Is Vietnam a Safe or Dangerous Country?Vietnam is a relatively safe country. Violent crimes are uncommon, however, assaults, robberies, and sexual harassments do occur rarely, sometimes involving weapons. The most frequent crimes against foreigners are purse snatching, pickpocketing, and others petty thefts. In Ho Chi Minh City, the rise of petty crimes is usually during Tet holiday season and Christmas.
Areas of concern in Vietnam.
Generally, streets in the country are safe, but downtown areas with clubs and bars tend to be populated by dangerous individuals. Risks of being robbed and sexually assaulted are higher around these areas, consequently if possible, avoid these areas late at night. Food and drink spiking has been reported at some places in major cities, particularly after the sunset. Do not leave drinks or food unattended, as you may be drugged and robbed.Drugs in Vietnam are a potential danger and can result in death. Drugs sold in Vietnam may be fake, synthetic, or laced with toxic ingredients. SafeAround recommends avoiding purchasing liquor from street vendors, as the authenticity of the contents cannot be assured. Avoiding danger areas, exercising common sense and looking out for suspicious activity, may completely eliminate all potential risks.
HanoiThe capital of the country has the highest level of petty and serious crimes. The city with 6 million inhabitants is enormous. You should follow the basic safety precautions like do not leave your belongings unattended and avoid poorly illuminated streets in order to reduce the risks of being robbed. For further information see the detailed article about Hanoi.
Ha longHa Long Bay is a magnificent place. It is a home for thousands of picturesque islands. A scam that involves the rental of motorbikes and jet skis are common. There have been numerous situations reported of renters that have been charged for damage of a motorbike or a jet ski, even if the renter has caused no visible damage. Safe Around advises examining the vehicle on the subject of the existing damage and take photos before signing the rental agreement. Be alert, follow common sense while you would be in your country of origin.
HoChi Minh CityIt’s a large busy, & bustling city. Don’t carry your phone, camera, or cash in your hand while you’re walking on the street because someone could simply reach out, snatch it, and run. Check safety rank of HoChi Minh on the following link.
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Vietnam is a safe country. Tourism is the main source of income for not only the governmental budget but private as well. So, the tourists’ security is number 1 priority. Vietnam is ranked 43rd out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous countries.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
This is a real pain of Vietnam. Pickpocketing and bag snatching are very common, especially on the side of the roads. We advise to walk facing the traffic and keep a close eye on motorcycles traffic.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Risk of kidnapping and mugging is low.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Unfair individuals or group of them desire to take an advantage of distracted tourists. There have been reported cases of tourists becoming victims of gambling scams. We advise to avoiding any gambling because it is prohibited by local law and poses risk for your budget. Karaoke scam – Prostitution is illegal in Vietnam and you can not find prostitutes openly, therefore Karaoke bars hide this activity. These places are one big scam because usually clients are ripped off by the establishments, sometimes drink spiked and robbed. Moreover, this kind of places is controlled by the mafia. We strictly recommend avoiding this places. Be aware of photographers, proposing their services. They may do the photo shooting, charge you and say that photos will be delivered to your hotel in 1-2 days. However, you will never see the photos, that you paid for.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Taxi drivers know that you are a foreigner and do not acquaint with the local taxi fares used to refuse to switch on the taxi meters and call the price they deem relevant to call for their service. Be aware of pickpockets in the public transport, particularly while getting on the transport in the big transport hubs. Be especially vigilant on the overnight trains and buses. Do not accept any food or drinks as it may be spiked. Driving the rented motorcycle may be dangerous because the traffic is chaotic, driving standards is poor. If you decided to rent a motorcycle, be very cautious and use a helmet. Additionally, we advise to check that your travel insurance covers you when traveling by motorcycles.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
During rainy season between June and December, flooding is common. Typhoons and Tsunami are also frequent. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The possibility of terrorist attacks in Vietnam has a moderate probability, however, you should watch out for suspicious activity. Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Sexual assaults do occur, particularly in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Sapa (particularly on the train to/from Lao Cai) and Cat Ba Island (near Ha Long Bay). We advise do not use the overnight trains and buses those women travelling alone. Also, avoiding poorly illuminated streets and bars with intoxicated individuals is recommended.