Do’s And Don’ts That You Must Know Before Volunteering In Vietnam


One of the popular Southeast Asian destinations, Vietnam is a friendly nation known for welcoming travelers from all across the world. With major influence from the Chinese rulers and the French colonial masters, Vietnam allures tourists with the abundance of breathtaking landscapes, delicious food, and extraordinary architectures that hold several stories from the past.

volunteering in Vietnam

If you choose to travel to Vietnam for volunteering, then here are a few Dos and Don’ts that you must follow in order to have a joyful and trouble-free journey in Vietnam.


  • Do dress conservatively, especially while you are not in the big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City but traveling through the small towns and villages.
  • Do drink a lot of water – Vietnam, being a tropical country, usually has warm and humid weather. While volunteering, you’ll need to be active all the time, hence, it is essential to balance your fluid intake.
  • If you’re invited into a local’s home (which is really the only way to travel), be sure to take your shoes off at the entrance.
  • Show respect to the elders. Greet people when you meet them, and don’t sit unless you’re offered.
  • Use both your hands while giving or receiving gifts in Vietnam.
  • Do get your travel and medical insurance documents while volunteering in Vietnam. Make sure you are fully covered for medical treatment, hospitalization, and medical evacuation because treatment in Vietnam is super-expensive.
  • Travel by the local transport and make sure to take a ride on the train. It’ll be absolutely thrilling to cross the picturesque villages while traveling with the locals. Take care of your belongings while traveling in the local transport.
  • Do carry some toilet paper with you, in case you need in any sort of emergency!
  • Leave your shoes outside, while entering any religious complex.
  • Always leave your valuable possessions (documents, expensive jewelry, cash etc) at your accommodation. Carry only whatever is required.
  • Learn a couple of words in the local language – this will help you to develop better bonds with the locals as well as at your project site.


  • Don’t wear skimpy clothes, especially when you are visiting a religious place. If you are wearing shorts or t-shirts to visit a Pagoda, they won’t let you in.
  • Don’t sit with your feet pointing towards someone. The Vietnamese consider it as a sign of disrespect.
  • Don’t take photos of people without seeking their permission. Also, don’t take photos of anything related to the military – you might just land up in the jail!
  • Travelers usually complain about over-aggressive and hyper street vendors. Don’t lose your temper and keep calm, you’ll get a better deal if you be patient with them.
  • Don’t go out alone in the night. Even if you are going in a group, you must inform your country coordinator about where you plan to go.
  • Don’t hug or show affection in public. You will notice couples holding hands on the street, but hugging/ kissing in the public places is highly frowned upon!
  • Don’t sleep till late in the morning – the day commences as early at 6 am in Vietnam, and you’ll see people on the streets and cars honking, shops are open and life starts rolling.


A volunteering journey to Vietnam will definitely be an enriching experience and if you know the basics of how to behave with the host community while in the country, then everything becomes much more simpler.

We hope that you’ll have an amazing time while volunteering with us in Vietnam. If you have any more queries, or if you need more information about the volunteer projects in Vietnam, then simply drop us a mail at [email protected] and our Program Advisors will get back to you!

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