From its friendly locals to its beautiful weather, Vietnam has become one of Southeastern Asia’s premier vacation destinations. And while it remains popular, just how safe is Vietnam? What are the things travelers should watch out for when traveling to Vietnam?
Vietnam has developed a sterling reputation in recent years, and one of the reasons for this is how welcoming the country is. Vietnam is considered one of Southeast Asia’s safest countries to travel to.
Violent crime is incredibly rare in Vietnam, even in major cities, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Halong.
As a tourist, it is extremely unlikely you will be the victim of a violent crime, but that doesn’t mean crime doesn’t exist in Vietnam. If you are visiting Vietnam, especially if you are staying in a major city, you need to be diligent. Similar to many major tourist destinations, travelers are also more likely to be victims of petty crime, such as pickpocketing, cell phone theft, or purse snatching.
Latest Safety Updates on Traveling to Vietnam
As of October 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of State has declared Vietnam a Level 1 travel destination, meaning Vietnam is considered one of the world’s safest travel destinations. Tourists are advised to exercise normal safety precautions when they travel.
As mentioned above, tourists can be targeted for petty crimes, including theft. Over the past couple of years, however, there has been an increase in robberies, assaults, and harassment against tourists. Sometimes weapons are even involved.
More important to note, there has been an increase in motorbike crimes, specifically motorbike snatching. This means perpetrators are riding motorbikes when targeting their victims, especially in cases of theft, where perpetrators are snatching cell phones, purses, bags, and other valuables pedestrians are carrying around with them.
Fortunately, these crimes remain relatively rare. Nonetheless, it’s important to exercise caution, especially in urban areas you are unfamiliar with.
Things to Avoid in Vietnam in 2023
While Vietnam is a wonderful tourist destination with welcoming people, there are plenty of things to take into consideration when traveling to Vietnam, including your health and safety. This can range anywhere from petty crimes to natural disasters. No matter what city you are staying in or the time of year you are traveling, here are some warnings and dangers you should be aware of when visiting Vietnam.
Taxis and Other Transportation
If you are staying in a major city, exercise caution before getting into a cab. Many taxi drivers in these cities have previously rigged meters that upcharge rides up to 2 – 8x their typical rates.
To avoid this, book rides in advance with reputable taxi companies, such as Mai Linh and Vinasunso in Ho Chi Minh City. Otherwise, consult guidebooks and travel forums before traveling.
Another popular scam to be aware of is “bus breakdowns,” where buses and travel vans “break down,” and tour operators force travelers to pay considerable amounts of money for subpar hotel rooms while “the bus is being repaired.”
Safety Measures to Keep in Mind When Visiting Vietnam
- Do not leave your bag or other valuables unattended while at the beach.
- If you are staying in a hotel, place all of your valuables in a security deposit box when you leave the room.
- Share your vacation plans with your friends and family at home, including hotel information and emergency contact information.
- Always be courteous. Being polite can prevent you from getting into a dangerous situation.
- Avoid buying liquor or drugs from street vendors
- Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in urban areas.
By following these safety precautions, you can have a safe, fun vacation in Vietnam.