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How to travel Vietnam - The full guide

With some of the most compelling sight-seeing places, Vietnam has been making quite a buzz in the traveler’s bucket list these days. Surrounded by pristine beaches and lush green plants and trees, Vietnam is one of the must-visit countries. Vietnam has been one of the most sought-after destinations these days by a lot of travelers because of its rich heritage and culture.

Vietnam has been frequented by a lot of tourists’ of late, and the country boasts of some of the best beaches and scenic landscapes. There are a lot of destinations in Vietnam that one can visit during their visit. Also, the country has some of the world-class delicacies to tantalize your taste-buds. Most of the people love to go to Vietnam because of its most beautiful and kindest people.

On the Mekong river

The people here are amiable; thus, traveling in Vietnam can be one of the most pleasant experiences that you could have. In this write-up, we have written everything about Vietnam that you must know when you are traveling there.

If you want to know a country or a place better, it is recommended that you stay there for a month or two or go on an extended vacation and experience the place like a local. Only then would you truly explore the area? A country like Vietnam has a deep history associated with it, and spending time in the country taking a stroll on the streets can make you jibe in those vibes.

The beautiful landscapes, the ancient temples, the cultural centers, and the tranquil beaches can make your holiday a perfect one when you are here. Traveling in Vietnam is nice, but, along with that, it is worth knowing the place in detail before you plan to go there. So, are you ready to take a virtual tour of Vietnam?

The best season to visit Vietnam

The monsoon in Vietnam is pretty harsh, and this rainfall is going to be high. Thus, visiting Vietnam during the storm can be the worst choice. The weather in Vietnam is both tropical and temperate, and the temperature is anywhere between 22 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius. The place is generally humid; hence, it is essential to choose the right season to make your travel plans.

Also, the temperature in Vietnam is pretty constant, but the winters in the Northern regions can be pretty harsh. Similar to the other countries, Vietnam also has four seasons; summer, winter, monsoon, and autumn.

The southern parts of Vietnam experiences summer from May to October and the winter season starts from November and lasts until April. In Northern Vietnam, both the summer and winter seasons are quite at its peak. 

The cloudbursts here are unpredictable, and it can start to pour at any time of the day. Hence, there is no distinguished monsoon season in Vietnam. Thus, the best time to travel to Vietnam would be from February to April, spring season, and August to November, autumn season. Winter months can also be considered; however, it is wise to travel during the recommended seasons for the best experience.

Geography of Vietnam

Vietnam is broadly classified into the Highlands, the Central Highlands, Coastal Lowlands, and Mekong Delta.  Vietnam is mainly surrounded by tropical lowlands, hills, and also thick jungles. Located in the eastern margin of the Indochinese peninsula, the overall area of Vietnam is 331,211.6 square kilometres. Vietnam has the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and the Pacific Ocean, along with China, Laos, and Cambodia at the borders.  

The Red River Delta and the Mekong Delta are two significant areas in Vietnam, and amongst the two, the Red River Delta is densely populated. The country’s maximum cultivation is found in this region due to the presence of alluvial soil. Vietnam is also an abode to tribes that are found in the Highlands. The Mekong River is the major lifeline of Vietnam, and the water from this river is used for cultivation and drinking purposes.

The terrain in the Central Highlands is pretty different from that of the Red River Delta. Covering the southern regions of Vietnam, the Central highlands comprise peaks, thick forests, and fertile soil. Also, the provinces of Dac Lac, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum are abundant with basalt soil.

Apart from these, the Coastal Lowlands also contribute a significant part to the country’s growth and revenue. The fertility of the soil is pretty good at the Coastal Lowlands. Thus, it is one of the best places to grow paddy.

Mekong Delta is the home of the Mekong River and the tributaries. This region has umpteen numbers of canals and water bodies; thus, it makes it one of the largest rice-growing areas in entire Vietnam. Also, the southernmost tip of this region is known for its mangroves. The sediments from the Red River Delta get accumulated in this region, forming vast swamps. Also, Vietnam’s Mekong River is one of the 12 Great Rivers of the World.

Useful information about Vietnam

Time zone of Vietnam

Indochina Time (ICT) is what is followed by Reunified Vietnam. The Indochina Time is seven hours ahead of UTC. Vietnam does not observe daylight saving time.

Currency used in Vietnam

Vietnam’s currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND). Multiple zeros are found on Vietnam’s official polymerized notes.

Population of Vietnam

According to the recent census conducted in the year 2019, Vietnam, as a country, has about 96,653,345 people. Vietnam contributes 1.25% of the population towards the total world population.

Languages are spoken in Vietnam

Though the official language is Vietnamese, a lot of people can also speak French, Chinese, and Khmer. Also, due to growth in tourism, English is becoming slightly famous off-late.

Well, these are some of the essential things that you must know when you are traveling to Vietnam. With this information, you would be able to understand the country better and also plan your trip accordingly.

Off season travel benefits in Vietnam

Most of the people would want to plan their travel to any destination during the peak season only. There would be a lot of seasonal activities and attractions that are limited to a particular season. But, at the same time traveling to a place during the off-season can be quite an experience in itself. Well, even Vietnam has a lot of off-season destinations and attractions that one can visit. Also, there are a lot of benefits that one can get when they are traveling to Vietnam during the off-season, and the same has been listed below.

You would be able to enjoy the places and the views better

When you travel to Vietnam during the off-season, you would certainly not have a lot of tourists at all. When there are not many tourists, then going around the places can be quite an exciting thing. There wouldn’t be many people, and the areas would also not be crowded; hence, spending time in an area without any disturbance is quite possible.

Also, Vietnam is blessed with a lot of pristine beaches; hence, spending time on the shores of the beaches looking at the roaring waves and the crystal clear water and clear sky can be one of the best things to do during the off-season. So, this is one of the significant benefits that one can avail when they travel to Vietnam during the off-season.

Where to travel Vietnam
Chinese lanterns in Hoi An

Affordable prices

Of course, when you choose to move to a country during the peak season, everything that you do, visit, stay and buy can be quite expensive. But, when you decide to go to Vietnam during the off-season, you would be able to get the overall tour package at an affordable cost. The prices would be pretty low, and everything best can be afforded during this time. Hence, this is yet another advantage that you get when you travel to Vietnam during the off-season.

Landscapes are gorgeous

During the monsoon, everything around becomes pretty. Especially, moving amidst the beautiful and lush green forests can be one of the best experiences. Though there are heavy rainfalls in Vietnam, one must know that the showers are short. Thus, traveling during this season can be one of the most beautiful things to do.

There are a lot of attractions to visit

Even during the off-season, there are a lot of attractions that can be visited in Vietnam. There would not be any compromise on these as well. Also, when you go to Vietnam during the off-season, you can spend more time knowing the culture and the beauty of the cities and other places. One can also spend a lot of time amidst the locals because, during the off-season, there wouldn’t be a lot of tourists, and the locals would also be free to explain things to you in a much better way.

Well, don’t you think traveling to a country like Vietnam during the off-season can be beautiful? After knowing the advantages of off-season moving, it is now time to understand the benefits of traveling during the peak seasons to Vietnam.

Traveling to Vietnam during the peak season

February to April, spring season, and August to November, autumn season is considered to be the best months to go to Vietnam. During these months, there would be a lot of travelers heading towards this country for its spectacular views and panoramic landscapes. Here are some of the benefits of traveling to Vietnam during the peak season.

Fun and frolic

When you go to Vietnam during the peak season, you will not miss any fun. When the cities are lit completely, the happiness and also the energy levels would be a lot more. The enthusiastic vibes and interesting places would make you feel happy and excited. The same may not happen when you are in this country during the offseason. Hence, traveling during the peak season becomes quite essential.

Can get to meet new people

When you are in Vietnam during the peak season, you would be able to make new connections, and that is what travel is all about, isn’t it? It may not happen when you travel to Vietnam during the off-season. There wouldn’t be many travelers, and you may not have many people to meet as well.  

Can experience the best of restaurants

Some of the seasonal restaurants would operate only during the peak seasons. Their delicacies may be delicious. The must-visit restaurants should be tried only during peak seasons because there would be a huge demand, and they might make everything that is on the menu. The same kind of list may not be available during the offseason. Hence, this is one of the main reasons as to why you need to visit Vietnam during the peak season.

Some crucial events might happen only during the peak season

There are a lot of festivals and celebrations that happen in Vietnam and during the peak season. Attending and taking part in these festivals can be pretty delightful. During the off-season, everything would be dull, and as there would not be any festivities, it would just be like any other typical day of your life. Hence, visiting Vietnam during the festivals and events during the peak season is right.

cost to travel to Vietnam
Golden Bridge on Ba Na Hills, Da Nang

You do not have to come back in disappointment

Some of the attractions or tourist places would be open only during the peak season. If you are visiting Vietnam with an expectation to see that place and you do not get to see it then, you may have to come back in disappointment.

Some of the tourist places may be closed due to the harsh and extreme weather during the off-season. So, if you are keen on covering all the tourist spots and attractions during your visit, you must make it to Vietnam during the peak season. Well, these are some of the advantages that you would get when you travel to Vietnam during the peak season. 

Exciting and fun facts about Vietnam

Every country we go to would have some interesting facts revolving around it. Even Vietnam has a lot of points like it. Knowing a little about these facts may not be just exciting, but it would also make your travel to Vietnam a memorable one. So, are you in for knowing some fascinating facts about Vietnam?

Did you know the Vietnamese love to commute on motor-bikes?

Vietnam is a country that encourages people to use motor-bikes in large numbers. Generally, in most of the other countries, we find people using cars, taxis, autos, and buses as a means of transportation. But, this is one country that loves to make it less chaotic for everyone. So, when you travel to Vietnam, be prepared to ride a bike to explore places.

Ho Chi Minh is still the hero of this land

Who would not probably know about Ho Chi Minh? He is the founder of modern-day Vietnam, and the entire country always respects him as their hero. He was and would be their undying hero forever. Usually, the hero of the country keeps changing time and again, but here Uncle Ho, as he is popularly known, is the popular hero of all time. The remains of Ho Chi Minh is protected in the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi.

Fair and lovely is still the concept here

People with fair skin have high standards in Vietnam even to this day. Like most of the Asian countries, skin complexion is given the highest importance in Vietnam. Most of the men and women avoid suntan or exposing their skin to the Sun. So, don’t you think this is one of the interesting facts that would surprise you about Vietnam?

They have a national dish

Vietnam has a national dish, and every restaurant irrespective of the class and the standards prepare this. Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and everyone right from a street shack to the five-star restaurants; everyone makes this yummy food. So, this may not happen in every other country, isn’t it?

Gosh! They have snake wine

According to the Vietnamese culture and traditions, Snake wine or the snake liquor would be consumed to increase the vitality in our bodies. They also believe that there are a lot of health benefits that come along with the consumption of snake wine. Snake wine or the snake liquor is pretty standard in the Southeast Asian continents yet, can come across as a bizarre one, isn’t it?

Vietnam ranks two in coffee production

After Brazil, Vietnam boasts of producing and trading the best and large quantities of coffee to the other parts of the world. The coffee in Vietnam is one of its kind and is a must-try beverage when you are here. Well, Vietnam is the second-largest producer of coffee after Brazil.

It is rich in wildlife

The thick and dense forests in Vietnam are an abode to 16% of the world’s wildlife species. When you travel to Vietnamyou can get to see the Burmese Pythons, Great Hornbills, and Sun bears Pygmy Slow Loris, Asian Water Monitor, and Indian Elephants in large numbers. For all those wildlife lovers, Vietnam can become your favorite destination within moments.

Have you heard of water puppetry?

It is pretty common to have heard of puppetry but, water puppetry is pretty unusual, isn’t it? Yes, in Vietnam, we have something called water puppetry, and the same cannot be witnessed anywhere else. So, this is one of the most interesting facts about Vietnam. Water puppetry here is one of the oldest followed customs, and the cities of Hanoi and Chi Minh follows this tradition quite religiously.

The world’s largest cave is here

Hang Son Doong Cave is the largest cave in the world, and Vietnam gets the credit of housing this naturally formed caves. It is one of the must-visit places when you are here, and not many people would know about this fact at all. So, for all the cave lovers, here comes your reason to travel to Vietnam now.

Egg coffee is delicious

Yes, you heard us right; Hanoi is known to make some delightful egg coffee. It is not available anywhere in the world. So, when you are in Vietnam, do not miss out on the most popular beverage, egg coffee.

Vietnamese hail from Dragons

It is probably one of the funniest facts of all we suppose. According to the legends and folklore, the Vietnamese hail from dragons. Well, this is the most exciting fact which no one would have probably ever heard of.

Vietnam has Breast Milk Fruit

Yes, don’t let your eyes pop out in awe! A fruit in Vietnam known as the Breast Milk Fruit is available, and probably this is not available anywhere in the world. So, when you travel to Vietnam, you must undoubtedly try your hands on these new fruits. It is also called as Vu Sua in the local language.

Every other family would have a surname called Nguyen

Don’t be surprised if you get to hear the same surname quite often. Nguyen is one of the most common surnames in Vietnam, and every second family would have it. So, be prepared to get confused with the names.

Pigs are pets and Water buffalo, national animal

The potbelly pigs are generally reared and kept as pets at home in Vietnam. So, when you travel to Vietnamyou would be able to spot a lot of these animals. Also, their national animal is the water buffalo. It sounds pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Well, apart from these there are a lot of other interesting facts which you must experience first-hand when you travel to Vietnam. Understanding some of the traditions and beliefs through these facts can be quite handy when you move to a place, isn’t it?

Requirements for travel to Vietnam
Halong Bay

Best agencies and websites to use for bookings

There are a lot of travel agencies and websites that can be used for booking a trip to Vietnam. Some of the best agencies are listed below. These websites and agencies are known to be highly reliable and also customer-centric ones. Hence, booking through these sources are always recommended to be the best ones. 

While most of the people love to book their accommodation and travel on their own, a few of them would like to seek assistance from the booking companies. Keeping that on the mind, we have listed some of the travel agencies and also the websites that you can use to book your travel to Vietnam.  Some of the travel websites also help in booking the customized packages; hence, relying on these websites can be a better idea.

Best tour operators and websites to book Vietnam tour (no affiliate)

Well, these are some of the best websites and tour operators who offer customized travel packages to their customers. There are a lot of benefits that you can get when you book through these agencies or the agencies, and a few of them are listed below.

Reliable

Most of these tour agencies and websites are reliable, and they would also have a lot of choices when it comes to booking the trip. The packages that they offer are based on the customer’s preference. It may not be available if you try booking it on your own. You may end up choosing the wrong places that are in opposite directions when there is no proper research done. Hence, booking through these agencies can help you relax because they would also help you with a detailed itinerary as well. 

Experienced professionals

Most of these tour operators are experts in their areas of specialization. They would know the details of the places properly, and the same is mentioned on the itinerary as well. They would also be able to suggest if there are any issues concerning the Visa, passport, and other details that you may end up overlooking. Hence, this is one of the greatest advantages that you would receive when you are booking your travel to Vietnam via a booking agency.

Would have reviews from the customers

Their website would certainly have genuine reviews from the customers, and by going through them, you would be able to understand the quality of these booking companies. When you get to know the reviews from the other customers, it becomes pretty easy for you to go ahead with the bookings because most of these users would be giving their genuine reasons.

Customer-centric

Most of these booking agencies would also take the responsibility of booking the end to end trip to their customers, including the transportation, accommodation and sight-seeing places. You do not have to run around or do anything on your own. So, they would always go the extra mile to make their customers feel great about their service.

Discounts and offers

Most of these tour agencies would have contacts, and they would get you the best accommodation or flights at a nominal price. It would save a lot of money for you. A part of these, they would also ensure to shower you with discounts and offers and this can help you to make several trips.

Well, these are some of the benefits that one can get when they book their travel to Vietnam using the websites or the tour operators mentioned above.

What to pack to Vietnam?

There are a lot of things that one has to carry during their travel to Vietnam. To carry the right things, it is essential to understand the weather and climatic conditions of the region that you are visiting. Most of the places in Vietnam are hot and humid; hence, carrying the below mentioned things are important during your travel to Vietnam.

Vietnam is a sub-tropical region with a lot of humidity and heat. Therefore, carrying light-weighted clothes would be entirely appropriate. Also, Vietnam experiences sudden downpours. Hence, having a rain-jacket handy is also essential.

  • Carry clothes that are comfortable and are of loose-fit. The humidity would make it difficult for you to roam around if you are wearing tight-fitting clothes.
  • Carry proper hiking shoes and footwear because there are a lot of hiking spots and dense jungles that you may want to explore.
  • Carrying a swim-suit would also be a good option when you are stepping out to explore the beaches.
  • Light-colored clothes are perfect choices because wearing black clothes can only make you feel even hotter.
  • Goggles, sun-glasses, and shades are to be carried to protect your eyes from harmful sun rays.
  • Carry sunburn creams, suntan creams with high SPFs because the Sun would be at its peak, and stepping out during the afternoons would require all these things.
  • You could also choose to carry sarongs and scarves and spread them on the shore to lie down.
  • Carry Panama caps when you are stepping out in the Sun.
  • Carrying an umbrella can save you from getting wet from the sudden downpours.
  • Track pants and tees are also essential as they absorb the sweat
  • Carry a few pairs of socks as well and never wear your shoes without socks
  • A pair of flip-flops or sandals are to be carried
  • Pajamas or harem pants can come handy when you are out to explore religious and spiritual centers. 
  • Do not forget your inner garments, and if you are traveling from November to February, it is essential to carry a sweatshirt, a cardigan, or a jacket. It can help you protect from the cold.

These are the general things that are to be carried when you travel to Vietnam;the same applies to family, women, and kids.

Thành phố Hạ Long

Do’s and Don’ts in Vietnam

Every country would have its principles, traditions, and values. Like most of the countries, even Vietnam has particular Do’s and Don’ts that are to be followed by all the tourists and travelers when they visit this place. Let us quickly understand those things to make your travel in Vietnam the best one.

1.  You must make sure to dress appropriately

Like most of the Asian countries, Vietnam is also a pretty conservative country in terms of dresses. So, when you travel to Vietnam, it is recommended to carry clothes that do not reveal too much of your skin. Especially when you are in public wearing scanty clothes is simply considered to be disrespectful.

2. Stay hydrated

You already know that this is one of the sub-tropical regions, and the weather is pretty humid. Hence, drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is very important. Else, you may even land on a hospital bed with dehydration. Therefore, keep sipping water as much as you can.

3. Remove your shoes if you are visiting the homes or temples

Most of the temples in the Asian continent follow the tradition of leaving the footwear at the entrance or a place dedicated to footwear. The same rule applies to Vietnam as well. When you travel to Vietnam, make sure to remove your footwear at the temples and also when you go inside the homes of the residents. It is a sign of respect.

4. Have a reusable water bottle handy

Make sure to have your water bottle because, in Vietnam, a bottle of water is costly. It is more expensive than a bottle of beer. Hence, carrying your containers and filling it up with water where you find is the ideal thing to do.

5. Remember the address or have a business card of the place where you are staying

Most of the time, Uber or the taxi drivers may not understand your accent or language, and they would simply look at the business cards to get the address. So, carrying the business card of the place where you are staying is very important to reach back safe when you are in Vietnam.

6. Toilet papers would always come to your rescue

The public toilets here do not have the luxury of having toilet rolls. Hence, it is good to carry your toilet paper and use them when you pay a visit to the public toilets. Also, toilet papers can be used to clean the surface when you are sitting on a bench or elsewhere in public.

7. Train journeys are the best

It is always good to take the trains when you are traveling in Vietnam. Taking passengers can be one of the best ways to experience this country. Also, it is one of the most affordable means of transport. Hence, this is one of the must-do things when you travel to Vietnam.

8. Temples hold the highest significance

Make sure to maintain silence at the temples and also remove the footwear when you walk inside the temples. Also, remember to be dressed appropriately in the right clothes when you visit the temples. Temples in Vietnam hold great importance, and disrespecting the culture and the tradition at the temples can be a bad thing to do during your travel to Vietnam.

9. Your bag is your property

Bag snatchers are found in abundance in Vietnam. Hence, you must make sure to keep your bags safe. Always hang it by your side and never take your eyes off from your belongings.

10. Click with permission

There are a lot of places in Vietnam where photography is restricted. Clicking pictures in those places can attract unnecessary fines. Hence, you must ensure to ask permission and then start clicking photographs when you travel to Vietnam.

Now that we have understood the do’s while traveling in Vietnam, it is also important to understand the things that are not to be done in Vietnam.

Don’t do these things when you travel to Vietnam

1. Clicking pictures of military equipment

When you visit a place that has the military equipment or anything related to the war, even by mistake, you must not take photos of it. If you do so, you would be immediately being imprisoned on the lines of breach of national security. So, beware before clicking photographs when you travel in Vietnam.

2. Mentioning anything about the war can be a criminal offense

Speaking anything about war or even vaguely saying it can be considered a serious crime here. So, do not utter a word about the Vietnamese war. 

3. Cross the roads without stopping

Despite the heavy traffic, you would find the locals crossing the streets without any fear. You may also have to follow the same rules because stopping here would certainly not solve the problem. Hence, stick to a lane and just keep walking until you reach your destination.

4. PDAs are strictly not allowed

When you are in Vietnam, you must strictly refrain yourselves from kissing, cuddling, or even hugging tight at the public places. The country is conservative, and PDAs of any sort is considered to be a serious offense

5. Do not intrude the villages without their permission

There are a lot of ethnic communities in Vietnam. Most of the people would love to take a tour of these places. These villages are charming but, walking in without the permission of the locals is unacceptable. Hence, this is one of the other things that you must and should avoid when you are in Vietnam.

Well, these are some of the dos and don’ts that are to be followed when you travel to Vietnam. When you know these things, it becomes easy for you to experience the beauty of the place without violating the rules.

How to behave with people in Vietnam?

As already mentioned, Vietnam is a traditional country, and they have their own beliefs and system in place. Also, the people here are pretty conservative. Hence, there are certain things that one must follow when they travel to Vietnam. In this section, let us quickly understand how you need to behave with people when you are in Vietnam.

1. Never stroke the hair of a child

Never try to touch a child when you are in Vietnam. Moving the head or gently stroking their hair is considered to be pretty offensive, as this means that the child’s soul is stolen. Hence, even if you cross your paths with the cutest kids in Vietnam, please keep your hands to yourselves.

2. Raising your voice is forbidden

Vietnamese people are pretty calm and quiet; they do not believe in arguments and raising voices. Hence, speaking to them in a low-tone is mandatory even if you are not used to this… 

3. Offering gifts to children is not encouraged

If you find a kid walking by the street, it is not a great sign to offer them a box of cookies, chocolates, or anything as a goodwill gesture. It is always recommended to either stay away from any of these things or give these things to the adults who are with the children. 

4. Do not offer money even by mistake

Providing cash to Vietnamese is one of the most degrading things. You must carefully watch out for these. If you feel like donating items, some orphanages or institutions accept. Do not hand over money to anybody you find on your way. Vietnamese will take your generosity.

5. Never hug or kiss a Vietnamese

Most of the countries are exceptional when it comes to embracing and planting a kiss on the cheek as part of their culture. Well, in Vietnam, this is highly disregarded because the country’s culture is pretty protected, and they do not allow any sort of PDA.

6. Gifts offered to the host remains wrapped

In many states, the gifts offered would immediately be unwrapped, but, in Vietnam, it is the exact opposite. Until and unless the guests leave, the hosts will not open the gifts. So, don’t get surprised as that is part of their tradition and culture.

Well, these are some of the things that you must learn when you plan your travel to Vietnam. Vietnamese are sensitive people, and behaving with them gently is very important.

Different rules in Vietnam

Apart from the provisions mentioned above, there are a lot of other regulations that one must follow during their trip in Vietnam. When you are traveling to a different country, it is always good to understand everything about that place and then go there. Else, a small mistake might lead to a significant offense, and you may even end up in jails.

1. Photos without permission is a serious offense

In most of the places, people would love to pose in front of the cameras with a broad smile. But, in Vietnam taking photographs of the locals, especially at the ethnic villages, is considered to be an annoyance. Also, clicking pictures of the military equipment is not at all appreciated. Hence, you must make sure to take the pictures with permission else, refrain.

2. Eating food has its own rules

If you ever happen to visit a local’s home for lunch or dinner, you must make sure to wait until the eldest person in the family has started to eat. It is considered to be respectful in Vietnam. So, do not begin hogging on food as soon as it is served on your plate when you are in Vietnam. Also, in the Vietnamese culture, food is one of the most promising things. Even when the eldest and the oldest member of the family start to eat, followed by the younger members, it symbolically shows the respect and love that the family has towards each other. 

3. Smoking is restricted

Like the other countries, Vietnam has its own rules when it comes to smoking. People are restricted from smoking in public places. Especially where there are a lot of people, smoking is prohibited. Hence, you must make sure to follow the rules on tobacco strictly when you travel to Vietnam.

4. Wearing skimpy dresses to temples

Vietnam has enormous respect for the temples, the religious, and the spiritual centers from time immemorial. These are the places that are to be dressed modestly. Hence, wearing scanty clothes is entirely forbidden. It can be pretty unpleasant and can even annoy the locals at the temple. Therefore, this is one of the most important rules that you must follow when you are in Vietnam.

Well, these are some of the other rules that you must strictly adhere to when you are in Vietnam.

Vietnam is filled with abundant attractions. Right from the spectacular beaches to the dense jungles, temples to the best restaurants, Vietnam is known as a perfect holidaying destination. Well, every country would have its attractions to visit, and so does Vietnam. Here is a list of must-visit attractions in Vietnam:

Attractions to visit in Vietnam

1. Halong Bay

Get the stunning views of the seascape the Halong Bay while you travel to Vietnam. It is one of the UNESCO World heritage sites and a lot of and a lot of tourists flock into this place to catch a glimpse of the limestone island. Do not forget to go cruising when you are in Halong Bay. Apart from this, one can also enjoy the cave explorations at this place as there are a lot of famous caves around this area. 

2. Hue

Hue happens to be Vietnam’s ancient cities with great history attached to it. If you want to know more about the Nguyen emperors, you must visit Hue because there are a lot of relics about these emperors that can be found in this city. The quaint town is perched on the banks of the Perfume River, and it has a lot of attractions that one can visit. It is one of the must-visit places for all the art-lovers. Cruising along the Perfume River can be one of the most beautiful things to do

3. Ho Chi min city

Ho Chi Minh City is the buzz of the country for several reasons. People who love to be part of the city must visit this place because this city probably has everything that you want. Right from the posh restaurants to shopping areas, this place is almost always crowded. Vietnam’s major sight-seeing attractions are found in this city, HCMC Museum and grand Notre Dame Cathedral are the most important ones. 

4. PhongNha-Ke Bang National Park

For all those who love caves, PhongNha-Ke Bang National Park is one of the best caves that you must visit when you are in Vietnam. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gorgeous views of the karst mountain formation can leave you mesmerized at this place. Paradise Cave happens to be one of the most iconic destinations at this place. The distance of the cave is about 31km underground, and that’s what makes it one of the most happening places in entire Vietnam.

5. Hoi An 

Hoi An is one of the most lovely cities in Vietnam that boat about the proud history of the country. It is one of the places where one would get to experience the real Vietnam and its culture. Hoi An was one of the most trading centers for the Japanese and the Chinese merchants during the 15th century. 

The glimpses of these can be caught to date as you take a stroll around the place. The significant attractions of Hoi-An are the houses of merchants of the bygone era, which are opened to public visits. Walking into these houses to experience the beautiful architecture and the decorative can be one of the best things to do when you are in Hoi An.

6. Hanoi

The heart of the country, Hanoi is one of the most popular destinations that one must undoubtedly visit when they are in Vietnam. Hanoi has the charm of the old city yet, and it is one of the most buzzing cities in Vietnam. Your visit to Vietnam will remain incomplete if you do not catch the sight of the busiest Hanoi streets filled with motorbikes and street vendors.

7. My son

For all those who love to go around and experience the surreal beauty in ruins, My Son is the right destination. This 4th-century Hindu religious temple is covered with mountains filled with lush green forests and a wide range of flora and fauna. The temple complex boasts of 20 temple structures with various architectural marvels from different Asian empires. It is one of the must-visit places when you are in Vietnam.

Well, these are some of the major destinations in Vietnam, and apart from this, one can also take a trip to the Sapa Countryside, Nha Trang Củ Chi Tunnels, Ba Be National Park, and Mekong Delta. 

Travel Costs to Vietnam

There are a lot of travel agencies and websites that offer the best deals to travel to VietnamHowever, it is always better to understand the cost of everything, plan, and then start with the reservations. One can plan for a lavish, yet a budget-friendly trip to Vietnam. 

Flights

The flight charges are comparatively cheaper to Vietnam, and if you book it well in advance, you may be able to save a lot of money on the flights. 

Accommodation

There is no shortage of housing in Vietnam.  There are a lot of guest-houses, hotels, and luxurious hotels that one can choose to book during their travel. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are the best places to reserve accommodation.

Some of the best guest houses in Vietnam are

  • Hanoi Charming House
  • Hanoi Lotus Guest House
  • My cozy Apartel
  • Con KiếnNhỏ
  • Little Library Villa Hoi An
  • Big Home Dalat
  • 49 Trang Tien House
  • TUTU HOUSE

Some of the topmost luxurious hotels in Vietnam are 

  • Acoustic Hotel and Spa
  • Hanoi L’Heritage Diamond Hotel and Spa
  • Orchids Saigon Hotel

These are some of the best choices for choosing your stay in Vietnam. Well, if you make prior reservations, you would be able to save a lot of money even on the accommodation when you are in Vietnam. 

Transportation

Motorbikes are the most preferred means of commutation in Vietnam to go around the cities. Apart from this, one can also choose to travel through the local train as this can save a lot of money. If you want to experience a luxury holiday then, Uber services are pretty much available in Vietnam. There are private taxis that you could choose to hire as well.  

Food

Vietnam is a paradise for foodies. One can go on a gastronomical tour in Vietnam. The local cuisines here are mouth-watering, and Vietnam offers a plethora of choices when it comes to food. You can get to hop streets and also binge in some of the best restaurants when you are here. 

Mentioned below are some of the must-visit restaurants when you are in Vietnam

  • Shri Restaurant & Lounge
  • Skewers Restaurant
  • Cuc Gach Quan
  • Secret Garden
  • Hum Vegetarian, Lounge & Restaurant
  • Secret House
  • Mountain Retreat
  • Anan Saigon

Hanoi and Chi Minh city also have a lot of street food options, and the best places to eat are

  • Co Giang Street
  • Nguyen Thuong Hien Street
  • SuVanh Han Street
  • Phan Van Han Street
  • Van Keep Street

Mi Quang, Pho, Xoi, Banh xeo, GoiCuon, Bun Bo Nam Bo, Cao Lau, and Banh me are some of the most authentic dishes to be eaten when you are in Vietnam. 

Travel insurance in Vietnam

Every traveler needs to take the best travel insurance that offers better coverage to cover the theft, illness, and injury during the travel.

The best available travel insurance is with World Nomands.

Please note: we are affiliate with Travel Nomands Insurance. However, we do encourage you to click here  and check Travel Nomands insurance package by your self.

It includes medical expenses for travel accidents,  natural disasters , scuba diving or when you are prone to serious illness. There are a few policies that would exclude a few dangerous sports until and unless you do not pay extra amount.

Even if you are prone to injuries while playing games such as scuba diving, whitewater rafting, kite surfing, or other activities, you would be covered when you have the best travel insurance. If you want to try motorbiking in Vietnam, you need to make sure that the insurance covers biking in Vietnam. If you are going to claim the amount, you need to keep the receipts of the medical bill and treatment. If you lose the medical bills, you need to get an official statement from the police. 

The best thing about taking Nomad insurance is that it offers various travel insurance plans at affordable prices. Besides, the support team is available to answer your queries round the clock. Interestingly, this insurance allows travelers to use it at any time. You can also buy this right from your home and even if the trip is in progress. You can get the claim anywhere globally.

Safety travel with kids

In general, Vietnam is a safe country to travel to and you can read in great detail the answer to the question: Is it safe to travel in Vietnam?

Vietnam is safe to travel with kids as one can see a lot of families with children going around the places without any inhibitions

Travel alone / group (male / female)

  • Do not simply trust the cab drivers to jump into the taxi without proper directions
  • Make sure to keep all your belongings safe
  • Preserve or petty thefts like chain-snatching, pick-pocketing, etc.…
  • Make sure to find the best accommodation within the city limits
  • Try going out in the night to a deserted place; it can be dangerous
  • Carry only the amount you need for the day and leave the rest in the safe lockers.

Crime

According to the recent survey, Vietnam is a country with fewer crime rates. Petty issues like thefts, chain-snatching, and cheating are common in big cities. Apart from these, there aren’t any such significant crimes that occur in this country. Accidents are pretty common in this country because the majority of the people here are fond of riding motorbikes. Hence, one has to be extremely careful when they are riding or driving in Vietnam.

Warnings 

  • It is good to avoid motorbikes 
  • Wearing bags that are sturdy can keep you and your belongings safe 
  • Crossing the street can be a menace but, go with the flow. Be steady and focus on the roads while you cross some of the busiest streets in Hanoi and Chi Minh city.
  • Traveling through the motorbike taxis at night can be quite dangerous. Also, avoid going out all by yourself at night in a deserted area.
  • Drugs are hazardous; hence, say “No” to it.
  • Remember to sit at the back seat of the taxi because there are chances of getting assaulted by the taxi drivers, and this can be pretty annoying. 
  • Expensive gadgets can catch the attention of thieves. Hence, you must be extra careful when you are taking out your expensive devices out in public. 
  • Remember not to drink water from the taps to avoid any sort of water infection, stick to bottled waters. 

Local laws

  • There are some serious flaws that can be imposed when a person is found using drugs. Drugs in Vietnam can lead to a death sentence, as well.
  • Beware not to click any photographs where there are military installations. It is a severe offense, and you would be jailed immediately.
  • Never try to pick antiques from Vietnam back home; it is a crime.
  • There are Government approved Casinos. Apart from these, if you are caught anywhere else, you would be punished by the court of law in Vietnam.
  • You must never take part in any of the political events. It would immediately attract the police, and you would be severely punished.
  • Prostitution is entirely illegal. Hence, be careful when you walk into a massage center or a spa. 
  • Be careful when you are blogging about Vietnam, any discussion related to the Government or any political institution can be scrutinized. These can again be an illegal act and will be punished.
  • Also, involving yourselves in spreading anything about religion when you travel to Vietnam is also a serious offense. 

Embassies and consulates 

Health

When you travel to Vietnam, beware of some of the most contagious diseases. The medicine system here is a blend of both traditional and modern-day methods. There are a lot of public hospitals in Vietnam. However, the facilities aren’t that great.

One may not find sophisticated equipment, as you see in other countries. Also, the doctors at these hospitals are only found speaking Vietnamese. Hence, it may become slightly awkward to get the treatment done. 

But, Vietnam also has a lot of private hospitals which are highly sophisticated. The modern-day equipment is installed, and the doctors will give the best services to the patients at an affordable price.

When compared to other countries, health treatment in Vietnam is pretty affordable.

When you are in Vietnam, it is always recommended to avoid Ice at the restaurants or any eat-outs. One must make sure to drink bottled water to avoid any sort of infection. Keep drinking water to prevent dehydration and carry the necessary sunburn creams and lotions to keep your skin safe from the harmful radiations of the sun.

Well, these are some of the things that you must know before you travel to Vietnam. Traveling to a different place by knowing various aspects can help you blend well with the surroundings. Of course, traveling has its challenges. But, when you are completely aware and have researched everything about the place you are going to, you would be much confident and safer. We hope that this information about Vietnam would come handy to you soon 🙂  

The guide to a safe trip in Vietnam

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Vietnam is the best destination to visit in Southeast Asia. It will be in the bucket list of every traveler who is traveling with family or sole. It is also a safe country to enjoy culture, marine life, adventure, nature, history, or food. The sparkling turquoise seas, curving beaches, stunning scenic beauty, and colonial streets make it a perfect place to get away after a hectic year.

These days Vietnam has become pretty safe. The culture of the site is vibrant, and the history is fascinating. There are millions of people who travel to this country every year, not just the intrepid backpackers, but also with the families, friends, and all sorts of people visit this destination. 

From visiting the Corel Reefs in Nha Trang to the mountains in Sapa, traveling to this place is an experience more than a country. You can enjoy the sunset in the Mekong Delta and cruise in the waters of Halong Bay while enjoying the cuisines of Vietnam.

Also, you can go for trekking and wander from one island to another, enjoying its stunning beauty. Homestays are the perfect places to unwind your holidays, watching nature and rainwater flowing into the river of Mekong. 

Though it has some downsides such as petty crimes like pickpocketing and fuzziness with the pushy vendors, by keeping a close watch on the surroundings and your valuables, you can avoid the hassles in your travel. 

Many people show interest in traveling alone to explore the beauty of Vietnam. It is the place where you can plan the trip within your budget

Southeast Asia is very safe: The people of the country are friendly and welcoming. The food is also delicious that it makes you feel like staying home away from home. There are many beautiful places where you can stay alone comfortably without any intimidation.

You can also find an English-speaking guide to explore the local areas. You can walk around the Ho Chi Minh City during the night times and go on a hiking trail in the jungle or go for an adventurous motorbike ride on Hai Van pass or take a night bus to tour around the country.

Enjoy street life in Vietnam

The soul of Vietnam culture is the nightlife. As you are traveling alone, you can go and visit the places of your choice and have food that you love to taste without any planning. You can find the vendors selling street foods on the city roads. The street eats that you should try Pho and Vietnam spring rolls.

Meet other travelers

When you on the tourist trail, you can meet the fellow solo travelers. These travelers will be sharing the same love for traveling like you. So, you can find new friends who are like-minded as you. There are many hostels in Vietnam. You can stay in those hotels during your visit to meet new people and carry incredible memories with you while leaving the place. 

Dos and Don'ts in Vietnam

Vietnam is a place that is rich in history, culture, and is a beautiful country. Though this is a friendly and safe place, to stay trouble-free and have a smooth travel, you should know the dos and don’ts of this place. You should remain calm to avoid arguments with aggressive vendors, tour operators, and fellow drivers while driving on the roads.

Dos

  • Greetings in Vietnam are no different from Western countries. You do not need to practice or know any kind of welcome when you are in Vietnam
  • Vietnamese will dress traditionally. You should dress decently without showing off too much of the skin. If girls are traveling alone, you should be wearing the dress appropriately to avoid creepy looks.
  • Dress with pagodas. You should avoid wearing t-shirts and shorts. You can wear shoes, and you do not need to remove them until you come back to the hotel. If you are not sure what to wear, you need to follow the locals dressing. 

Don’ts

  • Do not wear a lot of jewelry. Even if you have jewelry, you need to take that bag with you. Though violent crime rates are low, many petty crimes happen often. If you have a camera, wear it around the neck and keep your bag safe. 
  • When you are taking a ride in a motorbike or taxi, ensure that the bag is not on the display since it becomes easy for the pickpocketing people to grab. Bag snatching is a common crime in the country, and there are high chances of miscreants to steal your laptops and cameras.
  • Do not wear skirts, shorts and other dresses to the temples

What do you need to keep a watch on when traveling in Vietnam?

  • You cannot show affection in public. You will see the couples holding their hands clinging together, but do not kiss or hug in public.
  • You should not lose temper in Vietnam. Try to stay polite and calm to avoid getting into trouble.
  • You need to drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated. You do not need to carry bottles with you since there are many vendors available in the stone throw distance from your place. 
  • You need to keep the credit cards, cash, airline tickets and other valuables with you safely
  • Travel only with the tour agencies that are reliable and certified. Even if you are planning to travel alone without taking the help of tour agencies, you need to research correctly and learn the country from fellow travelers who have already visited Vietnam.
  • Do not put valuable stuff in the checked bags
  • Use only taxis and public transportation
  • Use Maps to calculate the distance to reach your destination to avoid falling prey to taxi drivers’ frauds
  • Keep the money in the front pocket 
  • Buy medicines if you have any problem after eating the street food in Vietnam

Family travel to Vietnam

Vietnam is the best destination to visit with families as it is packed with many fabulous activities. Kids would love to know a little bit about the history of the country, but do not show interest in visiting temples and historical places. Few of the activities that make your family travel to Vietnam a memory includes:

Take an auto-rickshaw ride in the streets of Hanoi: Many families will either start their trip or end their journey by going on the roads of Hanoi. This street is always bustling. So, the parents need to keep their children close by. You can enjoy the mayhem of the road by getting into the auto-rickshaw and tour around the old city enjoying its culture, vibes, and beauty. The driver takes you through the noisy streets where you can see colorful handicrafts and fresh flower stalls.

Pu Luong homestay: You can take your kids to Vietnam in their summer vacation to have a good time with the family. The night stay in the village homes will be an excellent experience for your kids where they can enjoy the view of the lush green fillers around and fresh air. The farms surrounded by deep mountains give a breathtaking view. When you visit the villages of Vietnam, your family can enjoy the food that is cooked on an open fire and sleep on the floor. Night stay in the town has to be experienced by the kids living in the city culture once.

Female travel in Vietnam

Women are traveling around the world due to their flexible working patterns and the ability to spend more. The best part of going alone is that you can fall in love with the spirituality of the place, culture, and nature. Besides, you will have the freedom to make your plans and enjoy the sense of accomplishment by conquering the challenges a woman faces in the travel by yourself.

Women who want to travel alone or in a group can happily go. Though you see catcalling in a few places, taking safety measures while walking alone during night times can help you avoid those. Though serious crimes are minimal, be careful of the petty crimes. You need to keep the documents and bags with you and keep a tab on those.

Female travel in Vietnam
Halong bay, Vietnam

There are plenty of opportunities for women to make new friends and meet people from across the globe on your tourist trails. These are a few things that you should not miss to do when you are going alone to Vietnam

  • Stay in the local Vietnamese family that is in the Ho Chi Minh City
  • Go for adventurous trekking in the Sapa and enjoy hiking with the female guides
  • Take the bicycles for rent and go around the narrow lanes of the streets and coastal towns
  • Attend traditional cooking classes to learn how to prepare Vietnamese food delicacies
  • Go around the streets of Hai An
  • Witness the visual treat of Halong Bay that makes you feel like it is closer to your life
  • Relax in the beautiful blue sea beaches enjoying the coastline of Vietnam
  • Immerse in the culture and history of the place

What woman can enjoy in Vietnam

People in rural areas would stare and try to strike a conversation with you. Though it makes you feel uncomfortable, it is also good to learn about their culture by talking to them. Many people in Vietnam are friendly and very helpful, but you need to be cautious of the scams.

When you think you would be in trouble, try to stay polite. Apart from the adventurous trips, there are endless wellness treats available for women in the country, such as chicks club that organizes weekend getaways and retreats for females focusing on Yoga and meditation.

For backpackers, there are many female dormitories and hostels available in tourist places. 

Travel in a group

Though you are exploring different places by yourself, it is now time to go to Vietnam in a group. Many tour agencies plan your trip with the group. You can either go with your friends in a group or join the group of solo travelers who are traveling through the same travel agency that you have approached. Group travel will help you to get rid of many travel problems

There are many benefits of traveling in a group to Vietnam

Do not need to worry about the language barriers: When you are going in a group to Vietnam, you do not need to worry because there would be a group of travelers with you who can deal with the locals verbally. For a group, the travel agency will send a local guide. 

Cut down the budget: When you are going in a group, you need to set a budget. The budget must not be too high or too low; after all, you are going for fun and relaxation. By going to a group, you can limit your expenses on accommodation and many other things. However, before going to Vietnam, you need to read about the positive image of the country to get some insights. 

Accommodation: If you are going to a group, the person who already visited Vietnam will arrange the accommodation in advance. If your group has a limited budget, you can go for the Boutique hostels, as these are cheap and comfortable.

Safety: When you are going in a group, there will be a group leader who will give proper advises avoiding the mess in the new place. When something goes wrong in the back, be it health-wise or get into arguments, the group people will help you to get out of the trouble.

Family travel to Vietnam
Cầu Vàng (Golden Bridge)

Electricity safety in Vietnam

The electricity in Vietnam is 220 volts. You will find the plugs in Vietnam to be having two round pins and sometimes come across the two flat pins and three pins. You can find the adaptors in any of the electrical shops to charge your mobiles or laptops. The power supply is interrupted more often. So, prepare yourself to experience power cuts and surges. The Power outlets are compatible to use with the US plug or European one. Before leaving for Vietnam, you need to carry the adapter along with you.

Water safety in Vietnam

It is highly recommended not to drink tap water whenever you are. However, few of the top hotels will filter the water and release the same water through the taps. You can drink the water after filtration but never drink river water. It is good to avoid ice when you are drinking juices outside except in the top hotels and reliable food courts.

The water that is contaminated with bacteria and viruses would cause sickness. It may disturb the whole travel itinerary of yours. So, you need to be careful while drinking the water outside. The microorganisms in the water would cause different health ailments such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and other issues. These diseases would trigger even when you drink the water that seems to be clean and safe.

Luckily, there are different types of drinks available to quench the thirst, such as hot tea. You can get the carbonated beverages and bottled water at a lower price. When you are buying bottled water, you need to make sure that the seal of the bottle is proper and the water is clear. Many would refill the water in the used bottles and sell it to the people.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have tap water that is properly chlorinated, and many travelers use this to brush their teeth without any issue. You must not use tap water for cleaning the teeth since it is impure. You need to be careful in the areas where there are floods, since sewage water may get along with the water system.

Sea cretures

Vietnam is famous for its many beautiful beaches. You can both enjoy the picturesque beauty of the place and diverse marine life. You can dive deep to witness the stunning and colorful sea creatures that are mostly found in the Vietnam region. The incredible sea creatures are located in the Vietnam Balmy seas.

Phu Quoc’s horned sea star: This is a kind of starfish that is found in the tropical seas of Vietnam. The thorns of this sea creature are used to scare the predators and surprise the tourists. However, this creature does not pose any harm to tourists. If you want to witness the beautiful sea creatures and especially this one, you need to travel to Phu Quoc.

Whale sharks of Nha Trang: People who want to see the sea creatures would like first to witness sharks. The whale sharks in the Vietnam Sea are around 40 feet and weigh 200 tons. Moreover, the shark is the longest creature that is found in the sea. This one will float to the bays of the Nha Trang and give a feast to the tourists. It will live on krill and Plankton. 

Ocean sunfish: This is also called by the other name, i.e., Mola Mola, whose weight is around 2000 pounds. It is the giant fish that one can catch its attention at the winding coastline. It is also found in the fishing nets of the fishermen. However, you cannot consume this fish as this is an endangered ocean giant. 

Hunted hawksbill turtle: This is the endangered sea turtle that is found in the stretching coastline of Vietnam. You can witness the beautiful hawksbill in the clear waters of Nha Trang. Due to illegal fishing, the population of this sea creature has been reduced drastically.

Food safety

When you are visiting a new place or country, you would love to try out the food delicacies that are special in that place. Vietnam has been a country where food safety issues are frequent. Food in Vietnam, especially the street food that is sold, is not safe to consume. The vendors will not take any hygienic precautions while preparing the food. The sidewalk eateries will use adulterated ingredients to save money. If you are buying vegetables in Vietnam, you need to wash them neatly before eating. 

Food safety in Vietnam
Vietnamese food, tasty but be aware of what and where you are eating

To keep food poisoning at bay, a few of the safety precautions you need to take while having food in Vietnam include:

  • Soupy dishes are the main dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. These dishes have more chances of you falling sick. When you order Pho ensure to consume the meal when it is piping hot.
  • Clean the cutlery that you are going to use thoroughly. The quality of air in Saigon is reduced, and therefore, dust would settle on the tables and utensils. Though you do not need to deep clean everything that you use to have the meal, you need to wipe it gently using the napkin to keep dust at bay.
  • Eat the food that is cooked thoroughly and stay away from the raw meat. You can try out the seafood in the Sushi restaurants if you are going to stay in Vietnam for a short time.
  • You must not eat raw vegetables and salads. You can add herbs to the hot Pho.
  • Be cautious while consuming the fruits and vegetables with skin and avoid eating apples and grapes 
  • When you are eating something use sanitizer to clean the hands

Transportation safety

Vietnam has excellent transportation facilities where travelers can travel from one place to another without any hassle with the available mode of transportations safely. When going to long-distance, airplanes, trains, and long-distance buses are available for travelers. If you are traveling within the city, you can use Taxi, buses, cyclo, and XeOm. These are the most cost-effective and best ways to go to town.

Cyclo: This is a three-wheeled bicycle taxi that has two seating that has two large wheels in the front and a small bicycle seat behind, which is supported by a single wheel. Though the people in the city do not widely use this, many tourists love to try out this option to explore the city traveling even in narrow lanes. This vehicle is best to take a glimpse of city life. 

You need to be wary of notorious drivers. They create fuss and nuisance on the road to make you pay a whopping price for the ride. It is not recommended to use cyclo during the night times since there are many mugging and theft cases been registered. Cyclo is the best option to go for a relaxed tour of the city during the day time.

Transportation in Vietnam
Hội An town, Vietnam

Xe Om: This is a motorcycle taxi and is the best transportation option available for solo travelers to explore the city and go to the sightseeing places by escaping congested traffic areas. You have to pay to the drivers depending on the traffic, distance, and terrain. The driver would provide you with the helmet and ensure that you reach safely and on time to the destination. If you are traveling on busy roads, then this will be the best option. You can also enjoy the thrill of riding on the downhill.

Cheap and safe transportation

Local buses: Many buses are run to offer better connectivity throughout the city. The bus fares are also economical. These buses let you reach the destination quickly. However, during peak hours, you must not take local buses as it is highly uncomfortable to stand. You also need to keep a close watch on the wallet or purse. The other problem is that the drivers do not stop for a minute at every stop. The pickup and drop points are far away from the tourist attractions. 

Taxi: This is the safe and reasonable option available for travelers. They run on a meter. You need to hire the branded taxis to have a smooth and hassle-free ride.

Road safety

Many traffic laws promote road safety in Vietnam. The police are ready to slam a considerable amount of fines on the people driving in the wrong route, jumping the red signals and using the sidewalks like a driving lane. Be it; you are the citizen of the country or a foreigner, both are fined the same. 

  • Not more than two people should go on the bike:
  • Do not go beyond the speed limit set by the police authorities
  • Do not forget the kickstand
  • Do not drink and drive the vehicle
  • You should not blow horn during the night times
  • You cannot weave hands
  • Do not run away when the accident happens due to your mistake
  • Do not use a cell phone while riding the vehicle
  • You have to wear a helmet 
  • You cannot ride along with the other person side by side
  • You cannot offer a push to the friend whose vehicle has flat tire or trouble till the repair shop

What needs to be careful about when traveling in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a safe yet incredible destination for travelers to enjoy its beauty and attractiveness. Though the country is peaceful, there are a few things that you need to be careful about in your trip to ensure that you have a hassle-free and memorable experience:

  • Ensure that you are using only reliable tour operators when you are looking for tours to Vietnam
  • Ensure that you carry all the required documents, photos and cash along with VISA
  • Do not underestimate the weather as it varies unpredictably 
  • You need to be cautious while consuming the street food
  • Always wash and peel the fruits and vegetables you eat and do not drink tap water
  • Keep the phone and wallet out of sight of miscreants and make sure that the purse is in front of you
  • Do not keep the passport in the backpack
  • Do not forget to take the hotel business card
  • Many people will not accept credit or debit card, most of the places where you are going for shopping or doing any service, you would need to pay cash
  • Stroll when you are crossing the street
  • Do not give tips in the restaurants
  • When you are visiting the temples, you need to cover with scarf or pagodas 
  • Do not depend on the taxi meter as the dishonest taxi drivers will burn holes in your pockets
  • Do not take the photographs without seeking the permission of the people
  • Do not lose your temper
  • You need to negotiate on the things you are buying
  • Take travel insurance from the reliable insurance vendor
  • Learn a few words in Vietnam 

Laws and culture in Vietnam– safety aspects

The laws in Vietnam are not as strict as the other countries, but people who break the rules would be put behind bars. It is a conservative country where the adoption of western culture at an extreme level is not tolerated. 

These are the laws and cultures that you need to know to stay trouble-free and have a great and enjoyable visit to Vietnam

Travel to Vietnam
Harvesting salt field in Khanh Hoa province

Drug laws: The penalties imposed on the drugs are more. As per Vietnam’s drug law, any person who is selling or consuming small amounts of heroin is given a death sentence. Many foreigners are going through the imprisonment sentence. There are many safety measures taken by the government to reduce drug trafficking. The travelers need to beware of the recreational drugs sold in this country. If you want to party, you have to do is cautious.

Sensitive photography: When you capture the photographs of military or border crossing, you will put behind bars.

Sensitive borders: If you do not take the required permissions from the local authorities while crossing the boundaries, there are high chances of you getting the punishment.

Antiques: You cannot export antique pieces out of the country without permission. The Ministry of Culture will give you the proper instructions if you need any required permits.

Gambling: It is illegal to play in the casinos other than the government casinos. If anyone found playing in different casinos would be facing the charges and are sentenced to imprisonment. 

Politics: If any foreigner is carrying out political actions that have an impact on the government, then the person would be put behind bars or detained. 

Prostitution: This is illegal in the country

Blogging: If someone is blogging about the Vietnam government and discussing the same in the online chat rooms would be under arrest and questioned. 

Crime in Vietnam

Vietnam is a safe place to travel, but alike to the other countries, it has its share of sins. When you go on the streets of Vietnam, you can see poor people begging on roads and children pushing you to offer them alms. However, if you want to donate money, you can give it to the authorized organizations that will take the money and help the poor. 

You should not leave the bags dangling on the body, as many snatchers would snatch and go away. If you do not want to fall prey to the snatching, you should keep all your valuable things in the hotel before leaving for the tourist destinations. There are a few children who look innocent, but lift wallets, passports, and cameras. When you have a conversation with them, you need to keep a close watch.

Few of the severe crimes include

  • Petty crimes
  • Military and political hazards
  • Drug trafficking
  • Beggars and scams

Medical treatment in Vietnam

The medical tourism of the country is growing at a brisk pace. This country offers traditional medicine and high-quality treatment procedures. Many medical tourists visit this country to cure their health ailments. 

The ex-pat who is visiting the country has to take private insurance before traveling to Vietnam. The quality standards of the public hospitals in the country are not so high. The hospitals do not have the proper equipment, and the medical staff can only talk in Vietnam. The private hospitals will give the best treatment and also accept international insurance. Vietnam is famous for dental care. There are top dentists and dermatologists you can find in this country. The dental-related procedures are pretty low compared to other countries.

Moreover, the treatment quality, skills of the doctor, and usage of technical equipment is top-notch. Traditional medicine is also famous in the country. Tourists can undergo oriental medicine and acupuncture. 

Recommended travel insurance

Every traveler needs to take the best travel insurance that offers better coverage to cover the theft, illness, and injury during the travel.

The best available travel insurance is with World Nomands.

Please note: we are affiliate with Travel Nomands Insurance. However, we do encourage you to click here  and check Travel Nomands insurance package by your self.

It includes medical expenses for travel accidentsnatural disasters , scuba diving or when you are prone to serious illness. There are a few policies that would exclude a few dangerous sports until and unless you do not pay extra amount.

Even if you are prone to injuries while playing games such as scuba diving, whitewater rafting, kite surfing, or other activities, you would be covered when you have the best travel insurance. If you want to try motorbiking in Vietnam, you need to make sure that the insurance covers biking in Vietnam. If you are going to claim the amount, you need to keep the receipts of the medical bill and treatment. If you lose the medical bills, you need to get an official statement from the police. 

The best thing about taking Nomad insurance is that it offers various travel insurance plans at affordable prices. Besides, the support team is available to answer your queries round the clock. Interestingly, this insurance allows travelers to use it at any time. You can also buy this right from your home and even if the trip is in progress. You can get the claim anywhere globally.

Tourists scam to avoid

People of Vietnam like to shower their love for the foreigners. Unfortunately, many scammers prey for the tourist to steal their valuables. When you are in Vietnam, you need to keep a tab on these things: 

  • When you try to pay the amount to the motorbike taxi drivers, they try to cheat you and portray as if you are ripping them. You need to get a proper change to avoid this scam
  • The beautiful girls will play with the groin of handsome boys and men, and when the boy shows a small distraction, the girl will steal the money from pockets
  • There are fake taxi companies who will tamper the meter and charge whopping money even for a short distance
  • Fake tour agencies will trick the foreigners who do not know Vietnam and take the money
  • Many motorbike taxi drivers will be wandering around the hotels and hostels where tourist stays to sell tea bags in the name of marijuana. When you pay the amount, they keep the tea bags in your hand and leave the place. 
  • Beautiful women seduce men and demand money. When the men refuse to pay the money, they will call gangsters
  • Taxi drivers make the tourist wander around and take many dollars extra from them
  • They ask you to pay extra money for loading bags to the buses.

Climate safety

The climate in the country is unpredictable. There are chances of you to freeze during the monsoon season. It is better to carry light jackets when flying to Vietnam. The peak season would be in the mid of December, and it would continue till February.

  • If you are traveling to North Vietnam, you can plan your trip in April to June months or from September to November months. These are the sunny days where the monsoon will come to an end. From December to March, the weather turns cold and is not at all suitable to go for hiking or sailing in the boat in Halong Bay.
  • If you are traveling to Central Vietnam, you can plan the trip from January to June. There will be torrential rains during the October and November months and sunny from May to August. 
  • If you are traveling to Southern Vietnam, you can plan the trip from January to April. You can witness the beauty of the country. Moreover, you can visit the South region anytime throughout the year, but not between May to November, since it is the monsoon season. 

You need to pack dry clothes, a rain jacket and a pair of hiking shoes. 

Vietnam weather
On November 3, 2017, the JMA Himawari-8 satellite provided this visible image of Typhoon Damrey just before hitting Vietnam with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

Where to get safety updates

These are a few sites from where you can get safety updates regularly:

With many tourists thronging to this place to enjoy their holidays, few dangers are common. However, the Vietnam government is taking measures to control the crime rate. Moreover, this country is known to be safe. 

So, what are you waiting for, plan your next vacation to Vietnam right today? 

Is Thailand safe for travel?

Thailand is one of the places that would undoubtedly be on the bucket list of all the travelers who are in love to explore international destinations. Thailand has it all. Right from the night clubs, pubs, adventure activities, fantastic scenery, shopping malls, and more.

It is one such place that would become a favorite to everyone within an instance — considered to be one of the safest destinations, a lot of people from across the country flock into Thailand. However, it becomes the responsibility of every traveler to answer the question: Is Thailand safe for travel?

View of Bangkok
Night view of Bangkok

The ones who are into solo traveling generally choose Thailand to start with, group travelers. Bangkok is one of the most happening capitals, and people go here to witness the fantastic nightlife culture. On the other hand, Pattaya is another famous destination in Thailand that attracts a lot of tourists too. In this write-up, we are here to explain everything that one must know when they plan their visit to the most beautiful country, “Thailand.”

Is Thailand a safe place to travel?

Planning a trip to another country can be quite an exciting thing, but, at the same time, it is mandatory to understand the rules and regulations, policies of the country before you travel. Along with that, it is also quite essential to get to know about safety-related issues too.

So, the significant chunk of this article speaks about, how safe is travel to Thailand. Well, there are a lot of reasons to understand whether a country is safe to travel or not. Once this bit is clear, then there would not be any obstacles that could hinder the trip. So, let us quickly come to an understanding if Thailand should be your next international to go to keep in mind, is it safe to travel to Thailand?

is travel to Thailand safe
Erawan waterfall in Kanchanaburi, the center of Thailand

Planning for a trip requires a lot of focus and attention. As you pack the trolley safely, it becomes essential also to understand the safety within every nook and corner of the country that you are traveling. Traveling without getting all the details in hand can turn out to be quite dangerous, and most likely, the vacation may end up turning into a disaster. Therefore, while planning a trip to the South or the North of Thailand, it is mandatory to have all the details handy.

Travel to Thailand safety in further detail

Like most of the other countries, Thailand also has South and North regions, both extraordinary in their ways. South Thailand is one of the most gorgeous amongst the two because of the surreal atmosphere it has. There are several impressive beaches, massive temples, and lovely bays that one would certainly want to go.

These places are the major landmarks of the area. Hence, it becomes crucial to choose South Thailand as the next destination for a fantastic vacation.

Travel alone to Bangkok
Tuk Tuk is one of the main symbols of Thailand

Now that we have a clear understanding of the segregation of Thailand, it is time to dive more into the safety and get to know it is safe to travel to Thailand, especially the South. Some of the must-visit places in South Thailand are Ko Tao, Mu KO Ang Thong, Ko Phangan, Railay, Ko Lipe, Phuket, and so on.

  •    How safe is the South of Thailand?

The beautiful places in this world are always the dangerous ones too. Likewise, South Thailand, which has some of the most precious and the rarest gems hidden in her bosom, is a pretty sensitive area. Since there are a lot of political activities going on in this area, it makes the situation quite vulnerable.

is it safe to travel to south Thailand
TYpical beach in South Thailand, heaven on earth

Incidences of violence like hooting, bombings, and other kinds of heinous acts do happen in this region. A lot of civilians, armed force members, and other government body members are always on the target list. There are several incidences of people losing their lives too. At times, the group also target the significant tourist places that attract the majority of the population like the discotheques, bars, pubs, markets, shops, bar, and restaurants.

Apart from casualties, such events even involve deaths too. Hence, traveling in this area can be quite unsafe. Though there is over 3500 death since 2004, Thailand Government has taken several measures for the safety of travelers.

Thai boxing
Rest time for young Kik boxer. One of Thailand’s attractions

If a traveler is found to be a suspect by the authorities, they have full power to snatch all the documents and boycott them from traveling. Rights to ban the media, check the travelers thoroughly, and restrict them if suspected are also given to the authorities.

Despite all these things, the hotels that are outside Hat Yai Central District are considered to be safe for travelers, according to the British Foreign Office and the United States Department of State. The train that runs in the junction of Padang Besar is also considered to be safe.

Hence, it becomes quite essential to get to know everything before traveling to South Thailand. One must also know that the beaches are pretty far from the regions that fall under the forbidden zone. Hence, considering traveling to South Thailand, keeping in mind the recommendations from the government bodies would be a good thing to do.

  • How safe is the north of Thailand?

The northern part of Thailand is full of greenery everywhere. While Southern Thailand has spectacular beaches, North Thailand is abundant in terms of forests, jungles, mountains, and culture. Traveling to this part of the land can be a different experience altogether. Howevergetting to know travel to Thailand safe is very important. In this bit, let us quickly take a tour to understand the safety in Northern Thailand.

is thailand safe to travel with family
Typical view of North Thailand

Places like the Mae Hong Son, Pai, Nan, Chiang Rai, Sukothai, etc.., are part of North Thailand. These are some of the best tourist attractions where a lot of people visit. This part of Thailand speaks majorly about the culture and the diversity of the country.

Generally, North Thailand is not as sensitive as the South is. Therefore, going to any of these places for hiking or trekking will not be an issue. However, it is mandatory to go through the rules and regulations from all the possible government advisories.

Then only step into any of the places. Going to any of these places does not fall under any restrictions, but the ones that are incredibly close to Burma Border are not safe. Places like Pattani and Yala, along with Narathiwas, are great to avoid when you are traveling.

  • How secure is in Bangkok?

When you are in Thailand, it is a sin if you do not consider experiencing the nightlife that Bangkok offers. Bangkok is the most happening place in Thailand and has been a favorite destination to all, irrespective of the age groups. Some of the brilliant pubs and bars are present in Bangkok; hence, this is one of the must-go-to destinations when you are exploring Thailand.

is it safe to travel to Thailand with a baby
Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun, Bangkok

Bangkok is one of the safest places to be in when you are in Thailand because it is always lit, and there is a lot of people. Most people do not spend enough time in this city, but the most profound people are in Bangkok, and you get to meet them when you choose to extend your stay here.

Well, when it comes to safety, it is the responsibility of the traveler to be cautious all the time. Reading the tips below can make your stay in Bangkok a memorable and erase the doubts of safety issues when traveling to Thailand.

  1. There is no danger

Since the city is always busy and has a fantastic nightlife, the severe chances of any threat are pretty low. Hence, one need not worry about going out at night because this place is famous for its splendid nightlife.

  1. It is quite dangerous for pedestrians

Crossing the streets can be hazardous, too, especially when the motorcyclists run over you even with the signal lights being red. Yes, you read it right! The traffic in Bangkok is uncontrollable, and at times, the bikers may also start using the sidewalks, and the footpaths meant for pedestrians. It is one of the things to have in mind while in Bangkok.

  1. A photocopy of the passport is mandatory

Carrying the original documents, especially the visa, can be quite dangerous. Hence, it is compulsory to carry a photocopy of the passport everywhere you go. It is also equally important to lock the original passport safe inside a cupboard or any other safety chest given to you at the hotel or hostel.

  1. Do not accept drinks from a stranger 

Abandoning a glass of your juice to talk to someone and taking a drink from a stranger at the night club or a bar can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, if you already have a drink in your hand, it is essential to carry it along with you or finish it before choosing to walk away to attend someone. Else, you could also decide to give it to someone who you know very well.

  1. Say “No” to drugs

The Government has full authority to impose death penalties on those who are carrying, trading, or illegal usage of drugs in some cases. Under every circumstance, the authorities have all the right to penalize the crime and jail the suspect. Hence, using drugs in Thailand is a serious offense, and the person using drugs can immediately be sent to prison as well.

  1. King is the god

A separate law, lèse majesté law, speaks about the rules and regulations that one must follow regarding the Royal family when they are in Thailand. A keen watch on everyone is present all over Thailand, and staying away from all these things can make you realize the answer to the question: is travel to Thailand safe?

There are incidences where people got to jail for some of the most negligible offenses. People liking the Facebook posts of the Royal Family, a woman wearing a black dress during the King’s birthday, a person mocking at the King’s dog, and so on are some of the silliest reasons that have lead people to some severe punishments in Thailand. Hence, it is quite beneficial to stay shut when it comes to the Royal Family. Refrain yourselves from committing any of the below acts to ensure that you are safe in Thailand.

  • Speaking ill about the royal family is wholly forbidden
  • Talking negatively about the royal family is not right
  • 3-15 years of imprisonment for those who involve in the above acts
  1. Taxi scams are the most common

Taxi drivers would generally avoid using the meters, and this can be quite heavy on your pockets. It is always wise to perform thorough research before you hire a taxi. When in doubt, always look for a second option. It is also good to seek the help of maps if you find yourselves waiting unnecessarily in traffic where there could be an alternative route.

It is also good to use google maps if you feel you that the driver is going in the wrong direction. It is one of the most common scams seen in Bangkok. Also, you must check for a meter that works and get into such cabs.

8. Having travel insurance is wise 

Every country has a drawback when it comes to safety, and so does Thailand too. There are scams here also. People engage themselves in petty thefts, and bag snatching. Hence, it is always good to have travel insurance with you if you want to have safe travel

Well, these are some of the things that one must keep in mind to ensure that your travel to Thailand is safe when they are in Bangkok.

Despite being one of the most popular places in Thailand, it becomes the responsibility of every traveler to watch their backs. Unless and until a traveler uses his/ her common sense, then every area would turn out to be dangerous.

Travel safe in Bangkok
Buddhas of Wat Arun temple in Bangkok

Hence, it is mandatory to understand the rules and regulations carefully before paying a visit to any country. We have now realized safety rules when traveling in Thailand, now it is time to understand how safe Pattaya in the next section is.

How safe is in Pattaya?

A quaint fishing village is now one of the most of Thailand’s happening touristy spots. Traveling in Pattaya can call for an unfortunate incident all of a sudden. Murders are pretty standard in this region. So, it is essential always to stay cautious when you decide your trip to Pattaya. So, shall we quickly take a sneak peek of some of the things to stay away from in Thailand? There is a part of the safety measure when you are in Pattaya?

is it safe to travel to Thailand while pregnant
Skyline of Pattaya
  •    Fraudulent artists

It is good to stay in groups when you are here. A lot of thieves come in disguise as artists, and this can be quite an alarming situation. Capturing, stealing, robbing, and bag snatching is pretty standard here. Hence, it is always a better deal to move in groups, or with a friend rather than by yourself.

  • Families are to be over cautious

Bars are the most common things in Pattaya, and there are thousands of bars which are full of adults. The youngsters make it pretty uncomfortable for the families at times. So, families! Watch out before planning.

  •    Do not misbehave with the locals

At the restaurant, at the bar, or in a hotel, do mind your feet position. Never point it out at others, and also remember not to pick a fight with the locals. Rubbing heads here is not acceptable, and removing shoes at every spiritual and religious place is the safest thing to follow. When you see a Buddha statue, avoid rubbing the hands over his head and also walking in with a pair of shoes.

  •    Do not be rude at the sellers

A touristy place like Pattaya has several street sellers. Shooing them away, rudely, or yelling at them can be dangerous. A thank-you with a smile would do the magic. Remember to stay polite always.

  •    Open sewages make the beaches dirty

It is one of the major drawbacks if you choose to visit beaches in Pattaya. Letting the sewages out directly to the beaches is one of the dirtiest things in Pattaya. The sludge at the bay enters the beach, making it filthier.

Travel safe with family to Thailand
Huge lizards in Bangkok canals

Hence, this is one of the things to consider for your safe travel, when you are in Pattaya. Malaria, Dengue, and other diseases can easily spread with sewage water as the mosquitoes are in abundance here. Hence, this can be one of the must remember things for tourists who come to visit Pattaya.

  •    Club Raids can be annoying 

It is a club destination in Thailand. The cops stay out of these clubs generally, but, at times, if the police have a suspect of the club selling or using drugs, they would immediately shut them down and start searching. The police also impose death penalties, imprisonment, death sentences for the consumption of drugs.

  •    Be careful with the massages

Well, we all know that Pattaya is famous as a “Red Light” district amongst the several other regions in Thailand. Most of the people, especially the youngsters, go here to have fun and experience everything they want to. It is not a surprise if a girl walks towards you and asks if you are in for a “Thai Massage.”
The massage she refers to means a lot than the actual massage, and it comes with a price. Massages come with a “Fixed Price” tag but, at times, you would end up with ladies who can start going above the slabs and looting you. Even before they start with a massage, it becomes your responsibility to check with them correctly.

Well, Pattaya is a fantastic place in Thailand to visit, but only after you understand what precautions should you take to keep you safe when you travel there. Even the most beautiful and lovely destinations can give you horrible experiences. Be aware.

How secure it to travel in Thailand these days?

It is pretty safe to travel to Thailand these days because of tight security. However, there are petty crimes like bag-snatching, chain-snatching, mugging, and cheating. Hence, the tourists should be careful while they travel to the “Land of Smiles.” Terrorist attacks due to religious issues in South Thailand are still prevalent; however, violence activities around tourists are sporadic. It also has a lot of political influence too.

Well, tourists should still be safe because some of the crimes related to sexual harassment, assault, and molestation are still possible. These kinds of activities usually happen at the parties in clubs, beaches, and pubs.

Street in Bangkok
View of Bangkok’s street

Along with this, the tourists should also take care of the credit cards and their belongings properly because chain-snatching, theft, and rapes may also happen. Jet-skis, motorbikes, tuk-tuk, and taxi scams are also pretty common to occur. Hence, as tourists, it is mandatory to follow specific rules to make your Thailand travel easy, comfortable, and most important, safe.

  • It is always a great thing to let your family know about your whereabouts
  • Share the current location with your friends and family
  • Try to always stick to a group even while traveling solo
  • Do not pick a fight unnecessarily with the locals
  • Try not to accept free drinks at the bar and do not handover the glasses of your drinks to anyone else.
  • Accepting free massages and walking away with an unknown person can also turn out to be harmful.
  • Be cautious about the police officers that offer help; some are fake too.
  • Though it is the 91st safest country amongst all the others, it is still riskier when it comes to the overall crime rate.

How safe is to travel during Songkran?

Songkran is one of the most important festivals which everyone will be looking forward to in Thailand. Traveling during this time of the year can be quite a challenging affair as the chances of getting wet would be higher. Catching fever like Dengue because of mosquitoes is also quite large. Hence, planning your trip accordingly during this festival is required.

Songkran in Thailand
Songkran, Water all over

How to keep your belongings safe in Thailand?

Floating market near Bangkok
Floating market near Bangkok

Carrying everything original may not be a great idea while traveling in Thailand. One can choose to get a locker at the hotel where the accommodation is and lock all the documents safely.

Carrying the photocopies of the original documents is an excellent idea because, at times, it becomes essential to show them to the cops during emergencies. Also, some of the clubs might ask for identity proof due to security purposes. Hence, carrying a photocopy of the document is a must.

  • Keep all the documents in a safe locker at the hotel
  • Do not wear jewelry in excess
  • Avoid carrying a money pouch around your waist; this can attract unnecessary guests
  • Taking money in a backpack while you travel is a good idea, it maintains a low profile
  • It is good to carry a card. However, one must be extremely careful if it is a credit card as the scams regarding the credit cards are pretty high here.
  • If there are no lockers at the hotel, one can also choose to pack the money and hand it over at the reception after signing a few documents. These things are safe in the locker that is at the reception as it requires a couple of keys to access the valuables.
  • Check for the safe locks before leaving anything in the room.

Formal Thai government recommendations for safe travel in Thailand

Government travel advice https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand

There are several rules as per the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) concerning the provinces like Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwas. Some of the other places in South Thailand are extremely sensitive too. Traveling in these districts is also forbidden. The only train like that is safe to visit is the one that runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.

Travel with friends to Thailand
Enjoying life in Bangkok

According to the FCO, the following are to take care while traveling in Thailand.

  • Public meetings, gatherings, and other protests are not the right things to attend when you are here.
  • Demonstrations, marches, and other community programs are also likely to be in danger most of the time.
  • It is excellent to avoid meetings, statements, and another gathering that has political influence.
  • Accusing the King and their decisions can invite troubles to people, and this includes death sentences and long-term imprisonment.
  • Explosions in Bangkok are frequent, and this is due to the terrorist’s activity, and generally, the place is under high vigilance.
  • The quality of air in certain places like Bangkok and Chiang Mai is inferior, and this can lead to severe health problems.
  • The weather conditions can also be harsh at certain times. Taking the right measures and wearing appropriate clothes is essential.
  • Local laws on customs are pretty stringent. Hence, understanding all these things before paying a visit can make the trip memorable.
  • Accidents are pretty high as the motorcyclists are seen occupying the sidewalks meant for the pedestrians. Hence, being extra careful by following the traffic rules is essential.
  • You are wearing helmets while riding is again another essential rule in Thailand.
  • Importing more than 200 cigarettes per person at a time is against the customs laws.
  • One needs to pay a hefty fine if caught smoking in restricted areas.
  • E-cigarettes and vaporizers are illegal in Thailand.
  • Lawson gender-changing are pretty relaxed here. So, be careful with what you speak about the LGBT community.
  • Killing of animals for hides, skin, fur, and other things are entirely against the law. These heinous crimes can lead to imprisonment and other severe punishments.

How safe are bars and clubs?

Most of the people come to Thailand to experience the nightlife. Especially in areas like Pattaya and Bangkok, the pubs are generally full of people going crazy over the music. This legendary nightlife also has cons. Let us quickly understand some of the rules which one must follow in Clubs and Pubs.

Bangkok bars in Thailand
One of Thailand’s favorite pastimes
  • It is common to encounter a lady-boy, don’t just go with them thinking they are ladies.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers, and do not abandon the drinking glass and come back to it later.
  • Avoid speaking to friendly strangers in the bar and making unnecessary acquaintances.
  • Do not indulge in bucket drinks, the dangerous potion that can immediately make you blurry and can lead you into unwanted situations.

Is it safe to travel during monsoon?

Rainy season in Thailand can be lovely when the planning is right. August to October is the month that experiences the maximum rainfalls in Thailand. The moisture in August is quite unpredictable, whereas, in September, Thailand experiences a lot of rains that won’t stop.

During October, the rainfall is generally high during the first few weeks, and later, it reduces gradually. Heavy rains might also result in floods, which can be a hindrance to the travel plans.

  • Trekking enthusiasts, this season is not the right time to plan your travel because access to the elephant sanctuaries, visiting the beaches is less likely to happen.
  • Planning a visit to places like temples, historical monuments, and other cultural centers is possible even during the monsoon.
  • Floating market tours and hiking up to the mountains will not happen during this season.
  • Cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai, Phuket, Koh Samui are the places to go during monsoon because they experience lesser rain than the other parts of the country.
  • Most of the restaurants, hotels, and pubs will offer great discounts during this season because the business is very less in comparison to the peak seasons.

The facts about safe solo travel to Thailand

Though not the most reliable, this is one of the places that attract a lot of tourists. Some of the solo female travelers acknowledge Thailand to be a great country to travel; however, the matter of safety remains dicey. Let us quickly check some of the essential things that a solo traveler needs to follow when they are in Thailand.

How safe is to travel alone in Thailand? 

This place is mostly safer for solo travelers, and since there is an excellent tolerance towards gender, Thailand is one of the must-go-to places for all the solo travelers. Though the country has a prominent red-light district hence, it is important to stay cautious. Attention towards men is higher than women; therefore, female solo-travelers can consider themselves safe when they are here.

All the precautions related to food, drugs, drinks, clubs, and sex and also hiring taxis are applicable as per the discussion above.

Is Thailand safe for solo female travel?

  • Of course, Thailand is one of the safest countries for female solo travelers. However, keeping in mind certain things regarding safety can make the trip even joyful.
  • It is always good to avoid walking close to the street, showing-off the handbags and purses. Flashing bags and purses like this can attract unnecessary attention from the passers-by.
  • It is always good to go to the areas where there is ample light during the dusk. Walking alone on a beach during the night can be dangerous.
  • Remember no to carry everything in your backpack because if the thief tries stealing your bag, you may have to surrender not just the bag but all the belongings too. Hence, carrying the necessary supplies for the day is mandatory.
  • Clicking photographs is a great thing to do; however, not at the cost of losing your expensive camera.
  • Thailand’s culture is pretty strong, and the same reflects in their dress sense too. Carrying clothes that aren’t body-hugging is very important when you are here. Temples and religious places expect you to dress modestly, and this applies to all the genders. Walking into a market in a bikini or taking a walk on the beach in with scanty clothes is not the right thing to do in Thailand.
  • Harassment of women is a lot lesser in Thailand because the majority of the population follows Buddhism. Hence, they are pretty cautious about eve-teasing. Despite this, if someone indulges in harassing, it is good to keep walking instead of landing into unnecessary conflicts.
  • Be cautious when you have a monk around. Monks aren’t accessible to women, and if you are traveling with one, allow them to pass by first. Do not touch them even by accident; instead, you can always keep things down on the floor and ask them to take it.
  • Some of the temples do not entertain women inside the premises. Hence, it is good to read the signs and stay out of such places.

Is Thailand safe for family travels?

Thailand is possibly one of the friendliest destinations for the family to travel because of the family-oriented culture that prevails here. Going to Thailand with your children can probably one of the coolest things to do.

Some people may not have exposure to open and diverse cultures like Thailand; hence, while visiting places like Bangkok and Pattaya, it is vital to open-mindedness. Educating the family members on the laws, rules, and regulations to follow in Thailand can be highly beneficial.

Is it safe to travel with kids/toddler/ baby

Traveling with kids can be one of the most exciting things to do in Thailand because Thai culture is extremely friendly towards families and kids. However, there are certain things to remember while traveling with toddlers and children.

  • Do not take them to Bangkok or Pattaya right on the day you land – this can give them a significant culture shock.
  • Stay for a few days because it takes time for children to accustom themselves to the new environment.
  • Umbrella strollers are available in abundance, carrying it if you have a toddler can be the right thing to do.
  • Getting a direct flight to Bangkok is the best option.
  • Plan the trip properly and do one thing at a time.
  • There are a lot of play areas for kids where you can leave them because Thais are extremely friendly towards kids.
  • Taking them out for a walk on the beach during the evenings can be a high activity when you are in Thailand.

Transportation in Thailand

One must be aware that the transportation system is massively disorganized. Since this is one of the major tourist destinations, there are a lot of means of transportation in Thailand. For longer routes, it is always good to use the Public Transport System in Bangkok, and for a shorter distance, most likely, the tuk-tuk, motorcycles, and motorbikes are in use.

Traveling through trains can be quite challenging because they are not as frequent as the buses are. Some ferries and boats can be in use as the transportation system in fewer areas. Uber is also another mode of transport but, hardly anybody uses it because the taxis are available abundantly.

How safe are taxis, cars, and motorcycles in Thailand?

Taxis are safe in Thailand as long as you make an effort to ensure that the meters are in place. Most of the taxi drivers would demand a lot when they see travelers. Hence, it is your responsibility to make sure that the meter is working fine when you get inside the taxi. Motorcyclists are large in number, and they rarely follow traffic rules. Hence, this can be pretty inconvenient for you as a traveler.

Is driving a car safe in Thailand?

The traffic in Thailand is exceptionally chaotic, and driving a car means there are specific rules and regulations that one must follow. One must possess a driving license, and it has to be at least a year old to drive a car. Age criterion of 18 to drive their vehicle and -21 is compulsory to rent a car in Thailand.

If you are a foreigner, it is vital to have a driver’s license, and if it is in English along with a photograph, it can be advantageous. Apart from all these things, it is also equally important to have an International Driving Permit. Crossing speed Limits, Driving without Seat belts, Rash driving, Drink, and drive, usage of cell phones, unnecessary honking can all lead to punishment.

How safe is the food in Thailand?

It is always good to choose food that is not on the roadside. It is also wise to go to a stall where you can find a lot of locals because these people are experts in choosing the right shops. Thailand has a plethora of street food options. They look beautiful, but overlooking hygiene for taste can lead to dangerous diseases.

Eating foods from roadside can always turn out to be a disaster. Hence, it is mandatory to follow specific rules while you indulge yourselves in binging on the roadside food. However, posh restaurants and hotels are particular hygiene, and they offer first-quality food at all times.

Is it safe to eat in local restaurants? 

  1. Remember to watch out for the cleanliness of the shop
  2. Check if the hands of the vendor are clean
  3. Make sure to see if the place you are eating from is fly-free
  4. Sanitize your hands thoroughly before eating anything at all.
  5. Do not grab the chilies from the bowl that you see on the platform of the kitchen counter
  6. Make sure to carry an anti-bacterial gel along with you to clean the plates and other serving dishes

Is it safe to drink water in Thailand?

One can easily find tap water in Thailand, but drinking it without purifying it may not be hygienic. Hence, carrying bottles of mineral water or even a portable carbon filter to clean the water can be the best thing to do when you are thirsty in Thailand. Diseases, especially the contagious ones, generally are waterborne; hence, taking precautions while drinking water is mandatory.

Is Thailand safe to live?

Thailand is undoubtedly a lovely country to settle. However, there are a lot of rules and regulations one has to follow to become a permanent citizen of this gorgeous country.

Travel guide to Thailand
DK Eyewitness Thailand (Travel Guide)

Thailand attracts a lot of globetrotters, and people mainly come here to experience the turquoise blue waters in the crystal-clear beaches, the ancient temples, and the traditions. Keeping all this in mind, Thailand can be one of the best choices to move in. However, a reality check has to happen before deciding on anything as serious as this.

There are two faces to this lovely place; one – the most traditional and the other, extremely opposite. Older adults would want to stay out of unnecessary noise, and if they decide to settle in places like Pattaya or Bangkok, the lifestyle can be quite disturbing.

People who settle down in Thailand and decide to make a living should get the hang of the culture and blend in the society to start making money. Thailand’s economy is mainly dependent on tourism, and this includes the clubs, parties, strip bars, and red-light areas. Hence, when one decides to move in, there may end up in a culture shock.

One must also understand that Thailand’s history dates back to several centuries, and this one such nation has always stood tall and has shown excellent resistance towards colonization. They have a firm root of culture and history; hence, following these things can again become slightly challenging for the ex-pats.

There are very few big banks where transactions are safe. Water, electricity, and other basic amenities are available in Thailand without any problems.

  • Apart from all these, it is mandatory to have a Thai-non-immigrant Visa, which should be either three or more than three years old.
  • People who possess multiple non-immigrant visas would fall under the rejection category.
  • Should possess specific qualifications and should fall under the investment category as set by the Thai Government.
  • The person should belong to the Working or Business Section and must have a relationship with at least one permanent residence to apply. It can be the spouse, the mother, or the father.

Is Thailand safe for digital nomads?

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations that attract a lot of digital nomads. Everything for a digital nomad comes at a nominal cost in Thailand. However, it is always nice to understand the terms and conditions of the internet before moving into Thailand in the dream of becoming a digital nomad.

Chiang Mai, the digital nomads capital
Chiang Mai, the digital nomads capital of Thailand

There have been pretty stringent rules when it comes to access the Internet in Thailand. Using certain websites that have pornography content, downloading encrypted messages from an unknown source is still a taboo here. Also, people live in the dark in the areas of communication, unlike the westerners. Hence, it is highly impossible to enjoy all the benefits that a digital nomad does in other countries that have zero restrictions on the internet.

Travel Insurance in Thailand

When you are traveling to another country, it is always good to have travel insurance in place, and the same applies to Thailand as well.

  • Travel insurance covers cashless hospitalization across the world.
  • If you are keen on the extension of stay, the hotel extension can happen with the help of Travel Insurance
  • During the loss of check-in baggage, you can always claim it if you have Travel insurance.
  • If there is a theft or if someone snatches your purse and escapes, you can always depend on the travel insurance for some emergency fund.

Is it safe to travel to Thailand? (Major tips)

Next, we will read about the best tips for safe travel in Thailand. Check out the following.

  1. Drugs

Thailand has zero-tolerance for drugs. Consumption, carrying, selling, and buying of drugs can be a serious offense here. Hence, it is good to stay away from an illegal activity like this.

  1. Engagement with locals

Not all that are friendly are your friends. The locals are incredibly polite and overfriendly. Believing them blindly and going out with them can lead you to unwanted places and situations. Hence, staying out of these things is wise.

  1. Scams

Scams that involve taxis, tuk-tuk, and spas and massage centers are pretty common in Thailand. Hence, being alert at all times is mandatory.

  1. Theft & Fraud

Chain snatchers and bag snatchers roam around freely on the streets. If a motorcycle is coming closer to you can mean danger. Hence, keeping only the necessary items in the bag and holding the bag closer to your shoulder would reduce such crimes.

  1. Royal family 

Ill-speaking of the royal family or trying to be open-minded and passing lewd comments about the monarch can lead to severe punishment. At times, the authorities give death penalties to people depending on the seriousness of the issue; hence, it is safe to stay quiet.

Bangkok palace
Royal family palace in Bangkok
  1. Places you should avoid

Seclude beaches, club streets where is it dark, shady places like the red-light areas and areas having border issues are to stay away. Also, going to places where there is likely a terrorist attack due to religious sensitivity is not all that good.

  1. Vaccinations

Vaccinations for Malaria, Influenza, and Pneumonia, are proper to take Dengue is the most common fever; hence, getting a vaccine to avoid Dengue is also the best thing to do. Apart from these vaccinations for measles, tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis- B, take the treatments at the appropriate age.

  1. Hygienic

Avoid eating from the local stalls, and make sure to clean the utensils before eating. Avoid drinking water from the running taps on the street. Do not indulge in having the bucket drinks sold near the beach area.

***

Well, these are the things one must know while traveling to Thailand. Going happily and coming safely with tons of memories is in your hands, and that is possible if you follow all these points carefully.

 

 

Travel to Japan, the land of the rising sun  

Intro and Geographical info 

Islands offer a peace of mind that’s hard to find elsewhere. The very thought of being surrounded by the tranquility of the ocean engulfs the human mind into pure bliss. One such divinity can be experienced in the land of cherry blossoms, Japan. It is an island country in the Pacific Ocean bordering the East Asian continent.

Travel to Japan guide
Japan, 6,852 Islands

Famous for its rich heritage and historical events, Japan stands a witness to many battles of yesteryears and testimony for disciplined culture. It is the world of technology and creativity, some of which we can name are Anime, Sumo, Sushi, Sakura and what not! 

This little island country has one of the most favorable climates. However, it varies greatly with regions from north to south. Northern Japan is a climatic treat to people from tropical areas with its cold winters and cool summers.

To get enthralled by the snowfall, regions on the coast of the Sea of Japan are a pretty sight. Southern regions are more like home with their cold winters and hot summers. Ideally, a Japanese year thrives with all the four seasons. 

Japan’s culture (Shinto, Buddhism) 

Although a cosmopolitan country with people from all walks of life, Japanese people are usually followers of Shinto and Buddhism. The tenets of Shinto were the imperial family’s descent from their Sun Goddess that reflected from the divinity of the emperor. Although after World War II, the emperor’s divinity was renounced, he stands as the official head of the Shinto religion in Japan.

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A Torii, Shinto gate, marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred

Experience Shinto in Japan

In literal terms, Shinto means ‘the way of the Gods’ and this religion has a strong relation to nature. The believers are worshipers of nature and natural places like mountain tops, forests, waterfalls, specific trees, unusual rocks, and more. Shinto believers respect their deities through a process of ritual purification.

Shinto is less solemn than the Westerners relate worshipping to. However, you will notice commercial bustle around the Asakusa shrine in Tokyo that evokes an atmosphere like a Western country fair.

Traveling to Japan for the first time
Shinto shrines at Kyoto

People clap their hands, toss coins to drop it in a box, bow respectfully, and offer prayers. The believers then move to the food stalls, souvenir shops, and amusement booths inside the sanctuary.

As you talk to locals or people who follow Shinto, they will have great insight to give you about their religion and what they believe in. Most Shinto people are ethnic and follow rituals strictly. They strike a balance between modern-day Japan with its traditional past and have unique stories to tell about their lifestyle, upbringing, and beliefs.

Buddhism in Japan

Buddhist philosophy dates back to 500 BC and originated in India. The pure doctrine of Buddhism urges people to seek Nirvana or enlightenment by giving up on desires – the main source of pain in life.

In Japan, Buddhist practices transformed from private contemplation into public charity. The need for asceticism and celibacy faded with time. Initially, the Japanese people looked as Buddhism as a protect of the noble families and the state. These were the people who built Buddhist temples near their homes. 

Travel to Japan cost
About 70 Buddha stone statues in Nikko national park

The new sect of Buddhism spread after the 9th century in Japan and expanded all across the country. The religion transformed from protecting aristocracy and became the means of hope and faith for every common man. They were all attracted to the beliefs, prayers, and rituals of Buddhism.

By the end of the 12th century, the religion was as prominent as Shinto in Japan. It suffused with aspects of the Chinese Confucianism, which was relatable to the Japanese people. These included filial piety, loyalty, and family solidarity. 

Why you should visit Japan?

Japanese unique culture

Japnese culture will never fail to inspire you. It thrives in its age-old traditional values in spite of all the technological advances. You get to experience the best of both worlds throughout your stay.

Though dominated by a mechanical life with a number of renowned companies headquartered in their country, people treasure their virtue more than anything else. 

Japanese culture stands apart in terms of their approach towards others. They’re the politest people you’d have ever come across. In this modern era, Japanese people are one among the few countries where people greet each other with a slight bow.

You’ll be surprised that even bus drivers thank each person for purchasing a ticket. The three magic words – thank you, sorry and please are used at all times. However, people speak only Japanese, though English is taught as a second language in school.

This reveals their patriotism towards their mother tongue. Throughout your stay, you’ll hear the word ‘Arigato’ very often, which means ‘Thank you.’

Rules are never meant to be broken. They are staunch believers of ‘First come, first serve.’ You’ll find queues everywhere, be it a lift or a billing counter. Libraries are not the only place where people maintain silence, the everyday commute is as serene as a  place of worship.

Road rules are kept up at all times. Pedestrians are respected, most of the vehicles stop if people are walking by. Chaos is absolutely forbidden. As travelers, it is highly important to follow their values so as not to offend them. 

Landscapes in Japan 

Japan comprises of tiny islands, mountains, and valleys. Mountains dominate the country. Mount Fuji, one of the holy mountains of Japan, is a highly popular tourist destination. Being a dormant volcano, it is totally harmless. UNESCO claims Mount Fuji to be an inspiration for many artists and poets.

how to prepare for a trip to japan
The iconic symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji

Active volcanoes also contribute to volcanic landscapes. Showa-Shinzan and  Sakurajima to name a few. One shouldn’t miss Fuketsu on their visit to Japan, it is a cave where cold wind breezes out from the inside.

Besides the mountains, Japan also possesses several relaxing coastal areas. Beaches, sidelines and coral reefs are found in abundance. Check out Okinawa main island for a day out, to soak in the goodness of vitamin D. It is the abode for adventurists as it provides snorkeling opportunities.

Kerama Islands are famous for their corals and most of the tourists have been lucky enough to spot sea turtles near the beaches. For those who revel in solitude, Amami Oshima is a safe haven. It is one of the less crowded beaches in Japan.

Japan travel blog
Kerama Islands are famous for their corals

However, metropolitan cities are lined with skyscrapers that are tall and sleek. The land is prone to earthquakes. But thanks to the brilliant minds, their architecture is made sure to withstand earthquakes. Wooden floorings are found in most of the buildings. 

Food

There’s more to Japanese food than ramen or sushi. A must-try is the Okonomiyaki pancakes made from cabbage, topped with a variety of toppings. You can choose any toppings from meat to seafood. Other must-haves are Soba noodles, Yakiniku barbecue, Tempura, Sukiyaki, and Yakitori.

Japanese food
Soba noodles, a must-try in Japan

For your sweet tooth, Japan offers matcha-flavored sweets. Matcha is green tea, made from the finest tea leaves that are steamed, dried and made into a powder. You’ll get matcha-flavored ice creams, chocolates, and cookies which are healthy and tasty!

Japanese cuisine
Japanese food: perfectionism and aesthetics

 Did you know that Japan has over 200 flavors of KitKat to choose from? These range from Apple, Double-cookie to green tea, soy sauce, cherry blossom, sake, crème Brulee and ginger ale. These are just some of the things you must try in Japan.

Tokyo

The busy Tokyo metropolis has served as the capital for Japan since 1869. Unlike other countries, Japan has remained constant in its choices from the very beginning. The city bustles with life and energy. You’ll never witness a lag in the speeding lifestyle of the people in the capital. 

Home to some of the tallest towers in Japan, the Tokyo Sky Tree stands proud at 634 meters. Though the city is lined with skyrocketing skyscrapers, shrines are plenty in number. Asakusa shrine tugs at the heartstrings with its beautiful architecture. 

In spite of being a business hub, traffic is maintained and is perfectly under control. Road rules are to be followed at any cost. Japnese people never overtake other vehicles or switch lines. However, public transport is a preferred everyday commute. 

While in Tokyo, do experience the Odaiba cruise. The vessel is designed in such a futuristic way, that it almost resembles a spacecraft. It is spacious and fully air-conditioned. A truly magical voyage. 

Tokyo doesn’t compromise on its greenery either. Lush green parks and botanical gardens seep the much needed eco-friendly retreat into our systems. Zen gardens are world-famous. 

Tokyo travel advisor
Amazing nightlife in Tokyo
Tokyo travel alone
Tokyo urban landscape
Tokyo travel deals
Shibuya intersection in Tokyo

Tokyo faces

Tokyo faces
Tokyo travel guides
Tokyo street view
Tokyo travel tips
Shibuya intersection, the most famous intersection in the world

Nightlife

Japnese people close their days much earlier. However, that doesn’t put an end to the nightlife activities that are lined up for tourists. It’s a popular saying the ‘Tokyo is the city that never sleeps!’ 

Party enthusiasts must visit the Robot Restaurant. It’s located in the Shinjuku district. Make sure to reserve seats for the place is super crowded. There’s no end for all the fun, neon lights, booze and pretty girls. For those of you who are into clubbing, do check out Roppongi and Shibuya.

Tokyo night life
Tokyo bars

Smitten with Japnese pop culture? Kawaii monster cafe is a colorful pop culture themed hang out. From Tuesday to Friday, special shows are put up for entertainment. Never miss an opportunity to brag about the famous pop shows.

Huddle around the biggest baseball stadium, Tokyo Dome, if you happen to visit during the baseball season. It is the home to the Yomiuri Giants. Japan is truly diversified having something to offer for everyone. Be it a party or sports, this country will satiate all your needs.  

First time to the land of cherry blossoms? Let’s put an end to all the if’s and but’s battling in your mind with these 10 curated tips for people traveling to Japan for the very first time.

Tokyo guide
Don’t miss Shinjuku at night
Tokyo Japan nightlife
The colorful Harajuku Kawaii Monster Cafe

Best nightlife Tokyo

Best tips when traveling in Japan 

Transit within the country

Let those bulky wallets remain bulky. Always prefer public transport, railways are the best. There’s no hassle as in waiting for a long time. The trains are always on time. Do experience the fastest bullet train, Shinkansen. However, if you prefer cabs, better start early to avoid traffic.

Japnese people aren’t very much into honking, so horns are seldom used and that adds up to the time taken for resolving the traffic. Be prepared to face the intervals if the travel is longer, cab drivers halt for a rest every hour.

Travel to Japan blog
Shinkansen, the best way to cross Japan
Travel to Japan tips
Train stations, always shiny and clean

Cheap stays

Try the capsule hotels, has been vouched by many travelers for its prime locations and service. Make sure to pre-book to avoid last-minute confusions.

Travel to Japan alone
Don’t try if you are claustrophobic

Tickling taste buds

If you’re a foodie, worry not. You’ll never run out of options. The Japnese cuisine has loads of mouth-watering dishes to satisfy your taste buds. With the only downfall that almost all the restaurants have really skyrocketing prices for most of their dishes. However, traditional Indian eateries are harder to find. You’ll have to make-do with baked foods. Cafe’s are abundant, Tully’s coffee is deemed the best.

Mind the escalator rules

Make sure to keep left when you’re on an escalator unless you’re running out of time. Because the right side is reserved for people who are in a hurry.

Never tip

It’s natural to feel that we have to go the extra mile to show that their service was good. And it’s also mandatory to tip the waiters in a few countries. But never tip Japnese for their services, they get offended.

 Visa cards to the rescue

Currencies come in handy. However, for hefty purchases, visa cards are accepted as credit cards are not very popular in most of the stores.

 Restrooms matter

Please do not get flustered with so many websites giving out information that handwashes/ sanitizers aren’t available. They do have all the basic necessities in restrooms unless it’s some run-down place. But, jet hoses are not available, instead, they have an automatic button system.

 Wifi hotspots

It costs a lot to continue with your existing phone plans. It’s advisable to get a local sim if you plan to stay for a good number of days. And almost all the places offer free wifi, so it’s better to rely on WhatsApp messages and calls for shorter stays.

 Souvenirs and goodies

What are travels without a souvenir to hold all the memories intact? Do check out Daiso, it’s the biggest 100 yen shop for goodies. The good old Lawson Familymart is omnipresent and is a good option to purchase goodies for a fair price without compromising on quality.

Time to cross Japan off your bucket list. Happy journey!

Do’s and don’t in Japan 

Do’s list 

Enjoy gambling

While gambling is frowned upon in so many countries, it is a wonderful recreation in Japan. However, people don’t gamble with money. Instead, they trade vouchers for food and drinks.

It is absolutely harmless. Many parlors are present across the country. Pachinko parlor is one of the most famous gambling parlors. They are in no way lesser to world-famous Casinos. It’s known for its noise and colorful ambiance. Even if you’re not into gambling, do check out their booths just for the jazz and thrill of it. 

Travel to Japan solo
Sort of a cultural shock when you get in

Experience the onsen

The Japanese word for geothermally heated springs that supply hot water for public baths is termed as an onsen. A bath in the onsen feels almost cathartic. They calm your nerves, soothe your aching muscles and ease stress. Villagers are said to have two onsens every day after hectic fieldwork. 

Satiate your taste buds

When in Japan, try only Japanese cuisine. Get hold of your chopsticks and do it the Japanese way. Don’t mind if you don’t get it right. It’s all worth it in the end. The menu cards will leave you awestruck with loads of dishes to choose from. 

Travel to Japan cheap
For some food, chopstick usage is much more effective

Learn basic Japanese

Japanese are very patriotic about their language. It feels good to put a smile on their face by conversing in their mother tongue. Here are a few courtesies that will refine your pleasant stay

  • Good day – Konichiwa
  • Thank you – Arigato
  • Sorry – Gomen’nasai 
  • Please – Onegai shimasu

Karaoke all the way 

It’s a favorite past-time in Japan. All the karaoke booths are private. So, get together with your friends and sing your heart out. 

Don’ts list 

Litter at your own cost!

Trash cans are seldom found in Japan. People carry rubbish with them and deposit it in the recycling bins. This process is followed by a rigorous task, where rubbish materials are separated from potential recyclable materials. So, it is advised that instead of littering, travelers carry a paper bag with them. It’s better to co-operate with their complex recycling process. 

Say no to booze competitions

Sake and beer drinking competitions are very popular among Japanese men. However, please stay away from getting into one as your chances of winning are very slim when compared to them. 

Don’t finish your meal or drink

Japanese people value hospitality above all. When someone has finished their entire meal or drink, they assume that they’ve under-fed you and that you’re still hungry. This offends them. So, always leave bits and scraps of food on your plate. 

Never tip

In most of the western countries, it is mandatory to tip a certain percentage of the total bill to the waiters. However, in Japan, it is an offense. Express your gratitude only through praises. 

Phone manners

As mentioned previously, all public transport in Japan is very calm. Stay away from talking loudly on cell phones when you’re commuting. Japanese people don’t like to be disturbed. 

Table manners

Japanese people respect their food more than anything else.  Do not talk while eating or drinking. It is considered bad manners. 

Don’t blow your nose in public

Japanese people are very sensitive about this. They’re easily disgusted when people blow their noses in public. Make sure you don’t put them in an awkward situation. When the need arises, excuse yourself to one of their so-called musical restrooms and blow your nose. However, sniffing is tolerated.

Fascinating Facts about Japan

  • Since it is believed that Japan is the first country to see the sunlight first so in Japanese the term japan means Nihon or Nippon which means “Land of the rising sun”.
  • The famous Hello Kitty was born in Japan in 1974 as a plastic purse. Now there are about 20000 variety of Hello Kitty products available in the market. She is known as kitty Chan for Japanese people.
Travel to Japan for cheap
As many as you want 🙂
  • We all are aware that Japan is the largest producer of the Automobile Industry and Toyota is a great significance over there. But did you know that the eight brush strokes on Toyota are considered to be lucky in Japan? The company is more than a brand for the locals.
  • In Japanese, the tearing of gift wrap is considered as a sin.
  • Japanese considers belly (hara) as the center of emotions and they value silent communication.
  • Shinto is one of the few religions with a female solar deity in the world.
  • In a year, Japan faces 1500 earthquakes as minor tremors are common to them. The nation sits on the top of 4 tectonic plates and this the reason for such activities.
Travel to Japan Tokyo
Torii gates in Fushimi Inari in Kyoto
  • Japan has the world’s oldest continually operating company. They had a construction company that was operated by the same family for 40 generations and the company name is Kongo Gumi Co. Ltd. It was founded in 578 AD and ran up to the year 2006 until another company bought it.
  • Japan is mostly made of up of archipelagoes and comprises of 6,852 islands.
  •  Japnese is a home for pet animals there are more pets compared to kids below 15.
travel to japan do i need a visa
6,852 islands in Japan
  • In Japnese culture, chopsticks should not be kept crossed on the table as it symbolizes death and the vertical chop on rice bowl as the funeral.
  • Many of the streets in Japan doesn’t have a name so the postal cards contain substation name and the visiting cards have the map on it.
  • There are more than 20 ways of saying sorry in Japan.
  • The life expectancy right of Japan is higher compared to other countries.
  • The laws in Japan are very strict and the crime rate is very low.
Travel to Japan sim card
Japanese Yakuza, crime with rules…

Best time to visit

Japan has loads of options to choose from. One particular season cannot be chosen in general. It all comes down to what you’re very much into. With every season and every region having dozens of festivals and activities year-round, you could never end up with a dull vacation. Plan your stay based on the following activities,

Forget-me-not blue skies

Not everyone is fond of monsoons and ski slopes. To revel in a holiday similar to those cheerful rising sun postcards, plan your stay in the months from March to May and from September to November. The weather is perfect with very little or no rainfall at all.

Temperature is mild. This picture-perfect weather chimes in for hiking. It’s also the season for outdoor festivals like the outdoor beer games. 

Witness the cherry blossoms

The very thought that strikes our mind at the mention of Japan would be cherry blossoms. Plan your trip from late March, that’s when the trees in the warmer regions of south start blooming.

However, the trees in the northern regions start blooming only in the month of May. Apart from these two regions, if you happen to stay at Kansai or Kanto, the first blossoms of the season are in the early weeks of April.

Budget travels

In general, Japan is an expensive holiday destination. It’s not very budget-friendly. With travelers flocking from all over the globe, it’ll be tough bargaining for hotels and flights. To make the most out of your limited means, plan your trip beforehand. Target winter, from mid-January to March, to grab the best deals on hotels and flights. 

Rugby world cup

If crowds aren’t your thing, avoid traveling to Japan during the months of summer Olympics and rugby world cup. The country swarms with people from around the world and the ruckus will ruin your ideal getaway. 

Planning a trip to Japan 

Japan is a diverse country. Unless you’ve got a perfect sketch of what you want to do right from the first day to the last, you’ll end up feeling lost in a new country. You’ll waste time and money. Planning your entire trip well in advance is pretty tedious and time-consuming. But, it is very important that you do so. 

Plan your activities

Analyze your interests. Make a list of your likes, dislikes and hobbies. Thrown in a few festivals that you don’t want to miss during your stay. Japan has four seasons and each season has something unique to offer. 

Choose your destination

Once you’re done with drafting your to-do list, decide where you want to go. 

For instance, if hiking is your thing, autumns in Hokkaido are the best. The weather is the right blend that favor hikers.

For those of you who are from tropical regions, a cold retreat might sound great. Try the ski resorts in Hokkaido’s winter. 

People who are more inclined towards archaeology and spirituality must head straight to Kyoto. It is the humble abode for many temples and shrines. 

Travel to Japan requirements
If hiking is your thing, autumns in Hokkaido are the best

Chart out your duration of stay

Your budget is directly proportional to your stay in Japan. It’s important to get them straight. If you don’t mind spending lavishly, the duration should be the least of your worries.

The more you stay, the more you get to experience. However, not all of us are blessed with such hefty bank balances. In that case, plan your expenses before you land in Japan and start saving up. Plan a shorter stay and try to make the most out of it.

Travel visas

Make sure you have a valid passport. This might sound silly, but it is very critical that you understand that your passport should remain valid throughout your stay. If your country is exempted from a visa, you can travel with your passport.

If not, apply for a visa. Provide accurate details about flight and hotel bookings while doing so. Once your visa is issued, proceed with the next step. 

Simple itinerary

Don’t dump your schedule with more places than you can cover in a single day. Holidays are supposed to be relaxing.

Keep it simple. Don’t rely on blogs that boast of ‘7 days itinerary, 4 days itinerary.’ Understand your pace and trust your instincts. Plan according to the season that you are targeting. Once you’re done with your itinerary, purchase your Japan rail pass.

Bookings

This is a very crucial step. Book your flight and hotel. Watch out for last-minute flight deals. You never know when luck strikes, you might land a really good offer. While booking hotels, go through the reviews with the utmost care. Don’t get deceived by fake reviews and images.

Double-check everything. Make sure you book your room in advance and consider the cancellation policies. Contact the hotelier in case of any queries. For longer stays, book your hotel room near the train station. However, for shorter stays, don’t purchase a rail pass. Cabs will do. 

Invest in travel insurance

Insurance’s intention is not to dampen your spirits. But, it is wise to expect the unexpected. You never know what comes next. Extensive travelers clearly understand the importance of travel insurance. Make sure your insurance covers medical expenses, lost luggage, flight cancellation, camera breaks, etc. 

Pack your bags

As pointed out time and again, Japan has 4 seasons. So, pack according to the season you’re visiting. 

Winter in Northern Japan is extremely harsh. Pack your clothes that are ideal to survive the cold. Stock up on layers of clothes, boots, and socks to stay warm throughout your stay. 

Summers are hot and humid. There’s not much to meddle with packing. Light clothes will do. However, for early autumn and late spring, carry a light jacket as it tends to get chilly. 

Check out travel blogs and magazines

It can be a really exciting and daunting experience for people who are traveling to Japan for the very first time. Read as many travel-related blogs and magazines you can find online. They are up-to-date with tips and day to day happenings. It’s also useful to follow up on Japan’s weather and general headlines. 

Safety in Japan

Japanese people adhere to hard and fast rules, making it one of the top ten safest countries in the world. You’ll be astounded when you find children riding the subway unaccompanied, lost wallets found and returned with money intact and homes being unlocked with no negative consequences.

The country is full of surprises to a commoner. Japanese government prides itself for the lack of criminal headlines in their newspapers. 

Women power

If you’re a solo female traveler, be sure that you’ll enjoy your trip. Japanese people go out of the way to help women when they’re in a crisis. A few hotels even offer female-only accommodations. Plus, female-only cars are found in most of the trains. You’re provided with top-notch security throughout your stay.

Stop the buses when you please

All the buses are provided with a stop button just like trains. If you’re uncomfortable about something or feel that someone is not behaving the right way, just press the button to get down.

Tourist Information centers

Most of the railway stations in the country have an information center to carter to the needs of tourists. City 

Safe wallets

Crime rates are at an all-time low. Pickpockets are almost unheard of, even in crowded cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s perfectly safe to go backpacking all alone, any day, anywhere. 

Gangsters of yesteryears

It’s a cliche, the Yazuka gangsters. Gone are their days of reign. They were considered to be the violent and corrupt criminals Japan has ever come across. With the police breathing down their necks, they are scared of bothering people. 

Anti-sexual harassment

The ‘me-too’ movement has left the laws rewritten. The Japanese cabinet ministers have taken special measures to devise new laws against sexual harassment. Groping and harassing are considered illegal and are punishable by law. 

Goodbye to Fukushima disaster

The 2011 tsunami destroyed the Fukushima nuclear power station. But, there’s absolutely nothing to be scared of. The radioactive debris has been cleared and the area surrounding the plant is off-limits for everyone. So, your safety is their primary concern. 

Cleaner air

Rumor has it that Tokyo is polluted beyond limits. However, it is just a rumor. Tokyo is cleaner than Los Angeles. 

Prevention is better than cure

No country is more prepared than Japan when it comes to safety. Given that Japan is more prone to earthquakes, there are certain measures that you can follow

  • A good number of apps are available that will notify you of an oncoming disaster
  • When in an earthquake, protect yourself by taking shelter under a wooden table or desk
  • Approach the locals. They are more than willing to help you out in a crisis. 

Don’t fear the contagious diseases

When sick, people of Japan usually wear surgical masks to prevent spreading the infection. Even if the country doesn’t impress you, its humanity will sweep you off your feet. 

Visa to Japan

Visa is mandatory to visit Japan unless your country is exempted. A visitor who wishes to fly to Japan on a tour must obtain a tourist visa before entering the country. The tourist visa is a short term visa. It’s valid for 90 days. Tourist visas can be obtained for sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives, attending business conferences and pursuing a very short term course. 

The eligibility criteria to obtain a visa are as follows:

  • You must have a valid passport
  • The passport must be valid throughout your stay
  • The passport must have two blank pages for the visa
  • You must submit a –
  1. A copy of your completed visa application form
  2. A copy of your round trip ticket
  3. Proof of your hotel reservation and financial ability
  4. Photocopy of your birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable)
  5. A formal statement of your financial situation from the bank for the past six months
  6. Certificate of employment if your trip is not sponsored
  • You must leave Japan at the end of your authorized stay.

It’s quite normal to feel daunted by the process of applying for a visa. The entire process has been broken down into steps to make it easier. 

  1. With the internet available just a few clicks away. Nothing is a very big deal. Download the visa application form online.
  2. After downloading the form, read the application twice. Sort out any issues or doubts through the help-line. 
  3. Fill the form carefully. Do not forget to put your signature once the form is completed.
  4. The required documents are available for download along with your form. Make sure you download that. Gather all the required documents. Don’t deem anything unnecessary. If it’s mentioned, you have to produce it during verification.
  5. Create a checklist to double-check. Keep the documents ready on the previous day to avoid last-minute confusions.
  6. The photo that you provide for visa application must be a recent one. It shouldn’t be older than 6 months. The photo must meet the specifications mentioned in the visa application. Refrain from applying filters to your photo.
  7. You’ll have to pay for the visa application form. Check the fees required and the mode of payment that will be accepted by the Embassy of Japan where you are supposed to submit your application form. The fees differ depending upon the nationality of the visitor. Check with the Embassy regarding the fees beforehand. Keep the fees ready to have a hassle-free experience.  
  8. Once you are done with all the formalities, submit the visa application form along with the fees to the embassy of Japan. Approach the Embassy that’s nearest to you. Based on your country of origin, you may submit the application form in person or through an accredited travel agent who has been approved by the Embassy of Japan.
  9. You may have to attend an interview
  10. Once your visa is issued, you’ll be notified. Collect the visa after showing your invoice cum receipt provided at the time of submission. In case you want the visa delivered to your location by a travel agent, you should provide an authorized letter duly signed by you along with the invoice. 

How to save money in Japan

Though Japan is considered an expensive holiday destination, there are many loopholes that you can make use of.  

Eateries and pubs within budget

Just like other countries, Japan is also dominated by chain restaurants like Yoshinoya, Matsuya, and Sukiya. These hang-outs offer lightning deals, discounts, and occasionally seasoned dishes at an affordable price. Do check out their web pages when you are there, you don’t want to miss out on these amazing deals.

Getting street smart will save you a few bucks. Tachigui is one such local food chain where you have to dine while standing. But the lack of furnishing will actually cost you very little. 

Don’t compromise on the nightlife. Similar to chain restaurants, chain pubs called Izakaya are found in abundance. Torikizoku is a must-visit, you’ll be surprised to find that everything on the menu is  ¥298.

When it comes to supermarkets, the good old Lawson family mart comes into the picture. Be on the lookout for discounts. OK and Aeon are convenience stores where you can get your hands on some authentic baked goods and goodies. 

Walking and cycling are always the best

You might be tempted to give in to public transport. But, Japan has so much to offer within walking distance. It is one of the most pedestrian-friendly countries you’ll ever come across.

Make use of the opportunity and burn a few calories that you’ll undoubtedly add up as a result of all the mouth-watering dishes. However, renting a bicycle is also a good option. 

Public transport to the rescue

When you have to cover long distances, cabs might empty your wallet. Instead, depending on your duration of stay, purchase the Japanese Rail Pass. Commonly known as JR pass. 

Another good option would be to take the bus. Compared to railways, buses are cheaper. To check out towns far away from Tokyo, night bus services like Willer Express offers good prices and comfortable rides.

Accommodations at a fair price

If you don’t have a relative or friend’s place to return after sightseeing, plenty of accommodations are available. If you prefer something much more personal than lodges, try the capsule hotels. It is very popular among travelers.

They make you feel at home with amazing cultural experiences. Some of the capsule hotels also have a sento public bath to help you relax after a long day. They charge as low as 2000 yen per night. For social gatherings and get-togethers, guesthouses are also available at a slightly higher price. 

Personal needs

100-yen stores come in handy for everyday purchases. Goods are available at a fair price without compromising on quality. The products range from basic necessities to large appliances, cookware, clothing, and bicycles. Souvenirs and goodies can be purchased in bulk to distribute to your near and dear ones back at home.

Drugstores also sell food and drinks at a very reasonable price. Sometimes, they might be cheaper than the 100-yen shops. So check the difference in prices before you buy anything. 

Transportation in Japan

You’ll understand while calculating your budget that transportation within the country constitutes a huge amount. Compared to transit, other expenses are pretty low. Careful planning of your itinerary plays a major part.

Limiting yourself to visit a particular region and avoiding long-distance travel within the country is a foolproof method to cut down costs. However, if you wish to travel to different regions, the following modes of transport are suggested.

 Japan bus pass

 It’s one of the wallet-friendly transport options. If utilized properly, transit costs can be reduced to half. The passes can be purchased according to our needs. 3, 4 and 5 days passes are popular among the tourists.

Highway buses are suggested for long-distance travels. Though these buses are slower when compared to trains, transit expenses can be reduced unbelievably, provided you don’t mind spending a night in the bus. 

 Japan rail pass

People who have plans to travel cross-country should prefer railways. The passes can be purchased for 7, 14 and 21 consecutive days. JR passes provide unlimited, nationwide transit on almost all the trains operated in the country, including the bullet trains. 

Apart from nationwide passes, if your itinerary covers only a particular region, exclusive passes are available. These passes are called ‘regional passes’ and offers good deals. For example, JR Tokyo wide pass, Nikko pass, and Koyasan World Heritage Ticket to name a few. 

Domestic flights

If you don’t mind being lavish, domestic airlines offer comfortable transit. You’ll come across many discounts owing to the competition between the airlines and the railways. Skymark Airlines, Peach Aviation, and Jetstar Japan offer considerably low fares and bookings are done in English.

However, passes are not only limited to buses and railways, but air passes are also issued exclusively for foreigners.  

 Ferries

For people who are into trying different modes of transport, do check out the ferries. Though ferries are available only for a limited number of routes,  it can be a truly magical experience. Different classes are available and second class fares are considerably inexpensive.

 Rental cars

When holidaying as a group or if you are interested in exploring on your own, rental cars are the best option. It’s the only transport where you can enjoy your privacy. However, gas expenses and highway tolls sneak into your budget. So, plan accordingly. If convenience and privacy top your expectations, go ahead with this option. 

Package tours

You’d have come across this term everywhere. Your entire itinerary, right from your first day to last is planned by tourist agencies. You don’t have to devise an elaborate plan.

All you have to do is maintain the schedule and go with the flow. Based on the package you choose, the number of people accompanying you differs. For a higher price, you get to explore the places with just your family and a guide from the agency accompanies you.

Hitchhiking  

Though very popular among the young generation, it is not common in Japan. Will Fugerson’s book ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Japan’ covers this topic. But, it was last updated in 1998, rendering it almost useless. However, that shouldn’t stop you from backpacking and exploring the country the way you want it to be.

Estimated costs

Don’t stress with devising a budget plan. The following subheadings will help you choose your preferred plan. 

Flights

 On average, a roundtrip flight from most parts of the US to Japan costs around $2,300. However, booking your tickets well in advance could save you a lot. It is important to note that flight tickets depend on your boarding place, season and other factors.

If you travel from countries in Western Europe, like Germany, Spain, Portugal, and France, the roundtrip flight ticket costs approximately € 970

Traveling from Australia to Japan will amount to A$ 1,425.

Flight fares from Canada to Japan is approximately CAD 1,907

Hotels

It’s well known that Japan is an expensive holiday destination. Different hotels are available for different budgets. For those of you who don’t mind being lavish, try the luxury hotels in Tokyo. Aman Tokyo, Andaz, Conrad Tokyo, Palace Hotel Tokyo to name a few. These star hotels charge around ¥90,000   

For people traveling as a group or family, guest houses are perfect. They can be found at different prices based on the amenities offered, ranging anywhere between ¥20,000 to ¥90,000  

Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Shangri La hotel and The Ritz – Carlton are very famous among honeymooners. 

The Capsule hotels are very popular among travelers. They are really cheap at ¥2,000 per night. The hotels are packed with cultural experiences. 

Transportation 

The railways, buses, cabs, rentals and domestic flights are the means of transport within the country. Buses and railways cost the least. 

The railways offer Japan Rail Passes that can be purchased for a week or more. You gain unlimited, nationwide access. Long-distance travels cost around ¥25,000 

Highway night buses are very popular much cheaper than trains. For example, the bus pass for an entire week costs around ¥12,000

Cabs are pretty costly. Sightseeing for 2 hours costs around ¥10,000

Food

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about ¥900

If the restaurant you choose is mid-range, a three-course meal for 2 people costs around ¥4,000

McDonald’s comes to your rescue if you are very keen on cutting down costs you spend on meals. They are as low as ¥650

Traveling with people

Backpackers needn’t worry a bit. You have to look out only for yourself as you are not responsible for anyone else. It is advised that couples book fairly decent hotels to have a really good time and privacy. 

Families are suggested to put up in guesthouses. They are more convenient in terms of space and comfort. 

Biggest festivals in Japan

Traditional Japanese festivals are called Matsuri, they are very colorful with a long history. The dates and the way these festivals are celebrated differs from community to community. More than 300,000 Matsuri festivals are celebrated in a year. The locals of that area organize the festival and the shrines sponsor them. The biggest and the most famous festivals are listed below, 

Gion Matsuri

During the month of July, the entire city of Kyoto participates in this festival. The highlight is the procession of floats called ‘Yamaboko Junko’ on 17th and 24th of July. 

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Gion Matsuri in Kyoto

Awa Odori

12th to 15th of August, Tokushima city is engulfed in a dance mania. Men, women, and children dance on the streets of the city. They wear traditional cotton kimonos teamed with straw hats. If you happen to visit Tokushima around this time of the year, do not hesitate to join them. You’ll have the time of your life. 

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Takamatsu Awa Odori Bon Festival

Kanda Matsuri

This festival is unique to Tokyo, dedicated to the Kanda Myojin shrine. The portable shrines are taken on a parade by the people. The procession starts in the morning and continues through the Kanda district, Nihonbashi, and Akihabara before returning to the shrine in the evening. 

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Lion float, Kanda Matsuri

Yuki Matsuri

It’s also called ‘The Snow Festival’ and takes place in Sapporo in the month of February. The festival originated in 1950 when local school students started making statues out of snow. However, at present, it’s a huge snow statue contest. 

Nebuta Matsuri

It is a parade festival from 2nd to 7th of August in Aomori city. Lantern floats are made in the form of human figures and are accompanied by several chanting dancers. It’s a spectacular sight. 

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Nebuta matsuri

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

It’s a thrilling contest that takes place in the city of Osaka in the middle of September. Danjiris are wooden floats which are heavier than 3000kg. People divide into teams and pull the wooden floats at breakneck speed while the crowd cheers on. 

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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, Osaka, Japan

Tenjin Matsuri

This festival is also a procession, held on 24th and 25th of July, in Osaka. However, in addition to land procession, a river procession via boats also occur. 

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Osaka Tenjin Matsuri Festibal Funatogyo

Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri

It’s relatively a new festival that was started in 1954, in Kochi, as a tribute to the birth of Yosakoi Naruko dance. It is a passionate dance to an old folk song. Dancers carry clappers called ‘Naruko’ that creates a click-clack sound. To take part in this power-packed festival, visit Kochi in the middle of August.

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Yosakoi Performers at Kochi Yosakoi Matsuri

Tanabata Matsuri

 This festival originated as a result of cultural contact between the Japanese and Chinese. It is based on the legend of two Chinese stars, Altair and Vega. If you visit the Sendai City from the 6th to the 8th of August, you’ll find colorfully crafted paper decorations hanging in the streets. 

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Shōnan Hiratsuka Tanabata Matsuri

Hakata Dontaku Matsuri

It’s held on 3rd and 4th of May in Fukuoka City. It is a combination of dance and procession. People dance and parade with a utensil used for serving rice, called ‘Shamoji.

Best sites to visit

Divide your visit into three parts – Northern Japan, Southern Japan and the Tokyo area (Central Japan). Cover each area one at a time to make the most of your holiday. Don’t rush around, enjoy every minute. The best sites to visit in each region are listed below,

Places to visit in Northern Japan

The first thing that you’ll note is the greenery. North Japan is clean, green, welcoming, and historic in its own way. It is very similar to New Zealand. But, fabulous in its own old-world charm. 

Attractions

The western side of North Japan borders the Sea of Japan. It is lined with rivers, flatlands, and fertile rice farmlands. Visit the samurai district of Kakunodate, it is well-known for its cherry trees in spring. Stroll around the village and engage with the craftsmen. 

One shouldn’t miss the Akita museum of art which houses large collections of the famous Western-style painter, Fujita Tsuguharu. Bordering Akita, lake Towada is at the top of a 400-meter-high mountain. It’s a good retreat for hiking. 

Next, visit Aomori, the northernmost region on Honshu, that has the world’s largest virgin forest of the beech tree. It is added to UNESCO’s world heritage sites. 

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Hirosaki, Japan, Aomori

Markets

When in Hakodate, visit the morning market for breakfast. It has many stalls to keep you munching through a variety of seafood.

Similarly Ekini market is a photographer’s paradise. The display of seafood will stun you. 

Nature

Every place, even the fish markets in Hokkaido are rich in greenery. However, to point out specifically, Shiretoko National Park and Daisetsuzan National Park are very popular places to witness really unique flora and fauna.

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Shiretoko National Park. Hokkaido, Japan

Jewelry ice is a phenomenon that occurs in Otsu shores of North Japan. It is formed from ice in the Tokachi River. It looks splendid. 

Travel with kids

Take your kids to Shiroi Koibito Park. Let them squeal with delight on the different train rides. Here, you’ll find the Shiroi Koibito Factory, where the famous Hokkaido cookies are baked is a must-visit. Amazing lessons on skiing are taught for kids here. 

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Shiroi Koibito Park

Best Packages

9 Days Charms of Hokkaido tour is a package that comes at a decent price. The package is available for three seasons – The cherry blossoms, winter festivals and summer flowers.  

Places to visit in Tokyo (Central Japan) 

As mentioned previously, Tokyo is the capital of Japan. It is full of life and energy. The city, home to many companies, is dominated by some of the tallest skyscrapers. 

Attractions

Tokyo sky tower is one of the largest towers in the world. It has an observation deck, so feel free to get on top of the tower and enjoy the view it offers. 

Do visit the imperial palace, its 17th-century parks are well-preserved and are surrounded by moats and walls.

Next, visit shrines in Tokyo. The architecture will blow your mind. Senso-ji temple, Asakusa temple and the Meji shrine are notable sites. 

Don’t miss out on the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Nature and Science. 

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Tokyo sky tower
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Imperial palace

Markets

The top 6 markets to visit in Tokyo are listed below,

  1. Nakamise Shopping street – Mementos 
  2. Mottainai Flea Market – Retro clothing
  3. Takeshita Dori – Harajuku fashion
  4. Boro-Ichi Street Mart – Folk cultural asset
  5. Ameya Yokocho – Candies
  6. Toyosu Fish Market – Seafood
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Takeshita Dori market
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Toyosu Fish Market

Nature

To get lost in the greenery, visit Ueno Park in Tokyo. You’ll be astonished to find a paradise of an oasis in the heart of the busy city. 

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Ueno Park in Tokyo

Mount Fuji, one of the three holy mountains of Japan, is located 2 hours driving southwest from Tokyo. No holiday in Japan is complete without climbing the mountain to revel in the sunrise. 

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One of the most famous mountains in the world, Mount Fuji

Travel with kids 

What more could kids ask for other than Disneyland? With lots of emphasis on Mickey, Minnie, and the gang, it’ll turn out to be the best vacation for your kids. Fire Museum is another cool place. Your kids get to dress up as firemen and play with firetrucks.

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Travel with kids to Disneyland Tokyo
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Fire Museum in Tokyo

Best Packages

Based on your interests, tour packages are available to cater to everyone’s need.

  1. The Tokyo day tour covers Meji Shrine, Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Bay cruise.
  2. Kyoto Highlights tour the Golden Pavilion and the Kiyomizu temple
  3. Small group Tokyo Biking Tour for ride enthusiasts. 
  4. One day Tokyo bus tour and Japanese food tour. 
  5. Tokyo Pub Crawl 
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Golden Pavilion in Kyoto

Places to visit in Southern Japan

It’s one of the least explored regions of Japan. However, it must make it to your bucket list for its pure authenticity and tradition. 

Attractions

Trace Shikoku’s pilgrimage trail. It’s sure to attract both Buddhists and eco-tourists. 

Do not forget to pay your respects at Hiroshima. In spite of the scars endured by the people of Hiroshima, they’ve built a city more powerful and colorful than the previous one. It’s a city that has risen from its ashes.

Do check out the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. It’s is the city’s must-see sight, a sober reminder of the blast.  

Nature

Do not miss Naruto Whirlpools, they’re a fascinating phenomenon. Take your tourist boat on a spin around the whirlpool.

Nowadays, getting access to subtropical Yakushima’s island is not a big deal. You get an opportunity to hike among massive cedar trees that are at least a thousand years old.

Market

Hiroshima is a city re-built on its very destruction. In spite of the disaster, the city booms with trade. The list of popular markets are as follows,

  1. Senda Wasshoi Matsuri Flea Market – Collectibles, food stalls and live entertainment
  2. Portpia – Antiques and clothing
  3. Daisho-in’s Tsuitachi-ichi – Old kimonos, handmade jewelry and books

Travel with kids 

Take your kids on a day out to Dkunoshima – Hiroshima Rabbit Island. The bunnies are really cute and your kids will have a good time playing with them.

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Dkunoshima – Hiroshima Rabbit Island

Best Packages

A number of tour packages are available that covers the important attractions of South Japan. Pick the ones that suit your itinerary.

  1. 1-day Hiroshima and Miyajima (Round-trip from Osaka/Kyoto)
  2. Private taxi tour to the Rabbit Island
  3. 2-day Hiroshima and Kurashiki tour
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Hiroshima peace memorial

Best Japanese experience

On your visit to Japan, ensure that you don’t miss out on the following places and the experiences they offer. 

Tsukiji Market

Like every other Asian country, Japan is also unique. Certain spices that are native to Japan cannot be found elsewhere. The market is closed on Sundays and Wednesdays. So, plan your trip accordingly. Whether you want to eat or shop for culinary supplies, Tsukiji market won’t let you down. You name it, they’ve got it. Stock up!

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Tsukiji Market

Luxury hotels in Tokyo

Pamper yourself for at least a day in one of the luxury hotels of Tokyo. The city is loaded with beautiful hotels. Aman Tokyo, Andaz, Conrad Tokyo, Palace Hotel Tokyo to name a few. 

The art island

For all the creative minds and art lovers out there, Naoshima is a must-visit. It has one of the mind-blowing museums in the world, housing some of the great works of world-class artists. 

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Naoshima, for art lovers

Bamboo Forest

While visiting Kyoto, don’t miss out on the bamboo forest. Iconic bamboo forests and Zem temples are located on the outskirts of Kyoto, in the Arashiyama district. The trip is really worth it. 

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Bamboo forest, Kyoto

Ramen

Your holiday in Japan is not really completed without a bowl of ramen. Wherever you go in Japan, you’ll come across the best ramen serving shops. Dig your chopsticks into a steaming hot bowl of authentic ramen. 

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A hot bowl of ramen

Shinkansen

The bullet train (Shinkansen) must top your to-do list. The ride will leave you in awe of the technology Japan is capable of. Throughout the ride, you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful landscapes it zips by. 

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It’s almost impossible to travel in Japan without using the Shinkansen

Shushi

What’s a vacation in Japan without Sushi? It’s almost meaningless. Bask in the aroma of seafood and vinegared rice.

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Get your kids used to it

Cherry blossoms

Please don’t mind the crowd. Witness the blossoms, the most magical time of year in Japan. The parks and gardens in the country are canopied in a riot of pretty pink flowers. 

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Cherry blossoms, the most magical time of year in Japan

A walk through the woods

Hikers will never have a dull moment in Japan for it’s a hiker’s paradise. Two of the best places are the Nakasendo trail and Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route

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Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, like heaven

Taste sake

There’s no place more apt for sake than Japan. The country is lined with sake bars, shops or restaurants specializing in high-quality sake

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In the fifth glass, you will stop counting

Castles

Most of the castles you come across in Japan are reconstructions. However, the famous  Himeji Castle and Matsumoto Castle are truly magnificent. They’ve been well-maintained after all these years and holds the essence of ancient Japanese architecture. 

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Matsumoto Castle, like a painting

Matcha green tea

Treat yourself to a heart-warming cup of green tea. It not only tastes heavenly but is intact with all the goodness of tea leaves. You’ll find plenty of charming tea houses in Japan.

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Green tee, it’s healthy as well

Islands of Okinawa

Don’t let your holiday be monotonous. Do check out the beautiful beaches of the islands of Okinawa. They are very different from the rest of Japan. 

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Modern Architecture

Not only does ancient architecture dominate Japan, Tokyo has some stunning world-class buildings constructed by both Japanese and non-Japanese architects. 

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Tokyo architecture

Climb Mount Fuji

It might sound daunting, but it’s really worth it when you reach the summit to view the sunrise. 

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You will then eat more in a quiet conscience 🙂

Best Attractions in Japan

Japan is a land full of surprises and an amazing place for all tourists and travelers. Although there are hundreds of attractions in Japan, here is a list of the best lot of places for you to explore.

Tokyo

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan and brings out the best of Japanese culture in every way. Your trip will be incomplete without a visit to Tokyo. There is huge scope for you to explore in Tokyo ranging from historical sites to the anime culture and the lip-smacking Japanese cuisine. The top attractions in Tokyo are:

  • Tokyo Disneyland
  • Disney Sea in Tokyo
  • Sky Tree Tokyo

What you can mainly do in Tokyo include:

  • An evening around the Tokyo Tower
  • Visit the Meiji Shrine in all its glory
  • Shopping in Odaiba

Kyoto

Kyoto is considered as one of the sacred cities of Japan and is a common name in the list of all Japan trip packages. Kyoto is known for its gardens, palaces, shrines and temples and some beautiful bamboo forests. The versatility of the attractions a single city has to offer is amazing. The top attractions in Kyoto are:

  • The Imperial Palace of Kyoto
  • The Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine
  • The Philosopher’s Walk

Some activities for you in Kyoto that you should not miss are:

  • A visit to the Kiyomizu Temple
  • Visit the famous Kinkaku-Ji
  • Exploring the majestic Nijo Castle

Nara

A common mention of Nara can be found in any Japan travel blog. This city is known for the several monasteries, temples, shrines and of course the very important Nara Park. Nara is also home to many beautiful deer. Therefore, a visit to Nara will bring you closer to Japanese culture and tradition. The top 3 attractions in Kara are:

  • Nara Park
  • The Ninja Museum in Igaryu
  • Kasuga-Taisha

The unmissable things to do in Kara are:

  • Exploring the beauty of the Isuien Garden
  • Interacting with the deer at the Nara-Koen Park
  • A visit to the National Museum of Nara.

Hokkaido

An ideal place to visit during summer especially, Hokkaido has several hot springs here. Besides this, there are some volcanoes and ski areas which make it more popular as a tourist attraction. The variety of places to visit and scope of activities, make it a favorite of adults and kids alike. The best places that you should not give a miss are:

  • Asahiyama Zoo
  • The Blue Pond
  • Farm Tomita

The major tourist activities here include:

  • Bathing in a hot spring
  • Exploring the National Parks here
  • Gorging into the delicious sea-food

Ishigaki

This is a small island and is presently voted as the most popular tourist attraction in Japan. Hundreds of tourist flock over here because of the scope of various activities that you can experience in Ishigaki. The top attractions here include:

  • The Kabira bay
  • Limestone caves in Ishigaki
  • Taketomi Island

Top activities that you can experience in Ishigaki include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Relaxing by the beach
  • Devour the taste of Ishigaki beef

Hiroshima

This city makes Japan more beautiful and also glorifies the history of Japan. This was the victim of the terrible atomic bombings along with its neighboring city of Nagasaki. Though tourists mainly visit Hiroshima to pay their respect to the victims of the bombing and to visit the memorials, there is a lot more than that here. Places to visit for sure includes:

  • Hiroshima Museum and the Memorial Peace Park
  • Itsukushima
  • Hiroshima Castle

Activities to do here are:

  • Try the delicious Okonomiyaki
  • Visit Shukkeien Garden
  • Exploring the Mazda Museum

Sapporo

This is heaven for ski and beer lovers and also the Winter destination of Japan. You should visit this place when you are tired of the heat around and see the several snow towers here. Besides, the Annual Sapporo Snow Festival is an important time to visit Sapporo. Top attractions in Sapporo include:

  • Moerenuma Park
  • Moiwa
  • Government Office of Hokkaido

What you can do in Hokkaido includes:

  • Attend a party in Susukino
  • Explore the Beer museum in Sapporo
  • Taste the amazing local delicacies in the Curb Market area

Osaka

Osaka is one of the best shopping destinations in Japan. Also, it is known for selling some of the most delicious food in the country. You visit Osaka and shop till you drop. Then get yourself a delicious meal and relax. Secondly, Osaka has an awesome nightlife. It is like an all-in-one place for all that you can wish for as a tourist. The three main attractions here are:

  • Studio Universal Japan
  • Dotonbori
  • Osaka Castle

Three best activities here:

  • Visiting the Kaiyukan Aquarium
  • Partying and beer tasting
  • Worship in the Hozenji temple

Yakushima

Yakushima is an island that is part of the Kagoshima Prefecture. It is known for its waterfalls, cedar forests, and wildlife. The natural beauty of Yakushima is a treat for your eyes and you should not miss this place on any cost. Moreover, if you are traveling to Japan for the first time, this should be one of the top 10 places to visit on your list. The best 3 attractions here are:

  • JomonSugi
  • Miyanoura
  • Senpirono Falls

The best tourist activities are:

  • Going to Oko-no-Taki Waterfall
  • Watching turtles lay eggs
  • Canoeing or kayaking in Anbo River

Hakuba

Hakuba is a small village situated in the Japanese Alps. It is also known as the best location for any kind of winter sports such as snowboarding, hiking, and skiing. Hakuba just sticks out a little of Nagano- a Japanese city. Several mountain resorts organize sports and other tours. The top three attractions in Hakuba are:

  • Winter Resort of HakubaHappone
  • Aoki Lake
  • Shirouma

The best activities to do here:

  • Skiing at Cortina Resort
  • Happo Pond hiking
  • Going to the Hakuba 47 which is a sports park for Winter season

Kamakura

Kamakura is a town situated by the sea. It is known as a replica of the city of Kyoto. The difference is just that Kamakura is located in eastern Japan. Kamakura boasts of bamboo groves, ancient shrines and temples, beautiful beaches, shopping destinations, and the best local food. You ask for something and you are sure to get it here. You should not miss

  • Literature Museum in Kamakura
  • Enoshima Aquarium
  • Kannon Museum

Activities:

  • Visit the Kamakura Buddha
  • Go to the Jufukuji Temple
  • Experience surfing at the Shonan Beach

Nagano

Nagano is the tropical capital of Japan and mainly known for its breezy weather throughout the year. There is a variety of tourist attractions here ranging from adventure sports clubs to children’s parks and shrines too. The best attractions of Nagano are:

  • Karuizawa
  • Kamikouchi
  • Matsumoto Castle

Activity ideas for you:

  • Visiting Zenko-Ji Temple
  • Freshen up at the ShirahoneOnsen
  • Take part in winter sports such as skiing at the Shiga Kogen Heights

Takayama

When all the cities are getting more and more commercial, Takayama, situated on top of the Gifu mountains is a peaceful retreat. Get away from the hustle-bustle of the cities and spend some time in Old Japan. Takayama has a special old-school aura to it which is very different from all other attractions on the list. Attractions that you must visit are:

  • Hidan Sato
  • District of SanmachiSuji
  • Takayama Hall of Festival Floats

Shibuya

Shibuya is one of the most crowded places in Japan because of 2 reasons mainly. First, the awesome-looking crossing which is also known as ‘scramble crossing’ and the several options for shopping here. The best shopping destination in Shibuya is 109 Mall. It is a one-stop destination for the best brands in Tokyo. The best attractions are:

  • Yoyogi Park
  • Omotesando
  • Meiji Jingu

Best to-do ideas for you:

  • Shop at the Takeshita Streets
  • Enjoy clubbing at Roppongi
  • Enjoy the views from the Roppongi hills

Naoshima

This is a beautiful island situated in the middle of the Seto Inland waters. If you are staying for a few days in Tokyo, you can go Naoshima to end your Tokyo trip in the best way. There are several sculptures and museums here and you are sure to be busy the whole day. It is not very close to Tokyo so you should make an overnight plan for a better experience.

Must visit places:

  • Museum Lee Ufan
  • Naoshima Bath
  • Benesse House

What you must do here:

  • Explore Chichu Museum and enjoy Tadao Ando Art
  • Spend some time in the cherry blossom gardens
  • Go to Kojin Island for some peaceful time

Asakusa

Asakusa is known as the cultural hub of the capital city of Tokyo. The Asahi Beer Hall is the prime attraction of Asakusa. There are many other places of interest here. Asakusa is party paradise for fun-loving people and you can try some awesome booze. A Nakamise shopping area is an ideal place for street shopping. The other major attractions are:

  • Asakusa Shrine
  • Hanayashaki Children’s Park
  • Amuse Museum

Things you could do:

  • Meditate at Senso-Ji
  • Visit the Kappabashi-Dori restaurant street for A-Class food
  • Enjoy game time at Nazoboko Escape Game in Tokyo

Akihabara

Akihabara is the ‘Geek Capital of the World’. This is because it is a hub for several computers and other video game clubs. The Fantastical Akihabara is the best out of all. Visit Akihabara for an amazing gaming session. Just beware of any kind of hoax. The best tourist attractions in Akihabara are:

  • Anime Center Akihabara
  • Ginza Crossing
  • RyojokuEdonoren

Ideal activity option for you are:

  • Shopping at 2k540 in Aki-Oka
  • Tour Akihabara on a bike. You can get one on rent easily.
  • Visit the Chidorigafuchi Moat for the beautiful greenery

Mt. Fuji

The thrill factor in Japan mainly comes from Mt. Fuji. If you into adventure sports and trekking, then Mt. Fuji is the ideal place for you. While the trekking season only lasts from July to September, you can always experience the grandeur of Mt. Fuji from far away for the rest of the year. The top 3 attractions around Mt. Fuji are:

  • Mount Tenjo
  • Shrine of FujiyoshidaSengen
  • Chureito Pagoda

You can:

    • Do a lot of skiing
    • Explore the ArakurayamaSengen Park
    • Stand near the 5th station of Subashiri for a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji

Best Attractions for Kids

When we go for trips and tours, we hardly plan separately for our children. However, they are the ones who get mostly bored at shrines and art museums. Children always like lively and bright places. With Japan’s friendly culture and options to visit for kids, it is now possible to keep your child happy and content while the adults go about their plans. The main attractions to visit when you travel to Japan with kids are:

  1. Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Tokyo

Tokyo is always a crowded city but the large area will not let you feel that you are in a crowded place at all. Takeshita Street here is a small block where you will find an array of cute little shops where you can take your children to. Besides, you can buy the kids some yummy crepes and bubble tea. For more, grab a fairy floss on the way back from there.

  1. Harajuku Hedgehog Café

This is not a complete children’s café but there is a lovely attraction for children here. While the adults can chat over a hot cup of coffee, the kids can grab some pet-themed muffins and pastries along with some shakes.

  1. Kiddiland in Shibuya, Tokyo

Have you ever seen a 5-story building which is all filled with toys? Well, Kiddiland is exactly that. They have so much for children to buy and to play with too. You can let the kids have all the fun they want to. The highlights of Kiddiland are the nano-lego toys, the hello kitty stuff and origami work display here. There is so much color over here that you might forget your age and end up buying some of this cute stuff from here.

  1. District Odaiba, Tokyo

Your visit to Odaiba will give you weird yet awesome experience step by step. First, you will take a ride in a monorail which will take you past replica of Japan with some futuristic buildings and different-looking streets. Then you have to visit the Science and Fiction Museum called Miraikan. You will also be able to interact with Asimo, the human-like robot in the museum.

  1. Shinjuku

This is a very exciting and colorful place in Tokyo which lights up when it gets dark in the evening. The kids can sit here with some candy and enjoy the neon-lights show. The highlight of this show is the creation of the Godzilla that rises from behind the Chancery Hotel here. Apart from this, you can also take the kids to SeaWorld for some 3-D experience and to Karaoke kan for some fun music.

  1. Snow in the Japanese Alps

We already know about Hakuba from the list of attractions and that it is located in the Japanese Alps. You can take a train ride from Tokyo along with your kids and let them enjoy the pristine, white snow. Make snowballs and do gliding with them in Hakuba.

  1. Food Court Basement

In every department store, there is a basement which has a huge display of some of the most colorful and exotic foodstuff. You should be adventurous enough to get inside these shops and try the food to experience a new taste.

  1. Osaka Universal Studio and Tokyo Disney

These are some of the most expensive in a whole lot of kid’s places here. You may not take your kids if they are too small to enjoy the total experience of these places. However, they are surely big names in the list of tourist attractions for kids in Japan.

Best Nature Parks and Sites

Japan is home to several serene National Parks and other bits and parts of tranquility and natural beauty. The following are some of the most beautiful National Parks of Japan:

  1. Kerama She

This national park is in the Okinawa Prefecture and encompasses the Kerama Islands. The stunning turquoise-blue waters and white beaches. Snorkeling and swimming are the most common activities to experience here.

  1. Shiretoko Park

This national park in Hokkaido is mainly known for its brown bears. It is named as one of the World Heritage Sites under UNESCO. You can take a boat wildlife safari of this National Park.

  1. Akan National Park

This is also an attraction in the Hokkaido city of Japan. The highlight of this park is the group of volcanoes that surround the three pristine lakes here. The famous Lake Mashu is one of the three lakes here.

  1. Nikko National Park

Nikko National Park is another World Heritage Site under UNESCO. It is a part of the Kanto region of Japan and houses the Toshogu Shrine. The Kinugawa Onsen is a town of hot spring by the Kinu River banks.

  1. Yoshino- Kumano

The name comes from the fact that the Mt. Yoshino is aa part of this National Park. The Kumano Sanzan is a collection of shrines which is also a part of this park. This park is also one of the top Spring attractions of Japan due to the abundance of lush cherry blossoms growing here.

Night-life in Tokyo

Tokyo is a modern city full of life and light. The nightlife in Tokyo is exciting and fun for party-lovers. There are several nightlife spots in Tokyo including restaurants, bar, cocktail joints, clubs, and karaoke to stay energetic throughout the night. Some of the highlighted places of Tokyo nightlife are:

  1. Ginza

If you do not enjoy noisy and loud nightclubs then this is the place for you. This place is for posh people who only visit upscale clubs and subtle parties. This is also one of the most expensive shopping streets along with the pricey restaurants. You can go to one of the member-only clubs to party gracefully.

  1. Roppongi

This place is mostly occupied by foreigners and is thus known for the presence of Western culture here. The clubs and pubs here are full of celebrities and other influential people. Most of the restaurants and clubs here open till morning.

  1. Shibuya

Shibuya is the place for young fashionistas and social media obsessed people. This is one of the most lit places in Tokyo and something is happening here 24/7. There is a lot of live music and karaoke in Shibuya and something for everyone’s taste.

  1. Shinjuku

This is another famous night-life district in Tokyo with shops open 24/7. Shinjuku is known for clubs, pubs, bars, and mainly Tokyo’s red-light area.

Routes for Most Effective Time Usage

The transport system in Japan is a little complicated and it takes time to understand it. You have to first know that there are several ways of commuting easily from one place to another. You can vouch on Google maps for the best and shortest routes. The types of transportation include Jr Railways, private trains, subways if you want to walk and cover short distances and a variety of bus operators.

Shopping in Japan

Shopping is the favorite pastime for many people and Japan is a common favorite for many. There are several places to shop in Japan and here is a list of the most popular ones:

  1. Ginza

This is an immensely versatile location which is also known as one of the popular shopping destinations of Japan. The main places to shop here are the departmental stores and the luxury brand shops.

  1. Shinjuku

Almost like Ginza, Shinjuku is known for high-end shopping brands and clothes for young people. You can also do a lot of street shopping here.

  1. Ikebukuro

This is an old shopping location and is known as a famous market where you would like to shop for electronic items.

  1. Akihabara

Known as the “Geek Capital of the World”, this place is known for the plenty of game parlors and underground anime, manga art, and geek culture. You can also shop for gadgets and other electronic items from here.

  1. Shibuya and Harajuku

Both of these places have walking distance from each other. This is the International shopping street in Japan which comprises of outlets of major International fashion brands such a Zara and Forever21.

Medical Treatment in Japan

Medical treatment system in Japan is highly effective. They provide high-end treatment for screening, prenatal problems, and other infection-causing diseases. The patients here ow only 30% of the total treatment cost and the rest of the 70% is borne by the Japanese Government.

If you are a tourist, you are suggested to purchase good travel insurance which will cover any serious illness or accident in the foreign land. If you are a tourist, you cannot expect the Japanese government to share a major part of your health care expenses except under very rare situations.

Best Local Food in Japan

Japanese cuisine is one of the most loved and ate cuisine in the world. The number 5 is very important when it comes to Japanese cooking or ‘Washoku’ here.     The balance in Japanese food can be achieved by maintaining 5 colors including black, red, green, yellow and white. There are also 5 ways of cooking including raw food, frying, grilling, boiling and steaming. Most importantly, the 5 flavors include sweet, bitter, spicy, sour and salty. Some of the best Japanese traditional dishes are:

  1. Sushi

This is a type of ancient Japanese cuisine which was born by preserving fish in fermented rice. Presently, it is served with vinegar flavored rice and fresh fish.

  1. Sashimi

This is the old form of eating sushi without rice. Sashimi means any thinly sliced piece of meat including beef, chicken, fish or any other seafood.

  1. Tempura

This is a process of batter frying fish, vegetable, meat or any other sea-food. In this process, the temperature of the batter should be very cold and the oil for frying should be boiling. It uses some dipping sauce on the side or the tempura is dipped in some flavored salt.

  1. Yakitori

This is the process of cooking cuts of bite-sized pieces of meat on skewers. This process became popular in the mid-17th century. Before that, meat was rarely eaten in Japan.

  1. Miso Soup

This is a comparatively simple but a very hearty meal for the Japanese people. This is mainly made with dashi stock which may be kelp or fish stock. Any seasonal meat and vegetables are added to this soup along with miso bean paste for beautiful umami in it.

Best Hotels in Japan

Some of the best hotels to stay in Japan are:

  1. NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel: This is a luxury hotel with AC accommodation and beautiful rooms. The rooms are separate houses with pretty balconies. There is also the availability of multi-cuisine food here. A night here costs around 44,783 JPY.
  2. Narita View Hotel: The highlights of this hotel are the hot spring bath, free wired internet, and shuttle facility. This is a budget hotel that costs about 4,612 JPY.
  3. Hotel Universal Port Vita: This hotel has comfortable AC accommodation, high-end TVs and courteous and friendly staff. Cost of a night here is 14,285 JPY.
  4. Kamon Hotel Namba: This is a modern hotel with beautiful interiors and courteous staff. The location is very close to the Nippombashi Railways station. One night in this hotel costs approx. 5842 JPY.
  5. ICI Hotel Akasaka by RELIEF: this is a 3-star hotel in Tokyo with a well-furnished room, an amazing terrace, a bar, and a restaurant. They also have free internet facilities. A night here costs 7,936 JPY.

Recommended Insurance in Japan

Whether you travel to Japan alone or in a group, travel insurance is a must. You will not know what to do in a foreign land in case of any mishap and this is when good travel insurance comes handy. The main benefits of purchasing travel insurance include:

  • 24/7 helpline in case of any emergency or urgent query.
  • Besides from Travel to Japan vaccinations, you will receive medical assistance at any time and anywhere you are in Japan. Starting from evacuation to repatriation, the insurance company looks after everything.
  • They assure your baggage protection
  • Your travel insurance company covers any kind of medical or dental emergency when you are traveling overseas.
  • They help in easy trip cancellation.

Apart from assisting you at any time of the day, they cover several adventure sports under various categories. The categories include snow sports, aerial sports, water sports, normal field sports and more. The top examples that are covered by your travel insurance are bobsledding, tennis, mountain biking, tubing, skiing and more. The general activities covered under good travel insurance includes hospitality, admin work, restaurant, teaching and fruit picking.

FAQ

  1. How Much Does It Cost to Vacation in Japan?

Japan is a little more expensive than the neighboring Asian countries. This should not be the reason however for not visiting Japan. It is a little difficult to calculate the cost of a vacation in Japan to be exact. For this, you first have to chalk out a proper plan including the number of days you want to stay and the part of Japan you would want to cover.

It is next to impossible to travel to Japan completely even if you stay there for a month. On average, a 2-week trip would need a budget of $1200 out of which a major part will vanish if you include a rail pass. The average cost for a week would come up to $560 and at $80/day.

  1. How Much Money Do You Need Per Day in Japan?

Japan is often considered as one of the expensive countries for a vacation which is however not true. On the contrary, if you are planning to travel around a lot, stay at western hotels and eat at the best places, the scene can be a little different. In that case, you may have to spend about $200 per day which is quite a lot.

However, your vacation need not be that expensive actually. You can travel at a lot less if you keep control of your pocket and follow a few tips and tricks on where to save money. If you want to take up a budget trip, even $70-$75 is enough for a day. Some people have ever stayed in Japan at a bare minimum of $50 per day.

  1. How Much Does a 2 Week Trip to Japan Cost?

First, you have to plan which part of Japan you want to cover within 2 weeks. Once you have done that and also read tips on how you can cut off on your budget, you are good to go. You should need about $1200 for 2 weeks if you are on a mid-budget trip.

  1. What Can You Do in Japan for 10 Days?

10 days is very less time to cover even a small part of Japan but you are suggested to make the most of it during your stay. Allot the first 4 days to explore the best of Kyoto. Kyoto houses more than 2,000 shrines and temples. You just have to choose which ones to visit. You can divide the 4-day trip in this way:

  • Higashiyama

A good way to start touring Kyoto is to visit Higashiyama which is a well-preserved heritage site. There are several tea-houses, temples, Japanese gardens, and shrines in Higashiyama. It is best to explore this place on foot. The best place here is the Kiyomizu-Dera temple.

  • Kinkaku-Ji and Arashiyama

On day-2, you can go to Arashiyama, which is district towards West Kyoto. The highlight of this district is the tall bamboo groves. It is usually a crowded place and you should reach their early to avoid such crowd. The Iwatayama Monkey Park and the Golden Temple or Kikaku-Ji are the best places that follow.

  • Fushimi Inari, Markets and the Manga Museum

The stunning Fushimi Inari is known for its Torii Gates, all orange in color. The pathway of gates is on the mountainsides and the crowd keeps reducing the higher you walk. After spending a couple of hours in this forest area, you can come down to Kyoto and head straight to the Manga Museum.

The Museum and the collection of comic books here highlight the famous pop culture of Japan. This is where you can get the best collection of Manga art and books. You can finish the day with a visit to the Nishiki Market. It is a small market that just covers 5 blocks of the shopping street.

  • Day-4 of your trip can cover the Edo Era highlight of Japan or the Nijo Castle. It is a 400-year old monument with amazing architecture and beautiful Japanese Gardens. You can also include Nara, Karama, and Kibune on the same day.
  • On day-5 you can experience the famous bullet train journey to Tokyo. These trains are also called shinkansen. On your way from Kyoto till Tokyo, try to take a seat on the left side to get a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji on the way.

The rest of the 5 days should be completely dedicated to Tokyo as you have so much to explore here. Starting from amazing food to nightlife, city scenes, bridges, gardens, shopping and everything you can think of. You name it and you get it in Tokyo. The main places that you should visit in and around Tokyo are Harajuku and Shibuya, Ueno and Asakusa, Shinjuku and Tsukiji Market, Hakone and finally all the shopping destinations here.

  1. Is Food Expensive in Japan?

It depends completely on what you choose to eat. Japan is known for sushi and sashimi but these are quite expensive when compared with other stuff here. If you choose soups, rice bowls and ramen bowls over other pricey food, you can cut down on your expenses. Also, food carts, food trains, and roadside shops sell cheaper food than in the other western restaurants. Fresh fruits are quite expensive here.

  1. Are 5 Days in Tokyo Enough?

Honestly, 5 days or even 10 days is not enough to explore everything in Tokyo. A lot of people have said that they could not explore Tokyo completely even after staying there for a few years. However, if you have the 5 days planned out, then at least you can get an idea of some places and activities in Tokyo.

  1. How Many Days in Japan is Enough?

You have to stay here for years to explore all parts of Japan and still not be content. For starters, you can plan a 1- month trip to Japan to elaborately explore at least some parts of the country. Mostly, people visit Japan for a week or maximum of 10 days but tourism in the country is increasing at a fast pace.

  1. How Much is McDonald’s in Japan?

McDonald’s is one of the premium food outlets even in Japan. The menu has several dishes to offer. The price of food here ranges from 200Yen to as much as 750 Yen.

  1. How Long Do You Need in Hiroshima?

Hiroshima is a historic place in Japan which is mainly known for its museums and memorials. However, if you start in the morning from Kyoto, you could reach Hiroshima in not much time. You can spend the late morning and afternoon exploring Hiroshima and then move to another place in the evening.

  1. What Month is The Cheapest to Fly to Japan?

The peak season of Japan in July is in June-July. October is when the travel fare is lowest in Japan.

 

 

 

 

 

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