10 Useful Things To Know Before Visiting Vietnam
Are you traveling to Vietnam soon? What to know before visiting Vietnam?
Below is the list of 10 tips that you should know when planning a trip to Vietnam.
How to cross the street in Vietnam
Crossing the street in Vietnam can be difficult sometimes, especially when it’s the first time you visit this country.
You should cross the road at places where there are signal lights, road markings, or overpasses and tunnels.
If there are no signal lights, no road markings, overpasses, and tunnels for pedestrians, you should observe both sides of the road, listen to the sounds of cars, motorcycles, and think about the time.
You need to look left to avoid the vehicles, go straight to the middle of the road, turn to look right to avoid motor vehicles from the right-hand direction.
Currency conversion & Places to exchange money
When visiting Vietnam, you don’t need to exchange VND in your hometown because you can get a better rate in Vietnam.
Most banks are now licensed to buy and sell foreign currencies.
However, the procedure can be complicated, so you should exchange your money at gold shops instead.
How much 1usd to Vietnam Dong?
Currently, 1 USD can exchange about 23,000 VND.
However, the exchange rate varies from day to day and from bank to bank, so you should check the exchange rate listed, compare, and choose the most appropriate to exchange.
Tips: You can check the latest rate at xe.com.
Don’t mess up 20k with a 500k note
An important thing to note is that the 20k and 500k notes look similar. They both have quite similar colors, so you should be careful when you pay.
You should distinguish colors and numbers written on it. You do not need to pay much attention to the design because most bills are similar.
Daily costs for traveling in Vietnam
Budget: Less than $40
- Dorm room: $3 ~ $5
- Simple dish: $1 ~ $2
- Motorbike rental: $4 ~ $5 per day
Midrange: $40 – $100
- A comfortable double room: $15 ~ $50
- A meal in a restaurant: from $10
- Taxi within 5 km: $4
- Massage: $10 ~ $20 per hour
Luxury: More than $100
- A luxury resort room: from $50
- A fine dinner: from US$20
- Tour: $25 to $100 per day
How to avoid scams in Vietnam
The most common scam in Vietnam is overcharging. It happens especially when you take a taxi or visit a restaurant.
My tip is always to ask for a menu and eat where it seems popular.
For a taxi, you should use reliable taxi brands such as Vinasun or Mailinh, or order a Grab car.
Below are the emergency contacts in Vietnam
- Police: 113
- Fire: 114
- Ambulance: 115
You should also remember the phone numbers and addresses of your hotel and your Embassy.
In the summer, the weather in Vietnam is hot and humid, so you can leave your jeans at home.
However, in the winter, northern Vietnam is quite cold (under 10 – 15 degrees Celcius). You should prepare a thick coat or purchase one when you get there.
Check the weather forecast before you leave, and bring an umbrella in case it rains.
Vietnamese SIM Card
Data roaming is very cheap in Vietnam, so you should buy a Vietnamese SIM card when you arrive.
You can buy a phone sim right at the airport.
When finishing the package, you can top up by purchasing recharge cards at roadside grocery stores in any city. It’s easy, so there’s no need to worry too much about it.
You can also use free applications for making calls and texting if you have Wi-Fi.
Getting around the cities
The easiest way to get around cities and towns in Vietnam is by bike.
However, if you don’t know how to drive or are not comfortable riding a motorbike, you should better take a taxi or a Xe-om (motorbike-taxi).
For taxi brands, I recommend using Vinasun or Mailinh Taxi.
Grab is an excellent hailing service in South East Asia in general and in Vietnam in specific.
You can use the app in most places in Vietnam, and it provides GrabBike (Xe-om) or Grabcar.
Note: You should be careful of fraudulent taxis at the airport. Use recommended brands or book a Grabcar to avoid being overcharged.
Bike rental places
There are several bike rentals in each city/ town, and the price starts from 80k per day to 150k per day.
If you rent for a long time (1 week ~ 1 month), you can negotiate for a lower price.