Local habits

It is customary to tip in a restaurant, hotel, hairdresser or spa. The average income is low, and the tips are a much needed additional income.
Especially in large cities you see some beggars at tourist places. As pathetic as it may seem at the time, do not respond. Often these people are used by others to beg and they must relinquish their yield. If you still want to do something, give them bread or fruits.

Is only done in the most touristic spots. Remember that for us a bit more or less does not matter. For locals a few cents more can mean food or no food for the day.

authenticity of items
In Vietnam  the magic word is 'same same'. However, usually it is a copy of the original. Whether it is a CD, DVD, sportswear or branded bags, in most cases these are counterfeit items at low prices. Only in official stores (Nike, Adidas, Gucci, etc) will you buy the original article and you pay a normal price.
You will also find souvenirs, made of (rare) animals or shells. Do not buy these articles as it would support the extinction of these animals!
Remember when buying the above articles that importing them to Europe is prohibited and can lead to heavy fines !
Vietnam is a safe country to travel in. However, like in all big cities, theft takes place, especially in the big cities. Pay attention to your bag and belongings and do not carry them on the side where scooters are driving. Use safes in hotels and  don't leave any valuables behind.

safety in traffic
Especially in large cities there are hundreds of thousands of motorbikes and crossing the road can be a challenge. Walk slowly, look at the drivers, but don't hesitate or stop! You'll notice that they pass you in front or behind. Driving a car or a motorbike is not permitted without a Vietnamese driving license.
plugs and voltage
Standard current used is 220 volts. The plugs and sockets vary from hotel to hotel, usually it's the 2-plug Northern European or the flat 2-plug american one. Please note that power cuts are quite common, especially outside the big cities.

internet and mobile phones
Almost all hotels, restaurants and bars offer free WiFi. The mobile network in Vietnam works very well, even in remote areas.
Vietnamese is a spoken 6-tone language with Roman script. Generally English is spoken very little, although more amongst the young. In hotels the level of English is  generally OK, although pronunciation may sometimes lead to misunderstandings.
Opening hours
Shops: 7 days a week 8:00am – 21:00pm 
Museums: mostly Tue-Sun 8:00 - 11:30am and 14:00 - 16:30pm
Authorities: mostly Mon-Fri 8:00 - 11.30am and 14.00 - 16.30pm