Welcome back to the good ol’ US of A! Though I love being home I still miss the diversity of being in another country.
Now that I am home I wanted to share a few tips about being in Vietnam that might help you with your own travels.
1) Verify your tour! – There was several times that there was a miscommunication between myself and local services about what our service was supposed to include. If you are booking a tour be sure to verify EXACTLY what services are included and what isn’t. As much as the Vietnamese are a polite and proud people, they also are very good at nickel and diming tourists. So to save yourself some money and frustration…double check.
2) You can carry a card – Unlike Laos Veitnam is more electronically progressed with money processing. Unless you are shopping at a market most stores and ships have the ability to process cards. Make sure you aren’t in a rush though, the connection is really weak in most places so it can take a while to process the payment, give yourself an extra 15 minutes before you have to be somewhere if you are wanting to use a card.
3) Baby wipes! – Similar to Laos very few restrooms (ask for toilet or W.C. if you are searching for one) have toilet paper. It is easier to just bring your own and baby wipes can have a multi purpose to wash your hands too.
4) Don’t flush! – This is something you’ll see all over the country. You can’t flush anything in the toilets, with the high rate of population they can’t afford to have a clog anywhere. So just keep the mindset of throwing your garbage away.
5) You DON’T have the right of way – if you think that as a pedestrian you have the right of way while crossing the street…think again. NO ONE has the right of way there. The driving mentality is “I’m bigger – you’ll move” or “I’m smaller – I’ll fit through”. Nothing is safe, including walking on the sidewalk, motorbikes use that as an alternative route to the road to get around buses. The trick to crossing the street is wait for a gap or walk at a consistent pace, meaning don’t flinch even though it looks like they will run you over. Don’t worry they will at least think at you before they run you over. Obviously, don’t dilly dally in the road but sometimes you have to “Be Brave!” And just go!
Other than those few tips our trip we amazing! As I said before, the Vietnamese people are wonderful. Polite and accommodating and if you are traveling with kids or elderly you will be treated with even more attention and respect. Open your eyes and mind to something new and this country will surprise and amaze you!
Traveling Photographer Out!