Vietnam is a charming country you should visit at least once in a lifetime. The nature, the local people, the food. Endless possibilities, endless surprises and endless joy! However, if you especially come from Western culture and generally cold country, be prepared to get knocked out by not only the amazing but alien food, the new culture but also the heat. In order to get the best out of this unique experience in Vietnam, here are a top 10 useful tips for you, solo-ers!
1. Take up good diet and workout for at least half a month before the trip for best endurance. Good health, good trip. Prepare yourself for the long walk in the sun finding the best food down town!
2. Check the weather where you’re going to visit, to make sure that you have adequate equipments. Vietnam’s weather is very erratic and different depending on each region. The North of Vietnam is cold for a few winter month, and the rest is hot and super hot all year around. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglass.
3. Pick your water. Drinking water is an important issue. It’s funny sometimes some tourists can’t drink the same water other tourists or local just drink. Vietnam does not have public drinkable tap water, so go pick bottled water in grocery stores instead.
4. Basic and specialised medicines are indispensable, such as flu, cold or stomach-ache due to abrupt weather change, unfamiliar food and so on. Pharmacies are all around but they only sell basic stuff, so if you have any special illness, make sure you bring enough medicines for the entire trip. Also, you know you’re all alone, no partner will be there to go get you medicine while you are aching on bed.
5. Don’t be over-seduced by local specialties if you’re not sure you can eat. I know it’s hard to resist and I know we should not miss a chance to enjoy all those crazy food. But Vietnam’s dishes may be quite difficult to eat for foreign tourists. Look out for anything that might cause allergy as well. You won’t know it’s there.
6. For female tourists, don’t show too much of your body especially if you know you’re visiting worshiping places or around rural areas. It’s a not a good impression or even unpleasant for Vietnamese, especially senior people, to see a short dress kneeing down in a King Hung Temple, for example.
7. Mind your valuables. Jewelries, smartphones, pad, especially wallet with many important personal documents (ID card, passport). Sad but true, there are common pickpocket around, particularly big cities and tourist places. They love your wallet coz they think you have loads of cash in there. Consider buying travel insurance, keeping the number of police, hospital, and consulate of your country, writing your name, your hotel’s address, phone number of relatives at visible location on your backpack for risk cases. It’s best that you don’t wear many jewelries when travelling. You will save yourself from a lot of troubles. I dont want to panic you but be careful.
8. Plan at least 2 itineraries for your trips. I know every trip is unpredictable, but it’s especially changeable in Vietnam for a solo-er who think they can pick up any bus or train easily.
9. When booking hotel, don’t pick ones too far from the center (for safety and not missing many interesting activities). Motels is not a bad choice.
10. If you get lost or feel danger, do not show fear. Walk confidently like you’re knowing where you’re going. If you notice any possible followers, drop in a store or crowed places.
Above is all of my experiences and tips for an alone trip to Vietnam. You may thought that things are not as serious as I said but the pre-caution is never useless. Keep in mind these tips, you’s have an amazing time here!