Vietnam is not a difficult country to love. Most tourists who have been here have certainly found a piece of home in this nation. Matter of fact, some of those wanderlusts who had a chance to explore the country fell so much in love with it and have decided to live here for a number of years. Some even stayed far longer than their initial plan, while others even stayed for good. That is why the sight of foreigners roaming around or driving a motorbike around the city are just pretty usual things to see in Vietnam.
Once you set your foot in this nation, you will see that there are a lot of things to love about Vietnam. Its sumptuous food that has its own unique and signature taste, the remarkable Vietnamese coffee that will surely leave you craving for more, its stunning, nature-filled destinations, its local traditions, and the combination of modern and laid-back lifestyle. And of course, how can we forget the Vietnamese people who are always armed with a smile? Plus, the cost of living here is not too expensive as compared to other Asian countries.
Sure, there are still some things that’s quite not likable about this country, just like any other place you will go to. Nonetheless, the good points far outweigh the negatives. Thus, we can reckon that most tourists still find Vietnam a wonderful place to go to.
But wait, before you pack your stuff and fly to Vietnam, you’ve got to be aware first of some safety precautions when traveling to this country. No, Vietnam is not a dangerous place to visit. In fact, it is even considered as one of the safest places to travel to even when you are alone. However, it is still an unfamiliar territory to you and it would be best to know some Vietnam safety tips to avoid possible problems when you’re here.
1. Secure your visa
Check with your immigration or consulate if you need a visa going to Vietnam. There are countries who can enter the country and stay here for up to 15-30 days without visa, while some would be required a visa-on-arrival or even invitation from someone already living in Vietnam. It would be less hassle for you if you already know about these things so you can prepare extra money and the documents needed rather than be off-loaded or pay more at the airport.
2. Book your hotel from a reputable booking site or agency
You can try various sites online such as Agoda, Booking.com, or even AirBNB. This goes especially if you are not used to traveling alone or backpacking. There are a lot of hotels, hostels, dormtels, and even serviced apartments available for you to choose. Just make sure that you do enough research about the accommodation you are considering to book before you click ok. Check the location also if it is near or far from the city center or the tourists spots. Furthermore, it would be best to check for reviews about the place so you can see if it is worth it or not.
3. Know the basic rules and regulations of the country
You are not required to memorize and have full knowledge of all the Vietnamese laws, but at least you need to be aware of its basic rules and regulations. Research about the do’s and don’ts of Vietnam to avoid troubles. Things like taking photos in places where there is a police or military present is prohibited. When you know the basic laws of the country, you can avoid future troubles and your trip would be more fun and enjoyable.
4. Exchange your money in banks and other well-known and trusted money changers
Money changers can be found everywhere in Vietnam, especially in the tourist spots and expats areas. However, not all of them can be trusted enough. Thus, to be safe, it is better to do a research on where to exchange your money. Usually, tourists exchange their money in the jewelry shops. Some locals will also suggest you to do that. There is no problem in doing so, but you just need to be wary and be vigilant. Make sure you know the latest conversion rate and count your money before leaving the counter. If possible, ask a Vietnamese friend to go with you to exchange your money in the jewelry shop. Nonetheless, it is still safe to just have your money exchanged in the banks.
5. Wear appropriate clothing
This goes especially for women. Vietnam is a tropical country so expect a warm or an even hotter weather. Given that, don’t make weather a reason so you can wear super skimpy clothing. Wear proper clothes at all times. If you are planning on visiting some temples or religious sites, take note that you cannot enter their grounds if you are wearing shorts and tank tops. Vietnamese men are generally nice and respectful, but it would still be best to not cause any temptation on them.
6. Keep an eye on your valuables
Although Vietnam is a safe country to visit, we still cannot discount the fact that there are still pickpockets and thieves roaming around here. Thus, it would be best to be safe than sorry. If possible, wear lightweight backpacks when going around the city and don’t keep using your mobile phones while on the street.
7. Be alert and focused when crossing the street
When you do a research about Vietnam, you will probably find out that crossing street in this country is a challenge. It is probably like an obstacle course. There are a lot of motorbikes on the street which makes it harder to cross the street. But don’t worry. You won’t be stuck on the other end of the street if you follow the traffic rules and you cross on pedestrian lanes. Make sure to look to left and to the right before crossing and always be prepared for motorbikes that will pop up on your side suddenly even when you are walking on the pavement. Just remember to always be alert and focused when walking on the street to avoid accidents.
8. Learn to say no
People selling sweepstakes tickets are a usual sight in the country. There are also vendors coming to you while you are eating in a restaurant to sell to you various stuff. Don’t fret. You just need to say no if you don’t want to buy from them. They will just leave you if you are firm with your no.
9. Do a lot of researches on Vietnam safety tips
This will make your life easier and your trip hassle and trouble-free. In Vietnam, they sometimes charge more for foreigners than the locals. If the usual price of caphe sua da on the street is only 10,000 VND, sometimes they will charge 15,000 VND if they know you are a tourist or foreigner. Thus, it is best to make a research on the usual prices of commodities and goods in the country to be sure. Moreover, know the basic fare as well when you ride the taxi from here to there so you have a rough idea of just how much your transportation should cost.
In general, Vietnam is a safe place to visit. Whether you travel alone or by group, you will surely enjoy your time in this charming country. It is, however, always best to be cautious and vigilant at all times so you won’t have any problems here.
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