I’ve once visited Vietnam as a child. Since then, Vietnam has also grown exponentially. Going as an adult is much different. I did research and reached out to friends who have visited Vietnam. The most common Vietnam travel tips were:
Get Your Visa Online
There are plenty of online travel brokers that can help you obtain your visa. My suggestion is to get the visa at the same time as booking your itinerary. I used a company called VietnamEvisa and it was fast and without issue. The cost for a month entry visa was $12. There are more expensive services that will provide you with a concierge at the destination airport, however, I felt it was unnecessary.
Don’t be an easy target.
In big cities like Saigon or Hanoi, don’t walk around with your phone or cash in your hands. Being glued to your phone and oblivious to the environment around you can potentially make you a victim. Don’t be a victim of theft! My friend who’s 6’2″, 250 pounds got his phone stolen as he was walking on the side of the road. A passenger on a passing motorbike yanked it right out of his hands as he was walking and talking on his phone. They don’t care how big you are, if you are an easy target, they’ll go for it.
Walk away if there isn’t a price listed or ask first.
This goes for any food or service. Chances are, if you’re a foreigner, they will try to rip you off.
There doesn’t seem to be copyright or trademarks in Vietnam.
If you were recommended a restaurant, chances are there are a few with the same name and no association with each other. Get the exact address!
Use Grab for everything.
Grab is the Vietnamese Uber and Uber eats. Grab got us around all of the major cities at a predetermined rate. Avoid taxis as they will charge you whatever they want. Hire a Grab to pick up food from multiple locations to try everything if you’re on a limited schedule.
Cash is king.
Besides hotels, most restaurants and street stalls only take cash. Cash exchanges are a rip off! Open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account. You will receive a debit card that works at any ATM around the world. Schwab will reimburse you for all ATM fees that you will incur. Great for pulling out local currency at the current exchange rate free of charge. Best of all, with Schwab, there’s no account minimum balances or fees. Just deposit money before you travel!
Absolutely negotiate prices if you plan on buying souvenirs.
They literally sell the same shit everywhere. Find the most desperate vendor to buy from.
“Commit or get hit.”
Street lights are only a suggestion in most places. Keep going if you’ve started to cross the street. The motorist will drive around you. Don’t stop like a deer in headlights to oncoming traffic. The driver will hit you or get into an accident. The biggest vehicle usually has the right of way.
Vietnam is a beautiful country with lots of things to do. These Vietnam travel tips should help you tackle your vacation like a pro.