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Sam Nguyen

Travelled to 6 countries / regions

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I'm Vietnamese living in Ho Chi Minh City

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Asia > Vietnam > Useful Info
Submitted on Sep 05, 2019 Useful Info

What travelers should wear in Vietnam

  • In major cities and tourist areas — including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, Phu Quoc, Sa Pa, and Ha Long Bay — you can wear basically whatever you want in public as long as you're not nude
  • In these metropolitan areas, people have been exposed to many Western clothing style through movies and tourists, and we are fairly used to see men wearing flip flops and tank tops, and women wearing very short skirt. Don't worry you won't be offending anyone if you wear very short garments
  • Just don't walk around topless, anything else will be fine
  • When you go to upscale restaurants, bars, and other private establishments, you will be expected to wear something more modest. Smart casual is fine, meaning jeans and shirt (or T-Shirt is fine too). Basically wear to these places what you would wear to same kinds of places back home
  • However, when you visit certain sites that require respect, including all religious and government sites (like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi for example), you will be expected to:
  • Cover your shoulders
  • Cover your knees
  • Cover your toes
  • No hats
  • A small number places require more formal wear, like the opera house for example. You generally won't ever have to wear formal as a tourist in Vietnam, but just keep in mind that any kind of places back home that require formal wear, you will likely have to wear the same thing in Vietnam as well
  • If for whatever reason you're going off the beaten path to visit the country side, you will want to dress more modestly if you're a woman. Avoid things that are too revealing, like bikinis. For men, there's not much constraint even in the countryside on what's acceptable to wear.
  • A bigger consideration for what to wear is to dress comfortably
  • Vietnam is a hot and humid country in most places you're likely to visit. So wear something light and breathable
  • In the south, around Ho Chi Minh City area, day time temperature is pretty much always over 30C any time of the year. (https://www.holiday-weather.com/ho_chi_ming_city/averages/)
  • In the north, around Hanoi area, November-April is very mild temperature-wise at low- to mid-20s during the day. (https://www.holiday-weather.com/hanoi/averages/)
  • Plus, you'll likely be doing lots of walking around, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking
  • Bring a waterproof jacket as it will rain from time to time, especially during the rain season from May to October