A Little Nomad's Traveling Diary

I am not a writer. I am just the person who is addicted to travels and has passion for capturing every single piece of traveling memories in words

[Insight] into Vietnam and Vietnamese



I would like to post here some myths or some quick answers to some questions that you may have in your mind before or after coming here.

1. Do Vietnamese people eat dog? or even Do I eat dog?

Yes and No. Vietnamese people, especially from the North do eat dog. There are two reasons that make them keep that eating habit:

– Dog meat is believed to be rich in protein.

– Eating dog at the end of month is believed to be the best way to get away from bad luck.

I have never eaten dog, but other members in my family do. So do many other people.

2. Is it polite to show off the intimacy publicly?

Normally no. But it seems acceptable to us because you are foreigners. (We learn about it through books, movies,…) Don’t deliberately do it too many times, though.

3. Could I wear whatever I want?

Yes, absolutely. There is just a small piece of advice, that sometimes you need to dress appropriately, especially qhen you enter a temple or pagoda (perhaps some tourist attractions too)

4. What to buy as a gift if I am invited to a Vietnamese family?

It depends on what kind of relationship between you and the family. But in most case, some fruits or a botle of wine are recommended. I usually opt for the former, though.

A! Remember to take off your shoes before coming in, even though the host may say that you could keep them.  Almost Vietnamese houses have their own shoe cubby or shoe cabinet. “Make yourself at home” is a good thing. I should slightly amend it into “Make yourself at their home”. Be a nice guest 🙂

5. Do people still speak French? Is Vietnamese language like Chinese?

Vietnam has its own language which is Vietnamese. Just like other languages, it’s also borrowed a lot of words from English, French. There are some old people speaking French quite well, because they did have to take it as a subject at high school (in the war time). Most of students can speak English with a reasonable level.

To answer the question “Is Vietnamese language like Chinese?”, I’d write here a sentence in Vietnamese in order that you can spot the difference easily.

“Người Việt dùng tiếng Việt, nên đừng bao giờ hỏi tiếng Trung là ngôn ngữ của họ hả. Kẻo, bị đấm thì cấm kêu!!!”

It means “the Vietnamese use Vietnamese language. You, therefore, don’t ever ask them if Chinese is their language, otherwise you could be given a punch on the nose” haha.


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This entry was posted on Tháng Mười Một 5, 2013 by in My Vietnam.

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