Vietnam is known as one of the countries with many beautiful and attractive landscapes, friendly people, rich in culture and delicious cuisine. A gentle, friendly Vietnam is always ready to welcome foreign tourists to visit and experience. Many international friends before their trip to the S-shaped land may still wander how to fully explore the best of Vietnam. Grasping that mentality, the article will reveal top things to know before travelling to Vietnam for foreign visitors on Vietnam tours.

10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Vietnam

A gorgeous flowers market in Vietnam in Spring, the blooming season

1. Weather in Vietnam & Best time to travel

This is one of most important things to know before travelling to Vietnam. Characterized by a subtropical climate in the North and a monsoon climate in the South, Vietnam’s weather is different from North to South.

In Northern Vietnam, there are 4 seasons:

  • Spring (from February to April): this is the period of time with the lowest rainfall of the year and the weather is comfortably cool.
  • Summer (from May to July): the weather is hot and humid in Summer. This climate is suitable for water activities, especially cruise and kayaking in Halong Bay, scuba-diving in Phu Quoc, etc.
  • Autumn (from August to October): the most romantic season of Vietnam with poetic atmosphere, scenery and extremely comfortable from cool to cold weather.
  • Winter (from November to January): in Winter, the temperature may drop to 10 or even 0 degree Celsius in mountainous weather. It is even snowy in some cities.

In Central and Southern Vietnam, the weather stays warm all year-round, which is suitable for your swimming, snorkeling and diving activities.

Vietnam Tours 2020

In short, the best time to visit Vietnam with the most comfortable weather is from October to April.

2. Prepare your Visa before travelling

It’s baffling the number of people who land in Vietnam with absolutely no idea what they need to do for their visa. Too many people get turned away at the immigration counter for failing to pre-arrange their visa-on-arrival letters. While it’s true some nationalities do not require a letter to get stamped, most actually do.

Learn more about Vietnam Visa <here>.

3. Motorbike is the most convenient transportation to travel around

For convenience and ease to wander around, you should rent a motorbike with a price of about $8/ day. This is also an incredible experience that you must try when in Vietnam to experience the best of this country like a real local. For such a long time, the scene of thousands of motorbikes driving on the street has become a signature of metropolitans including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It has also impressed international tourists a lot on their first time to Vietnam.

For that reason, it is a good idea to take a Vietnam motorbike tour for a memorable adventure trip. Also, you will have a chance to admire stunning and majestic scenery of Vietnam in a very different and interesting way when travelling on a motorbike. This is absolutely among top things to know before travelling to Vietnam.

Join a Vietnam motorbike tour - why not?

Join a Vietnam motorbike tour – why not?

4. Always pay attention to your own property

Political stability is one of many strengths of Vietnam tourism. When you travel to Vietnam, you won’t need to worry about terrorism or demonstrating. The reason is Vietnam is a country with an impressive peaceful atmosphere and calm lifestyle.

However, it is never unessential to keep your eyes on your belongings, wherever you come. Especially, you should be careful with valuable assets and had better keep them close to your body in a front bag.

Besides, you should carry your valuables in multiple places. Keep your cash and cards in various secure pockets, and try not to carry your passport around everywhere. Do not keep your wallet, phone and other valuables in the same bag. It also helps to have an extra copy of your credit card and bank documents in case something does happen, and you need to show proof from miles away.

5. Cash and Cards

The fact is that Vietnam is one of the fastest developing countries with strong growth in banking field, together with banking services, bank cards and online payment. Even though, transactions involving cash still dominate the market. In addition, there are some small shops, street markets or a few restaurants (for some private reasons) do not offer bank payment. Therefore, you should always carry with you some cash. Also, you should learn how to differentiate them since the color of some notes is quite similar but the difference in value is very HUGE!

10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Vietnam

Vietnamese currency

Another important thing to know before travelling to Vietnam is buying a sim card. Upon your arrival, you should buy a sim card to contact relatives and friends or to access the Internet via cellular data packages in case of WiFi not available. When you run out of money in your account, you can buy your recharge card at any roadside grocery in every city. It is very easy and convenient so do not worry, this is not a big deal.

6. Get used to bargaining

Bargaining is a type of market culture in Vietnam. In other means of communication, a lot of people who never accept the diversity of culture will quote that Vietnamese people always try to get more money from both locals and especially foreigners when purchasing things.

However, bargaining is a win-win method of paying. Not only does it help customers to buy products or services with lower prices, but sellers also earn the profits. In the end, what’s the point of doing business (even in small size) if failing to get the gains?

In addition, this is a necessary living skill that none of schools or universities teach their students. It enhances communication skills, stimulates brain thinking and situation handling. This is one of the most noticeable things to know before travelling to Vietnam. So, are you ready for bargaining, one of the most exciting activities to try on your visit to Vietnam?

7. Everything is surprisingly cheap in Vietnam!

Vietnam has the cheapest living cost in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Cost is a top concern of tourists before choosing for themselves an appropriate destination. Continuing on the list of the lowest-cost tourist destinations in the world is one of the advantages for Vietnam to attract international visitors. From the price of flights to food, accommodation and many other services; everything is surprisingly cheap in Vietnam! Besides, there are also other factors such as: simple procedures, attractive destinations, safe and friendly environment, etc. that will make you fall in love with the country right at the first time. This is among things to know before travelling to Vietnam, especially for budget travellers.

8. Vietnamese cuisine: Fact inside fact

The cuisine of Vietnam is not only fantastic – it’s also meaningful!

Vietnamese cuisine features a combination of five fundamental tastes (fundamentalism) in overall meals. The ancients believed that fundamentalism is the source of the movement inside the universe and inside humans. Therefore, if nutrition balances the five elements, the body will be healthy, the five organs will be fostered and health will last for a long time. Each Vietnamese dish has a distinctive flavor which reflects one or more of these elements.

The uniqueness of street food contributes to the attraction for visitors. The use of natural and environmentally friendly materials such as Vietnamese Phrynium placentarium leaves, banana leaves, bamboo strings in processing and decorating dishes also makes Vietnamese cuisine unique compared to that of other countries.

Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of dairy and oil, complementary textures, and reliance on herbs and vegetables. It is also low in sugar and is almost always naturally gluten-free, as many of the dishes are made with rice noodles, rice papers and rice flour instead of wheat. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.

Pho, Vietnamese's most famous traditional food

Pho, Vietnamese’s most famous traditional food

Vietnam is heaven for rice lovers!

You will find a lot of rice dishes at the meal with rice, rice paper for spring rolls and pho in almost every restaurant or food store in Vietnam. Pho is a very popular dish in Vietnam. It consists of thin rice noodles cooked in a meat broth, sometimes served with fragrant vegetables on the side. You add the vegetables to your bowl when your broth is still steaming and that’s how the vegetables are cooked.

You haven’t really know the best of Vietnam without tasting street food

Coming to Vietnam, visitors can easily encounter traditional and pure Vietnamese dishes without having to spend a lot of time searching or step into luxurious restaurants. The items that are most noticeable by foreigners are Pho (Vietnamese famous noodles soup), Vietnamese bread, spring rolls, Xeo cake, egg coffee, Banh duc, grilled meat skewers, Banh goi (Vietnam pillow cake), etc. Especially, two popular street foods in Vietnam – Pho and bread, have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Vietnam

Banh goi, one of the most famous Vietnamese street specialties

By savoring these specialties, visitors will have a chance to understand more about Vietnamese culture. In addition, the street food style of Vietnamese also makes visitors interesting. When enjoying street food, Vietnamese people often enjoy with other people in a bustling, fun and airy atmosphere. Tables and chairs are usually small and low so that they do not occupy too much space on the road and are easy to organize. In addition to traditional chopsticks, when eating Vietnamese people also use toothpicks and hands to get food according to the dish.

9. Vietnamese people are friendly and quite good at speaking English

Vietnamese's warm smile

Vietnamese’s warm smile

As a foreigner, you will feel like home when in Vietnam, one of the most welcoming countries in the world. This is a typical Southeast Asian country for enthusiasm. Visitors here will always be amazed at the generosity of the locals. Indigenous people are always ready to help you anytime, they can drive you out for free on their own car and tell you a lot about the city, etc.

In particular, smiles are always quite a special beauty of people here, they smile to anyone, anywhere, etc. This is the most impressive thing for anyone who has set foot in Vietnam.

Moreover, many foreign tourists coming to Vietnam think that it will be difficult to communicate, exchange or simply ask for directions. In fact, many Vietnamese people can speak English at a quite good level thanks to the raise of living standards. Besides, body language is the common and mutual communicating method all over the world. Therefore, there is no need to over worry about differences in languages.

10. Fast and free WiFi

During travelling, travelers regardless of on the way returning to accommodation or visiting restaurants and cafes to enjoy the taste of Vietnamese cuisine are sure to open the phone to check-in. Now, a stable free Wi-Fi connection is really what you need most.

Good news is that the WiFi in Vietnam is very fast (even more than many European countries) and totally free! You do not need to pay anything when going to many restaurants and attractions in Vietnam and you can still surf the Internet. Therefore, finding out about WiFi is one of necessary things to know before travelling to Vietnam. Just one thing, don’t forget to turn off the roaming service before using WiFi.

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.


  1. It is nice for knowing an amazing and lovely outlook about travelling in Vietnam, from an experienced writer who, indeed, spend lot of time living and understanding thoroughly abt this country. After reading this article, i think i need a veteran guide to help me explore Vietnam, esp. customs and cushion!

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that this article helped open a fresh and true outlook to you about things to know before travelling to Vietnam. Vietnam is the country of thousand years of civilization; therefore, understanding culture, customs and lifestyle of this beautiful country is essential and helpful. And yes, if you have a plan to visit and discover Vietnam, do not hesitate to contact us. Trust me, there is no better travel guide than a real experience on your own!

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