Etiquette in Indochina

Etiquette in Indochina

Driving on the right hand

Driving on the right hand



Visiting pagoda

Visiting pagoda

Though this section relies upon Vietnam, etiquette in Laos and Cambodia is similar.


Our experience over a number of years has taught us that the majorities of visitors who come to Vietnam want to respect our way of life, traditions and customs, and want to know what constitutes politeness in our country. Though we’re quite simple-going, there are some things that are regarded as rude. Eating etiquette.


As you probably know, we normally lay out our meals in small communal bowls moderately than ‘programs’. It’s polite to wait till everyone has crammed their glasses, and ‘clicked’ them together, before eating. Usually, somebody will provide you with chopsticks and fill your bowl with rice.


The correct means of eating is take a chunk of meals along with your chopsticks, dip it within the sauce if vital, put it in your bowl after which place it in your mouth. On occasion, someone will distribute morsels of meals around the group – in the event you don’t want any, briefly cover your bowl with your hand and smile.


It’s normal follow to lift your bowl to your lips and scoop the food into your mouth with your chopsticks.


Nevertheless, older people are probably affronted if you happen to put your fingers in your mouth when consuming, or use a toothpick with out shielding your mouth from view together with your different hand. Blowing your nostril is frowned upon – turn your head away if necessary. However, the younger generation is rather more relaxed about such matters.


Talking during the meal is predicted, however we don’t indulge in after-dinner dialog – as soon as everyone appears to have completed, somebody will stand up and head for the door, and everybody else follows.


On the street, etc.


Consuming meals walking along the street is Considecrimson impolite – unfortunately, men spitting isn’t.


Watch what you do along with your hands


Gestures need particular attention. Within the West, it’s commonplace for folks to cross their fingers to invoke good luck. In Vietnam, this gesture represents the female genitalia and is the ultimate obscene gesture. Its inadvertent use, nonetheless nicely intentioned, will provoke considerable offence.


In Vietnam, public body contact is only OK between people of the same gender – a person can maintain arms with one other man, but to take action with a woman would be embarrassing. We recognize that foreigners behave differently and make allowances, but passionate kissing and related behavior make us very uncomfortable!


Beckoning should be achieved with the palm dealing with downwards utilizing the whole hand. Beckoning Western-style with the palm upwards is used only for younger children and animals in Vietnam – beckoning upwards with a single finger can also be an obscene gesture. It’s extremely insulting to beckon old folks however you do it.


It’s also unwise to the touch a child on the pinnacle, and particularly on the again of the head. Try to suppress your intuition to ruffle a child’s hair as an expression of friendliness – you’ll get the opposite reaction.


Handshaking by males, typically with both hands, is regular, however not for women.




In some pagodas and most houses, it’s regular to remove shoes. If you happen to’re visiting somebody’s home, you’ll be treated as a guest. This usually involves sitting at a table and drinking inexperienced tea.


Sometimes, you’ll be provided sweets and biscuits, and perhaps even a category of whisky or brandy. This isn’t really meant to be refreshments – it’s more of a practice of hospitality, so it’s well mannered to accept a bit of what’s offered as a token of gratitude and respect.


  •   In VIETNAM: No. 4, Alley 604/33/2, Group 22, Ngoc Thuy Ward, Long Bien District, Hanoi, Vietnam

  •    Mobile: +84 972861122

  •    Mail:


  •   In WASHINGTON: 116 Forest Lane, Bellingham, WA 98225

  •   In TEXAS: 4654 Highway 6 North, Suite 101N, Houston, TX 77084

  •    Mobile: +1 971 232 9999

  •    Mail:


  •   In THAILAND: No. 25/A2, Nak Niwat Soi 21, Lad Prao 71, Bangkok 10230

  •   In CAMBODIA: Sala Kanseng, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap

      In MYANMAR: 109, Sinh-oo-dan Street, Latha Township, Yangon

      In LAOS: Hom 07 Ban Nasamphan, 13th North Road, Luangprabang


© Copyright 2015 by Gia Linh Travel