Culture Smart – A Guide to Customs and Culture in Vietnam


With an imminent trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam planned, a guide book is a welcome tool to have. Culture Smart, who kindly sent me a copy of their guide, offer a completely different insight into destinations. 

This isn’t a guide book full of recommendations on where to eat, stay and party. This is a book designed to look into the inner workings of Vietnam, the do’s and don’ts and best practices. In other words, this is a fail-safe guide against making a faux pas when in Vietnam. 

The book is written by a trusted source. A man named Geoffrey Murray, an Australian who has worked in Asia for over 40 years. Geoffrey also has the distinct honor of being named a ‘Vietnam War Veteran’ due to being a news agency war correspondent back in the 1960’s during the Vietnam War. If there’s anyone who knows about Vietnam top to bottom, it’s this man.

Geoffrey has compiled a guide focused on giving an overview of Vietnam. From the climate, history, food, local customs and even going into such detail as what to do if you’re in desperate need of the toilet on a highway. There are inclusions in this book that you seldom see in any other guide book. 

The book contains a few pictures but in black and white form. The contents are all clearly displayed making each section easy to navigate. With the book size allowing it to fit easily into a deep pocket or bag, this is extremely helpful when travelling around with the tourist in mind. 

I’m not sure that I will be invited into people’s homes during my stay in Vietnam. However, if I am, I owe a huge debt of thanks to Geoffrey. The guide on how to behave, rules on gifts and making a good impression is vital for anyone planning to visit the Vietnamese in their own homes. 

Likewise, if you are travelling for business. A guide on meeting etiquette and even how to dress is provided in the book. With Vietnam now possessing a rapidly growing economy, this is extremely useful knowledge for any potential businessmen heading into the country. 

I will take a lot of knowledge from this book. There are facts and information that I never would have thought to consider prior to a trip to Vietnam. In all honesty I will take a great deal going forward thanks to Geoffrey’s work. I now feel like I know Vietnam a whole lot better. 


Culture Smart – Vietnam is available to buy here



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