Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

Well hello to you my reader chums! Vietnam was one of my favourite countries in South East Asia and I really wish I spent longer than the 10 days there. On my trip, I visited 3 different locations, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hanoi and loved exploring them. If you're planning a trip to Vietnam, here is everything you need to know.

Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

The north is different from the south

Similar to England, the culture up north is completely different from the south and people are also different. When I spoke to locals in the south, they were explaining how things are more laid back down there and the people are a lot friendlier and tend not to scam tourists as much. You'll notice the vibe in Ho Chi Minh city isn't nowhere near as wild as Hanoi.

Vietnamese cuisine is super cheap and delicious

The food in Vietnam is one of the tastiest you'll ever try and also extremely cheap. There's plenty of different street vendors, quick stop restaurants and fine dining places where you can try lots of different meals and flavours. My favourite meal in Vietnam was the Beef Pho soup. You'll find they specialize in ramen style soups which are packed with flavour.

The weather can be temperamental

South East Asia is renowned for being hot all year round, however, this doesn't mean rain never occurs. Because of the high heat, it also means there can be very heavy rainfalls, especially in Vietnam. Out of all the places in Asia, Vietnam was the only place where I found the weather to be quite temperamental. There were cloudier and rainy days that it's best to be prepared with a rain mac in your backpack. Down south, between May and October, it's best to be prepared for hot weather and rain too. However, Hanoi has four seasons ranging from hot summers to cold winters.

Visas

If you're British and staying longer than 15 days then you'll need a visa which you can easily apply for online. Or, you can buy one on arrival but that will be more time consuming and mean queuing up. For those visiting Vietnam for under 15 days, UK visitors have a free pass to enter and travel.

Currency 

Vietnamese Dong and US dollars are both widely used in Vietnam that you can get away with using both throughout your travels in the country. Dollars are used for larger purchases such as hotels, tours, and transport, whilst Dong can be used for pretty much anything.

Everything to know before visiting Vietnam

Learn the language 

When visiting Vietnam, it's not necessary to speak fluently as a lot of people do speak English. However, it will come in handy if you know a few phases as it'll help you get around and speak to the locals easier.

Safety first 

Like in all poorer countries, it's best to be aware wherever you go and that means taking extra measures. Try to avoid having your phone out in public, keep your eyes on your valuables and try to avoid bringing expensive items out and about.

 Hotel details

Some taxi drivers in Vietnam won't speak very good English and not know the area too well. This is why it's important to bring the hotel details including the address with you so the taxi driver can be fully aware of where you are going.

Crossing the street

In Vietnam, traffic can be wild especially in the bigger cities where you'll often see a sea of motorbikes. A lot of the motorbikes in Vietnam tend to drive aimlessly and not pay attention to traffic lights as such. With this in mind, it's important to be wary when you're crossing the road. Try and join crowds of local people when crossing the road to help navigate yourself across.

Use cash only

Vietnam is quite old school when it comes to a lot of things and that goes with money too. When travelling, try and leave your cards at home. You're more than able to get around easily with only cash at hand.

I hope you enjoyed this Vietnam post. When are you planning to visit the country?

Thank you for reading <3

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