Home Travel A Closer Look at Vietnamese Culture as a Tourist

A Closer Look at Vietnamese Culture as a Tourist

A Closer Look at Vietnamese Culture as a Tourist

Vietnam’s tourist trade rebounded after 2020, going up 25% in 2022. This is good news for Vietnam, as it has a relatively large tourism trade.

If you are going to travel to Vietnam, there are certain things to prepare for. Vietnamese culture is very different from US culture, and you want to be as respectful as possible.

To be a respectful tourist, these are some things you want to know about beforehand. This includes understanding the local traditions and expectations.

Keep reading to find out what to expect when it comes to Vietnamese culture.

Vietnamese Values

Vietnamese traditions may look a bit different than you are used to. Every country has different values, and it is important to be respectful when traveling.

Tourists get a bad reputation for being callous and inconsiderate. To avoid this image, it is important to have an understanding of Vietnamese culture.


The first thing you need to understand is Vietnamese customs. The core values of Vietnamese people are humility, modesty, and restraint.

There’s no way for you to understand all of the rules of etiquette that Vietnamese people follow. But as long as you keep these values in mind, you should be fine.

There is great respect for the elderly, so they always need to be prioritized. Basic good manners are also greatly appreciated, which you probably are already aware of.

Avoid causing any disruptions or generally drawing too much attention to yourself.


Another thing about Vietnamese culture to consider is what you will be wearing. Vietnamese fashion may look a bit different from where you live.

Vietnamese people have a strong focus on modesty and public appearances. Experts recommend wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.

This is important for both sexes but especially for women. Keep in mind that the climate in Vietnam can be quite warm and humid throughout the year.

Because of this, it is still important to prioritize breathable fabrics that are lightweight. Avoid heavy layers and choose moisture-wicking fabrics.

You can also purchase Vietnamese fashion when you are traveling there.


When you are around Vietnamese people, it is important to behave appropriately. The main thing to remember is that everyone is respectful and courteous.

If there’s someone older than you around, remove your hat and give them the right of way. It is also very frowned down upon for tourists to flaunt money or expensive objects.

Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or anything that could draw negative attention. This is also important to protect yourself when traveling since you don’t want to be robbed.

Other signs of respect include your physical posture when in public. Vietnamese people do not usually stand with their arms crossed, as this could be a sign of disrespect.

They also do not stand around with their hands on their hips. It is also important to remember that you should limit public displays of affection.

This is not very prevalent in Vietnam, especially when it comes to people of the opposite sex.

Vietnamese Etiquette

There are a lot of different aspects of Vietnamese culture. One of those important aspects is the etiquette that people based their life on.

When you are traveling as a tourist, it is important that you respect this and understand where it is coming from.

Religious Areas

A big part of Vietnamese tourism is specific areas people visit. Religious sites are often designated as tourist areas since they are beautiful and historic.

But it is very important to behave in a certain way when visiting these holy places. There are many people who go there for religious worship, so you need to be quiet and respectful.

Do not take photos of people, and do not create a distraction. Wear modest clothing and remove your hat, as your head cannot be covered.

It is also very important that your feet are not pointed toward anyone or a sacred statue. This is believed to be a sign of disrespect to the person or holy statue.

Never touch anyone on the head as this is also seen as very disrespectful in Vietnam.

If visiting religious sites in Vietnam is a goal of yours, a tour package can help you do this. They usually include the top Vietnam locations with the best sights.

Eating and Drinking

Another important part of being a tourist in Vietnam is Vietnamese food. Enjoying the local cuisine is one of the best ways to experience this culture.

Like many cultures, Vietnam has very specific dishes it excels at. There is a saying in Vietnamese that should be said before eating every meal.

This is a relatively simple phrase that you can learn before visiting Vietnam. It is also important that the oldest person at the table starts to eat before everyone else.

In Vietnam, it is also a sign of disrespect to not finish your food. You should always leave a clean plate as a complement to the person who made the dish.

You also need to learn basic chopstick etiquette, as most people eat with chopsticks. Never hold them vertically straight up, as this is seen as a highly offensive gesture.

Vietnamese Culture: What to Expect as a Tourist

If you are traveling to Vietnam, you need to understand the Vietnamese culture. This is very important, no matter where you are traveling, to show your respect.

Vietnam has a rich culture that focuses on respect, humility, and modesty. These are three values that should dictate how you behave and interact with the locals.

Did you enjoy this article on Vietnam? Keep reading for more travel-related content.

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