A Vietnam Survival Guide: 7 Tips For First-Timers

Photo by Toomas Tartes via Unsplash

Vietnam is on the up and up, fast becoming one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations. It’s a painfully beautiful country, full of hospitable, smiling, and good people. If you’re a woman and decide to travel alone, Vietnam is also a great choice as it’s an extremely safe country to travel in. A holiday here won’t break the bank too, as you can find decent hotels from around USD11 and can eat in most places for about USD3.

Based on our experience and the times we have been to the Southeast Asian nation, we leave you with these eight tips for travelling to Vietnam, especially for women. If you follow them, we promise that you will enjoy a visit here much more. You might need a Vietnam visa though, so make sure you sort that out before you travel.

1. Go before it changes too much

Photo by Hưng Nguyễn Việt via Unsplash

Now’s as good a time as ever to make a trip. As always happens in places where everything is so affordable, and where people are welcoming and smiling, everything can change all too quickly. Go before over-tourism befalls it, or it loses its charm.

2. Try not to focus on the path most travelled

There is an open tour bus you can consider when exploring Vietnam from north to south or vice versa. And you can do it at your own pace! It’s a great option because it passes the most important sites and will only cost you about USD30–40. Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh — these are the cities that the bus travels to, giving you a good balance between the biggest cities and some smaller towns.


Ever considered a very different kind of road trip? Biking around the country is just as epic as taking a car or bus!
How To Motorbike Around Vietnam In One Month

3. The trick to cross the street

Photo by Florian Wehde via Unsplash

When you arrive in Vietnam, the first thing you’re going to be overwhelmed by is the number of motorcycles on the streets. The question is: How do you cross when there are almost no traffic lights or zebra crossings? The magic is in the rhythm. Be careful, but above all, keep your pace steady and be sure not to suddenly stop.

4. Keep smiling

There may be a time you’ll find yourself near arguing with a local because you’re haggling, or perhaps if you feel they may be trying to scam or hustle you. In any case, even if you think they are trying to deceive you, just keep smiling. The Vietnamese are child-like, they are always hospitable and good people, but if there is one thing that can make them go crazy, it’s when they’re openly and publicly disrespected.

5. Go to bars and clubs where there are only Vietnamese

If you enjoy indulging in local nightlife, Vietnam is a magnificent place. The reason we say that it’s best to partake in a little hedonism where the locals are is so that you are ensured a good time. Bars or clubs where tourists flock to are essentially tourist traps, and they can be a little shady too. Keep in mind that Ho Chi Minh City is considered the city with the best night scene as Hanoi has strict laws on nightclubs and closing times.

6. Eat seafood at an incredible price

Photo by Jase Ess via Unsplash

In coastal locations, such as Mui Ne, you’ll find plenty of food stalls along the promenade. Some of them even feature huge fish tanks where you can find everything (even giant frogs!). Naturally, because you’re in a seafront locale, the seafood is fresh, and you can fill up on oysters and lobsters for just a few dollars.

7. Take the opportunity to make a dress (or suit)

Hoi An is a beautiful city, but one of the most curious things is that you will find thousands of tailors throughout the city. Not that one should complain, as that means you can afford to make a custom suit or dress for five times less than what you’d normally spend in your home country. You will find places where you can make a custom suit for USD6 and others where you’ll be charged USD100. I recommend that you aim for the mid-range price point.

Get all the latest travel stories from Zafigo. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
Jacklin writes for Ultimate Vietnam, which provides information on Vietnamese Visa applications and processes, as well as information about visas for various other countries. She's an avid traveller and through her travels, has experienced and learned a lot. Her experiences and learnings from travelling the world are also well-documented on her website.

What Do You Think?



You May Also Like

5 Foods That Can Enhance Your Sleep While Travelling

There are plenty of great foods out there that can boost your chances of getting a restful night – and they're easy to...

Tips For Travelling With A Disability

When you’re living with a disability, travelling can seem challenging and make planning a holiday a daunting task. But...

Your Essential Packing Guide For A Trip To Mongolia

In Mongolia, you’ll likely be doing a lot of outdoor activities. Here’s a list of essentials so you’re prepared an...