Vietnam travel tips for First time travelers

Vietnam Travel Tips For First Time Travelers

If you are seeking for the essential information for your first-time Vietnam trip? Or you once traveled to Vietnam, yet you still find this country has a lot more to offer? Then this post will provide you some helpful travel tips relating to SIM Card, Money exchange, and bargaining in Vietnam!


Why do you need to have a SIM card when you are in Vietnam?

Wifi is not available everywhere in Vietnam. You can get it free in restaurants, coffee shops or community places. But when going out, you will need to use the mobile data plan serving for updating the newest travel photos on your Instagram, searching the places on Google Map, translating to communicate with the locals, using the ride-hailing apps, and more.

Which provider do you should choose?

Nowadays, there are 3 leading mobile internet providers in Vietnam, including Viettel, Mobiphone, and Vinaphone. Frankly, we highly recommend Viettel Mobile cause it is the largest mobile network and the best choice in Vietnam.

The 4G Viettel SIM card
The 4G Viettel SIM card. Photo: Viettel Store

Where should you buy a SIM card?

Vietnam government has enforced a policy in 2016 that required all SIM cards registered for those using it. Therefore, you should make sure that you purchase a SIM card registered at the airport or the official outlet of the provider. Try to say NO with the shops on the street, travel agency or hotel selling SIM card because your SIM card may be cut off the mobile data suddenly.

At the airport
The helpful advice is to buy a SIM card at the airport due to two main reasons:

  • SIM Card is registered so that you will minimize risk and hassle.
  • The staff here can communicate English fluently. They are quick, efficient in setting your SIM card and consulting the data plans meeting your demand.

At Vietnam’s international airports, there are many kiosks selling SIM cards but remember to choose Viettel because of its wide mobile coverage. Prepare your passport ready; you can buy a SIM Card (50.000VNĐ- 60.000 VNĐ). And you pay the additional fee for data plans depending on your option.

At the official outlet of the provider
If you leave the airport without a SIM card, you can go to the official outlet of the provider to order it. Remember to bring your passport, which is used for registering and activating your SIM card.

Mobile Data Plans
After installing the SIM card into your phone, you will continue to choose the mobile data package, which depends on your demand. There are plenty of options includes Internet+ Calls, Calls+SMS, Internet+SMS, only Internet, Calls and so on.
Here are the most popular data plans for travelers:


Ha Trung street, the so-called Gold Street of Hanoi. Photo:

First and foremost, the Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. Vietnam is an ever-growing country, and the payment cards become more popular and convenient but not accessible everywhere. You should convert to Vietnamese cash to ensure you can pay for the cyclo driver or buy souvenirs, clothes on sidewalks or even buy snacks at any street vendor.

Where should you exchange money?.

There are some locations/ places such as hotels, jewelry stores and banks where you can exchange money. Read on to know what you should do.

Best exchange rate – Gold or Jewelry Stores

Even locals often exchange money at gold or jewelry stores because these stores offer the best rate exchange at all compared to banks, hotels, travel agencies.

Safe, Boring Procedure- Bank

The bank is certainly the safest place to exchange money. In general, the rate in banks is not the best or too bad. However, the procedure can make you feel bored. But at banks, you can exchange almost types of money.

Besides banks and jewelry stores, you also can come to travel agencies, hotels for exchanging money. You easily find these places in central areas.
Note: At the airport, there are many kiosks where you could exchange a small amount of money to pay for transport to your hotel. And remember to count again every time you exchange it.



Bargaining in Vietnam is very popular when you buy any goods, especially in markets. If you travel to famous destinations, visit the local market to buy souvenirs, clothes, and more, you need to bargain with the shopkeepers. You will feel that everyone wants to rip you off, the sellers want to challenge you. Do not worry about it. It is only a bit of “culture shock”. Relax and bargaining looks like a competition. If you can buy something at your price, you win.

  • You should learn to say some common Vietnamese sentences: How much (Bao nhieu) Too Expensive (Dat qua), The other seller sells at a cheaper price (Cho kia re hon) as well as One (Mot), Two (Hai), Three (Ba), and more.
  • At the market, note that you can not negotiate the price of merchandise with price tags.

Steps to bargain:

  • Do not express that you like and want to buy that stuff
  • You should ask if the seller can get the price down. When the seller says “YES”, the quiz starts:
  • It would be best if you offer half of the original price and then little by little increase from the first price you say. At that time, the seller also tends to reduce the price gradually.
  • If the price is in your resistance point, you win. If not, you can pretend to walk away. Then the seller can keep you back and sell it for you.


Should you need further information, please contact our travel consultants at or visit our website for General travel tips in Vietnam.

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