With several very important milestones in the last few years - such as lifting of embargoes, government reforms and the opening of borders - Vietnam is positioned to become a popular tourist destination.
It is a little known fact that Vietnam can cater to a large variety of clients - not just those looking to “rough it on the last frontier”. From it’s natural assets; pristine sandy beaches, the wonder of limestone islands in Halong Bay.
The mountainous north, to its historical marvels; Cham ruins from the 14th Century in My Son, the ancient tombs of Hue; bustling cities with an energy driven by a new economy, quiet country villages reliant on rice agriculture as they have been for centuries, ornate Confucian temples, high-rises side by side with splendid French colonial architecture; Vietnam is a country of contrasts. And contrast means a greater variety of travel experiences that satisfy a great number of client markets.
It is also largely assumed that infrastructure within Vietnam is poor. Whilst we won’t deny that Vietnam is a third world country, one should not be led to believe that this means third world service! An enormous amount of investment in Vietnam has led to the development of top class hotels, of training schools, of new restaurants, of upgrading and renovating.
And on the subject of service, remember most importantly that Vietnam is Asia - where service is delivered with pride. The Vietnamese people have strong beliefs and values.
They are a pragmatic people, with a philosophy to move forward, not to dwell on the past, and a determination to improve the lives of their children. Most of all they are warm and welcoming, and proud to show you their homeland.
For an experience as unique as your clients, look to a destination as unique as Vietnam.
CUSTOMS - HABITS
In general, the Vietnamese are exceptionally friendly and outgoing. Be prepared for many personal questions and comments regarding your age, marital status, and weight. Easy-going people may put these types of questions.
Although this may make you believe that the Vietnamese are open people, don't make the mistake of asking too many personal questions. Let the person you are talking with guide the conversation.
In fact, because of reputed hospitality, they are warm, helpful and easily ignore mistakes when your behavior doesn't apply to their standard. Above all, they also know much about the western culture.
The Vietnamese get very embarrassed by displays of anger. Their usual reaction is to laugh. This is not because they do not take the situation seriously, but because they don't know how else to respond.
It is not a good idea to chastise a person in front of others. This is a culture affected strongly by the concepts of pride and "face". Fortunately, there are no unique gestures that will get you in trouble.
The Vietnamese eating habit tends towards vegetarianism. Rice and vegetables are the main course of the meal that may be diversified by aquatic products. Boiling is a special way of cooking of the Vietnamese people.
Vietnamese people like a synthetic food processing style that involves many materials and ingredients. Today, although meat and fish are the main dishes of the meal, the Vietnamese do not forget pickled egg-plant.
Vietnamese people are very helpful. Besides, they are good at foreign languages, so it's a great advantage to foreigners. If you have any troubles, don't hesitate to ask them for a more comfortable stay.
In general, eating out is cheap, and there are heaps of clean restaurants to choose from in the cities. You can find a local restaurant close to where you’re staying when you get there.
Meals will usually include rice or noodles as staples along with a vast array of vegetables, and meats like chicken, duck, beef, and pork. Good quality seafood (fish, calamari, prawns and crab) is widely available and you’ll find that fish sauce is a condiment which accompanies almost every meal.
The most famous Vietnamese dish is spring rolls either deep fried (known as cha gio in the south and nem ran in the north) or served fresh (bi cuon/bo bia) with a combination of raw vegetables and grilled prawns, crab, pork or chicken. Pho (noodle soup) - well-known Vietnamese dish, served with either chicken or beef, fresh green leaves, beans sprouts, and red chilly is also found throughout the country.
The French colonial period has left a legacy of delicious continental food. Often street cafés have a distinctly French feel with crispy baguettes, pate, crème caramel, banana flambé, and sweet pastries on the menu.
If you have food allergies or preferences, please make them known to your Tour guide who will do their best to ensure that your requirements are met.
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15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi City