As a global tourist, cultural conflicts with indigenous lifestyles are easy to come across. What you can do, though, instead of arguing and making a mess, is to be mindful of the difference and admire the indigenous community so that you can really participate in local life and stop disapproving of the residents ‘ view. We are pleased to introduce you to 8 common mistakes that visitors frequently make during their trip to Vietnam to achieve that.
Let’s see whether or not you’ve done all of these!
# 1: Vietnamese Table Manners are unaware of
Dining marks are of critical importance in both the Western and Eastern worlds. The thing is, the distance between them is immense. Therefore, if you have a meal either in a restaurant in Vietnam or at the home of a local, try to obey these rules:
- People use chopsticks rather than forks and knives in Vietnam, so if your chopstick ability is lower, it’s best to ask for forks or spoons from the host, or you can carry your own utensils.
- Place your chopsticks in the holder when not in use. Never placed them vertically in the center of the bowl of rice, which is considered an offering to the dead.
- The Vietnamese people say things like “Bon Appetit” before starting to have meals to wish everyone to enjoy the food. “So, you can say: “Mời anh chị'” or “Mời mọi người” .
- To avoid spoiling food, you should keep your bowl close to your mouth when feeding.
- Mind to move both hands through the dishes. Using one side is regarded as negligence, especially when dining with older generations.
- To show appreciation for the chef, you should finish all the food in your dish.
# 2: Vietnamese Inappropriate Public Activities
Vietnam, like many Asian countries, has quite a traditional perception of public love. So, on the street or in the park, kissing and cuddling will leave a bad impact on the eyes of local residents. Even, holding hands, it’s okay to embrace. Just make sure that you don’t annoy anyone else.
Often, littering is unethical. Try to find a dust bin or return your garbage to the shelter.
Another thing is, in public areas, you shouldn’t talk loudly. You shouldn’t smoke in shared areas either.
# 3: Denying Religions
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Vietnam, so chances are that in this country you may come across a large range of temples and pagodas. There are some things you should keep in mind when paying them a visit:
- Dress properly. Do not put on clothes that are short and expose a lot of skin. The Buddha is known to be rude.
- Keep your voice quiet in any religious areas. The harmony and serenity of the temples is strengthened by this.
- Some places don’t allow for photo taking, so you should look out for the sign or ask the monks before taking pictures.
- When you get inside the worshipping houses, don’t forget to take off your shoes.
- If you want to perform certain religious rituals, such as burning incense sticks or saying your prayers, watch and mimic other inhabitants.
#4: Disrespect To National Heros
Vietnam has a rich history of more than a thousand years. For most of the time in the past, they had to fight against many foreign troops to protect liberty, so national heroes such as Ho Chi Minh, Vo Nguyen Giap are highly worshipped. It will be a serious offense when you make fun of them. Also, when mentioning the Vietnamese war, try to keep an objective view.
# 5: Cross The Street Without Paying Attention
Crossing the street must be one of the most “freaking-out” encounters foreigners have in Vietnam. The traffic here, in big cities in particular, is more than a mess. That’s why when you try to cross the street, it’s hard and dangerous.
Finding a walking bridge or tunnel is the best way. But when there is none of them, you may kindly ask the locals for a favor. Don’t be shy or embarrassed.
# 6: Ignore Your Personal Belongings While On The Streets
Petty robberies are a common issue at tourist attractions, so when on the streets, you would like to keep an eye on your luggage. The suggestion here is never to store your money in one pocket. Keep different amounts in various bags so that when one is misplaced, you can have a backup.
Moreover, it’s even better to leave important items like passports, ID cards in the hotel if you intend to be outside all day.
# 7: Get On A Random Taxi or Motorbike
Taxi drivers can overcharge you by going a long way or turning off the meter counter. So, we highly recommend you use cab booking apps such as Grab to know the fare before your ride and avoid travel scams.
# 8: Miss Food on the Street
Last but not least, if you don’t have street food in this foodie paradise, this might be the most forgiving experience. Although the street vendors have limited space, they offer the most original flavors of Vietnamese dishes.
But wait, they’re not all there!
The price is super inexpensive for street food. For just $1, you can easily get the entire one.
SVFF is a group of Vietnamese Language Teachers, all of which have at least 2 years of teaching, a BA in Language Teaching. We are motivated and ambitious. We are passionate about helping Vietnamese learners to be able to communicate well in Vietnamese and understand people culture.