Want to find out the things to know before going to Vietnam? It is one of the most popular countries in SE Asia visited by the backpackers across the world, but it still isn’t the country that people go visiting back like its neighbor Thailand, which converts many of its visitors to permanent fans that end up going there back and forth. While Vietnam clicks with most people, it’s a shame that still many aren’t aware how gorgeous this country is! Maybe they didn’t know a few things or they hadn’t prepared or planned well. Whatever the reason is, knowing a few things before will give you an idea of what to expect in Vietnam, making you like and enjoy it when you visit. So go ahead and check out these things to know before going to Vietnam.
Check your Visa
One needs to take serious note on the fact if s/he is travelling to Vietnam. The state authorities are next to over-protective about the visa issue, there have been instances where tourists have not been allowed to enter the country due to incomplete documents. A second check is recommended in order to ensure that the papers are in order. Deal the immigration officers politely if you are not craving for an instant rejection. Enjoy your trip once you get stamped.
Increase or decrease in prices
This is an issue which you have to deal with proper care. Prices are not fixed in Vietnam and the shopkeepers at times increase or decrease the prices of products as per the local economic trend. It’s not that they are up to some fraud business but this has been the rule in Vietnam even before the large scale arrival of tourists. Keep your eyes opened while buying something from the country, educate yourself in order to deal with such situations and don’t take it too seriously, the prices, even when increased, do not stand towards a higher side.
You’11 surely be enjoying your time in Vietnam if you are good at bargaining. Shopkeepers at times love to take the upper hand; however, don\ let them influence you in order to extract something much higher than the printed value. You just have to remain tough with your deal and let the shopkeepers feel that they are not dealing with someone easy to melt. If the price suits the shopkeepers then you can surely expect a call from behind while you are walking away politely to the next shop, don’t let yourself down during the bargaining episode.
Buy the Tickets Yourself
Don\ trust the hotel authorities or any other agencies if you are travelling around Vietnam. The hotels at times tend to include a high service charge during the act of buying your tickets, which they claim to be the actual price. Don\ fall in their traps, use a bit of your valuable time in order to go to the station and buy your tickets in advance pay special heed to the “advance” here as the tickets sell out rapidly. Hiring an xe om, which are the local motorbike taxis in Vietnam, will be standing towards a beneficial side if you want to reach the stations.
Avoid Hotel Breakfast
The country has achieved immense popularity in its street food culture and they sell the best soups and spring rolls, wherefore we recommend you to avoid the hotel food while travelling around the country. Hotels at times provide you with a scheme opf the breakfast being included but trust me; you are surely going to be the loser in most of the cases if you trust the hotel breakfast. Take your time to visit the street corner shops and select from among a huge range of items there. Coffee and soup from the local street side shops are highly recommended while you are travelling to the country.
Beware of motorcycles in Vietnam, one out of every twenty die of bike accidents. Although roaming around in a motorbike exploring the landscape of the country is an unforgettable experience, but one needs to be careful about the speed as well as the conditions of the roads on which s/he is travelling. You can rent your own motorcycle here, a manual one will cost you $5, whereas an automatic one will cost you $7. You have to fill it up from the nearest gas station. You are highly recommended to have your road insurance while travelling on the streets of the country. Be confident enough to travel on the roads, keep your eyes open, senses active, don’t get tipsy while driving.
People of Vietnam
Vietnamese are great people and don’t reach a conclusion or judge them by encountering the ones in the tourist areas. Once you leave the proper tourist areas, you will be encountering the actual crowd of Vietnam, free of vested interest or business. Experience the local school children waving at you, beautiful evening bars and karaoke, free snacks being offered in the hard seat trains. Summing up the marvelous characteristics Vietnam stands to be great. We would recommend you to avoid any biased suggestions about the people of Vietnam, go out, look for yourself.
The country is big, probably bigger than the size you imagine. Starting from Hanoi to Sargon, a general trip by bus will be taking you 50 hours whereas a general trip by train will be taking you 34 hours. This stands in contrary to most of its neighboring countries. Keep at least three weeks time in hand if you are travelling and planning for a thorough trip.
Avoid Packaged Tours
Although the idea of exploring the country in packaged tours allure most of the tourists but we recommend you to avoid them as one needs to exclude the word “explore” from his/her vocabulary while touring around in packaged tour buses, you cannot explore the country in packaged tours. First of all, you will be encountering absolutely unnecessary halts on various shops and restaurants having an a priori settlement with the organizers, this will lead you to spend some unnecessary money; however the overall tour is cheap and will cost you an amount of $5/day. Rent a car or bike and go around exploring the country all by yourself.
Check Your Belongings
This is an advice one needs to follow especially if s/he is travelling in the overnight busses. Keep an eye on your valuables from time to time. No we are not telling that they have a good possibility to get stolen, one must not be disrespectful towards the local residents of a country, but it’s better to remain on the safer side as you never know, there can be exceptional people who do not stand in accordance to the pride of the country.