VietnamHo Chi MinhTravel Tips: What Not to Bring to Ho Chi Minh City

Travel Tips: What Not to Bring to Ho Chi Minh City

There are some differences between Vietnam’s and other countries’ regulations for luggage. Knowing what not to bring to Ho Chi Minh City can help you avoid several regrettable problems at the airport or during your trip. Check out the list of those things below.

Find out more exciting things to do in Ho Chi Minh City with the local guide!

Restricted by the Vietnamese Airlines and Custom

Before you go to Tan Son Nhat Airport, you must learn what banned or restricted items you cannot bring along. These restrictions are usually similar across airlines around the world. If you pack these items in your baggage (both cabin baggage and checked baggage), it may take you a lot of time at the security checkpoint.

  • The explosives: The explosive materials are banned in the aircraft because they are extremely dangerous for you and other passengers. Some dangerous explosives are grenades, dynamite, flares, gunpowder, fireworks, and other lookalike items.
  • The Radioactive, Infectious, Toxic Substances, Corrosives: The airlines restrict us from bringing these items and substances. They are usually chlorine, radioactive materials, bleachers, mercury, oxidizers, contagious hazards, and magnetic objects. Radioactive things may harm airplane communication and threaten other passengers’ safety.
  • Gas and Flammable Items: Items such as matches, lighters, flammable liquid, and beverages containing 70% or more alcohol by volume are prone to catching fire.
travel tips what not to bring to HCM 2

Flammable items

  • Some other dangerous items: fire extinguishers, dry ice (over 2.5 kg), lithium batteries for electronic equipment (>160 Wh or >8g lithium), etc.

In addition, there is also a prohibition on items in your cabin luggage such as sharp objects (knife, sword, box cutter, dart, scissors, etc.); firearms and other weapons (all types of firearms, parts of firearms, ammunition, stun guns, imitation firearms, toy guns, etc.); other dangerous items (crowbar, shovels, drills/screwdrivers, blow torch, blades or shafts longer than 6 cm, wrenches, spanners, etc.); bats (baseball, billiards), hockey sticks, martial art items, batons, and self-defense sprays (mace/pepper).

See Vietnam Custom

Note: You are advised not to put currency, jewelry, cameras, laptops, mobile phones, lithium batteries for electronic equipment, etc. in checked baggage. Because of the loading process, these items may be stolen or damaged.

Forbidden by the Vietnamese Law

  • Weapons and Explosives: Some countries allow citizens and travelers to own weapons. However, Vietnam bans the use and possession of weapons (such as pistols, shotguns, and firearms) or explosives. If caught with weapons, one can be fined or even banned from the country.
  • Illegal Drugs: In the list of what not to bring to Ho Chi Minh City, these types of drugs are strictly banned in Vietnam, even cannabis, which is popular in many countries. Some kinds of illegal drugs are opium, heroin, cannabis (also known as Marijuana), etc. The people with these drugs may receive the heaviest penalty.
  • Anti-Government Propaganda: Vietnam is a country with a long history. Many problems have arisen from political history. Also, politics is sensitive in Vietnam, which foreigners may want to avoid mentioning. And even Vietnamese who own or have anti-government propaganda can be arrested immediately. They are the documents that convey the wrong truth about the nation, the misleading historical information, or the unjustified criticism of the government. So to enjoy a perfect trip in Vietnam, you should not pack any of this propaganda in your baggage.
  • Pornography: In Vietnam, pornography is something not to bring to Ho Chi Minh City. The person who stores some pornography may receive a fine or imprisonment, depending on the extent of the violation.

Unnecessary Items for a Vietnam Trip

A lot of items you may think are necessary but not really inevitable. Most of the things you need for your trip can be found or bought easily in Vietnam. Therefore, packing too much in your luggage may result in a high fee for additional checked baggage or the risk of it being stolen. Here is our suggested list of avoidable items:

  • Too many clothes: Clothes in Vietnam are cheap and widely available, whether you’re at a bustling tourist center or at a remote countryside. Another option is using laundry services at hotels, which is more convenient and inexpensive.
  • Many reading materials: On the trip to Ho Chi Minh City, you have a lot of activities to do. You might imagine sitting by the seashore with a book in hand – which is a fantastic experience. But we recommend bringing only a small book, or better yet, a Kindle or ebook on your phone/iPad.

Sign up for an unlimited Kindle membership to reduce the weight of heavy physical book copies

  • Electronic appliances: Some tourists intend to bring electronic appliances such as a hairdryer, pot for boiling water (electric kettle), etc. However, these appliances are examples of what not to bring to Ho Chi Minh City and are usually provided by mid-range hotels. Or if you want to own one, it does not cost you a lot because these things are pretty cheap in Vietnam.

See Electronics to Pack for Vietnam

  • Expensive items: Maybe before getting to Ho Chi Minh City, you have heard about the severe pickpocket and theft here. So luxurious jewelry or currency can become the target of thieves.
  • You can buy many things in Ho Chi Minh City at much lower prices, such as packaged snacks, toilet paper, flip-flops, raincoats or umbrellas, batteries, etc.

Learn more with our top things to bring on a Vietnam travel.

Summary of Travel Tips: What Not to Bring to Ho Chi Minh City

Preparation, especially packing the luggage, is essential for every smooth sailing trip. Every tourist must know what not to bring to Ho Chi Minh City, such as explosive and hazardous items, and anti-government documents. For lighter packing, consider buying certain items in Ho Chi Minh City.

Related article:  First time in Ho Chi Minh City

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