"Very polite, gentle, behavior..." Asia Local Custom Tip by geoffj

Asia Local Customs: 60 reviews and 65 photos

Very polite, gentle, behavior is almost always the rule. You're not likely to see people lose their tempers, even in situations when you'd think they would (e.g. in _really_ intense traffic jams or even accidents).
Bargaining in Vietnam is much more gentle than elsewhere, with lots of smiling. You can bargain down just about anything that's for sale, but you should do it gently.
In Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (which most people just call Saigon--except when talking about different districts such as Cholon, its 'Chinatown') you may experience in a few places some relatively intense begging or selling, but don't lose your temper, even if you really want a persistent person to leave you alone. Just smile and say firmly no, or--if necessary--ignore the person altogether.
But remember that aggressive begging or hustling of the kind I've endured in other developing countries is still pretty rare in most of Vietnam, especially outside the cities. In general the Vietnamese seemed to me some of the most extraordinarily friendly people anywhere. You'll love it!
Read up on Vietnamese culture before visiting, and remember that smiling has a somewhat different meaning than in most other countries (i.e. don't think that people are laughing at you, which is how I've seen some foreigners misinterpret the smiles)

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 26, 2002
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geoffj

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