vietnam travel advisory Vietnam is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich history and culture. It offers a variety of attractions, from stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cities and ancient temples. However, like any other destination, Vietnam also has some risks and challenges that travelers should be aware of before visiting. In this blog post, we will provide you with some essential information and tips on how to travel safely and enjoyably in Vietnam.
COVID-19 Situation and Entry Requirements
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Vietnam as well as many other countries around the world. As of June 2021, Vietnam has reported over 10,000 confirmed cases and 57 deaths, with most of the cases concentrated in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh. The government has imposed strict lockdowns and social distancing measures in these areas, as well as in some parts of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. vietnam travel advisory
To prevent the spread of the virus, Vietnam has also suspended most international flights and closed its borders to foreign visitors since March 2020. Only Vietnamese citizens, diplomats, experts, investors, and their family members are allowed to enter the country with a valid visa and a negative COVID-19 test result. They also have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities or hotels upon arrival. vietnam travel advisory
Therefore, if you are planning to visit Vietnam in the near future, you should check the latest updates and regulations from the Vietnamese authorities and your local embassy or consulate. You should also be prepared to follow the health and safety protocols in place, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding crowded places. vietnam travel advisory
Transportation and Traffic Safety
One of the most common ways to get around Vietnam is by motorbike or scooter. They are cheap, convenient, and fun to ride. However, they are also very dangerous, especially for inexperienced drivers or passengers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vietnam has one of the highest road traffic fatality rates in the world, with more than 20,000 deaths per year. Most of these deaths involve motorcyclists. vietnam travel advisory
The main causes of road accidents in Vietnam are speeding, drunk driving, poor road conditions, and lack of traffic rules enforcement. Therefore, if you decide to rent or ride a motorbike or scooter in Vietnam, you should be very careful and cautious. You should always wear a helmet, follow the traffic signs and signals, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and avoid driving at night or in bad weather. vietnam travel advisory
Alternatively, you can use other modes of transportation in Vietnam, such as buses, trains, taxis, or Grab (a popular ride-hailing app). They are safer and more comfortable than motorbikes or scooters. However, they also have their own drawbacks and risks. For example, buses and trains can be overcrowded, delayed, or canceled without notice. Taxis can be overpriced or dishonest. Grab drivers can be unavailable or unreliable. vietnam travel advisory
Therefore, you should always do some research and compare your options before choosing your transportation method in Vietnam. You should also book your tickets or rides in advance if possible, and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. vietnam travel advisory
Culture and Etiquette
Vietnam is a country with a rich and diverse culture that reflects its long history and influences from different regions and countries. It is also a country with a strong sense of national pride and identity that values its traditions and customs. Therefore, as a visitor, you should respect and appreciate the culture and etiquette of Vietnam. vietnam travel advisory
Some of the basic rules of etiquette in Vietnam are:
- Greet people with a smile and a handshake or a bow.
- Address people by their title or surname followed by their first name.
- Avoid public displays of affection or anger.
- Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion.
- Remove your shoes before entering a house or a temple.
- Do not touch anyone’s head or point your feet at anyone.
- Do not criticize or joke about the government or the Communist Party.
- Do not take photos of military or sensitive sites without permission.
- Do not litter or spit on the streets.
- Do not bargain too hard or cheat on prices.
By following these rules of etiquette, you will show respect and courtesy to the local people and avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts.
Food and Drink
One of the best things about traveling to Vietnam is enjoying its delicious and diverse cuisine. Vietnamese food is known for its fresh ingredients, balanced flavors, and healthy benefits. It is influenced by various cuisines from China, France, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and more. vietnam travel advisory
Some of the most popular dishes in Vietnam are:
- Pho: A noodle soup with beef or chicken, herbs, and spices.
- Banh mi: A sandwich with a baguette, meat, vegetables, and sauces.
- Bun cha: Grilled pork with rice noodles, herbs, and dipping sauce.
- Banh xeo: A crispy pancake with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs.
- Goi cuon: Fresh spring rolls with rice paper, meat, vegetables, and peanut sauce.
- Cao lau: A noodle dish with pork, herbs, and crispy croutons.
- Cha ca: Fried fish with turmeric, dill, and noodles.
- Banh cuon: Steamed rice rolls with meat, mushrooms, and fish sauce.
Of course, there are many more dishes to try in Vietnam, depending on the region and the season. You can find them in street stalls, markets, restaurants, or even in people’s homes. However, you should also be careful about the hygiene and quality of the food you eat. Some of the food may be contaminated or spoiled, causing stomach problems or food poisoning. vietnam travel advisory
Therefore, you should always wash your hands before eating, drink only bottled water or boiled water, avoid raw or undercooked food, and choose reputable and clean places to eat. You should also be aware of any allergies or dietary restrictions you may have and communicate them clearly to the vendors or servers. vietnam travel advisory
Vietnam is a wonderful country to visit, with many attractions and experiences to offer. However, it also has some challenges and risks that travelers should be aware of and prepared for. By following the advice and tips in this blog post, you can travel safely and enjoyably in Vietnam. Have a great trip!