As a host of this region we appreciate the beautiful nature and amazing culture and we commit to respect our country’s unique heritage. We acknowledge the potentially damaging aspects of travel and culture confrontation and are dedicated to operating in a responsible way.
Therefore, we prepare this series of posts about traveling in Vietnam, the rules and regulations, the taboos and the not-to-dos…for your best experiences traveling in Vietnam. We hope these tips will help you to have a better understanding of local culture and customs and guarantee a delightful trip in Vietnam.
The first post is about how to dress properly in Vietnam. Like any other Asian country, Vietnamese are quite reserved in the way they dress. Dress modestly and neatly is the key to be well respected by the locals. Vietnamese in general will never criticize you but will feel embarrassed and silently keep the bad feeling or opinion for themselves. Vietnamese will never react about what you wear directly, as it is not our culture, so sometimes it’s hard to tell what is suitable. The top tip is be sensitive and watch the wat local people around you dress. Then adjust your clothing to what you do where you are.
Áo dài- the traditional dress for girls and women in Vietnam
- In Vietnam, revealing clothing is unacceptable off the beach. Shorts are generally fine, as long as they are not “too short”
- Sexy outfits are fine as long as you go out at night in major cities.
- When visiting pagodas and temples, mausoleum and scared places…shorts and tank-tops are unacceptable. Your knees and shoulders must be covered.
How Vietnamese dress traditionally
- Footwear and hats must be removed in pagodas. Shoes are usually removed upon entering private homes and some sit-on-floor restaurants, too.
- In big cities you may see local women in skimpy clothing. Don’t take it as a norm. Wearing miniskirts, going braless or showing too much skin…is considered to be offensive by most Vietnamese people, especially in rural areas or to older generation.
No bare chest please unless you are John Rambo
- Men should not be walking around bare-chested if not on the beach or around the pool.
- In forests and jungles, long pants and sleeved shirts are essential for protection against insects and/or sun burn.
- On ALL beach in Vietnam, nude swimming or sunbathing is not accepted.
There are no nude beaches or nude sunbathing in Vietnam
- In rural areas or countryside, if you want to swim, it’s the best recommended to swim in your t-shirt. Countryside people are not used to foreigners and very much against showing too much skin in public.
It doesn’t have to be so serious and difficult to remember. Just use common sense, especially those backpackers out there. You’ll find it easy to blend in with local Vietnamese.
By Pham Tuyen