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Random tips for visiting Vietnam

Here are some tips that may be helpful if you are visiting Vietnam for the first time. They are not in any sort of order but just as they come to mind.

1) learn the currency and download a currency conversion app. Be careful that you do not pay someone a 500000 ($22) dong note when you meant to give them 50000 ($2.2). You do not want to give the opportunity to be ripped off and you don't want to annoy people by forcing them to give a large amount of change for a small transaction.
Also if you work tipping someone such as a cyclo driver a 5000 dong note is less than $0.25 and a bit of an insult.

2) set up an account with grab which is their equivalent to Lyft or Uber. Be aware that one of the options is to be taken somewhere on the back of a scooter. Make sure you are in the correct place that you set up your pickup location by verifying the address and that it is somewhat easy for the car to pull over. This actually goes for anyone using Rideshare services around the world.

3) I am a huge fan of dogs and Vietnam dogs are very popular pets but be very cautious prior to petting them because they might not have had their shots.

4) crossing the street in Vietnam is its own unique experience. Obviously Vietnam does not have many distracted passengers.

5) when walking down the street you will be offered all sorts of varied services including rides on the back of scooters, offers to clean or repair your shoes and all manner of other services. A firm but friendly no is a good choice.

6) if for some reason you need to buy any Pharmaceuticals such as aspirin I would recommend buying from an actual Pharmacy. Plus verify the dosage compared two other products you may be used to. This goes for any other place you travel to.


Marcus Ronaldi

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November 2018


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