Our guide on what you can and can't wear - our advice if you're planning on moving here to take your clothes with you!
2 June 2014| Last updated on 29 June 2017
When you are moving to Vietnam take your clothes with you. While Vietnam has plenty of shops and markets, you will find it hard to find suitably sized clothing as the Vietnamese women are really small and slim. You may find clothing at international department stores, but this may be more expensive than in your home country, or may not have the range.
While there is a conservative nature of dress in the country, many women tend to dress on the ‘sexy’ side when visiting bars and clubs at night. Western women are advised to cover their shoulders and knees during the day in order to be respectful of local tradition. Vietnamese women tend to dress well and a simple dress with strappy sandals is lovely for the day. If you are planning on riding a bicycle than a pair of trousers or capris is appropriate.
There is no dress code law, however as a western woman you might be stared at or even groped (at night) if your clothing is too revealing. When you are visiting the temples in the country it is considered polite to dress appropriately and modestly. There are many shops and tailors in Vietnam where you can get clothing made for a cheap price.
While wearing shorts and a singlet (for both men and women) in public might not get you snide comments from passersby – as they see loads of tourists and could not care less – you might be refused entry into some of the country’s restaurants and temples. It is best to check before hand or have a handy par of leggings and long top just in case. In the heat it is also more comfortable to wear long trousers and tops as the sweat could make you chafe, the sun is strong and could be uncomfortable and the insects are out in full force by dusk and the more exposed skin they have, the more bitten you’ll get.