An enchanting country, Vietnam is recognized around the globe for its stunning natural landscapes, captivating culture and exceptional cuisine. Since the 1990s, Vietnam has grown to become a major tourist destination; however, a certain sense of unknown continues to linger in the minds of travellers. Which is why we’re here to share some Vietnam travel tips for your safety.
The big questions running through the minds of tourists are - is Vietnam safe to travel to? Like other relevant topics, this is a subjective question and the answer depends on a variety of personal experiences and opinions.
Largely, Vietnam is a safe country to travel to for all kinds of travellers - backpackers, solo travellers, friends, couples or families.
It starts with the Vietnamese people who are friendly and very welcoming, especially towards travellers. Vietnamese people are also attentive to your problems, especially when you are their guest.
It goes without saying that petty crimes such as pickpocketing and scams exist in touristy areas of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. When you are travelling around Vietnam, exercise a little caution and care to avoid encountering such instances.
Here is some information in order to help you plan for your Vietnam vacation packages while also staying safe.
Vietnam is a country with tropical monsoon weather and is divided into three climatic zones - north and north-central, central and the south. Overall for all three regions, typhoons occur during the months of September, October, and November. Typically, there are an average of four to six typhoons every year. Typhoons can be mortally dangerous and its best to avoid travelling during this season.
Vietnam is infamous for the hundreds of thousands of motorbikes that make their way through the towns and cities daily. It’s a place known for hectic traffic which can be a cause of concern. Two activities to pay extra attention to while travelling around Vietnam are crossing the road and riding a motorbike.
Crossing the road for first-timers can be an overwhelming task. In big cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, there’s an endless flow of cars and motorbikes which sometimes don’t stop at a red light. With such a heavy movement, crossing can be a daunting task. As an Indian, you have an added advantage over visitors from other countries as you come with sufficient experience of traffic in our cities! The situation is similar to crossing a busy road back home.
Driving a motorbike is another intimidating task. With barely any rules in place, it’s bewildering for outsiders. To make it easier, just follow the rules, drive slowly, stick to your side of the road and wear your helmet. Don’t forget to honk occasionally. Also, ensure you carry your international driving license to avoid unnecessary hassles with the police.
Petty crimes are often seen in Vietnam tourist spots like Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh’s District 1. Most often they are snatching of the purse, camera, phone, etc. and typically committed against those who are alone.
The most typical form involves a blissfully unaware tourist and two individuals on a motorbike. When a tourist holds out a phone or camera, the bike will slowly pull alongside the tourist and in a flash, the passenger on the bike will grab your possessions and the driver will zoom away. Generally, the loss is just a few hundreds of dollars but at times, this can result in something serious.
You can stay safe by:
Another situation where you need to be careful is when you use public transportation like trains or buses. Not only can your things get stolen but also bags can be ripped open. To avoid such instances, keep your valuables in front of you and hold on to them tightly.
One other concern travellers should be aware of is the taxi scam, especially first-timers who are unfamiliar with the way of the land. The taxi drivers have quite a few tricks up their sleeve like driving in circles, changing the meter to make it run faster or running fake taxis. In big cities, you can avoid such scams by:
If you are worried about violent crimes, they’re rare even against foreigners.
The food in Vietnam is known for its flavours and taste. In general, the food is safe. However, with street food vendors, there are a few risks. The vegetables and herbs may not be cleaned thoroughly which can cause an upset tummy. For oily dishes, the oil can be used multiple times. Grilled street food is open to dust and smoke from bikes and cars. Following a few tips can help you avoid such circumstances.
Similarly, you cannot drink tap water in Vietnam. Stick to bottled water.
A few other quick tips to keep in mind are:
Travelling around Vietnam is extremely safe. There are a few faults, but if you overlook them, you will be opening yourself to a wonderful destination welcoming you with open arms.
One of the biggest threats you’ll face is the traffic and the roads; other than that, you’re in good hands. Plus, instead of renting bikes, you can ride around in a taxi or the train which are good options and take you to the top Vietnam tourist spots. The other major worry could be petty theft, but if you are careful and travel sensibly, this is not something that should keep you up at night.
With amazing diversity, vibrant culture and hearty people, it’s hard not to fall in love with Vietnam.
No matter what, keep these safety tips in mind while travelling through Vietnam and you’ll be good to go.
by Holxo Travel Specialist
by Holxo Travel Specialist
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