With Vietnam please tour, your trip to Vietnam will be an unforgettable experience and deep impression, you mingle yourself in the serenity of natural landscapes, discover a cultural diversity and enjoy a friendly welcome from everyone you meet
Traditionally, the Vietnamese did not shake hands, but clasped their hands together above the waist level and bowed slightly. But with the increasing number of foreign influence, shaking hands when greeting someone is now the norm.
If you know someone very well, it is common to shake hands using both hands. When greeting an older person or someone in authority, it is normal to shake hands with the right hand, then placing your left hand on the inside of your elbow. Due to the Confucian tradition, which put great respect towards the elderly, you should always greet the oldest person in a group first. Also, if you are greeting a group of people, make sure that you greet every person, including young children.
As is done in other Southeast Asian countries, given names always come after the family name. For example, in the name Nguyen Trong Nghia, Nguyen is the family name and Trong Nghia is the person’s given names. You will find that certain names are very common. As the Nguyen emperors allowed commoners to take on their family name, almost 50 per cent of Vietnams’ population has Nguyen as a family name.
Children are often given names with special meanings, as parents believe that the lives of the children may be affected by the chosen name. Hence, a beautiful name may ensure a better life for the child. Examples of common female names are Hong (rose) and Lien (lotus).
When you sit down, one important thing must be remembered: Pointing at someone with the sole of your feet when crossing your leg is considered rude. It is actually an indication that you think the other person is below you. So if you do cross your legs, try to point your toes downwards.
The western gesture of asking someone to come to you by turning the palm of your hand upwards and using the index finger to beckon, is considered impolite. In Vietnam, this sign is only used for animals. Instead, turn your palm downward and wiggle all four fingers in unison.
In general, Vietnamese are more reserved than Westerners. It is less common with physical contact in public, particularly between individuals who are not close friends.
According to many books about etiquette in Vietnam, it is impolite to touch anyone of the opposite sex. Despite Vietnam being a largely conservative society, the point is that physical contact, at least between members of the same sex, is frequent and looked upon as a sign of friendship. The best advice to give is just to use your common sense. You will probably see two men or two women walking down the street holding hands. This is common between friends. It may feel a little awkward to us, but try and accept it as goodwill and appreciation.
Local time and Working hours
- Local time is UTC + 7 hours.
- Governmental agencies work Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 16:30 (excluding one-hour lunch) and are closed Saturday and Sunday.
- Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 11.30 and from 13:30 to 16:30 and are closed Saturday and Sunday.
- Private shops are open from 08:00 or 08:30 to 21:00 or 23:00 and operate 7 days per week
- English is commonly spoken in tourist area.
Customs and Formalities
- Visitors can bring unlimited amounts of foreign currency, objects made of gold, silver, precious metals and gemstones or plated with silver or gold, all of which must be declared in detail on the customs forms.
- Commercial Video films and printed materials that are considered offensive are normally retained and sent to Ministry of Culture for inspection. Those are not offensive will be returned after a few days.
- Goods prohibited to import: weapons, ammunition, explosives, military technical equipment, drugs, toxic chemicals, debauched and reactionary products, firecrackers of all kinds, toys with negative impacts on the dignity education, social security and safety, cigarettes beyond the stipulated quantity, etc.
- Goods prohibited to export: weapons, ammunition, explosives, military technical equipment, antiques, drugs, toxic chemicals, wild animals, rare and precious animals and plants, documents related to the national security, etc…
Currency and Exchange
- The local currency is the Dong (abbreviated “d” or VND).
- Bank notes are 200d; 500d; 1,000d; 2,000d; 5,000d; 10,000d; 20,000d; 50,000d; 100,000d & 500,000d.
- The exchange rate (as of October 2018) is approximately Dong 23,300 to one US. Dollar.
- Money and travelers cheques, particularly U.S.Dollars, Euro can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized money-exchangers. It is advisable to carry U.S.Dollar bills in small denominations.
- Credit cards are generally only accepted in major hotels, and in some up-market shops and restaurants in major cities.
- ATM facilities are readily available now in major cities.
Post and Communications
- Communication systems have been developed quite well, most hotels have facilities for phone, fax, mail, e-mail, and package delivery.
- A regular international post service is available. In addition Express Mail Service (EMS) is available to more than 50 countries worldwide with a delivery time of 2 to 10 days.
- Vietnam has high international telephone charges. It is important to check the exact amount with the hotel before making a call, as hotel surcharges are often imposed.
- Vietnam joined the global computer age and internet-service providers are currently operating almost of the country, free for wifi to access internet.
Safety and Security
- Road crossing or walking along the main street always pay attention.
- Avoid carrying valuables or wear any jewellery with you on the trip.
- Place your billfold / wallet / purse in an inside pocket. (Advisable to split your money in different places)
- Do not carry things for strangers.
- Do not display your money unnecessarily.
Electricity and Photography
- Electricity is 220 volts.
- Multiple adaptor is required / adaptor with flat blade attachment plug at flat blades with round grounding pin.
Flat blade attachment plug
Round pin attachment plug
Rectangular blade plug
Shopping and Tipping
- Foreign visitors to Vietnam have the opportunity to buy souvenirs made of rattan, gold, silver and stone. There is a diverse range of products, from woodenwares to lacquer paintings, bowls and chopsticks, bamboo screens and stone tea sets. Woven tapestries, “tho cam” handbags and other handicrafts are produced by the traditional skills of the women of ethnic minorities in rural regions.
- The Vietnamese have no customs of giving tips. However tourists from different countries have come and given tips to some service people like guides, coach drivers, hotels and restaurants people.
Foods and Hotel facilities
- Vietnam has abundant food supplies and an elaborate cuisine. Cooking is seen as an art and some Vietnamese dishes have achieved international fame.
- Bottled mineral water is available throughout Vietnam.
- Air con, television, WC and shower, and direct dial telephone is available in the hotel rooms. All beverages consume for the minibar are at personal expense.
- Public toilets are rare on streets but available at most attraction tourist area.
It is clear that Vietnamese food is quite healthy. That remark is always made by foreigners. Vietnamese food is based on rice and noodles. Delicious bowls of noodle soup with vegetables and meat can be purchased everywhere inexpensively for breakfast or even for lunch. It is not uncommon when eating to have from five to seven dishes placed in front of you. Tourists can enjoy Vietnamese food everywhere, at the deluxe restaurants or even at street cafes.
Each region in Vietnam has its own specialties, attractive in both cooking and serving styles, closely linked with its cultural characteristics. Since cooking is seen as an art, may Vietnamese traditional dishes have achieved international fame.
Vietnam please tour wishes you have a pleasant trip!