Vietnam has recently become the destination of choice for many intrepid Australian travellers. Travelling to Vietnam, the visitors will get the opportunities to experience a rich culture, beautiful landscapes, golden beaches, friendly people and most of all, amazing food.
However, there are a few things you need to know if you plan a trip to Vietnam and these will ensure you have a wonderful and safe time there. Here we list out our top 10 important things to know about Vietnam.
1. You need a visa to visit Vietnam
Before leaving for Vietnam, make sure you have a valid visa. Check out our tips on how to get a visa to visit Vietnam.
2. Vietnamese people are friendly but slightly shy with foreign visitors
This is particularly true if you travel to the country side. They tend to steer clear from foreign visitors or watch them from afar. But don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are lost or in troubles. The Vietnamese will help you. If you treat the locals with respect, you will be given lots of kindness and help.
The Vietnamese have a great sense of humour. If you are lucky enough to get to know their sense of humour, your holidays will be full of memories that will bring you a smile every time.
3. Do not be over-ambitious when planning your trip in Vietnam
Many visitors under-estimate the size of Vietnam as a country. Even though it is narrow, the country is rather long, it is 1700 km from the north to the south. The country landscapes are very diverse and there are many places worth visiting. Make sure you allocate at least a couple of weeks to visit the country knowing you will still not see everything.
However, we can assure you that once you are in Vietnam, you will soon plan a returning trip. And no two trips will be the same as there are so many places to visit and things to do in Vietnam.
4. Vietnam weather is varied throughout the country
As the country is long, it makes the country’s weather varied between the north and the south. The north of Vietnam, including Hanoi, has two distinct seasons: hot (from May to October) and cold (from November to April). The weather in the north could be described as being similar to Hong Long weather. It could reach 10 degrees celsius in winter and 40 degrees celsius in summer.
The weather in the middle of Vietnam is generally hot all year round. But during the storm season (May to November) the weather is quite harsh and unpredictable. The south of Vietnam, including Hochminh city, is also generally hot all year round and consists of dry (from December to April) and wet season (May to November).
Make sure you bring appropriate clothes when visit Vietnam. Clothes made from more breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen are recommended. And a raincoat would always come in handy.
Summer in Vietnam, especially during the months of June, July and August are unbearable hot. We recommend you to avoid these months if possible.
5. It is easy to stay connected
It is easy and cheap to stay connected in Vietnam. All you need is to buy a SIM card in Vietnam which is available in almost every corner shop. And if you run out of credit, the card can also be topped up easily and cheaply.
If you are not sure how to register the SIM card or top it up, the shop owners would be happy to assist you.
6. The traffic is very hectic
There are millions of cars, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians every where in Vietnam, all fight for a path to get to where they want to go, and get there as fast as they can. All of this is happening while there is virtually not traffic rules. There are, but not many people follow them. So one can imagine how chaotic the traffic in Vietnam can be.
If you are a visitor and you need to get somewhere fast, get a taxi and let the drivers negotiate the roads. If you are doing a leisure walk around the city and need to cross a street, make sure you keep a slow pace at all time. Make yourself predictable in your route and speed. That way the traffic can plan their moves around you, rather than into you.
If you really get a bit nervous crossing the streets, ask a local to walk with you. They will be very happy to hold you hand across the streets.