Travel Guide to Vietnam for First-timers
There really is a lot to love about Vietnam. It doesn’t matter whether you go to see the soaring mountains or the ethnic groups of the north because there’s something for everyone and when you take a trip there for yourself you will soon see everything that it has to offer.
Vietnam has had a lot of exposure to foreigners over the years. This means that a lot of local residents are not as curious about visitors when compared to countries such as Laos or even Cambodia. That being said, those who live in Vietnam are often very friendly people and if you ask someone for help with a smile then you will almost certainly get what you are looking for. It does help to learn some simple phrases as well because this shows that you are willing to make the effort and that you are also trying to connect with them.
A lot of hotels, cafes and even restaurants have WiFi. You can easily buy a SIM card if you want to use your phone there, so you will have no problem staying in touch with people. Of course, it’s important to know that a lot of streets have very long names so you might want to take a map with you. When you do, you can easily find your way around without getting lost. It also helps to do your research, so if you wanted to go from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park then you can do so without too much stress.
Know your Dong from the Dollar
The Vietnamese Dong is the currency of the country and notes from 200 to 50,000. When you arrive, you might feel like a millionaire but dealing with so many zeros can be confusing to say the least. A lot of the notes are the same colour too, so it can be very easy to hand over the wrong bill when you are in a rush. If you want to help yourself here, then you need to spend a minute sorting your bills out so that you don’t end up overpaying.
Know your Transport
Overnight buses are a fantastic way for you to cover a very long distance. It also gives you the chance to save a small fortune on accommodation costs too. The layback seats don’t really give you much legroom so try and go on the top bunk. When you do, you will get more privacy. That being said, you might have some streetlights shining right through your window. One way for you to get around this would be for you to take a sleep mask.
Traffic in Ho Chi Minh and even Hanoi can be terrifying at first. There is a way for you to navigate the area, however, and that’s to move at a slow and steady pace. If you aren’t sure, raise your hand and everyone will let you get to where you need to be.