Things to be aware of when travelling

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For the first time coming to Vietnam, foreigners may find difficulties in traveling. Hanoi Imperial Hotel would like to advise you some things to be aware of when travelling below:

Don’t trust the taxi meter

Ripping off unsuspecting passengers is an art form for dishonest drivers. Stick with reliable companies such as Mai Linh and Taxi Group.

Don’t stop dash or backtrack while crossing the street

Remember that motorbikes are trying to anticipate your movements to avoid hitting you, so no surprises. Keep a steady pace and your head on a swivel.

Leave the plastic at the hotel.

Northern Vietnam, especially once you get out of the major cities, is still a cash based economy. Most places won’t accept your credit card and ATM’s can be scarce.

It’s cold

Unlike in the South, the Northern region has four seasons with very hot and sticky summers and rather cold and humid winters. Remember to pack accordingly.

Eat everything

Vietnamese food is delicious and you will want to try it all. Go ahead and buy a kilo of those strange looking purple fruit, but be aware of hygiene when you’re eating street food. To be cautious opt for vendors who already have costumers.

Bargain

Remember that negotiating is not rude but expected. Haggle out the best price or risk paying well over the actual price of the item.

Where’s your wallet?

Violent crime is rare, but like any large city, Hanoi has its fair share of pickpockets, most of whom are in the old Quarter. There is no need to be overly cautious, simply be aware of yourself and your belongings.

Motorbike safety

If you’re going to brave the traffic, make sure you take proper precautions. Always wear a helmet, avoid dangly jewelry and miniskirts and clip your bag to the bike to keep it safe from snatches.

Be a sensitive shutterbug

Most people in Vietnam love getting their photo taken and will ask to have one with you, but there are some places like Hochiminh’s Mausoleum or military buildings where taking photos can get you in a bit of trouble.

Enjoy yourself

There is so much to do and see, but don’t forget to stop every once in a while to pull up a plastic chair, relax and take it all in. While sights and activities hold interest, sometimes you can learn more about the culture by adjusting to the local pace.

Wish you have a good trip to Vietnam!

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