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Travel Tips & Behavior

Tips for visiting Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

These are just a few travel tips while you’re visiting Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia. We have great respect for other countries and we appreciate you taking the time to learn about our customs, too. Please be respectful.

You Should:
  • Learn about Vietnam before your trip (The best source is friends or relatives who have visited.)
    Read Customer Reviews!
  • You should learn some typical features of Vietnamese culture.
  • Follow Vietnam’s laws – avoid getting involved in illegal issues!
  • Leave your passport, papers, air tickets and other important things in the hotel safe.
  • Take a hotel card before going out, so you can easily contact your hotel in case you lose your way.
  • Call a taxi instead of a Motorbike taxi when going out in the evening.
  • Double-check your luggage before leaving home. Ask your travel agent what you should bring.
  • Respect the habits of the local people.
  • As a courtesy, take off your shoes before entering someone’s house.
  • Try to learn some useful Vietnamese for emergency situations.
  • Bargain when purchasing something (except for fixed price).
  • Take a careful look before crossing streets, especially in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.
  • Practice food safety; cheap or street food may be seen as low quality or made in poor conditions.
  • Hire a tour guide if you think it’s necessary to help you avoid unnecessary problems.
  • Only bring with you necessary things.
  • Bring some U.S. currency, as the dollar is the most popular foreign currency in Vietnam.
  • Exchange some currency to Vietnamese đồng (at airport or bank). Dồng will be needed occasionally.
  • If possible, get the address or phone number of your diplomatic liaison in Vietnam. U.S. citizens may find current information at the websites of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the consulate in Ho Chi Minh.
  • Make sure that your travel areas are safe, with no risk of natural problems.
    See our health advice.
  • Buy travel insurance for your trip.
  • Be sure that you bring any necessary medicines with you.
  • Bring printed e-mails or fax sent by your Vietnam travel agent, or notify a partner in Vietnam 3-4 days prior to your departure. You want to be picked up at the airport on time!
  • Respect the environment.
You Should Not:
  • DO NOT bring highly valued things when going out
  • DO NOT go out late with anyone you don’t know
  • Pointing your fingers at people is considered to be rude
    Also, do not point at local altars or other religious icons
  • DO NOT throw away water bottles while hiking outdoors.
  • Shorts are inappropriate attire when visiting temples or pagodas
  • Should not photograph someone if he/she does not want you to
  • Avoid getting involved in the issues and conflicts of local people
  • DO NOT approach restricted areas, especially army zones!

We hope you like these travel tips for visiting Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  Please let us know if you have any questions.