Traveling to a foreign country can be an amazing experience. It can also be a bit daunting, especially if you are not familiar with the culture of the place you are visiting. If you are planning on traveling to Vietnam, there are a few things you should know about the different aspects of Vietnamese culture.
One of the most important things to be aware of is the fact that Vietnam is a collectivist society. This means that people tend to identify more strongly with their families and community, rather than as individuals. In general, Vietnamese people are very hospitable and warm, but they can also be quite direct. It is important to be respectful of elders and those in authority.
- Learn some basic phrases before you go
- Be aware of the different customs and etiquette
- Explore the architecture
- Know your history
- Enjoy the food!
Learn some basic phrases before you go
The Vietnamese language can be tricky to learn, but it is worth making the effort to learn at least some basic phrases before you travel. Not only will this make communication easier, but it will also show that you are interested in their culture. Some useful phrases to know include:
-Xin chào (Hello)
-Tôi yêu Việt Nam (I love Vietnam)
-Cám ơn (Thank you)
-Tôi không biết (I don’t know)
Be aware of the different customs and etiquette
When it comes to customs and etiquette, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, it is considered polite to give gifts with both hands. When shaking someone’s hand, it is also customary to bow slightly.
It is also important to be aware of the dress code, especially when visiting religious sites. In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and dress modestly.
Explore the architecture
photo: Anh Nguyen
Vietnam is home to some beautiful architecture, ranging from ancient temples to colonial-style buildings. When you are exploring the country, be sure to take some time to admire the different styles of architecture on display.
Some of the most famous examples of Vietnamese architecture include:
-The Temple of Literature, which was founded in 1070 and is dedicated to Confucius.
-The One Pillar Pagoda, which was built in 1049 and is one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Vietnam.
-The Old Quarter, which is a collection of narrow streets and traditional Vietnamese houses in Hanoi.
-The Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, which is a 14th-century fortress in Thanh Hoa Province.
-The Imperial City, which is a walled city in Hue that was built in the 19th century.
-Saigon Central Post Office, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel and is one of the most beautiful examples of colonial-style architecture in Vietnam.
Know your history
Vietnam has a long and complicated history. It is worth taking the time to learn about this before you travel, as it will help you to understand the country and its people better. Some key points in Vietnam’s history include:
-The first Vietnamese dynasty was the Âu Lạc dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC to 938 AD.
-In 938, the country was divided into three kingdoms: Đại Việt, Âu Lạc, and Chu Nhat.
-The Chinese ruled Vietnam from 111 BC to 938 AD.
-Vietnam was unified under the Lý dynasty in 1009.
-The Trần dynasty ruled from 1225 to 1400.
-The Ming dynasty ruled from 1407 to 1427.
-The Lê dynasty ruled from 1428 to 1527.
-The Mạc dynasty ruled from 1527 to 1592.
-The Nguyễn dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945.
-Vietnam was under French rule from 1858 to 1954.
-The Vietnam War took place from 1955 to 1975.
Enjoy the food!
photo: Quang Nguyen Vinh
Last but not least, one of the best things about Vietnam is the food. From fresh seafood to mouth-watering pho, there are plenty of delicious dishes to try. When you are in Vietnam, be sure to sample as much of the local cuisine as you can!
Traveling to a new country can be both exciting and daunting, especially if that country is steeped in culture different from your own. Before traveling to Vietnam, it is important to be aware of some of the different aspects of Vietnamese culture that may be unfamiliar to you. From the language to the customs and etiquette, there are many things to learn about this Southeast Asian country. By taking the time to learn about Vietnam’s culture, you will be sure to have a more enjoyable and rewarding travel experience.