Swimming Pool Etiquette in Vietnam

Swimming pools in Vietnam offer a wonderful respite from the tropical heat and a chance to engage in a healthy and enjoyable activity. However, swimming pool etiquette in Vietnam can be quite different from what expats might be used to in their home countries. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to swimming pool etiquette in Vietnam, covering the best times to visit, common behaviors to expect, and tips for a pleasant swimming experience.

Peak and Quiet Times

Understanding the peak and quiet times at swimming pools in Vietnam can significantly enhance your swimming experience. Pools are typically busiest during early mornings and late afternoons. From 6:00 to 8:00 AM, many locals and expatriates swim before heading to work. Similarly, the hours from 5:00 to 7:00 PM see a surge in pool activity as people unwind after their workday. These times can be very crowded, making it difficult to swim laps or enjoy a peaceful dip.

Pools in Vietnam can get incredibly crowded – so choose your time wisely

Pools in Vietnam can get incredibly crowded – so choose your time wisely

Conversely, mid-morning to early afternoon on weekdays (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM) is usually the quietest time at the pool. During these hours, most people are at work or school, providing a more serene environment for those who prefer a less crowded swimming experience. Weekends can be unpredictable, often busy throughout the day, especially in family-friendly pools with Sunday typically being the busiest times.

Read more: Tipping In Vietnam: How Much & For Whom Should You Tip?

Children at the Pool

One of the more challenging aspects of pool etiquette in Vietnam is dealing with unsupervised children. It is common to see children playing energetically and sometimes recklessly, without close adult supervision. This can lead to chaotic situations, making it difficult for other swimmers to enjoy their time in the pool.

Rather than one large pool with a shallow end, try to find pools that have a separate children’s section

Rather than one large pool with a shallow end, try to find pools that have a separate children’s section

To avoid such disruptions, it’s advisable to choose pools that have designated children’s areas. Many hotels, upscale residential complexes, and fitness centers in Vietnam have separate zones for children, complete with appropriate safety measures and supervision. This separation helps maintain order in the main swimming area and ensures that children can play safely without disturbing adult swimmers.

Personal Space and Swimming Directions

Personal space is a key component of swimming pool etiquette that is often overlooked in Vietnam. Swimmers may not adhere to the same conventions regarding personal space that are common in Western countries. It’s not unusual for swimmers to be in close proximity, sometimes leading to unintended collisions.

Additionally, lane discipline is not strictly observed. In many pools, swimmers move in any direction they please, rather than sticking to designated lanes. This free-form swimming can be frustrating for those accustomed to structured lap swimming. Some swimmers even adopt a circular swimming pattern around the pool, further complicating navigation and increasing the likelihood of getting in each other’s way.

To cope with these challenges, it is essential to remain patient and adaptable. Try to find a less crowded part of the pool and stick to it as much as possible. If lanes are marked, use them even if others don’t. Politely communicating your intentions and maintaining a friendly demeanor can help!

Read more: Top 4 Most-used food delivery apps in Vietnam

Hygiene Practices

Another notable aspect of swimming pool etiquette in Vietnam involves hygiene practices that may be unfamiliar to some visitors. A common behavior is the practice of clearing one’s nose by holding one nostril shut and blowing forcefully out of the other leaning over to the edge of the pool. This is often followed by splashing water to rinse the area. While this practice might be standard for some locals, it can be off-putting for others. If you encounter someone clearing their nose in a manner you find unhygienic, it’s best to calmly move to another area of the pool.

Surprisingly, although nose cleaning is acceptable behavior, entering the pool without showering is unacceptable and you will find people in the pool or the lifeguard shouting at you if you forget and try to enter the pool without showing up.

There are a lot of pools in Vietnam so it is easy to find one to your liking

There are a lot of pools in Vietnam so it is easy to find one to your liking

Swimming pool etiquette in Vietnam can vary significantly from what many are used to. By understanding the local customs and adjusting your expectations, you can enjoy a pleasant and refreshing swim – often necessary when the temperature is over thirty degrees centigrade!

Author

Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.

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Author Details
Stephanie C. Mills is an innovative writer with a keen eye for detail. Having studied languages – through a degree in English as well as a year's focus on English as an additional language as part of an educational Master’s degree, she has an in-depth understanding of the need for flow. Her writings cover a wide range of perspectives from Christian writing to academic focus. Her speciality is academic writing and she has worked as both a textbook writer as well as an examination writer. In addition to writing, she has worked with proofreading the work of others, ensuring that the grammar is correct and that the language flows naturally.