Photo by CC user Jmhullot on Wikimedia Commons
Have you got a hankering for an Asian holiday? It might be time to pop over to Vietnam and to explore the stunning countryside, the bustling city streets and the numerous incredible food spots. According to Travezl, the best time to Visit Hoi An is during the Spring and Autumn seasons as the rainfall is lighter and the temperatures are milder. So what about if you’re planning a trip to Hoi An in Vietnam and you’ve never been before? Well, never fear – it’s sure to be an exciting time. Just follow these six tips for first time travellers to Hoi An and you’ll be fine.
Take your visa very seriously
There’s nothing worse than the idea of messing up your visa for a country and being denied entry at the moment you’re about to enter! There’s plenty of information available for potential travellers – so check everything and then make sure that you have the money, information and forms that you need for the immigration department.
You can haggle like crazy
While you might be used to a fixed price for things, the fact of the matter is that in Vietnam, it’s a whole lot different. The locals will over inflate prices when they feel like they can get more money for something. It’s nothing personal – you just need to know that if you’re willing to pay a price, then that’s what you’ll pay. The transactions are fluid, and sellers will just try to make the most money that they can. Be aware and you’ll have a good time.
Be prepared to walk away from anything (and don’t feel bad)
The traders and market stall owners want to do business; they want your money. Generally as soon as you ask how much, they have the upper hand. Don’t settle for any price you’re not prepared to pay. Stick to the price that you want and then feel free to walk if you’re not being offered the price you want. If it’s a fair price they’ll call you back, or they’ll give you the best price while you can still hear them. They respect a tough customer.
Don’t confuse the numbers 15 and 50
Some street vendors will try to confuse you and pretend there’s no difference between 5,000 and 50,000 dong – or will pretend that you agreed to a higher price. Be sure to be very clear about what you’re going to be paying for the product or item you’re looking to buy – whether you pull out the money first and confirm it with that. While 35,000 dong isn’t a huge deal, it’s the fact that you got ripped off that will really sting.
Buy tickets directly
Your guesthouse or hotel will probably ask you where you’re going next – and it’s partly because they’re being helpful and partly because they want to sell your next ticket and collect a tasty commission from it. Sadly, the hotel you buy the ticket from is charging you for the convenience of buying the ticket from them. Take the time, hire a motorbike taxi and buy a train ticket directly – or when you arrive on the train buy your next ticket out of town then and there. As the train tickets can sell out, it’s best for you to buy in advance if you can to ensure that your travel plans aren’t disrupted.
The roads are dangerous
Riding a motorbike or scooter is really exciting in Vietnam. It’s also dangerous – given the numbers of badly bandaged tourists that you see limping around. Be careful, ok?
Take care in Asia, Vietnam and in Hoi An and you’re sure to find yourself having a blast and enjoying the sights, sounds and experiences. Make sure you take travel insurance out as well – just as a second insurance policy (your smarts are the first insurance policy!).