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Vietnam Travel Tips

Taxi drivers and shuttle drivers can be pushy about taking you to see a hotel or guesthouse of their choice instead of yours - be firm about where you want to go, sometimes it helps to say that you have a prepaid reservation or are meeting a friend.

Cyclo drivers have lots of tricks for getting you to pay more than the agreed upon rate.  Settle on a rate up front and be clear about whether that rate is per person or for everyone.  We gave up on this form of transportation after a few bad experiences, but it's worth doing once just for the experience

The cleanliness of food in major cities is generally fairly good, but you still need to understand what to watch for.  The lonely planet has good guidelines on what's safe to eat - make sure you read this before you go.  There's no food good enough that it's worth spending a few days of your vacation in bed for.

Clothing and Special Gear

Lonely Planet Vietnam
by Mason Florence
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There are lots of tourist guides for Vietnam, but we found this to be the most thorough - especially if you plan to get off the beaten path a little. 

Hot Sour Salty Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford
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A great cookbook for the whole region with beautiful pictures, background about ingredients and easy to follow instructions.  

Memories of a Pure Spring
by Thu Hng Dng
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Get in the mood for your trip by reading a little fiction.  This book is not only a fascinating story, but it will also give you context about what people's lives in Vietnam (and especially those of artists) were like under communism

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