It is advisable to engage in written correspondence prior to meeting a partner for those who going to Vietnam for business. Correspondence should be written in a formal style. Moreover, the younger the relationship, the bigger this emphasis must be on the format. They should always end with an exchange of civilities and formal greetings.
Always dress appropriately. This comes not only for the prevailing climatic conditions, but also not to cause offence to residents. The Vietnamese have conservative dress codes and it is only in larger cities that these codes are relaxed a little. In addition, you must dress formally when visiting sacred places, such as Churches, Pagodas, or Temples. No shorts or tatty beer t-shirts is acceptable. If unsure, just follow what locals do.
The personal and social distance at which the Vietnamese feel comfortable is much larger than in North America and other regions. In addition, they do not appreciate physical contact. When shaking hands, you should shake with 2 hands holding the other you are greeting. In the same circumstance, do use both hands to pass things to others, especially to the older. Additionally, holding hands between men and men or women and women is a show of close friendship like brothers and sisters; it does not mean anything more than that. It is also true with arms over the shoulders or hands on the lap.
Ask for permission when taking a photograph of someone. If they indicate that they do not want you to, it is better to abide by their wishes.
There are some rules to remember on communication when visiting Vietnamese home. Shoes should be left at the front door before entering. Most Vietnamese homes have a family altar, a place where they can honor their ancestors; therefore, you should never sleep or sit with their feet pointing towards this family altar.
Never lose your temper in public or when bargaining for a purchase. This is considered a serious loss of face for both parties. You should always maintain a cool and happy demeanor and you will be actually reciprocated with the same.
Do avoid public displays of affection with a partner of the opposite sex. Anything except for holding hands is unacceptable. That’s why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing.
Besides, do not be overly nervous. Generally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if you try to abide by their customs, and fairly forgiving when you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded. Paying attention to dos and donts in Vietnam during your travel, you will actually get unforgettable experiences.