“Is Vietnam safe for tourists?” is an often asked question as it is for most foreign countries to some degree…
Everyone wants to feel safe when they travel. But is anywhere less or more dangerous than anywhere else. Crime and accidents happen everywhere. Just in some places more than others. It seems people, in general, perceive Asia as far more dangerous than Europe. In a general sense, nothing could be further from the truth in most ways.
The thought of violent crime, in particular, is the one thing that stops many people from even pondering a holiday in Vietnam. How incorrect is this illogical thinking? Violent crime in general and even more so against tourists is almost unheard of. Far safer in this regard than Europe or Australia let alone the U.S.A. Yes, like elsewhere it does happen but from the moment you hit the packed streets in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city you will feel at ease in this regard.
Non-violent scams and overcharging are another matter again. Mainly the latter and the amount is usually so small that most tourists will not even know about it. Easy to avoid by doing some homework on prices and checking restaurant bills. Do not feel embarrassed to speak up and query something you think is wrong even for the smallest amount as you will probably be correct that you are being fleeced. If you think the asking price is way too high then you are not compelled to buy it.
Be nice and discrete but do not feel embarrassed about it. They are trying to rob you even if not in an illegal way. They will often drop the price immediately anyhow if you say “it is too expensive so I won’t bother”.
This is another matter even more so again. You will never see traffic conditions like this anywhere else. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, in particular, see streets with a sea of motorbikes that never seems to end.
So the road toll, while not as bad as Thailand per capita, is extremely high as per world standards. You will never imagine a more dangerous country in regards to traffic accidents on face value. Truly entertaining in itself.
So crossing the roads takes on a new meaning in Vietnam. Be very careful without being paranoid is how to think. Take a dirt cheap taxi is one way to make it easy or for the more adventurous on the back of a motorbike taxi or bicycle rickshaw. Just look and laugh as you experience the organised chaos of it all.
As they drive on the right it will be even more confusing for those from countries that drive on the left.
While overall medical facilities will never match those back home, for the most part, the bigger cities will have good quality hospitals. The further you get off the beaten track the further the availability and quality will diminish. As for serious diseases, very few tourists will get these. As like every new country you visit you should get medical advice back home on any vaccinations and medicines you may need long before you depart.
Upset tummies do occur from time to time but are not very often a major concern apart from finding a toilet…..fast. Imodium will usually block you up if you need to travel.
Government travel advice
For further up to date information the following foreign government websites can advise their nationals on safety and other useful information
So when we are asked is Vietnam safe for tourists it is an overwhelming ‘Yes’.
Like all South-East Asian countries, we consider the region as safe for tourists as anywhere on earth and even more interesting to experience also The undeserved reputation of places like Vietnam & Cambodia, in particular, being dangerous for tourists is a relic of the problems that ended decades ago. Fed primarily by people back home who have never travelled and are afraid of the dark. A total falsehood. Be aware is always the best advice when travelling to any new destination and Vietnam is no different.
Adequate travel insurance will further put your mind at ease.