An enchanting country, Vietnam is renowned for its exceptional cuisine, captivating culture and dazzling natural landscapes. Although Vietnam has become a major tourist destination since the late 1990s, there is still a prominent sense of the unknown, which is why we consider it useful to share some Vietnam travel advice with you and help you stay safe while travelling. So, the big question: is it safe to travel to Vietnam?
Very few countries in the recent past have suffered as greatly as Vietnam. However, since the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in 1986, the country has been looking outwards, introducing reforms across many sectors, including tourism. Nevertheless, even with the ever-increasing number of tourists to this thrilling travel destination, questions remain over whether it is safe to visit Vietnam. Our intention here is to share some appropriate information on Vietnam tourism safety in order to help you plan for your adventure in the best possible way.
Over 15.4 million people visited Vietnam in 2018 alone, while more than 280,000 British nationals visit every year. Serious trouble is very rare. Nevertheless, to ensure safe and stress-free travel, please consider the following advice.
Keep your passport on your person at all times. Carrying ID is mandatory, for locals and foreigners alike. As with travelling to any country, keep your personal belongings safe and do not attract unwarranted attention with cash or valuables. Higher prices, taxis and hotels, for foreigners are a relatively common occurrence. The benefit of travelling with ETG is that everything would have been paid for in advance, so you won’t have to worry about price hikes.
If you do choose to travel by taxi, negotiate the price before travelling. This is also true of booking accommodation independently. But again, if you decide to travel with us, everything will be organised beforehand and you will not be obliged to negotiate your way around the ‘local versus tourist’ price range. Same is true of transfers. If you book with us, you are sure to have a trained driver. If you choose to go by yourself, please select a vetted driver, as road safety is differently defined in Vietnam from what you are used to at home.
As is common with tropical countries, many people ask us how safe is Vietnam in terms of weather and potential danger from wildlife. Between May and November, there is some risk of bad weather, especially in coastal areas. Strong insect repellent is advised. While insect bites can cause Dengue fever, it is uncommon in Vietnam. In case you require assistance should an emergency arise, our Vietnam offices and the UK support line are available 24 hours a day.
As always, when travelling to tropical destinations make sure your vaccinations are up to date as prescribed by your GP. It is also advised to consult a medical professional approximately six weeks before travel. Fit for Travel Vietnam is extremely useful to consult for the latest medical suggestions.
Another added benefit from travelling with ETG is that our guides are connoisseurs of local food and will ensure you have the opportunity to not only to eat safe street food but also some of the tastiest on offer. If you do decide to try out some of the local street vendors, be selective and cautious.
Many people ask us if it is it safe to travel to Vietnam in terms of security. At the time of writing, the risk of terrorism is very low according to the FCO. Be sure to check the website for updated information before you travel.
General Vietnam travel safety tips:
- Hold on to your valuables. Petty theft is as much of a worry in Vietnam as in any Western country. To ensure your possessions are safe, keep them on your person or, better yet, locked in a safe.
- Day bags. An invisible pouch is very useful for documents, cards, cash… However, if you’re carrying an extra few things, a bag with thick straps is a good choice. Select your day bag so that its content is safe.
- Crossing busy roads. It may appear like an insurmountable quest, but crossing busy streets simply requires common sense. Keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and maintain a steady pace.
- Haggling. It’s an art form which varies from culture to culture. Don’t take it too seriously. If you are not happy with the price, simply don’t buy the item. Smiling and moving on is the best solution. On the other hand, it can be quite fun if you develop a rapport with the salesperson.
Southeast Asia Safety Tips
For tips on travelling to other Southeast Asian countries, please see our other blogs:
Originally published in April 2017. Updated February 2019.
Curious about travelling to Vietnam? Do get in touch with a Vietnam specialist today on 020 7924 7133 . If contacting us via email is easier for you, you can do it here. Alternatively, take a look at our suggested Vietnam holidays or suggested Vietnam family holidays.