10 Mistakes Aussies Think About Vietnam

1. Vietnam is a small country

Many people think Vietnam is a small country so they plan to go around by bus or train but actually, you can’t, Vietnam is narrow but has a long coastline, 1726 km from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, it takes 35 hours by train, and can take 2 – 3 days by car. Domestic flights are reasonably priced.

The biggest surprise is when you realise just how long this country is. Much longer than you’d think when planning your trip. The best and easiest way to get around Vietnam is by flying. It’s usually not much more expensive than the trains and it’s so much faster allowing you to spend more time at each destination.

2. A poor country, there are limited nice hotels/ resorts

I know what you know about Vietnam if you have never been there or 20 – 30 years ago that Vietnam is a poor country post-war, difficult to find a high-end hotel or resort. But you are WRONG.

People check on agoda/ expedia may think that the service and quality of accommodation in Vietnam are bad because it’s much cheaper than in Australia. Believe me, they are wrong.


There are hundreds of luxury hotels and resorts in Vietnam along from the north to the south at very good prices, service and food are very good. We often talk to our customers that Vietnam trip is good value of money because with the price of a 3 star in Australia at about $200 you can stay in a 5 star hotel or resort in Vietnam but if you want to stay in a hotel or resort cost $1000 a night yes you can in Vietnam.

A number of luxury brands have properties here including Azerai, Aman, Anantara, MGallery, Four Seasons, Six Senses, and many more. So if you’re looking to indulge, this is the country to do it.

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3. Vietnam doesn’t have nice beaches as in Thailand

There are many stunning beaches in the centre and the south of Vietnam both touristy and authentic. They also have many water sports or theme parks for families that people say Vietnamese Disneyland. For example in Danang they have Ba Na Hill which is well known of Golden Bridge, in Nha Trang they have Vinpearl Land, in Phu Quoc they have Vinwonder.

There are many luxury hotel/ resort brands ……


4. Vietnam has tropical weather, warm all year round. Wrong!

I know when you think of Southeast Asia, you think of hot, humid and mostly sunny throughout the year. WRONG.

Up north and in the Central Highlands during the winter and early spring It definitely gets cold. While it does generally stay quite hot and humid along the central coast and southern regions, you want to be wary of monsoon season. It can start in August and last until October.

The weather differs from the north to the south so be mindful when you pack for your Vietnam trip, search for the weather forecast before you come to Vietnam.

The north has 4 seasons: Spring (Feb to Apr) 15 – 24 degrees, summer (May –  Aug) 30 – 38 degrees, very humid, autumn ( Sept – Nov ) 24 – 30 degrees, winter ( Dec – Feb ) 10 – 20 degrees.

The typical climate of central Vietnam is known as a tropical wet climate or tropical monsoon. This region is dry, hot weather from January to August with temperatures of up to mid-30°C. September, October, and November often have the highest rainfall.

The South: There are only two seasons, dry and rainy seasons, with the highest rainfall from June to August.

5. Not a safe place to travel to

Over all, Vietnam is safe. There are some scams on the street.

The biggest thing you should worry about is someone on a motorbike swiping your wallet or phone or motorbike accidents, it happens quite often in Ho Chi Minh City. Just keep your things close to your body and have a firm grip on your phone if you pull it out near the road.

Up to the north, you may notice some people want to hand you something nice to take a picture or somebody shine your shoes without asking, you think they are nice and it’s for free but in the end they ask for a big money for nothing.

Taxi scam happens everywhere, they may detour twice just to get more money.

6. Missing out on the street food

Vietnam is well known for Pho, Banh My, Bun Cha, Spring Rolls… 

When you are actually in Vietnam, you will realize that there are much more than 4/5 famous dishes that you know. The north recipes are more traditional, the south recipes are inspired by China, Singapore and Thailand.

Don’t miss out street food, banh my at some food stalls is the best. You don’t need to spend lots of money on good food at expensive restaurants in Vietnam. We often suggest our customers street food tour, specially Vespa street food tour.

Give egg coffee a go when you are in Hanoi, the taste is not like what it sounds.


7. Vietnam is a simple country.

Vietnam truly is an amazing place, filled with lots of diversity and acceptance of all people, it has over 50+ varieties of Ethnic minorities, it has breathtaking sights and incredible experiences from North to South. The country has plenty of beautiful beaches and over 40 islands with over 3,000km of coastline.

Ha Long Bay, overview, youintravel

There are large metropolis cities, medium-sized and smaller more rural sizes, from fast-paced Ho Chi Minh to the french influenced Hanoi and the romantic ancient town of Hoi An. And the stunning UNESCO heritage wonders like Ha Long Bay, the mazy channels of the Mekong Delta, and the Hai Van Pass in Ha Giang.

There’s just too much to see on one trip, so don’t try. Don’t over complicate your itinerary and ensure to include travel times and rest days. Focus your full attention on a couple of well-chosen spots, and remember that just ticking sights off a list is not always the best way to see a country.

sapa vietnam

8. Vietnamese people is still wearing traditional outfit mainly

Northern Vietnam is much more traditional than Southern Vietnam. Overall, Vietnam isn’t as conservative as before and is very liberal. They dress similarly to people in the western part of the world, you may, however, see some tribe’s wearing traditional outfits at some tourist places in the mountainous area.

There are just some things to keep in mind. Like; you should cover up slightly more in Hanoi than in Saigon, and always have shoulders and knees covered when entering temples and when meeting minority tribes. Otherwise, you should dress to be as comfortable as possible while in the tropical climate.

9. Vietnamese don’t like westerners specifically American and French

I know what you might be thinking. After the wars Vietnamese don’t like the Americans and the French. Shockingly… no.

Actually, I’d say the one country Vietnam has the most animosity towards is China.

10. Ho Chi Minh is the second biggest city not Saigon

You may hear Ho Chi Minh City and Saigon a lot, you can be surprised that they are talking about 1 city. Until 1976, HCMC was known as Saigon, before the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was established,. So, what’s the “politically correct” way to name this city? Well, both are used interchangeably. Saigon obviously rolls off the tongue a lot easier than Ho Chi Minh City and it’s easier to call someone Saigonese, like you’d call someone Hanoian.

Hochiminh City overview at night time, Vietnam, youintravel

Written and shared by the Youin Travel Team

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