When visiting Vietnam, Ian Paynton, a renowned travel expert, advises foreigners to stay cheerful, as reported by The Insider website.
The country’s diverse landscape includes bustling cities, stunning beaches, and majestic mountains. It is home to various ethnic groups, cultures, and religions, and offers a range of unique experiences.
Vietnam is quickly emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after tourist destinations for international travelers. With over 100,000 foreign experts living and working in the country, Vietnam boasts a diverse landscape that features bustling cities, stunning beaches, and majestic mountains. It is home to a range of different ethnic groups, cultures, and religions, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.
Ian Paynton, a British native, resides in Hanoi, Vietnam. He first traveled to the Southeast Asian country in 2007 and, three years later, decided to leave London for resettlement. Paynton now calls Hanoi his home and has never looked back.
Paynton has shared seven essential dos and don’ts that foreign tourists should keep in mind when visiting Vietnam. He said that the first thing to remember is to respect the culture and customs of the country. It’s important to be aware of the local laws and regulations, as well as the different forms of etiquette. Tourists should dress modestly and politely when visiting religious sites, and refrain from engaging in public displays of affection. Additionally, visitors should be careful to avoid taking photographs of military sites or personnel.
Paynton also suggested that foreign tourists try to learn a few phrases in the local language. Even if it’s just a few basic words and phrases, it’s a great way to show respect for the culture and make a positive impression with the locals. He noted that travelers should also make sure to check the transportation and accommodation options before they leave home, to make sure they are both safe and reliable.
Finally, tourists should be mindful of their impact on the environment. Paynton said that it’s important to not leave any trash behind, and to respect the wildlife and natural sites. He also encouraged travelers to buy souvenirs from local shops, to help support the local economy.
Paynton’s dos and don’ts are essential for any foreign tourist visiting Vietnam, as they provide a great starting point for a successful and respectful trip. Tourists should be sure to take his advice into consideration, in order to create a positive experience for both themselves and the locals.
1. Pack light. You don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe with you when you travel. Pack only a few key items that can be easily combined to create multiple looks.
2. Plan ahead. Research your destination and plan out your itinerary so you can make the most of your trip.
3. Book early. Book your flights, hotels, and activities in advance to get the best prices and avoid any last-minute hassles.
4. Don’t forget your essentials. Make sure you have all the essential items you need for your trip, such as a valid passport, travel insurance, and any necessary medications.
5. Be flexible. Be open to unexpected detours and changes in plans. You never know what new and exciting experiences you’ll find when you’re open to the possibilities.
6. Explore local culture. Don’t just stick to the typical tourist sites. Seek out the local culture and enjoy the unique experiences of the area.
7. Stay safe. Research the safety protocols for your destination and make sure you have all the necessary precautions in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Do not venture out in public while wearing swimsuits.
According to Paynton, the beauty of Vietnam lies in its elegance, so foreign visitors should avoid wearing scanty swimwear when traveling to its beaches, rivers, or waterfalls. Doing so will help them preserve the peaceful atmosphere of these scenic locations and ensure that their trip is an enjoyable one.
This taboo is strictly enforced at temples and pagodas throughout the world. In 2016, a foreign visitor was asked to leave a place of worship due to their clothing choice, which consisted of shorts and a bra-styled shirt. This incident highlighted the need to be mindful of traditions and cultural dress codes when visiting places of worship.
Become Accustomed to Being Pushed Aside
Standing in line is not a common practice in Vietnam, according to foreign visitors. Unfortunately, this bad habit has not entirely been eradicated, and many tourists are still subjected to jostling and elbowing in certain situations. Consequently, they often feel resentful and frustrated.
The cited as saying that the Vietnamese do not see it as impoliteness—many have in , so others .
Respecting places of worship is essential for maintaining peace and harmony in society. Not only are these places of worship important to those of faith, but also to those who are not religious. They can provide a place of solace and comfort to many people, and it is important that we show respect for this. When visiting a place of worship, it is important to be mindful of the customs and traditions of the faith and to dress and act appropriately. Not only is this a sign of respect, but it is also a sign of appreciation for the values and beliefs of others. It is also important to be mindful of the sanctity of the place and to be respectful of those who are worshipping there. By showing respect for places of worship, we can help to create a more harmonious and peaceful environment for all.
Like many other Southeast Asian nations, the Vietnamese people place altars in their homes, restaurants, and workplaces. In these places, offerings such as incense, flowers, and food are made in order to bring luck, prosperity, and peace to the space. Altars are also used to pay respects to ancestors, gods, and other important figures. The practice of altar-building has been around for centuries and is deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture.
Tourists who stay at a homestay or pay a visit to an acquaintance’s house should act with politeness and respect in front of altars. An important part of this is to remember to remove their shoes before entering the place of worship as a sign of respect.
Besides, couples should avoid public displays of affection, such as kisses, if they are in a room which has altars. According to Paynton, this action is considered improper by locals.
Exercise Caution When Utilizing Dating Apps
You should be cautious if you are asked for a first date at a nightclub. A hotly debated issue in the expat community is the way tour guides and nightclub owners are using the Tinder app to find guests.
After joining a pair, these people will invite their mates to nightclubs where they are employed. This is a tactic used to attract guests.
Furthermore, these guests are frequently overcharged for alcoholic drinks.
Take advantage of the opportunity to bargain with vendors! Don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price—you may be surprised by the outcome. By negotiating, you can get a better deal than the initial offer, saving yourself money in the process. So don’t be shy—make your voice heard and use your bargaining skills to get the best price possible.
It is easy to see abundant hawkers on every street in Vietnam. In 2018, the Statista website estimated that Vietnam had over 430 thousand street vendors.
Food hawker stalls often have fixed price tags, so it is not necessary to haggle. However, at these types of stalls selling clothes and inexpensive jewelry items, it is possible for foreigners to negotiate a 50-percent discount on each item.
Tourists should take note that vendors often ask visitors to pay for photos of them. For instance, Paynton mentioned that in Hanoi, fruit vendors beckon travelers to take photos with non la, the traditional Vietnamese conical hats meaning ‘leaf hats,’ but then they will be expected to pay for it.
It is not recommended to prioritize visits to major cities over other attractions. Major cities offer a wealth of cultural experiences, but they can also be overcrowded and expensive. Exploring less-visited destinations can provide unique experiences and a more authentic view of the culture and people of a region. Additionally, smaller destinations are often less expensive and offer a more peaceful atmosphere.
Scenic landscapes in Vietnam span from the north to the south. Paynton recommends exploring numerous destinations beyond well-known cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.
Among the must-see sites in Vietnam are the spectacular terraced rice fields in Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai Province, the stunning mountain ranges in Ha Giang Province, Phong Nha Cave in Quang Binh Province, and the magnificent Hue Imperial Citadel City in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
Don’t let anger get the best of you when you get stood up. Nobody likes to have their time wasted, but it’s important to not let your emotions take control. Instead, focus on the things you can control, like taking the time to do something for yourself or reaching out to someone to talk.
Sometimes, your appointments or meetings may not go as planned. Paynton advises foreign visitors to view late meetings as an unexpected surprise rather than a source of irritation. This can help to keep calm and ensure that the meeting goes as smoothly as possible.
In Vietnam, arriving late or changing a plan at the last minute is widely accepted. “For flexibility, locals have a strong belief that such things are perfectly alright,” he stated.