Vietnamese cultures and customs: Dos and Don’ts! Special tips for you!

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

What to follow to avoid embarrassing situation while travelling in Vietnam? What is the most special thing when it comes to Vietnamese cultures? How to behave in this traditional country? Let's discover now!


Travelling to a country is learning about nature, the customs, the tradition, the culture of that country, especially in the traditional and diverse cultural country like Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam is divided into 3 regions with 3 different cultures and traditions; nevertheless, they are the same in general.


Actually, thanks to the development of society, Vietnam has been becoming more and more open-minded that you don’t have to worry like before. With Vietnamese young generation, you can behave in Western style, and with the old generation, just remember some basic customs.


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Then, what should you keep in mind?

Visiting religious sites

Do:

  • Wear long pants or dress to cover your body (at least to the knees)

  • Respect everyone even visitors or monks

  • Ask before taking photos, especially in-house works

  • Definitely keep silent, especially when people do worshiping

Don’t:

  • Wear your hats when visiting a sacred site

  • Wear shorts, tight-fitting clothes, bikini…

  • Touch the head of any statue even the small one to express the respect

  • Put your feet on any sacred statues

Greeting and meeting

Do:

  • Say “Xin Chào” when meeting someone, or just “Hi” with young people. Or imply bowing your head instead

  • Shake hands in some formal meeting

  • Keep smiling while greeting since Vietnamese are fun-loving

  • Do eye-contact while talking

Don’t:

  • Hug or kiss when greeting, especially with female

  • Be rude in the first-time meeting

  • Call someone by a proper title that you are not sure it is true or not, especially with aged people

  • Glare at someone while greeting

Invitation

Do:

  • Reply whether you can accept the invitation or not

  • Bring a small gift if you are invited to visit a family

  • Give lucky money and wear bright-colored clothes to a wedding ceremony

  • Bring incense and wear black or white clothes to a funeral

Don’t:

  • Keep silent if you cannot accept the invitation

  • Wear colorful clothes and make noise in a funeral

On the table

Do:

  • Eat after the elder starts

  • Try to use the chopsticks to enjoy meal

  • Have a small talk and smile when having meals

  • Enjoy meal even though you don’t like it honestly

  • Invite the family to start the meal by “Moi ca nha an com”

  • Say “Mot, hai, ba dzo” to cheer up while drinking beers or alcohol

  • Help them to clean the table after eating

Don’t:

  • Laugh loudly while eating

  • Play with the utensils, especially chopsticks and food

  • Act like you don’t like the food. One tip for you, just say you cannot eat it because it’s your first time or you are a foreigner

In a house

Do:

  • Take off your shoes, hats and jackets when walking inside

  • Greet the family from the eldest people

  • Ask before using something or taking photos

Don’t:

  • Freely go inside the house without permission

  • Using everything naturally like at your home

In the public

Do:

  • Say “Cam on” to thank someone

  • Say “Xin loi” to apologize someone

  • Make room for walkers on the street

Don’t:

  • Point at someone by hands

  • Flaunt your money

  • Glare at someone

  • Take photos in military sites

  • Get naked in the public area

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