DOS & DON'TS
THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD AND SHOULDN'T DO WHEN TRAVEL TO VIETNAM.
1. In daily etiquette:
- The traditional greeting gestures are head nodding or Buddhist’s praying
- The handshake is becoming more common for both men and women
- Show respect in terms of gesture and use of words to the senior and officers
- Go Vietnamese way when handling a bill of food or drinks with peers and friends: my treat this time and yours next time or vice versa
- Initiate to offer something though you know that the other (s) may not take it or you may not do it.
- Keep your feet on the ground where they belong to
- Stay calm and smile when the locals make mistakes to you
- Bring some gifts when visiting a private household, staying at someone’s house, asking for some help, or showing gratitude
2. In eating:
- Practice eating with chopsticks (in Vietnam and China)
- Always wait till the last person is seated and hold his/her chopsticks and bowl, then start eating
- It’s allowed to make noise when eating
- It’s polite and hospitable to help others to food and drinks, especially when you are the host
- It’s polite to leave some food on the plates though you may enjoy it very much or you may be still hungry
- It’s polite and proper to empty your own bowl completely
- It’s polite to share your snacks with your relatives and friends around you
3. In dressing:
- Bring light clothes, some long pants, shirts with sleeves, shorts, T-shirts, swimming suits etc except in the Winter (December to March).
- Take off your hats and shoes when entering a private house, some temples, pagodas, mosques, home stays or shops
- Take off your hats, sun glasses when talking with the senior or VIP
- Wear long pants or knee - long shorts, shirt or T-shirt with sleeves when visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, some temples, pagodas, or churches
- Wear black or white when attending a funeral
4. In traffic:
- Give continuous signals by hands and lights of asking for the priority when turning or crossing the road and keep moving on.
- Watch out for autos while on the zebra crossing
- Take your priority when you are first and it’s clear enough to turn or get in/out of the roundabout
- Bargaining is a must when shopping at markets or shops but rarely in supermarkets
- Bring your own medication for normal stomach problems, headache, cold, insect bites, etc.
- Tipping is not customary throughout the country, but will be highly appreciated by guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff.