7 Habits Of Highly Successful Vietnamese Backpackers

07/31/2014
By Elton
Backpacker-in-Vietnam
Backpackers in Vietnam

Heading to Vietnam? So you should be! It’s a beautiful, wonderful country that’s often misunderstood by foreign travellers.

But, whilst it’s also sometimes misunderstood – it’s still best to tread with caution when backpacking across the country, as it is with any developing country.

In order to help your trip go as smoothly as possible and avoid any potential dangers, we’ve revealed the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Vietnamese Backpackers:

1. They’re Respectful At All Times

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers understand that the Vietnamese culture is built on a foundation of respect in the community. And, that you should follow the old adage of ‘take only photographs and leave only footprints’.

When in the midst of the community you should pay a lot of respect to older people in the community dress conservatively and avoid pointing at people.

That might seem a little bit of a ‘Well, duh!’ comment to make. But you’d be surprised at how many people don’t do those simple things.

2. They Pay Attention To Scams

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers pay attention and do their research on any scams or potential dangers in the area. Such as Taxi Drivers picking you up from the airport and taking you to the wrong hotel, on purpose.

Vietnam isn’t the most impoverished country in Asia, but they aren’t in the first world either. There is always somebody looking to rip off an unsuspecting wealthy traveller no matter where you go, so why should Vietnam be any different?

Do your research beforehand and ask around, so you know what to expect if you end up in the wrong situation.

3. They Understand You ‘Get What You Pay For’

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers don’t have to travel with a big budget or bundles of cash on them. In fact, most travel on a really strict budget.

But in order to be successful, they understand that they get what they pay for. If you’re going to spend $4 on a bus ride across the country, don’t expect limousines and champagne service. The same goes for if you get one of the many $2 a night deals at a hotel – you’re not going to turn up to a suite in the Hilton.

It’s smart to shop around and try and find things as cheap as possible. A lot of the time you’ll even come up trumps. But, don’t get too disheartened if things aren’t what you expect.

Successful Backpackers recognise this, and either pay that little bit extra – or live with what they’ve got.

4. They Travel In Groups

group-backpackers
Group Backpackers

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers don’t travel out alone, especially at night. There’s nowhere in the world nowadays that is particularly safe to wander the streets at night – but Vietnam is a place to be aware of.

Firstly, because even though the people are extremely friendly – you’re away from home and don’t know where is considered ‘safe’.

Secondly, because if something untoward does happen – you’re not lost and alone in a country with no personal possessions.

Make sure you travel in groups and look out for one another. It’s simple, but it can play a huge role in your safety.

5. They Don’t Take On Beggars

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers don’t get involved in conversations or transactions with beggars.

Although most street kids and teenagers selling water are harmless, you’re never quite sure what you could be getting into. If you give money to one, it seems unfair not to give it to the next.

Treat them with respect as you would anybody else you would encounter in life, but keep your money in your pocket and wits about you.

It’s the safe thing to do.

6. The Stick To Well-Trodden Paths

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers are all about exploration. The country is beautiful, with many amazing views and sights to see. And, you should enjoy them all.

But, successful backpackers stick to the well-trodden paths. Not due to lack of curiosity, but because it’s the best thing they can do for their health.

Many areas, especially inside the Demilitarised Zone, are rife with loose shrapnel, ammunition and explosive material. This has been left over from previous wars and it would be almost impossible to clear it all up.

That being said, many farmers and children lose their lives straying into fields and areas that haven’t been properly cleared and tested – and you don’t want to fall into that category.

So, stick to the paths that are safe.

7. They Conceal Their Valuable Items

backpackers
Keep Their Valuable Items

Successful Vietnamese Backpackers keep their expensive and valuable items concealed and packed away.

Which is a smart move no matter the country you’re in.

You wouldn’t start waving your MacBook or Canon DSLR around in the middle of your local downtown, so you probably shouldn’t do it when you’re in a country like Vietnam either.

Keep the stuff you don’t want to lose under lock and key, and try not to draw attention to it.

Do you have any tips, tricks or good habits from your travels around Vietnam?

We’d love to hear your views in the comments!

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