even rude. While many travelers can believe this is completely acceptable, a lot of Vietnamese, especially the elder, do not like it at all.

Taking photos in unsuitable locations

Vietnam is a paradise land to take spectacular photos but there are certain rules you need to keep in mind. It is not allowed to take photos of polices, military people and government officers. Vietnam is a communist country and anything that relate to government, police or military are on the photography-limited list.

Ask for permission before you take photos of the locals

Ask for permission before you take photos of the locals

Many foreign travelers love taking photographs of the Vietnamese in their daily life, especially in minority villages; however, when it comes to taking photos, travelers should show their respect by asking the locals for permission. Just come and talk to the locals, buy their food or drinks, show them that you are trusted, friends. If you find it hard, ask for help from the local tour guides. This is the way to enhance the connection and trust between you and the villagers.

Showing disrespectful manners

When you are staying in a Vietnamese house, never sit with your feet pointing towards people or the family’s altar or shrine. This is a super rude action.

Additionally, do not lose your temper in the public, the Vietnamese are truly friendly and helpful only if you treat them well, otherwise, you can be in a loss of face situation. Tourists should keep a cool head when they are in Vietnam, remain a polite demeanor will promote your chance of getting what you want.



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