When traveling abroad, one of the leading determinants of visiting a new country is the safety aspect of it. When going on a trip of a lifetime, you would never want to come across getting hurt, injured, or even getting in the inconvenience of losing your valuables due to theft. With that being said, out of the many developing countries, Vietnam is one of the non-high-risk places to visit taking in the accounts of a country’s travel security risk rating, according to the International SOS and Control Risks.
Vietnam is famous for its beautiful landscape, historical sites, affordability, diversity of street foods, and the friendliness of the people. Before you travel to any country, not only Vietnam, we advise you to check the travel advisory risk levels from your home country’s embassy. They have their assessments of risks from a variety of sources, such as the alerts and warnings from the U.S. Passports and International Travel website.
Currently, there are no known political conflicts, warfare, threats of terrorism, or ongoing violent civil unrest in Vietnam that pose significant risks.
Common Risks in Vietnam and How to Minimize Your Risk
When traveling in Vietnam, there is some level of risk that warrants caution. You need to remain conscious of these concerns, although they might be unlikely to affect significant safety issues.
Theft and Losing Your Belongings in Vietnam
Traveling around involves carrying and moving your belongings from one place to another. The best advice to mitigate your risk of losing things is to be a minimalist and only take what you need. When you travel with expensive valuables like a laptop, camera, phones, cash, passport, etc., you should always safeguard these things at all times. It might even be a good idea to have insurance for these items in case of theft. To reduce the possibility of being the victim, avoid the chance of becoming an unexpected target by not drawing attention to yourself. Keep valuables out of sight, avoid flaunting wealth, and stay away from crowded areas.
Health Risks in Vietnam
One of the most common health questions we get from travelers is whether it is safe to drink the tap water in Vietnam. The answer is no; you cannot. Only drink bottled water. Before traveling, you should visit your doctor for the appropriate vaccines and get some emergency medicine for common scenarios, like diarrhea from eating and drinking from unsanitary sources. We recommend bringing your prescriptions in case Vietnam lacks the specific medications that you need.
Scams and Annoyances in Vietnam
To maximize profits, local vendors often overcharge tourists at the local markets. To be safe, we advise that you first ask the staff at your hotel or even go with a local guide when you want to do some shopping. Here are some tips to protect yourself from scams and being overcharged:
-Buy at fixed prices
-Ask the price before buying/ordering
-Use services only from reliable companies (taxi, tour agencies, hotels, etc.)
Read more on Scam and Annoyances in Vietnam.
Transportations in Vietnam
Using unreliable transportations in Vietnam can expose you to risks of scams or worse, accidents. We recommend spending a bit more on a good bus company or private transfers. In Vietnam, it is not uncommon for buses to maximize profits by overcarrying the capacity limit and packing people onto the ride. Some bus lines will ignore speed limits trying to cover as many trips as possible. Sometimes, you will not know beforehand that this will happen on your ride, but avoid budgeted rides as they are cheap for a reason.
What to Do in Case You Are Hurt
In case of an emergency, you should contact your home country’s embassy for support. Save the emergency contact or bookmark the website on your phone. They may be able to assist you if you are detained or injured. At any point in time, if you have concerns for your safety, consider departing that area.
Our Vietnam Travel Advice
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Leave an Itinerary and Emergency Contact – Inform your family or trusted friends back home of your travel itinerary, even if it’s the basics like which city you’ll be in and when you’ll return. If something happens, they can help alert authorities on your behalf.
Scan a Copy of Your Documents – Before you leave, we recommend taking a picture of your passport and emailing it to yourself. It’s also good to have a picture of it on your phone in case you need your passport details. Electronic backups of your immunization record, plane tickets, travel insurance, and visas are also advised.
Transportations-wise, it is a good idea to look for a bus/train ticket online and have it sent to you via email
Don’t Flash Your Cash or Valuables – Thieves love to target tourists who are unaware of their surroundings and snapping selfies. We recommend dressing and traveling in modesty. Don’t carry everything together and avoid keeping things in your back pockets.
Our Takes on The Saftey of Traveling in Vietnam
It is safe to travel in Vietnam, but you need to be mindful of minor scams and annoyances. Traveling unharmed is a top priority for anyone at any given time. We hope that this guide on travel safety concerns and tips doesn’t discourage you from visiting, instead, we hope it encourages you to experience one of the rewarding sides of traveling. From tackling the unknown to building unforgettable memories, we hope you will have a wonderful and safe trip.
Got questions or some Vietnam traveling advice you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments.