Vietnam

Vietnam is a fantastic country, which has an incredibly rich legacy. It's well known for white sandy beaches, jungle rivers, sophisticated Buddhist pagodas, vibrant city life and fantastically delicious food. Generally, the level of crimes is moderate. Violent crime in the country is rare. Petty crimes like a bag, purse snatching, pick pocketing and other types of petty crimes prevail. In order to make your trip safe. SafeAround has compiled information from numerous sources make sure you have a safe trip to Vietnam and be aware of all potential dangers.  Vietnam is the 43rd safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking.  

SAFETY INDEX

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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.

Hanoi

The 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 long

Ha 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 City

It’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. Is vietnam safe or dangerous? find it on the map

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 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.

Mid Priority-96 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.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

Risk of kidnapping and mugging is low.

Mid Priority-96 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.  

Mid Priority-96 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.

Mid Priority-96 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.

Mid Priority-96 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.

Mid Priority-96 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.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

One has many ways to entertain himself while in Vietnam, since the country is relatively developed, with a high level of service. Surfing, diving, hiking in the impassable jungles and sunbathing are the main activity for both locals and tourists in Vietnam. Vietnam lands have a wide variety of hidden points of interest, main among them Ha Long Bay, Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi, Hoi An Ancient Town, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, My Son Sanctuary and much more. This country is an all year round tourist destination, where the hospitality of locals has no boundaries.

Useful Information

Vietnam visa is required for all US citizens wishing to visa Vietnam. Vietnam visa can be applied no earlier than 6 months prior to the date of departure. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return.
The official currency in Vietnam is Dong. In order to obtain the best currency exchange possible, try to exchange your money in banks, post offices or in some large hotels. The convenient currency exchange rate also can be found at the international airports.
The weather in Vietnam differs from region to region. In Hanoi, May to October is hot and humid, lots of rainfalls. November to April is cool and dry. Central Vietnam has a hot, dry weather from January to August, weather may reach the level of 30°C. September – October is a rainfall season. Southern Vietnam usually dry and hot between November and April, the rainfalls common in June, July, and August.
The busiest airports of Thailand are Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.