10 tips worth knowing about Vietnam

1. Safety 

One of the strengths of Vietnam tourism is political stability. When you visit Vietnam, you do not have to worry about terrorism or demonstrations. Although things are getting more and more complicated nowadays, Vietnam is still a country with an impressive peaceful atmosphere. However, you must pay attention to your possessions, as here too thefts and frauds are quite common, especially in tourist areas.

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2. What you need to know about cash and banking services in Vietnam

Although there is a rapid increase in banking services and the use of bank cards or online payments in Vietnam, cash payments are usually commonplace. In addition, some small shops or street vendors, where you can find unique gifts and services, do not offer credit card payments. Therefore, you should always bring some cash. You should learn to differentiate the different notes because the color of some notes (with a large difference in value) is quite similar.

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). In rare cases, you can also pay with US dollars, but the usual payment is in the local currency.

The Vietnamese dong currently consists of 9 different notes (1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000). Basically, there are even smaller bills with the values ​​100, 200 and 500, which are as good as not used.

The current exchange rate of Euro to Vietnamese Dong is €1 = 25,268 VND. - $1 = 23,725 VND (as of 05.03.2023)


3. Withdraw money and exchange

The best way to withdraw money in Vietnam is to take a Visa credit card or Mastercard with you on your trip. The normal EC cards do not work on many ATMs in Vietnam.

The ATMs in Vietnam usually issue only 200,000 and 500,000 bills, which you should then switch at a supermarket best, because most sellers can not do anything with these "big" bills. 500,000 are as just mentioned converted just under 20 €.

Since you will most likely want to withdraw larger amounts of VND 2,000,000 or more, you should also pay attention to the withdrawal limit. Many ATMs in Vietnam only pay out up to 2,500,000 dong when withdrawn. If you need more money, you would have to withdraw several times in a row. You should be careful here and not overdo it, as some banks may block your credit card.

Currency exchange offices are often signposted with Money Exchange. Otherwise, you can also go to larger bank branches.

It is of course best if you inquire about the current exchange rate. Then you can decide for yourself and choose the best exchange office, or bank with the best course.

It is also very important to mention that the exchange of EURO in VND is only possible in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi or Da Nang. If you travel with cash, we recommend you take along USD, these can be exchanged everywhere in the national currency.

Vietnam Dong

4. Prices in Vietnam

Vietnam, like many of the other countries in Southeast Asia, is a very cheap travel destination. You can get by on a low budget. But you can also spend a lot of money just as well, if you get away from luxurious hotels or eat in expensive restaurants.

Here are some examples of prices:

  • Food in smaller restaurants: 40,000 - 60,000 VND (1.60 - 2.50 €)
  • Sandwich at the street vendor (Bahn Mi): 12,000 - 20,000 VND (0,50 - 0,80 €)
  • Overnight in a simple hotel: 180,000 - 300,000 (7 - 12 €)
  • Overnight in a mid-range hotel: 500,000 - 1,200,000 (15 - 45 €)
  • T-shirt at local dealer: 100,000 VND (4 €)

So if you have to pay a bit of attention to your budget, this is no problem with our tips about Vietnam. The price level is not much different than e.g. in Thailand and you can eat very cheaply. In comparison to Germany, the countries in Southeast Asia are of course all very cheap. The above prices should only give you an insight.

Can Tho Market

5. Tipping

In Vietnam it is not obligatory to give tips. Whether or not you give tips depends on the customer service. If you are very satisfied with the service, you can tips about 10% of the invoice amount. An exception here are the employees in the tourism and hotel industry whose income depends to a large extent on the gratuities received.

6. Haggling

Haggling is a culture in Vietnam that not only helps the customer to buy the products or services at a lower price is not only one of the best tips about Vietnam, but also gives the seller and buyer the opportunity to communicate with each other. There is always room for negotiation and sellers often spontaneously decide which prices to pay.

You can influence the prices with your appearance. For example, if you wear visibly expensive jewelry, you have to expect that the seller will charge significantly more money than for another customer. In principle, trading is always part of the purchase. This is particularly the case in markets. Always try to lower the price by around 40 percent. You should put on a nice smile and be patient.

So don't be surprised why Vietnamese are negotiating all the time.

Hanoi Cyclo

7. Medical care - health

Medical care is very good, especially in the bigger and more touristy cities like Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. There are many doctors who speak English and perform treatments on an international level. But you must remember that the treatments have to be paid immediately. Retain the bill and then submit it to your health insurance or health insurance abroad. Outside the big cities, medical care is not that good. If in doubt, ask your hotel for a doctor.

In addition to the typical standard vaccines, you should inform yourself before traveling to Vietnam if you need additional travel vaccinations. Depending on your state of health, these may be: hepatitis A and B, typhus, Japanese encephalitis. In any case, you should think of adequate mosquito repellent.

Vaccination Vietnam

8. Vietnamese food

The best tip about Vietnam is the Pho noodle soup also known as Vietnamese national dish, Vietnamese food is characterized above all by its freshness. The Vietnamese eat this soup at any time of the day and night, and when you get the chance, you should grab and taste it.

Vietnamese like to eat healthy - and the prices are also very affordable. The main ingredient of the menus is rice. In addition, then comes a lot of vegetables and seasoned is like fish sauce.

Especially seafood is available in abundance in Vietnam. The short distance to the sea is the reason why you can enjoy a lot of fresh fish here. Recommended is the Vietnamese spring roll, which is usually filled with lettuce, shrimp, rice noodles, carrots, pork and fresh herbs.

The Vietnamese coffee is particularly strong in its aroma and provided with a malty note. The Vietnamese drink it with plenty of sugar and condensed milk - likely ice-cold.


9. What should one do and not do when traveling in Vietnam?


  1. Learn some basic Vietnamese words and phrases such as "hello", "thank you" and "excuse me" to show respect to the locals.
  2. Eat the local food and try dishes like Pho, Banh Mi and Bun Cha, which are some of the most famous dishes in Vietnam.
  3. Explore the country's various attractions such as Halong Bay, the ancient imperial city of Hue and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
  4. Participate in local festivals and celebrations to get a better understanding of Vietnam's culture.
  5. Use caution when using public transportation and be mindful of your personal safety.
  6. Take off your shoes before entering private houses and temples (if required).
  7. Money, credit cards or business cards are always presented in Vietnam with two hands.
  8. Ask for permission before taking pictures of locals
  9. Stay calm and be patient, things often take a bit longer here

Do not do:

  1. Avoid disrespecting the local culture or behaving disrespectfully, especially in relation to Buddhist temples or shrines.
  2. Do not engage in political discussions or criticize the Vietnamese government, as this may lead to serious consequences.
  3. Do not touch religious symbols or artifacts unless specifically permitted.
  4. Avoid being inappropriately dressed or showing too much skin, especially in temples or sacred places.
  5. Do not use drugs or alcohol in public as this is illegal and can lead to arrest or jail.
  6. Do not touch people on the head as it is the most important part of the body .
  7. Do not wear sleeveless shirts and tops when visiting temples, pagodas, and holy places, and wear short shorts or skirts to make sure your knees are covered.

Saigon people

10. Vietnamese traffic 

The Vietnamese traffic is very chaotic for European conditions and takes a lot of getting used to. Although there are traffic rules, they are almost incomprehensible to a tourist.

Crossing a street can be a challenge in Vietnam. Whoever waits for an open road will wait a long time. You can learn from the locals here. It is common to cross the street, stop when motorcycles hit, and then just keep walking. Motorcycles drive around pedestrians, so you should not change your walking speed if possible, otherwise accidents can occur.

For all trips and tours, keep in mind that the roads are mostly in poor condition. That's why trips by bus and taxi always take a little longer. Install sufficient time buffers and approach such trips as relaxed as possible.

These tips about Vietnam are expressly not legally binding information and are subject to change.

Saigon Scooter

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