Living in your location
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIVING IN VIETNAM
Choosing to intern or study abroad means you are challenged to learn about and adapt to a new living environment. Instead of waking up in your comfy bed back home, you may be somewhat astonished on the first morning abroad realizing you are now in a totally unfamiliar setting while still trying to get over jet lag. Soon after, it will be time to open your mind and get ready to experience new things in Vietnam, including accommodation, transportation, health & safety and social etiquettes.
All you need to know to make your life abroad as comfortable and safe as back home can be found below.
After receiving your confirmation on the program placement, ABROADER will arrange your accommodation based on your program package. An Accommodation Description will be sent to you before your departure for Vietnam. Currently, we provide two housing options for our program participants to choose from: serviced apartment or homestay. Read through the following section to know which one will be the best fit for you.
|Private room||Yes||Subject to program package|
|Key to room and house||Subject to host family||Yes|
|Air conditioner||Subject to host family||Yes|
|Fan||Yes||Subject to apartment|
|Fridge||Share with family||Yes|
|Gas||Share with family||Yes|
|Kitchen with utensils||Share with family||Yes|
|Tap Water (not drinkable)||Yes||Yes|
|Drinking Water||Subject to host family||Subject to apartment|
|Bathroom||Private/ Share with family||Yes|
|Bed set (Pillow, Blanket, Bed linen)||Yes||Yes|
|Laundry service||No||Yes (Additional Fee)|
|Room cleaning service||No||Yes|
If you prioritize privacy and would rather spend most of your time in a private room, you’d want to consider choosing a studio apartment. A studio apartment is not a separate house, it is a room located within a shared house, however everything you need for daily life is in there.
A studio apartment has the necessary facilities you need and comes with an attached bathroom.
Alternatively, if you prefer more social interactions at home or you like to have more space to cook and the idea of a kitchen inside your bedroom isn’t attractive, you can choose to live in a shared apartment or share your studio apartment with at least one other person. The good thing about staying in a shared (studio) apartment as opposed to a private studio apartment is, even though you might have less privacy, your housemates/roommates will be internationals from all over the world coming to Vietnam for the same reason you do, to study, intern or work. And in no time, you will find yourself being able to meet interesting people, learn from their cultures and possibly a bit of their languages when you’re in Vietnam.
The kitchen with cooking wares is shared between housemates, you might be sharing the bathroom with one housemate.
Lastly, if you want a place you can call ‘a home away from home’ in Vietnam, we offer the option of staying in a homestay. Our homestay hosts are families where at least one member can speak English and express high enthusiasm for hosting an international student for the purpose of cultural exchange. Many of our alumni got along extremely well with their host families. The families live within or not far away from the center area of the cities so you can do both cultural immersion and social activities during your stay. Most of the time, the family will invite you to eat family meals with them when you are at home. Find out about the etiquettes you need to know when homestaying in Vietnam here. The facilities at a host family are more or less the same with that of a studio/shared apartment.
Learning how to cook Vietnamese food and enjoy family meal with host family
ABROADER’s 3 Accommodation Packages
A single studio apartment or a single room in a multi-bedroom shared serviced apartment (one bed per room) or homestay.
A 2-bed studio apartment or a 2-bed single room in a multi-bedroom shared serviced apartment (two beds per room). Subject to arrangement, 2 beds can be replaced by 1 bunk bed.
|Economy package *||
A shared room with bunk beds in a shared service apartment. It could be 4 or 6 or 8 people per room depending on the room’s size and availability of beds.
* For all packages
Laundry: There will be a shared space for you to wash your clothes with a washing machine and an open area to hang the clothes up to dry as there is usually no dryer. Some places (excluding homestay) will offer free laundry service every week while others require an extra laundry fee (often ranging from US$1/kg depending on the place).
This is the space for you to wash and hang your clothes to dry.
For twin-sharing package
Your roommate could be international students from ABROADER or other clients of the housing provider.
* For economy package
Your roommates could be international students from ABROADER or other clients of the housing provider.
It could be 4 or 6 or 8 people per room depending on the room’s size and availability of beds.
You are directly responsible to pay the landlord/host family for any services and fees that are not included in ABROADER’s accommodation package. These additional fees may include some or all of these items: electricity bills (USD $50-150/month per room), laundry service (around USD $1/kg), drinking water, gas, cleaning, linen and any other additional items and services. You will be directly liable to the landlord for any damage to the accommodation arising from any act of yours.
* Electricity payment:
For standard package (excluding homestay): you will pay at the end of the month the amount that you used as shown by the room electricity meter.
For twin-sharing package: at the end of the month, all the bills will be split between housemates and you will be announced of the payment by a person-in-charge.
For economy package: the electricity bill is included in the housing fee.
ABROADER would do our best to make sure that your accommodation is located less than one hour by car to your Host Organization. In the rare event that your commute is more than one-hour due to the limitation of resources or safety reasons, you will be informed in advance and provided with clear guidance on how to commute to work.
HAPPY HOUSING - ESSENTIAL RULES FOR A HARMONIOUS HABITAT
When staying either with local families or in a serviced apartment, you are responsible for your room including the appliances, property and shared space. Besides, you are advised to take your housemates and neighbors seriously and regard them with respect. This is usually returned in kind and makes the area a more pleasant place to live for everyone. In general, you would be asked to comply with:
Cleanliness creates happiness
Keep your room and the shared space tidy, take out your trash and put them at designated places.
Green your lifestyle
Please NEVER leave the power on, especially the air conditioner while you are away from home. If you need to have them on when you are sleeping, keep the temperature moderate.
Always turn off the lights when not in use.
Respect your roommates/housemates/host family members
For homestay: Comply with the family’s curfew time. If you need to stay out late, always notify the host family beforehand. If you need to stay out very late, you might want to stay at another accommodation overnight. Do not take a friend home without asking for permission from the host family first. Click here for our tips when living with a host family in Vietnam.
Avoid making noise after 10 PM or having parties without consent from the apartment manager or your host family. Do use headphones when listening to music, or keep the volume low if both you and your housemates/roommates agree to have the speakers on.
Safety and Financial Liability
Do not share the house/room key with anyone except for the landlord (for staying in an apartment) and other family members (for homestay). Before leaving the accommodation, make sure all the doors and windows are closed properly.
Take good care of properties as well as appliances and furniture at the accommodation. Charges may occur if you are found to be responsible for damages or loss of housing property.
Communication is the key
If conflict arises, open your heart and share with your roommates/housemates/host family members about your feelings. We believe talking through instead of suppressing the problem is the easiest way to get it solved. In case you cannot work things out on your own, please keep in mind that ABROADER is always here to support you.
For photos of past accommodation of our alumni, please click here. Whilst the exact option you like the best may not be available for your program start date, you can always expect a similar standard of accommodation.
Vietnam is the land with millions of motorbikes, almost every person in its major cities own one among various kinds, however, finding a travelling option that doesn’t include barely clinging onto the driver while sitting on the back of a motorbike taxi is really not that difficult. In fact, there are many ways you can get around major cities in Vietnam without using a motorbike which include using taxis, buses, the train and most recently, ride-hailing apps like Grab, Be or GoViet. Below are some basic information on using each of these transportation during your stay in Vietnam.
Taxis with meters, found in most major cities, are very cheap by international standards and a safe way to travel around at night. Average fares are about 12.000 VND to 15.000 VND per kilometre. To avoid dodgy taxis with go-fast meters which sometimes roam the streets of big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it is recommended that you only travel with reputable or recommended companies.
As public transportation is getting more popular in Vietnam, many people choose to commute by buses, whether it is for short-distance or long-distance commuting. Using buses is a cheaper alternative to taxi or train as well. Buses in Vietnam can be divided into 2 main groups, the short-distance buses running from district to district within cities and the long-distance buses that run overnight called the sleeper buses. In some big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and Da Nang, the bus is the most economical vehicle to travel within the city. With an average ticket fare of 7,000 VND, you can reach your destination safely while saving your budget and protecting the environment. The bus system is upgraded constantly to bring the best service to passengers. Many apps are created to help you check the bus route and its schedule. Your mission is to make sure to get on and off the right station with the support of the app.
Ride-hailing apps have become more and more popular in Vietnam’s major cities within the past few years. It is an affordable, secure and convenient way to get you around the cities. There is a wide range of service for you to choose from, from basic motorbike rides and car rides to carpooling and luxury cars. This option is becoming more and more attractive to users as the travelling fees are usually cheaper than traditional taxis. Plus, for those who have a credit card, you can avoid the hassle of using cash thus allowing for safer travels. The most popular apps are Grab - the Uber of Southeast Asia, Be and GoViet. These apps can be easily downloaded from the App Store or Google Play on your smartphone. If you have Wi-Fi or data, then you can use them as you do at home. Remember that if you pay by card, your card will be charged in Vietnamese Dong, so attach a card that gives you the best international exchange rates. Most drivers will not speak English, so it is important to enter the address correctly when ordering a Grab/Be/GoViet. Our team will teach you how best to use these apps after you arrive in Vietnam; they can be useful for getting home late at night after a social occasion.
Traveling by bicycle is a great way to experience Vietnam. Because of its convenience and cheapness, cycling is popular for short distance travel, although caution with road traffic within the city is recommended if you borrow, rent or buy a bike during your stay.
For safety reasons, we do NOT allow our students to ride a motorbike/scooter by him/ herself during their program in Vietnam.
OUTSIDE OF CITY
Sleeper buses are for long-distance travels, usually from one city to another. The reason why they are called sleeper buses is because the seats can be reclined to make a small bed. People usually take an overnight sleeper bus to save time while travelling. The downsides of Vietnam sleeper buses are that they are usually packed with people and the bathroom stops along the way are sometimes not in good conditions. When you choose a sleeper bus for travelling, make sure you are choosing a well-known company instead of a smaller, unknown name, bigger companies have better policies for their drivers and customers and this refrains drivers from over-speeding or dangerous driving.
You might have in mind the image of a luxury Limousine for celebrities. Hold on, this is what a Limousine in Vietnam looks like.
Limousine service is becoming more and more popular across Vietnam as it’s way more comfortable than the sleeper buses, and speaking of the price, the fare per trip can be considered as affordable given the high level of comfort it gives the passengers. Its biggest selling point is that the drivers will pick you up at almost wherever you are and drop you off at the exact address of your choice. When travelling in a Limousine car, you have your own space on such a relaxing seat with stable wifi and a good bottle of water.
If you are planning to travel further and through Vietnam, then the train is a more comfortable and safer option. Make sure you are getting your tickets inside the train station or on the state train’s official website. If you are not familiar with the routes and train stations, you can also book train tickets with a trusted tour agency found on TripAdvisor. Never buy tickets from vendors in front of train stations or people offering you ‘great’ train ticket prices. They are often dealers who sell tickets for prices way over than they are worth.
When you book a train ticket in Vietnam, there are a variety of options to choose from, you can choose to sit on a hard or soft chair, or lounge in your own bed. More modern trains even offer private cabins you can spend with your family or friends. The money spent on upgrading your seat/bed according to your preference is money well-spent, especially when you are going on a long trip.
Vietnam has good domestic flight connections, with new routes opening up all the time, and very affordable prices (if you book early). Airlines, including Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways accept bookings on international credit or debit cards.
For more information on how to get around in Vietnam, check out this blogpost.
At ABROADER, we care about your health and safety as much as your family does. We are committed to offering safe and enjoyable programs to make sure that you can have a well-rounded and safe experience. The security of our program locations and of popular student travel destinations is monitored simultaneously with the timely delivery of safety guides and risk warnings based on information from the government and experts in the education abroad community.
Once we start to work with you, you are guided through a program-specific health and safety procedure which begins with pre-departure communications and concludes with a comprehensive on-site orientation held by us and staff from your host organization. You will be given local emergency contact information to ensure reachable and responsive communication during the course of the program. Our staff will also work with you, your parents, host organization and study abroad staff at your home institution (if applicable) to provide the most up-to-date information regarding situations that may arise during your program.
Health & Safety issues are carefully addressed in the onsite orientation session you will have with us after arriving in Vietnam. During this orientation session, our Program Coordinator would highlight local health and safety issues as well as give further details and tips about transportation and accommodation, guidelines on eating local food and finding safe drinking water, simple Vietnamese phrases you can use, and more. You will also be provided an SOS card in Vietnamese that has your address and emergency contacts including our local emergency number, your host organization supervisor, and your host family (if applicable). If you find yourself in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, you can show or use this card to get help, and it is important that you keep this card on you at all times.
24/7 EMERGENCY CONTACT
ABROADER’s 24/7 emergency contact information will be given to you before your departure for your program location so that you can share it with your parents or other close people at home. Our emergency contact person has a wide network of local contacts such as nearby hospitals, police stations, embassies and even your neighbors so as to quickly react to unexpected situations. On the orientation day, you will be reminded of this information again. Whenever in an emergency, you should first (have someone) contact our local staff at:
Hanoi: +84 96 93 88 689 (24/7) or +84 24 62 94 3322 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm).
Ho Chi Minh City: +84 975 630 435 (24/7) or +84 28 39 30 6432 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm).
If you are placed outside of these two cities you can also call these numbers, but for more immediate situations, you are under the care of your local organization supervisor whose number you should have on you at all times on your SOS card or in your phone.
Upon receiving your emergency call, ABROADER will contact relevant stakeholders as soon as possible, typically your emergency contacts and/or university staff back home. In the event that medical care is required, ABROADER can assist you through insurance protocols.
Vietnam is generally a safe place to be, but as with anywhere else – as a foreigner you need to take extra precautions, especially if the area you are staying in or visiting is a touristy or distant area. For example, always carry your money and phone in an inside pocket, not in your back pocket or the outer pockets of coats or jackets. If you want to leave your coat or jacket anywhere, take your money with you. Avoid carrying a handbag when you are out on the street, carry a cross bag or a backpack instead, have your cross back and backpack within your sight when walking in a crowded area or on buses by wearing them in front of you rather than on your back. Never leave your belongings unattended, even for short periods. Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you – just enough to meet your day-to-day needs. In major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, there are plenty of ATMs where you can withdraw money and convenient stores and supermarkets that accept credit card payment.
Finally, take special care of your passport, tickets and other personal documents. If you are staying at a hotel, you can leave your passport at the receptionist, if you are staying at a studio apartment or a shared room; make sure you have your passport locked away in a safe place.
In Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, there are both local and international clinics and hospitals open to foreign visitors for medical consultations and treatments.
Below is a list of accredited International Clinics and Hospitals in Vietnam. The list is by no means exclusive. These international medical facilities have foreign language-speaking staff and doctors. Make sure to check with your insurance provider and the clinic website to see which clinics are in your insurance coverage network.
Ho Chi Minh City:
- Family Medical Practice (Languages: English, Japanese and Korean)
34 Le Duan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | Phone: 028 3822 7848
- Lotus Clinic (Languages: English, Japanese)
22 Le Thanh Ton, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh | Phone: 028 3829 9570
- FV Hospital (Languages: English, French)
6 Nguyễn Lương Bằng Tân Phú, Quận 7, TP.HCM, Hồ Chí Minh | Phone: 028 5411 3333
- Vietnam-France Hospital (Languages: English, French and Japanese)
01 Phuong Mai Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi, Vietnam | Phone: 024 435 741 111
- Family Medical Practice Hanoi (Languages: English, Japanese and Korean)
298 Kim Ma Street, Van Phuc Compound, Dinh District, Hanoi | Tel: 024 3843 0748
- Family Medical Practice Danang (Languages: English, Japanese and Korean)
96-98 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Hai Chau District, Danang, Vietnam | Tel: 0236 3582 699
If you are taking regular prescription medications, you should discuss travel plans with your regular doctor, and develop a plan for the duration of the time abroad. It may be difficult or impossible to fill prescriptions at the host location. When possible, you should bring enough medications to last for the duration of the program and always bring a copy of your current prescription as well as contact information for regular doctors.
You are encouraged to disclose medical conditions and current prescriptions with ABROADER. Though ABROADER does not require this information in our application procedures, we hope you can start a dialogue with us as soon as possible so that guidance and direction to further resources will be given properly. ABROADER Program Advisors and Coordinators are best equipped to answer questions related to the specific program location. For more information on medications abroad, please visit the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
It is always necessary to maintain a healthy mental well-being, especially when you reside in another country. Since our establishment, ABROADER has researched and worked with medical centers in our different program locations that are capable of providing mental health support to foreign visitors. These centers may not meet up with your expectations compared to the ones back home; however, we endeavour to find ones whose staff have adequate qualifications and language skills to ensure proper communication with you during your treatments.
If you plan to travel independently away from your program site, please be aware that it is mandatory to notify your Program Coordinator at ABROADER of your plan. It is always wise to let us know where you are going, when you will be back, and how we can contact you while you are travelling in case there is an emergency and we need to contact you or vice versa. You may also want to inform your host organization of your plans in case your travel plans are changed due to weather or other reasons. Do keep in mind that your program is your priority and while you may request time off from your host organization; it is not required for your host organization to grant you the time off. Also, please check in with your Program Coordinator once you’ve returned so we know you are safe!
It should be noted that independent travel outside of your host city is undertaken entirely at your own risk. ABROADER cannot be held responsible for anything that might happen to you during independent travel, thus it is vital that you exercise caution and good judgment when travelling independently.
You should avoid:
Staying out after midnight or after a local curfew
Being in a high-crime area
Staying alone in an isolated area
Sleeping in an unlocked room
Eating food with unknown origin or without being guided by the local
Being on a motorbike without wearing helmet
You should pay attention to:
What is advised by ABROADER staff and the local buddies
Local law, rules, curfew and warnings
The address of your accommodation and emergency contact
Other sources of help around you (phones, stores, police, etc.)
Contact our Program Coordinator for additional resources on health & safety in Vietnam here.
Understanding the core values that Vietnamese people believe in can be a great way for you to adapt to Vietnamese culture. Below is a comprehensive etiquette guide to facilitate your experience in Vietnam!
The Vietnamese are proud people and are extremely welcoming and tolerant to foreign visitors. That said, our cultural identity and traditions are complex, and as a casual visitor you will find the following forms of etiquette evoke respect and admiration from the locals:
Respect the elders and address the eldest in a group first as the Vietnamese culture has a great respect for the elderly. Elderly people always have the right of way in Vietnamese society and should be treated with great respect. In every situation, it is best to give honor and preference to the eldest member of the group. For example, when dining with a Vietnamese family, please wait for the eldest to start eating first before you do.
The Vietnamese people value humility, restraint, and modesty, and avoid being boastful or showing off wealth.
Start with small talk and enquire about their families and personal life before discussing any business matter. This is not considered rude in Vietnamese culture. The Vietnamese need to know more about you, in a casual way, before they discuss business.
Overall, most Vietnamese are quite reserved when it comes to showing affection for the opposite sex. Showing affection in public is generally frowned upon and whilst a kiss or a hug with your partner is considered acceptable in major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it is a social taboo elsewhere. When meeting with Vietnamese of the opposite sex, a handshake or a slight bow is considered standard greeting. A kiss on the cheek is not recommended and may cause embarrassment.
Refrain from showing your anger in public. This causes astute embarrassment to yourself and your Vietnamese friends. Saving face is extremely important in Vietnam’s society. If you are not happy with something, discuss the issue in a calm and respectful manner. Showing anger will have the opposite effect to what you wish to achieve and will only reflect poorly upon you.
Always take your shoes off when entering a Vietnamese home.
Dress conservatively and keep your body covered.
When giving or receiving business cards/gifts, do so by holding it with both hands.
The Vietnamese family consists of the nuclear as well as the extended family. It is not uncommon for three generations to be living together under one roof. Children are expected to be obedient to their mother and father. Almost all turning points in their life are marked with the consultation of parents. Due to such a close bond among family members, it is necessary for family members to gather at the end of the day to enjoy a meal together or to have a reunion at the end of the year.
In Confucian tradition, the father is the head of the family and it is his responsibility to provide food, clothing and shelter and make important decisions. Within the same tradition it is believed that after someone dies their spirit lives on. Descendents will "worship" their ancestors to ensure they receive good favour. On the anniversary of a person's death, ceremonies are held in their memory. They are also remembered during certain lunar festivals and their souls are consulted prior to important decisions or occasions such as a birth or a wedding.
As with most group-orientated societies, Vietnam people also have hierarchical structures which are very much based upon age and status. This derives from Confucianism’s emphasis of social order. Everyone is seen as having a distinct place and role within the hierarchical structure, be it the family or the workplace. An obvious example is seen in social situations where the oldest person in a group should be greeted or served first. Within the family, the head would be responsible for making decisions and approving marriages.
As with many other Asian nations, the concept of face is extremely important to the Vietnamese. Face is a tricky concept to explain but can be roughly described as a person's reputation, dignity, and prestige. In Vietnam, it is important to be aware that you may unintentionally cause a loss of face for someone so you should be aware of your words and actions. Understanding how a face is lost, saved or given is critical. For example at your workplace, complimenting someone for their hospitality or business acumen, especially in front of other people, is considered giving them a face. In contrast, accusing someone of poor performance or reprimanding them publicly will lead to a loss of face. For more information on Vietnamese business etiquette check out this blogpost.
EATING AND DRINKING
Every Vietnamese meal follows some basic principles. Rice is a staple, consumed at basically every meal, and it will typically be placed at the end of the table. The second most basic ingredient is vegetables, followed by meat and seafood, which during previous hard times were quite rare. Today, the standard of living is much higher, so meat takes a more important place.
Another element essential to the Vietnamese table: chopsticks. Eat with the thinner end. When you want to rest the chopstick on the bowl, take care to always prop them across your bowl. To plant them vertically in the rice is a sign of misfortune and death because it resembles the incense sticks used for the dead. Younger generations are more flexible with these rules, while in the most traditional families the practice remains firmly a taboo.
Finally, it is common for the host to serve the guest by placing food in your bowl. When eating with the Vietnamese, you should:
Use the shared serving spoon. Don't use your own spoon to pick up from the communal food dish in the middle; Vietnamese find this distasteful.
Finish your serving. Leaving a significant amount of rice in your bowl is considered wasteful. Don't get more rice than you think you can finish.
Go ahead and drink, but not to excess. Some Vietnamese might enjoy alcohol (usually rice wine) with a meal, but hardly ever to excess; habitual drunkenness is frowned upon in society.
It is most common for Vietnamese people who live in cities to eat breakfast outside their home on their way to work and to eat lunch with their work colleagues. If you live with a host family, you will have access to the kitchen if you choose to store or prepare any food at home. Locals usually eat lunch at 12pm and dinner at 7pm or earlier, with lunch being the bigger meal of the day. People usually have a lunch break of 1 to 1.5 hours so they can either choose to bring their own food and eat at work or go out to eat at local food stores. People usually eat rice dishes or noodle soups for lunch. A typical meal out would cost from USD $1.5 - USD $5 depending on where and what type of food you eat (fast foods at international/local chain restaurants are typically more expensive than foods at local food stores).
It can be fairly hard for vegetarians, especially vegans to find a standard vegan meal at random food stores on the streets, if you are a vegan and you are strict about what you eat, we recommend you prepare your own food or buy them from convenient stores/supermarkets. There are legitimate vegan restaurants but they are generally more expensive than the standard meal prices. If you are a vegetarian, there are local vegetarian food stores and restaurants but they are rather rare and harder to spot. You can simply just order vegetable dishes from a food store but make sure to have someone who speaks Vietnamese with you because it is rather confusing to vendors that you only want rice and vegetables. It is also worth keeping in mind that the most popular ingredients used for flavoring in Vietnamese food is fish sauce which is made from fish.There are limited ways to make sure your food doesn’t contain fish sauce even if it is vegetarian, especially if the food comes from street food stalls. For a list of vegetarian places in cities across Vietnam, check out this webpage.
Travelers to Vietnam should not drink the tap water unless it has been boiled or purified using iodine tablets (water purifying tablets which you can buy prior to your visit to Vietnam). We recommend that you bring a reusable water bottle and boil your own at home or just buy bottled water for the duration of your stay, which can be picked up easily and cheaply at local convenience stores.
HOME CUSTOMS AND GIFTS
Always take your shoes off when entering a Vietnamese home. If the space is tight, people socialize sitting on the floor rather than on chairs. Guests are often offered green tea, fruits, and cookies.
When you are invited to a Vietnamese party or gathering, it is better to: 1) Bring sweets, cookies, flowers, or fruits. 2) Gifts should be wrapped in colorful paper, not white paper. 3) Do not give handkerchiefs, anything black, yellow flowers or chrysanthemums.
When giving gifts, often the giver minimizes the value of the item, even though it may be great. The recipient of a gift is expected to display significant gratitude. Some may be reluctant to accept a gift because of the burden of gratitude. Vietnamese may refuse a gift on the first offer, even if they intend to accept it, so as not to appear greedy.
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