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Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Vietnam?

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We asked people in Vietnam if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"I probably did, but you get away with a lot in Vietnam. They just figure you're weird because you're a foreigner. For example, Vietnamese women don't drink or smoke unless they're prostitutes. But I could do both without consequence because I'm a foreigner," commented one expat who made the move to Bien Hoa, Vietnam.

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"It is important to respect the local culture and traditions of Vietnam, so visitors should strive to be mindful of different customs. For instance, it is considered inappropriate to show public displays of affection, as well as dress too provocatively. Gesturing with your fingers is also seen as impolite and it is important to avoid discussing sensitive topics such as Vietnam's political regime and past wars. Additionally, it is best to take off your shoes before entering someone's home, and always accept an offer of food or drinks when offered, as it seen as disrespectful to turn it down," remarked another expat in Vietnam.

Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Vietnam?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

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