Different countries, different cultures and different beliefs. What is considered rude in Vietnam might not be rude for you but to ensure you have not offended anyone, make sure to have a read!
As a traveller/tourist to a place or a country, there is a need to make sure whatever it is that you do, you do it following the rules and customary of the place – beside, you are the visitors.
Tossing money about like it means nothing to you
Travelling outside of your own country means you can actually afford to travel and to some people it means you’re rich especially when you can travel in Vietnam.
The locals already have the perspective that you are well-off. And throwing money around like a confetti is considered an insult mostly to labor workers of the country who spend hours of the day just to earn a living.
If you have the cash, then it’s great for you but make sure to be mindful of the people who were not fortunate enough like you.
Not purchasing anything when you’re the first customer
Like most countries near Vietnam, the locals respect superstitious beliefs. Some may come as a surprise and others are intriguing but must be respected. If you’re planning to go out for shopping, remember if you happen to be the first customer of the store make sure to buy something even the cheapest item available unless you’d like to bathe in unpleasant words from the store owner.
Leaving without anything can mean a bad omen for the day’s sale.
Keeping your shoes on when you go into a home
If you’ve been invited or are heading to a local’s home, NEVER keep your shoes on when entering the house.
You might not mean this and are not accustomed to it however, to the locals, this just means that their house floors are dirtier than the ground outside. The good thing is you won’t be bombarded with ear-splitting harsh words but then, you have just officially offended the host.
No touching of the head
Shaking someone’s hair or patting somebody’s head for a job well done might not be taken lightly in Vietnam. Touch of the head in this country is considered rude and not just in Saigon.
Locals treat their head as sacred, this goes the same with other countries in Asia. In as much as you like, try to hold back the urge to do this to anyone in Saigon.
Point with your pinky finger
This does not come as a surprise as it is not only in Vietnam that pointing your index finger can be rude. If you got stuck into a situation wherein you need to point into something, you may do so using your pinky.
You can also try pointing using an open hand facing down which is more polite to the locals.
Palm down when you call someone over
Similar to the one above, calling someone over using an open hand while the palm is up is considered insulting in Vietnam as this is how the locals call their pets.
To call someone over and not offend anyone, you can point while your palm is facing down. Also, an important thing to remember is never to call someone over when they are older than you.