Vietnam travel tips

Vietnam Travel Tips
Vietnam Travel Tips

Hoi An Private Car is the top operator rating of private transportation in Central Vietnam. We have understood what you want and what you will get during your vacation in Vietnam. Here are some travel tips to better your holiday now and future:

1. Bargain: Bargain in either the local currency (Dong) or the U.S. Dollar. Bargain should be done with good natured – smiles. Do not raise your voice or argue. In some cases you will be able to get a discount up to 30%. Prices tend to be fixed in most large stores, but smaller shops will expect negotiation.

2. Vietnam currency: The currency of Vietnam is “Dong” (abbreviated “d” or VND). Bank notes are VND 500; VND 1,000; VND 2,000; VND 5,000; VND 10,000; VND 20,000; VND 50,000, VND 100,000, VND 200,000 and VND 500,000.

3. Check the latest travel advice for your destination and subscribe to receive free e-mail notification each time the travel advice for your destination is updated.

4. Before travelling (particularly travelling overseas), register your travel and contact details online or at the local Vietnamese Embassy, high commission or consulate once you arrive, so Hoi An Private Car can contact you when in need.

5. Obey the law: Consular assistance cannot override local laws, even where local laws appear harsh or unjust by International standards.

6. Dress Code: Light cotton clothing is suggested. T-Shirts, shorts and jeans are suitable in most cases. For women, longer dresses and pants are the norm. The Vietnamese on the whole are tolerant, but a show of too much skin is taboo. When visiting temples be sure to dress more conservatively. Slip on shoes (not open toe) is the easiest to put on and take off.

7. Local Cuisine: Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An has a large variety of restaurants. Especially in Hue, the Royal cuisine is a special treat. The Vietnamese are particularly fond of seafood, but prepared chicken, beef, pork and vegetable dishes are equally well enjoyed. The proper way to eat is to take rice from the large shared dish and put it in your rice bowl. Using your chopsticks, take meat, fish or vegetables from the serving dishes and add them to your rice. Do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a rice bowl and leave them there as this is a traditional ritual meal for a deceased. Pho, a noodle soup, is a must for tourists in Vietnam. Lau (fish and vegetable soup), and various vegetarian dishes are also most popular.

8. Food Allergies: If you have food allergies or preferences, please make them known to your Tour guide who will do their best to ensure that your requirements are met.

9. Drink Specialties: Vietnamese coffee is served French-style. Vietnamese tea is inexpensive, but not particularly tasteful. Nuoc Dua (coconut milk) can be sweetened with sugar and is excellent on a hot day. So-da Chanh (lemon soda) is the most prevalent. Coca-Cola and Sprite can usually be found as well. Imported beer is fairly cheap in Vietnam. Imports such as Heineken, San Miguel, and Tiger are available in hotels and market places. The local brew is 333, Huda, Festival. New local brands are emerging quite rapidly. Bottled water is recommended.

10. Laundry: Most of the hotels we use in Vietnam provide a laundry service although this can be quite expensive, sometimes as much as US$1.00 per item. Alternatively the side streets of most towns and cities are teeming with laundries where the average cost per kilo of laundry is US$1.00.

11. Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with someone at home and keep in regular contact with friends and relatives while overseas.

12. Passport: Each passenger must be in possession of a valid passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after the return date of travel. Passport number, date and place of issue, and birth date is now required by airlines and trains, and may be required to confirm services. Names on your airline tickets must match the first and last name listed on your passport. You also make some copy passport for hotel check in and using some travel services in Vietnam.

13. Visa: Entry visas are obtainable at Vietnamese diplomatic missions and required for almost visitors with valid passports irrespective of nationality. Travel permits are only required for trips to off-limit areas such as border provinces, military bases and remote islands. Vietnamese Travel Agencies also make visa extension or new one so you can contact with them for your passport trouble.

14. Avoid cyclo rides, motorbike taxi after dark, leave your valuables behind before a night out on the town, or going to the beach.

15. However frustrated, don’t loose your temper (“loosing face”), as it won’t get you very far!

16. By all means, sample the delicious street food but for hygiene’s sake only at venues that are bu sy with a big turnover.

17. Always ask permission first before taking photographs, especially in minority areas.

18. Mind your change – the VND 500,000 and VND 20,000 notes look similar as does the VND 200,000 and VND 10,000 notes. While most Vietnamese are honest and used to tourists fumbling for the right currency values, a few will actively try to short-change you. Take your time to count the zeroes or you’ll unintentionally make someone very happy.

19. Weather in Vietnam: Vietnam experiences a fair degree of diversity in climate. The north has distinct summer and winter seasons. Summer lasts from May until October, when the weather is hot and very humid with temperatures averaging about 30 degrees Celsius. November to March is the winter months when the weather is mainly dry and average temperatures are about 18-20 degrees Celsius. Please note that in the mountainous regions of the country, temperatures will be much lower than this, so warm clothing is required if you are traveling to hill tribe areas during the winter months. In the central of Vietnam (e.g. Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An) the weather is very hot and dry from April to August with temperatures of around 33-36 degrees Celsius, but there can be heavy rainfall between September and January. The south of Vietnam has a hot, dry season from December through until April with temperatures of around 28 degrees Celsius. From May to November is the rainy season, although there are rarely long periods of rain – it is usually short heavy showers.

20. Tipping and gratuities: Tipping is becoming increasingly expected in Vietnam, although it is not usually required. Government-run Travel Agency, Hotels and Restaurants generally add a 10% service charge.  (VAT)

21. Check with health professionals for information on recommended vaccinations or other precautions and find out about overseas laws on travelling with medicines.

22. Avoiding Offence: Displays of emotion – from affection to anger – are considered cross and rude. Never show anger, regardless of the situation, as most Southeast Asians abhor conflict. Don’t touch the head of anyone, even children as it is a sign of disrespect. The feet are considered to be unclean. When seated, don’t point them in anyone’s direction. The main shopping center in Da Nang is along Hung Vuong Street and Tran Phu Street. In Hoian, varieties of family-shops are located around in the Ancient Quarter. In Hue, the main shopping center is located along Le Loi Street, Chu Van An street, Pham Ngu Lao street and the Dong Ba Market on Tran Hung Dao Street. The specialties of the area include silk clothing, ceramics, lacquer ware and marble sculpture. Hue is known for producing the finest conical hats in Vietnam. The city’s specialty are “poem hats” which, when held up to the light, reveal black cut out scenes sandwiched between layers of translucent palm leaves. Many tourist oriented stores and street merchants will accept U.S. Dollars. Most stores allow the use of major credit cards.