Just a few years ago, people still tend to think about Vietnam as a war-torn country with the memory of the Vietnam War. However, this country nowadays is considerably well-known for its development of tourism. In particular, Vietnam had taken sixth place in terms of global tourism growth listed by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 2017.
The most impressive reasons attracting tourists compring of breathtaking landscapes, great food, heart-warming & friendly people and hospitable services, Vietnam travel safety is one of the major factors creating the attractiveness of Vietnam tourism. Generally, Vietnam can be named as one of the safest countries in the world because there have been no wars, no terrorism, no riots in this country since the new century began. Furthermore, Vietnam along with Singapore are the only two countries in Southeast Asia considered as having "low travel security risk" in the Travel Risk Map for 2017 due to International SOS and Control Risks. Now, we will give you a more detailed look at this aspect below.
I - How safe is Vietnam for tourists?
1 - Traffic
Traffic in Vietna in rush hours (Source: Kenh14)
You might have heard a lot about the crazy traffic full of motorbikes in Vietnam on several review websites, aren't you? It's the fact that Ho Chi Minh city is the one with the largest concentration of motorbikes in the world while Ha Noi is not any better. Nonetheless, the traffic in this country seems chaotic to be but still in order. It might scare you on the first day especially when you cross the road. Just keep calm, make yourself predictable on your route and walking speed. You only have to pay attention carefully if you visit Vietnam with a plan to rent or purchase a motorbike because it's a quite challenging task for foreigners to drive in Vietnam. To make sure, you can purchase some travel insurance which will cover you.
2 - Terrorism and crime
Thanks to the stable political institution, the level of crime here remains relatively low compared to other regions of the world. This shows that it is safe to travel to Vietnam without worries of terrorism and crime. The main petty one that exists generally in the form of snatching, pick-pocketing, or prostitution.
Issues such as pickpocket or snatching happen in crowded areas and more often with ones walking alone. However, you can easily protect yourselves from those crimes by practicing some vigilance with valuables (keep passport and cash in a concealed travel wallet or in a hotel safe, carrying a purse or camera around your neck and double-check your surroundings before taking any pictures).
Although prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, it still exists in some streets in big cities such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh, or Ho Chi Minh city. Normally, single, young, intoxicated men are the main targets for sex workers. As a result, if you plan to get drunk at a party overnight, it’s important to travel with friends.
3 - Stable political
Vietnam politically, is extremely stable and it is safe to travel to Vietnam without worries of getting caught up in any insurgency, riot or even protest. Due to the tight requirements in visa restriction, terrorism is nonexistent here. The police keep a pretty tight grip on social order so there is rarely a report about muggings, robberies, or sexual assaults. Especially those cases which against foreigners almost never happen. Besides, anonymous violent crime is exceedingly rare throughout Vietnam. In general, Vietnam nowadays keeps growing in popularity as a safe place to live, to do business, and of course, to travel as well.
4 - Vietnamese people
Vietnamese people are so friendly (Source: Huyen Pham)
As mentioned before, Vietnamese people are considerably lively and friendly. Come to this country once and you will feel the positive, energetic, and happy atmosphere created by them more intensively than ever! Not only that, people here are also famous for hospitality. They are nice, polite, and helpful, so tourists will feel that they are always welcomed here. There exists just one small trouble which is scams sometimes. You can totally get rid of it easily by negotiating the price carefully before getting in a taxi, eating something or using some other services.
5 - Vietnam tourist safety in terms of food and drink
Food is considered as one of the very heart of Vietnamese culture. With a light, subtle in flavor, and variety in types, Vietnamese food is naturally healthy, full of flavors and nutrients. The quality and variety of food are generally amazing and the standard of food safety in restaurants is normally adequate. However, sometimes existing places may not meet Western standards due to the cheap food made based on cutting down operating cost and food cost. You can solve this problem easily by choosing street food stalls where you can see how food is prepared. Or more simply, choose to eat where locals eat! Besides, you can do the research quickly on WHO’s International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) - where Vietnam provides information to the other Member States on any food safety events of international concern in Vietnam to make sure.
In terms of drink, you have to know that tap water in Vietnam can not be used directly. Normally, the locals boil it before using. So stick to bottled water! It is easy to find at cheap prices and readily available from shops, hotels, and restaurants across the country.
6 - Health care
In general, the medical facility in Vietnam can not reach the standard of the Western countries but it's good enough to meet the needs of your body. Moreover, major hospitals in big cities have extremely excellent doctors and medical staff that are recognized by the global standards. Or you can simply look at the way they have been beating Covid-19 out of their country to be sure. Vietnam can be named as one of the countries that controlled the spread of Covid-19 most quickly and efficiently in the world with no death recorded up to now! Moreover, as always when traveling to tropical destinations make sure your vaccinations are up to date as prescribed by your GP including Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, and Rabies.
7 - Travel insurance and Vietnam tourism safety
Bảo hiểm du lịch (Source: Internet)
Getting travel insurance for those “just in case” moments while traveling in Vietnam is highly recommended. Although the level of travel safety in this country is evaluated highly, accidents still can happen and we can’t prevent them at all times. Purchasing an insurance plan helps protect you against uncertain financial and health risks by several packages such as medical and hospitalization coverage, medical repatriation assistance, an urgency hotline that can be contacted, or civil liability coverage. Furthermore, they provide not only you with peace of mind as you travel and do exciting and slightly risky things but also your loved ones back home.
To summarize, the risk while traveling in Vietnam is relatively low, however, be aware of some small trouble such as petty crime, food poison, or scam. All of them could be solved easily by a little bit of careful preparation and perhaps travel insurance. So don't hesitate to start your trip to Vietnam!
II - Vietnam tourist safety tips
1 - Transport safety
There may be only one trouble which is crossing busy roads. It might take time before you get used to it but crossing busy streets simply requires a common sense of keeping an eye out for oncoming traffic and maintaining a steady pace.
If driving in Vietnam, bear in mind that drivers here often don’t follow road rules and traffic is chaotic. Besides, remember to drive on the right-hand side of the road with a driving license and quality helmet.
2 - Take care of your possessions
(Source: Philipp Kämmerer)
To ensure your valuables are safe, keep them on your person or, better yet, locked in a safe place such as your hotel while wandering around. Also should not wear too much jewelry, or show off any expensive items carelessly that make you become the target of pickpocket criminals. Be careful when using your phone on busy streets, spreading your most valuable items across different pockets or bags, and carrying your camera with the strip around your body.
3 - Emergency numbers to know
It is always important to know the local emergency numbers of the country you are traveling to in case of unpredictable situations. And we will give you some of them below that you might find useful:
- Police: 113
- Fire and rescue: 114
- Ambulance: 115 ∗9999 (a 911-style emergency medical response service in English and Vietnamese)
- Emergency rescue: 112
In short, if you are wondering if Vietnam is safe for tourists or not, from the view of a local person it can be said that Vietnam is a peaceful and safe country for traveling.