Low-impact tourism

Ethnic Travel is committed to a style of travel that is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible. We uphold an ethic of minimizing negative impacts and maximizing positive effects on local communities, economies and the environment. We invite you to join us in this effort by following the suggestions below. Thank you.


Etiquette: As you would at home, be friendly but respectful of local people around you. It is a good idea to learn a few words in Vietnamese or the local dialects to break the ice, bring laughter and offer a gesture of friendship. Please be patient in public, such as when bargaining for a purchase or waiting for services. Transactions may take longer than you are accustomed to, but that is part of the experience, and any show of irritation is considered a serious loss of face for both parties.


Clothing: When in homes and amongst local people, dress modestly and be mindful of local dress standards. Please cover your thighs and shoulders, as this is the norm in Vietnam. Tops with low necklines, see-through clothing, and short skirts are considered disrespectful.


Photographs: Politely ask permission before taking photos, and do not give any money in return for taking a picture, even if asked. In minority villages, still photographs are acceptable but video cameras are intrusive; please do not use them under any circumstances.


Gift giving: If you would like to bring small items as gifts for the communities and villages we visit, school supplies (such as pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, and rulers) are always welcome. Just let your guide know and he will introduce you to a local teacher so you can present them for distribution.

When walking through villages we ask that you not give away to individuals any “Western trinkets” such as empty water bottles, candy, gum or pens. These items may not be disposed of in an environmentally correct manner. Also people in remote villages might not have access to dental care. 

Environmental sensitivity: We ask that you take away all your refuse, no matter how small (even cigarette butts), so that you leave behind only footprints and happy memories.