Useful tips when travelling to Vietnam

1.  Bargain Tips – Don’t let local sellers discriminate you.

Bargain Tips“Bargain before buying, otherwise you will be like a skin less chicken” – It’s the slogan of any experienced foreigners when travelling to Vietnam. Bargaining is an art and bargainer is an artist truthfully. When you are in a country where there are two price rates, one for local people and one for foreigners, especially people having dollars in cash. Sellers there always try to take advantage of foreigners whom they assume to be rich and have a lot of money. When you go to markets and souvenir stands, the prices they tell you are never true. The true prices are usually half or one third of what you are told. There are many sellers who can speak nice English. They will tell you that you are the first customer of their store today and they will give you the item at their buying price for some luck. Don’t ever believe them. The “buying” price they tell you is always many times more than the real value of the product. Don’t be worried and mess things up because you just spend some money to receive lessons. And there are some rules for you in practicing bargain.

#1:  Where to bargain: local market of course.  You will not have to bargain in big shop and supermarkets. However, local market is a different place and it is considered as a battle for you. Even in fixed price shop, you still can get some discount just because you are a well-trained bargainer.

#2:  Be smiled: your smile will pave your way and seller has no way getting angry with you.

#3:  Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.

#4:  1/3 and 1/2 formula that means the real price of product maybe stands at only 1/2 and 1/3, even 1/4 of the number sellers tell you.

#5:  Negotiate couples of times and increase the price gradually after each time.

This example can show you how bargain system works:

You extremely stick your eyes on a silk scarf, you ask how much and the dialogue will be like:

- You: How much is it?

+ Seller: $20

- You: Oh how expensive! $10 ok?

+ Seller: no way. It’s real silk and this price cannot be only 10. 18 ok?

- You: the color is not so good. 12 ok?

+ Seller: the last price 16 ok?

- You: NO, only 12

And then you pretend to go to other shop. You will see them call you back.

+ Seller: Come on, come back here $13, I will sell. You are so mean.

- You: No, $12.

+ Seller: Alright. $12.

The end. You can hear them talking something in local language; it’s obviously about you but don’t worried, you are totally make a great bargain and make them scare.
Good luck next time.

2. Be strong and brave with local traffic.



Traffic in Vietnam is like an adventurous tour. You will have never seen so many motorbikes in your life! You will not dare to travel by motorbike in this chaos. Bike will be an alternative. Hire a bike and go slowly on your right hand side. If you want to go on foot, you will have another experience. Remember my words: Be strong and brave!!!
How to get across to the other side of the road?



Mmm, rather daunting with all those bikes, but it can be done quite easily.
The trick is to stay aware, and walk slowly and confidently. The motorbike riders are watching and will simply move to avoid you – just don’t make any sudden lurches forwards, backwards, or stop for that matter!
Just look for a gap in the traffic, and begin a slow but steady movement. If you hear a beep coming your way it’s likely a motorbike rider is about to enter your personal space.
Be alert and prepared to stop putting your foot forward until he passes
If you don’t feel up to doing this, then go and stand with a local and cross with them!

Easy!!

Rules
#1:  No sudden moves while on the streets
#2: Walk slowly and have eye contacts
#3: Walk straight, diagonally.
#4: Stop if you can’t pass the traffic, just wait few seconds.

3. Pickpockets or Bag snatchers

Pickpockets can be anywhere else, especially crowded public places such as bus stops, markets, or even streets when you are still walking.

Pickpockets or Bag snatchersHere are a few basic tips to protect your wallet:

Carry as little as possible: The less you carry, the less someone can steal from you. In most places, all you need is a debit card and maybe some ID. Leave the passport, credit cards, and any other sensitive documents or cards in your hotel safe. Even better, just carry cash.

Don’t put anything in your back pocket: Your back pocket is an easy target, especially in crowded areas like subway platforms and escalators. Assuming you’re carrying as little as possible, put it in your front pocket.

Wear a purse or bag that goes across your chest: It’s much harder (though not impossible) to make off with a bag when it’s strapped across a person rather than hanging from a shoulder. Sling it across your chest and hang on to it in crowded spaces.

Secure your bag when sitting: Whether you’re dining al fresco or simply resting on a bench, make sure your bag is attached either to yourself or your table or chair. A bag sitting on a table can be easily snatched by a thief running past, and it will be long gone before you’re out of your seat.

Pay attention: Pickpockets prey on distracted travelers, so be aware of your surroundings. Make sure your belongings are secure and accounted for before you enter a crowded space. Watch out for obvious schemes, like if a stranger comes up and pretends to be brushing something off your sleeve, because his or her buddy is probably trying to grab your wallet.

Prepare for the worst: If 98 percent of the battle is common sense, the other 2 percent is luck. Even well-prepared travelers can fall victim to an experienced pickpocket. Make sure you have contact information for your bank, and bring photocopies of important documents, such as your passport.
Good luck, travelers!!!

4. Foods and Drink

Food/Cuisine



PHO HA NOI (beef noodles)                                                               

BUN BO HUE (Hue beef noodle soup)

Vietnamese seafood

The cuisine of Vietnam is excellent. Rice and noodle dishes are the staple of Vietnamese food and are garnished with aromatic lemon grass and/or fresh coriander. Fish, chicken, and/or pork dishes along with cooked vegetables and rice form a typical meal.
Asian and European food is available throughout the country.

Drinks

CaffeDrinking tap water or ice is not recommended. Bottled water is readily available but remember to check the seal for possible tampering. You should be drinking a minimum of 1.5 liters of water per day. This should increase as the temperature increases or you are engaging in physical activities.

Vietnamese coffee is usually very strong and has a punctuated mockup aroma and flavors. It is usually served in a small glass or cup with a drip filter and additional hot water in a thermos. As the filter empties you top it up from the thermos until you have the required amount of coffee. Condensed milk is added as a whitener and sweetener as it is usually not possible to find fresh milk away for the main cities.

Beer is available juDrink beerst about everywhere. Most places stock a selection of local and some imported brands. Draught beer comes in two varieties, Beer Hoi or Beer Tuoi. Beer Hoi is draught beer found on the street stalls and poured straight from the keg. Vietnamese quite often add ice to their beer when drinking. Beer Tuoi is found in the bars and restaurants and is chilled and served under pressure from the keg in a more conventional method.

5. Weather and clothes

Weather and clothesVietnam is a monsoon country and in such a place like Saigon you will feel a sour and scornful weather. And you will find Hanoi in summer is crazy hot and clothes warning must be required much attention of yours.

Clothing

Light, comfortable, easy to launder clothing is recommended. Winter months in Hanoi and rainy season in the central region can get cool so a sweater or light jacket will come in handy. Good walking shoes and sandals that can be easily removed are recommended especially when visiting temples and people’s homes. Ensure you have suitable clothing packed for visiting temples and pagodas that you can cover up with. E.g. Shirts and long pants.

Pack a poncho, not a rain jacket. It is hot and wet in Vietnam, and if you wear a rain jacket (even a well-ventilated one), you will be very warrain jacketm. Sweat + humidity = not pleasant, especially when it’s contained in a rain jacket. The Vietnamese wear ponchos for a good reason—they cover the entire body but are loose enough to allow the body to breathe. Also, if you wear a poncho, you’ll just fit in with the crowd. Wearing a rain jacket marks you as a traveler.

Wear shoes you can slip offWear shoes you can slip off. There are temples and pagodas everywhere, and it is respectful to slip your shoes off if you enter a temple. No dresses, shorts, singlets, string tops or revealing clothing should be worn to temples and pagodas. The locals wear flip-flops, so feel free to do the same.

Vietnam is generally a casual country by western standards although people do like to dress in their Sunday best whenever the opportunity arises therefore simple and casual clothes are appropriate for almost any occasion. The year round heat and humidity in the south, especially Ho Chi Minh City makes lightweight quick dry clothing the most appropriate. The north and central highlands get cool enough for sweaters or light jackets for much of the year but the northern highlands will require cold weather clothes in the winter.

Have a good trip with our advice!!!

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