Vietnam Travel Guide – Vietnam Insider Travel Tips From A Local
Are you planning to go to Vietnam on your next vacation? Are you looking at getting the best travel tips for planning a trip to Vietnam? In this article, I will provide some useful tips – Vietnam insider travel tips for your Vietnam trip to discover the amazing Vietnam. This will help you know the things you should know while traveling to Vietnam, the available street food in Vietnam, camping in Vietnam and other essential travel tips for Vietnam.
I Vietnam Insider Travel Tips – Requirements for visiting Vietnam
Vietnam visa is the most important thing for the whole trip. If you have an ASEAN citizenship, then you do not need a visa. Most Westerners need a visa to visit Viet Nam. Make sure you check the regulations regarding your own citizenship and stay up to date about the visa fee, which can change from time to time.
There are two ways to order visa for Vietnam.
- Order a visa through the internet. You can very easily and conveniently order one at vietnam-visa.com.The authorities will send you the approval letter and you only need to carry that letter along with you to the airport and pay some fees once you land at the airport.
2. You can also apply for Vietnam visa taking the help of a travel agency.
Tip: At the airport, the procedure could take hours! Be patient with the officer. Paperwork takes time in Vietnam. Be prepared for the ‘slow work pace’ which is common in Vietnam.
Another important thing that you need is foreign exchange. The local currency in Vietnam is Vietnam dong. Goods in Viet Nam is a lot cheaper than any Western countries; you only need to pay about $1 for a delicious banh mi (a bread with meats, herb, eggs, pate, etc inside).
But it does not mean you can buy everything. Always double check the price of everything if you do not want to spend too much money and want to optimize your travel costs.
II Vietnam Insider Travel Tips
- You should always take off your shoes when you enter someone’s house. It is extremely impolite to walk into anyone’s house/room with your shoes on
- If you want to enjoy your meals as much as you can and in a real local way, learn how to eat with chopsticks before going to Vietnam. Some local restaurants and food stalls do not provide forks
- Before venturing out from your hotel, ensure you have a hotel business card from the reception desk. This will help your return to your hotel in a taxi or cyclo ( a three-wheel cycle taxi) with ease
- When you walk around the parks or lakes in the cities of Vietnam, young students may approach you and ask if you are ready to talk a bit in English with them. Do not be scared. Spend some time with them and talk about your travels, your life in your home country, or ask them about their studies or about Vietnam. They will be very happy. You then will get a chance to know more about local life in Vietnam and in the process can make more friends
- If you are a solo traveler, do not venture away from your tour group. Keep the number of your tour agency, hotel and/or guide and keep up with your group. Also, have at least, one person from the group account for you.
III Vietnam Insider Travel Tips – Vietnam Street food you must try
While in Hanoi, one must try out Vietnamese street food.
Fried steamed wheat flour cake: Fried steam flour
Fried steamed wheat flour cake price is about 4000 – 6000 VND. This food is often eaten as a meal in the afternoon. Enjoy this dish with a sour-sweet sauce or chili sauce.
Grilled meat by stick: Grilled meat
Grilled meat by stick has many lovers especially kids. The price is about 6000 – 10000 VND, you will need to pay 2000 VND more to have a bread with the grilled meat stick. Walking on the streets of Hanoi in the afternoon, you can see these shops near the sidewalk with a great aroma in the air!
Banana cake, Yam cake
You can buy this cake for 5000 VND. The main ingredients are the banana, yam, flour and cooking oil. These cakes are rich in calories. If you are health conscious then you can have just 1 – 2 cakes.
Eat the Pho
Vietnam is a country with rice lovers! As such, you will find a lot of rice-based dishes from meals with rice, rice paper spring rolls, and pho. Pho is a highly popular noodle in Vietnam. They are thin rice noodles cooked in a meat broth, occasionally served with some vegetable garnishes on the side. You can add the veggies to your bowl when your broth is still steaming and that’s how the veggies are cooked.
Vegetarian travelers will be hard pressed to find a pho broth that is not meat based when hitting food stalls on the streets, but some international cafes directed more towards European tastes, may have vegetarian options.
IV Vietnam Insider Travel Tips – Camping in Vietnam
If you are a big fan of camping, there is no reason for missing out Vietnam National Parks. The most popular camping sites are:
- Cuc Phuong National Park
- Ba Be National Park
- Bach Ma National Park
Besides, when hiking or trekking through the jungle or through hill tribal villages in mountainous areas, it is highly recommended that you camp to experience adventurous nights in these natural beauties. Hiking trips to Fansipan Peak, which is dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”, also promises once in a lifetime camping experience.
If you book a hiking tour accompanied by camping with your travel agents, they certainly will let you know in advance the camping places in Vietnam. The local travel agents or tour operators generally provide the tents and camping equipment.
What you should not forget to pack in your hiking bag are food, water, first aid kit and suitable clothes. To be more careful, it is advisable to bring a reflector, a whistle, high-energy food, raincoats, hats, mittens and extra socks.
Places to buy equipment
If you are an independent traveler, you should prepare well and pack all necessary things for camping in Vietnam. You would find it hard to buy camping equipment and other essential things while in Vietnam. Here are some places where you could find essential camping equipment:
- Ho Chi Minh City: Dan Sinh Market, District 1; Saigon Square 77-89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1
- Hanoi: Pham Ngu Lao Street; Hang Khay Street
If you are wondering what to wear in Vietnam, cotton is not an ideal material for camping in Vietnam as it takes a long time to dry. You could easily get sick if you wear wet clothes. It is important to note that Vietnam is a tropical country and it is generally hard to avoid rains in Vietnam.
It is better to avoid traveling to Vietnam or camping in Vietnam during monsoon season. During the rainy season, the weather in Vietnam is humid and heavy rains could play a spoilsport on your travel plans.
Vietnam does not have harsh winters. But it should be noted that the bitter cold and chilly winds could easily dampen the enthusiasm of many travelers coming from sunny countries. Always remember to check weather forecasts and overviews about destination weather before you plan a visit to Vietnam.
When it comes to insects, you need to safeguard yourself from mosquitoes, leeches, and snakes. The easiest way to cope with these matters is to wear long-sleeves shirts and pants instead of shirts with short sleeves and shorts. Besides, insect repellent should be brought with you and it is obligatory to bring medical kit.
Tip: Visit ‘Get camping wild’ to learn how to clean a tent in 5 amazing ways
Hope this post – Vietnam insider travel tips help you plan your trip to Vietnam. Be safe and enjoy Viet Nam!
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