The country of Vietnam is known for its small alleyways, confusing streets and lack of signage in the countryside, making it a prime location to get lost. With this in mind, there are some basic steps you can take before your trip to ensure that if you do end up getting lost, you know how to handle the situation. First off, make sure to have a map of the area with you at all times. If you are using a paper map, keep it in a waterproof bag to prevent it from getting ruined if it rains. Or, better yet, save the map offline on your phone so you can access it even if you don’t have data or Wi-Fi.
- Understand the basics of getting lost
- Know how to orient yourself using a map
- Ask locals for help when you’re lost
- Stay calm and don’t panic
- Have a plan B in case you can’t find your way back
- Be prepared for the unexpected
- Know your limits
Understand the basics of getting lost
The first step to not getting lost is understanding how you could potentially get lost in the first place. When you’re travelling in a new place, it’s easy to let your guard down and not be as aware of your surroundings as you should be. Pay attention to landmarks and street signs so you have a general idea of where you are at all times. If you’re walking, try to stick to main streets and avoid any shortcuts through alleyways or side streets. And if you’re taking public transportation, make sure you know the route it’s supposed to take and get off at your stop.
Know how to orient yourself using a map
If you do find yourself lost, the first thing you should do is stop and assess the situation. Take a look at your map and see if you can orient yourself. If you’re in an unfamiliar city, it might be helpful to look for major landmarks that you can spot on the map. Once you have a general idea of where you are, you can start to figure out how to get back to your original destination.
Ask locals for help when you’re lost
If you’re still feeling confused and lost, the next best thing to do is ask a local for help. People who live in the area will likely be the most familiar with the streets and can provide you with specific directions to where you need to go. If you don’t speak the local language, try to find someone who speaks English or another language you’re comfortable with.
Stay calm and don’t panic
It’s important to stay calm when you’re lost, as panicking will only make the situation worse. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world if you can’t find your way back immediately. The more calm and collected you are, the easier it will be to figure out a solution.
Have a plan B in case you can’t find your way back
photo: Phil Nguyen
It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case you can’t find your way back to your original destination. If you’re lost in a city, for example, try to find a hotel or a tourist information center where you can wait until it’s easier to figure out where you are. Or, if you’re lost in nature, know the basic principles of orienteering so you can find your way back to civilization.
Be prepared for the unexpected
When you’re travelling, it’s always important to be prepared for the unexpected. This means having a basic understanding of how to get around in case you do get lost, as well as knowing what to do in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have travel insurance in case something happens and you need financial assistance.
Know your limits
It’s important to know your limits when you’re travelling, especially if you’re going to a place that’s unfamiliar to you. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of getting lost, for example, it might be best to stick to well-travelled areas where it’s unlikely you’ll get confused. And if you’re travelling solo, it’s important to know your limits in terms of safety and comfort.
We hope these tips will help you not get lost or confused when navigating the streets of Vietnam. It’s important to know how to orient yourself using a map, ask locals for help if you’re feeling lost and stay calm no matter what happens. If all else fails, have a plan B in place so that you don’t panic as soon as something goes wrong. And finally, always remember to know your limits when you’re travelling in unfamiliar territory.