Ho Chi Minh City Tips

Local Life: Local fruits
You will find many strange local fruits here: lychee, papaya, jackfruit? But the weirdest of them all was the DURIAN, a very large fruit, the size of a football ball, all covered with sharp spikes. It is said to be the tastiest of all but it doesn’t smell good at all!! It is said it would be impossible to remain in a bus all after one of these durians has been opened inside.

Useful tips: Bring US Dollars
Most of the vendors we ran across really like you to pay in US dollars. It appears that US dollars are in fact, the underground currency around Vietnam. Be careful about exchanging too much cash for Vietnamese Dong.
Now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to get some. How often do you get to hold 20,000 of any kind of money! But, make your exchanges in small amounts.

Thieves & Beggers
This is not really a big problem especially if you keep your backpack locked but be careful of these innocent cuties, especially, if you’re a Caucasian. Vietnamese children will usually target you and badger you to buy postcards, hats, little grasshoppers made from grass, etc. It’s very difficult to refuse them. But giving money to one will encourage the rest to swarm to you like bees to honey. Also, do take note that while you are paying attention to one cute child, another could be helping himself to your wallet when you’re not watching!

Traffic: Gridlock Traffic Conditions
They say a picture speaks a thousand words so here it is. Now, imagine that you are trying to cross this road. It’d be best for you to walk slowly and carefully and let the vehicles avoid yourself.

Ice and water
Though you might have heard some say it’d be better not to have ice here, yet, don’t worry! Except for a few dodgy street vendors, everywhere does sell clean ice. The drinking ice is transported a lot more safely.
Tap water on the other hand is very much to be avoided, accepted for brushing teeth, but if there is a heavy down pour avoid this as well (especially in Hanoi or smaller cities). The fresh water and sewer systems have a tendency to mix if it floods.