5 Helpful Travel Tips for First-Time Vietnam Visitors

If you’re currently in the process of planning a vacation and you want to go somewhere exotic, have you ever thought about visiting Vietnam? Although historically it’s thought of in reference to the Vietnam War, there is actually a lot more to Vietnam. The scenery is beautiful, there is a lot of culture to enjoy and all year-round, you can find plenty of ways to be entertained.

If this sounds more and more like a part of the world that you would like to see, but you’re curious about some of the things that you should know as a first-time visitor, this article can address some of your concerns.

Pay close attention to your visa. Although it might seem obvious that you should have your passport on hand and your visa fully filled out in preparation for going through customs in Vietnam, there are a lot of people who overlook this step. As a result, they’re oftentimes turned away by immigration officers. Being that international security is tighter than ever, as you’re preparing to land, check your visa a few times so that you can be certain that it is thoroughly filled out.

Take out some time to search for a hotel. You might initially think that it’s a good idea to book a reservation for a hotel before you leave your house, but this actually isn’t the case when you’re visiting Vietnam. By being willing to take out a couple of hours to walk around the area, you can oftentimes find a cheaper walk-in rate for a nice hotel that’s in an alley.

Buy tickets from the train station. Two of the most popular modes of transportation are renting a motorbike and riding a train. If you’d prefer to take the train, don’t purchase tickets at your hotel. It’s going to be a lot more expensive if you get them there rather than the station itself. However, do keep in mind that some train stations can book tickets days in advance. For this reason, you should purchase your tickets from the station on the same day that you arrive.

Don’t buy packaged day tours. Although there are a lot of day tour packages like Blue Ocean Travel that very inexpensive, the challenge that comes with them is that they tend to make a ton of stops, mostly by places that will try to sell you things. When it comes to Vietnam travel, if you know some specific places that you would like to go, it’s best to rent a private car or to take a motorbike. That way, you can make the most of your time and not feel pressured to purchase anything that you don’t really want.

Be prepared to negotiate a lot. Vietnam natives can easily spot a tourist. And when they see one, they tend to elevate their prices on souvenirs and other items. Just keep in mind that almost everyone you meet will be open to negotiating. So don’t be shy about doing so. It will be worth the effort if you do. For more information on Vietnam and all that it has to offer, visit Lonely Planet and put “Vietnam” in the search field.