HoChi Minh City

The main city of the South of Vietnam. It is located on the river called Saigon. Before the unifications of the country,  Saigon was the name of the Southern capital. HoChi Minh (Saigon before 1975) was built more than 300 years ago. The Rich flow of investments and construction boom in recent decade have changed the face of the city significantly, many skyscrapers were erected all over the city. However, Ho Chi Minh preserved its own authenticity. Shady alleys with low structure French style buildings, elegant Notre-Dame cathedral, magnificent pagodas are among the pearls of the city. Moreover, the resort can be proud of the best in the country restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

SAFETY INDEX

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HoChi Minh City is a safe destination for both male and female tourists. Crime level is generally comparable to similar cities throughout the world. 95% of all reported crimes involve pick-pocketing, bag/purse-snatching and thefts from the hotel rooms. Violent crimes are very rare against foreigners. In order to make your journey as smooth and relaxed as possible, SafeAround compiled information concerning all possible risks in the HoChi Minh City’s neighborhoods. SafeAround will allow you to see on a map the city’s safest and most dangerous areas, details on scams and other possible risks, as well as some useful travel advice in order not to let anything spoil such a wonderful journey.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

HoChi Minh is an overall safe city with a rating of 63.9, it is ranked 68th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

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

A risk of kidnapping is low. Mugging does occur, but very rarely.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

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. We also advise avoiding massage parlours (those ones with a happy ending), because of the drink and food spiking.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Taxi drivers in HoChi Minh know that you are a foreigner and know the vicinities poorly, thus they used to refuse to switch on the taxi meters and name the price they deem relevant for the ride. Be aware of pickpockets in the public transport, particularly while getting on the transport in the big transport hubs like Saigon railway station. Be especially vigilant on the overnight trains and buses. Do not accept any food or drinks as it may be spiked.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : N/A

During rainy season between June and December, flooding is common. Typhoons and Tsunami are also common. 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 HoChi Minh City 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  Ho Chi Minh City. We advise do not use the overnight trains and buses those women traveling alone. Also, avoiding poorly illuminated streets and bars with intoxicated individuals is recommended.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

The most popular sights in HoChi Minh City and closely around are Cu Chi Tunnels, Cao Dai Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Binh Tay Market.

City Centre (District 1)

Colorful and vibrant city center. That’s an ideal spot to find a delicious food, do shopping or go to a nightclub. Major Ho Chi Minh's attractions are also here. Among them Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Saigon Zoo and Ben Thanh Market. Ben Thanh Market is a location where countless small outdoors’s restaurants can be found with fried grasshoppers and roast dogs. The area is safe both day and night. SafeAround advises to follow common sense and keep an eye on your belongings as an area famous for its high density of pickpockets. Above all, it’s worth to know that a lot of massage parlors in the 1st District are the “happy ending shops” (some kind of brothels). As this activity is illegal in Vietnam and usually managed by criminals, it might cause some risks.  

Ho Chi Minh's Chinatown

Roots of this place dating back to 1777. This place has a great cultural and historical importance. There can be found classic Chinese architecture, many sophisticated restaurants, and street-food vendors. Also, this is a nice place to experience at night. We recommend following the high level of cautiousness. Drink-spiking is common in various establishments and pickpocketing is common.

Saigon Railway Station

It locates in the 3rd District of the city. Traveling on the overnight train, make sure before going to sleep, that your compartment is locked from inside. Do not accept drinks or food from people you are not acquainted with.  Pickpockets risk are present there. Be aware of strangers who want to help you with a luggage. 

Area around Thi Nghe Loc Canal

This is the biggest slum area in the city. It is not dangerous, but we advise to refrain from visiting this part of the city.  

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.