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Top 5 Tips for Traveling Vietnam (Southeast Asia travel)..
Mekong Delta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City , Sapa… Vietnam is a bustling place with lots to explore in food, culture and activities. But of Southeast Asia, traveling Vietnam happens to be the trickiest and I will tell you why.
Top 5 tips for traveling Vietnam
Theft. It happens there a lot. Even your guesthouses will warn you. Focus. Know where you’re going when traveling Vietnam. Know what’s around you. In the course of two weeks I met four travelers that were robbed in different ways:
– Bag snatching.
– Taking out a wad of cash, when paying a motorbike taxi.
– Leaving backpacks at a hotel storage space or luggage space because you’re going to take a trekking tour.
– Leaving valuables unattended while you’re searching for money to buy a drink.
I’m going to leave a link right here to my view on travel safety tips for solo travelers.
2. Counterfeit agencies
Counterfeit agencies are companies that have a logo of reputable company on their store front but they are in no way affiliated with that company. They’re just trying to misdirect customers. You can tell because they are so many of them and they are not subtle.
Listen to your intuition. If something sounds wrong or weird, then trust your gut that it is. Go to the places that feel like they’re professional and trustworthy. You can’t always go by the company logo. Signs mean nothing in Vietnam.
3. Getting around
There are many ways to get around Vietnam :
The number one most popular vehicle in Vietnam happens to be motorbikes. In fact, people in Vietnam are very skilled in the fine art of balancing things on their motorbike. You see them transporting anything from entire families to their living room. I’ve seen dresser drawers, refrigerators, a huge stack of chicken cages…
Unlike other countries in South East Asia I recommend motorbike newbies not attempt to learn how to ride a motorbike in Vietnam.
Hop on hop off buses
You’ll see signs at tour agencies advertising ‘open tickets’ or ‘open tours’ on buses. It’s an inexpensive way to travel from city to city.
The rule of thumb is that shared vans, do not leave until they’re full- not only seat wise,…aisles too. If a tour operator is trying to squeeze as many people as they can, they will pull out little plastic stools and place them in the aisles.
Others types of transportation in Vietnam
There are VIP buses, overnight sleeper buses, and ferries. You can even travel by air.
Getting around the city, there are motorbike taxis called Xe Oms (pronounced she-ohmz).
You can rent a motorbike or take a group tour.
Xelo‘s (pronounced: shay-lows) are rickshaws. They move very slowly and are mostly for tourists.
4. How to cross a Vietnamese Street
Many travelers are always freaked out by the idea of crossing the streets Vietnam. I felt like that at first too, until I figured out how it was done. The key is to walk slowly and let the traffic weave around you.
Watch my video clip and check out how I crossed a Vietnamese Street.
4. Budget tours in Vietnam
There are many reasons for solo travelers to book tours vs plan it independently. Vietnam has the best budget tours and you’ll be spoiled by the prices. Often, these tours can be all-inclusive covering accommodations, tour guides, transportation and activities. It can actually be cheaper taking a budget tour vs. doing it on your own. However, if you’re booking tours from within Vietnam, there is one thing you have to beware of .. counterfeit tour agencies.
5. Street food
There sidewalk cafes with plastic tables and plastic chairs lined up facing the street, as if the street were one giant television set. Food is inexpensive and delicious, as its prepared mostly for locals. A little on the greasy side.
Always make sure the food is prepared in front of you or come to you piping hot. Also, visit places that are well-populated with locals or tourists. This usually means the food is good and it’s relatively safe.
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