Vietnam is a remarkable country and I am so pleased that I have visited and had the experiences that I have!
Here are a few interesting + random facts about Vietnam, that could be useful to know before visiting..
1. USD & Vietnamese Dong
US Dollars are used as a secondary currency, and it’s good to have both dollars and Dong, as some hotels, tour groups or restaurants prefer to receive dollars over Dong. However, likewise, many places will prefer Dong over dollars and actually increase the price if you want to pay in dollars. So best to have both!
2. The Roads
The roads in Vietnam can be extremely chaotic. Move with the traffic when crossing the road – the mopeds do know how to swerve around you, and if they beep, it means they will not stop.
Oreos are available anywhere. You could walk into the smallest corner shop, full of Vietnamese produce and Asian foods and I guarantee you’ll be able to find Oreos somewhere. And they’re usually about 50p a packet!
4. The Weather
It is humid in the South, warm in the Centre, and colder up North. If it’s specifically hot temperatures that you want, Hoi An or Hué is perhaps your best bet.
Pavements don’t really exist in Hanoi – they’re used as moped car parks during the day and you’ll have to walk on the road.
6. Eat Up!
Unlike restaurants in the UK, where most of the time, all food will arrive together and so everyone can eat at the same time, Vietnamese restaurants aren’t quite as punctual. It isn’t strange to have almost finished your meal before another person has even received theirs, so forget manners, and when you get your food, start eating!
7. Rice & Banana Wine
Rice and banana wine is nothing like rosé, red or white, it’s highly alcoholic and more of a spirit. Definitely worth a try though!
8. Musical Dustbin Collectors
For whatever reason, in Hanoi, all dustbin vans play very loud, squeaky music, similar to that of an ice cream van. Why? I have literally no idea. (If you do know, please tell me!)