Vietnam and Cambodia are two fascinating and beautiful countries with rich cultures and friendly people. To make the most of your clients' trip and avoid any misunderstandings or cultural faux pas, it’s important to be aware of some dos and don’ts when traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia. In this article, Viet Dan Travel shares 20 tips and recommendations to help your customers navigate Vietnamese and Cambodian customs and etiquette with confidence.

10 Do’s when traveling in Vietnam & Cambodia

Do dress modestly when visiting temples and others religious sites

It is important to dress modestly when visiting temples and other religious sites in Vietnam as a sign of respect for the local culture and customs. This also helps to avoid any potential offense or discomfort for the locals and ensures that you can fully appreciate the spiritual significance of the site.

Do wear sport shoes or sandals or which footwear that make you feel most comfortable

Traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia is not likely a fashion show, therefore, outfits that make you comfortable are recommended. Sport shoes, sandals... will be the great suggestions. One thing to remember is that taking off shoes when entering a home or temple is a common practice in Vietnam to show respect. It is also a way to keep the floors clean, especially in homes where people sit and sleep on the floor.

Do stay with your group and stay near the tour guide to avoid getting lost

The top tourist destinations in Vietnam and Cambodia attract a lot of international and domestic travelers. It creates a vibrant atmosphere but may make some get lost. So stick to the tour guide and he will lead you to the most wonderful places in every destination. If you want to spend more time on visiting somewhere, please notify the tour guide and he will contact you when the group starts to transfer to other destinations.

Do carry small bills of Vietnamese Dong to make transactions easier and more convenient

Many small vendors and shops may not have change for larger bills, so carrying small denominations ensures a smoother shopping experience.

Do learn a few basic phrases in Vietnamese, Cambodian

Learning a few basic phrases in Vietnamese and Cambodian is a sign of respect for the local culture and can help you communicate better with locals. Even just saying hello or thank you in Vietnamese can go a long way in building rapport with the people you meet during your travels in Vietnam. Our tour guides are always willing to teach your cilents.

Do be respectful towards locals and their customs

Being respectful towards locals and their customs is a must-do in Vietnam. Vietnamese people are friendly and hospitable, and showing respect towards their culture and traditions can help create a positive and enjoyable experience for both travelers and locals.

Do be prepared for the traffic, especially in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s traffic can be overwhelming, particularly in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. To stay safe, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, walk carefully, and follow the traffic rules. It’s also a good idea to avoid rush hour if possible, and consider using ride-hailing services like Grab to navigate the city more easily.

Do negotiate prices when shopping at markets

In Vietnam, bargaining is a common practice when shopping at markets. It’s important to negotiate prices politely and with respect to the vendor. This can lead to great deals on souvenirs and other goods.

Do carry a tissue or wet wipes with you

This do are shared by a lot of travelers when they visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Carrying with you your own tissue or wet wipe is necessary as you may not know when you need to make your hands or other parts of your body clean at the places where public tissue and wipe are not available.

Do carry an umbrella or you can buy one in Vietnam, just around $2 per umbrella

Vietnam and Cambodia are located at the tropical area where you can see a sunny morning but a rainiy afternoon. Follow the weather forecast and bring an umbrella with you is recommended

Do remember that milk is not complimentary at hotel rooms in Vietnam

Complimentary things in hotel rooms in Vietnam are usually bottles of mineral water, tea, coffee,.. but not milk. Your customers can find meal at hotels' breakfast or purchase it at nearby groceries

10 Don'ts when traveling in Vietnam and Cambodia

Don’t touch someone’s head, it is considered disrespectful in Vietnam

In Vietnamese culture, the head is considered the most sacred part of the body, and touching it without permission is seen as a violation of personal space and disrespectful. Therefore, it’s important to avoid touching someone’s head in Vietnam to show respect for their beliefs and cultural traditions.

Don’t wear revealing clothing, it is not appropriate in the culture

In Vietnam and Cambodia, modesty is highly valued and wearing revealing clothing can be considered disrespectful. It is important to dress appropriately and cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites or interacting with locals to show respect for the culture.

Don’t raise your voice or show anger in public, it is considered impolite

In Vietnamese culture, showing emotions publicly, especially anger, is seen as inappropriate and a loss of face for all parties involved. It is considered more respectful to keep your composure and address issues calmly and privately. Raising your voice or showing anger in public may also lead to misunderstandings and further conflict.

Don’t speak loudly when visiting museum and religious sites

In museums and religious sites, silence is always the first rule. Local people demand silence for their praying

Don’t turn your back to altars

In Vietnamese customs, altar is sarced thing and turning back to it is considered as a disrespectful behavior. You should crouch and walk backward a bit before turning around and continuing to walk.

Don’t take photos of people without their permission

Taking photos of people without their permission is considered impolite and intrusive in Vietnam. It’s important to respect people’s privacy and culture, and ask for permission before taking their photo. In some cases, people may request a small payment in exchange for allowing their photo to be taken.

Don’t litter to keep clean for the areas

Littering is considered disrespectful in Vietnam and can lead to fines. The country is struggling with waste management, so it is important to dispose of trash properly to help preserve the environment.

Don’t use your feet to point at something or someone

In Vietnam, it is considered rude to use your feet to point at something or someone as it is seen as disrespectful. Feet are considered the lowest part of the body and pointing with them is considered impolite and offensive. It is better to use your hands to gesture instead.

Don’t bring up the Vietnam War or politics in general

Bringing up the Vietnam War or politics in general can be a sensitive topic in Vietnam. It’s best to avoid discussing it to prevent any uncomfortable situations or misunderstandings.

Don’t touch any objects in the museum and religious sites

While silence is the first rule when visiting museums and religious sites, no touching is the second rule. Touching may damage these sacred objects and bring troubles to you.