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Vietnam Travel Tips

Conservative Culture
Vietnamese people are generally gracious, polite and generous and will go out of their way to make a foreign visitor feel comfortable.  In doing so, they will typically avoid eye contact, in order to show respect. Keep this in mind as you visit with local people. The Vietnamese are very social and hospitable people and discussions should be low key. Loud speech or raucous laughter is considered very rude.  Try to keep your demeanor light and upbeat even if you are frustrated or annoyed. If you lose your temper, it creates a significant “loss of face”.  If you cause a local person to “lose face” you will likely be stonewalled and won’t reach resolution.  There can also be unintended implications.  For example, if you complain loudly at a restaurant over a mistake a waiter has made, it’s possible you will still pay the bill, be charged extra, or if that is not workable, the waiter may lose the month’s wages to repair the mistake or even lose his job that day. 
Also, any public display of affection between genders is considered offensive. In Vietnam, public body contact is only OK between people of the same gender - a man can hold hands with another man, but to do so with a woman would be embarrassing.Vietnam as a country follows a modest dress code.  Though the cities are slightly more relaxed, it is always best to respect the norms of the culture. 

  • Even though it may be humid and warm, avoid all clothing is revealing or tight-fitting.  Vietnamese women are often embarrassed when foreign visitors wear skimpy clothing.  As a visitor to the country, you will be excused as along as the shorts worn are considered modest.    
  • If you wear jewelry, keep it minimal. Wearing copious jewelry is considered highly impolite.
  • When entering a pagoda or any religious site, it is important to cover your shoulders and legs. Be certain to have long pants and a shirt with good coverage along.
  • Be careful when gesturing. In the West, it is commonplace for people to cross their fingers to communicate a wishfor good luck. In Vietnam, this is the ultimate obscene gesture.  Also, avoid touching anyone on the head, includingyoung children; it is considered demeaning.  Either move will cause significant offense.

Be respectful and knowledgeable of local customs so you can be an informed global citizen when visiting Vietnam.  To receive a customized, no obligation itinerary quote for a trip to Vietnam you may click on:  Itinerary Quote and receive a sample itinerary within 2 business days.

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