4 Most Dangerous Cities in Vietnam

Updated On October 10, 2023

Vietnam is considered a safe country for locals and tourists, including solo female travelers.

Many American tourists are pleasantly surprised by the warm reception when visiting the country.

Despite its reputation for low crime, Vietnam is experiencing an uptick in petty crime, like pickpocketing, due to global inflation.

However, this remains on a small scale and should be fine if you visit and use common sense.

Generally, the biggest headaches you will encounter are dealing with pushy vendors and enthusiastic beggars.

If you’re considering traveling to this beautiful country, it’s essential to understand the most dangerous cities in Vietnam to take the proper precautions.

Keep reading to learn more!

Four Most Dangerous Cities in Vietnam

Da Lat
Da Lat

Four: Da Lat

This city, constructed of French-style buildings and star-shaped streets, is an excellent example of the influence of French colonialists.

Many years ago, Da Lat was a popular destination for French authorities looking for a place to escape the steaming heat of the major cities, especially during the summer.

Compared to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat has a significantly more relaxed and laid-back vibe, greatly increasing safety.

Additionally, Da Lat is one of the top honeymoon locations in Vietnam due to its peaceful atmosphere, picturesque environment, and endless privacy.


Three: Halong

With a safety rating of 73, Halong is a great and safe place to visit.

Located on the northern coast of the Ha Long Bay Archipelago, Halong City is the capital of the Quang Ninh Province.

The city is divided into Hon Gai and Bai Chay and has developed into a transit hub outside Hanoi.

Hon Gai is the city’s more economical and local section with markets and small businesses.

At the same time, Bai Chay is ideal for tourists due to the number of restaurants and hotels.

Also, Halong City has one of the largest seaports in the country, thus making it a leading Northern Vietnam industrial center.

From a safety perspective, the overall risk is low, and since it’s a central transit hub, very few violent crimes and pickpocket incidents occur.

However, taxis and mass transit aren’t the safest, and road conditions could be better.

Natural disasters, like widespread flooding and typhoons, are known to occur, so it’s essential to be prepared.

Mugging, terrorism, and scams are low, but you can still be overcharged on taxis, but it’s less of a problem than in Hanoi.

Finally, while there is always a risk to solo female travelers on overnight forms of mass transit and certain areas of the city, the risk is low.


Two: Hanoi

Although Hanoi is number two on this list, it’s another safe city to visit.

As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a stunning city in the northern part of the country.

Best known for its breathtaking natural beauty, Buddhist temples, history, and cultural heritage, Hanoi is the ideal mix of French charm and traditional Sino-Vietnamese motifs.

Within the past decade, Vietnam has become a popular tourist destination for visitors from across the globe.

With a safety rating of 68/100, Hanoi is a reasonably safe city.

However, since the primary source of income is tourism, visitor safety is a top concern within the government.

One area to be cautious about is when taking taxis and public transportation.

Many taxis have rigged meters installed that can charge two-to-six times the regular amount.

Also, given that Hanoi is a city of over six million, pickpocketing and bag snatching are medium risks.

The main bag-snatching scam is a motorbike that pulls up next to an unsuspecting tourist, yanks the bag off, and drives away.

Furthermore, natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons, and the occasional earthquake, are risky, especially during the wet season.

Finally, mugging and terrorism are low risks; solo female travelers don’t need to worry about any problems if they remain on guard.

Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City

One: Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is located in southern Vietnam and is the country’s largest city.

Ho Chi Minh City was the former Republic of Vietnam capital before the Vietnam War.

Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, the city gained its current name.

Since then, a massive amount of investment and construction has resulted in changing the face of the city with modern skyscrapers dotting the area.

Despite the development boom, Ho Chi Minh has preserved its identity and way of life.

Tourists can still see the narrow alleyways with low-rise French-style buildings, the magnificent pagodas, and the Notre Dame cathedral.

While Ho Chi Minh City is a relatively safe place with tourism’s primary income source, street crimes continue.

Taxis and public transportation aren’t entirely safe in the city, with many cars installing rigged meters that change between 2x and 8x more money.

Also, bag snatching and pickpocketing are common problems in Ho Chi Minh City.

Furthermore, natural disasters like typhoons, flooding, and earthquakes are risks that can cause physical and property damage.

The threats of mugging and terrorism are incredibly low.

However, sexual assaults are common, so women traveling alone must avoid overnight buses, trains, and bar districts.

The safety rating for Ho Chi Minh City is 64/100, which is better than most international cities.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Vietnam

One: Avoid Motorbikes

When you walk around any Vietnamese city and see that nobody pays attention to the driving laws, it may not surprise you that Vietnam is near the top of the list for driving fatalities per capita.

The World Health Organization found that 59% of road collisions within the country are due to motorcyclists.

Although most tourists don’t have a problem riding motorcycles, there’s a considerable risk of a collision.

If you must get on a scooter or motorbike, wear the proper protective gear, despite not being legally required.

Two: Wear Bags with Thick Straps

With such high populations in the major cities, bag snatchers are a common threat nationwide, especially in crowded and touristy areas.

These criminals work in pairs and search for easy-to-swipe bags.

They even try to snatch bags diagonally strapped to a person, which can result in horrible whiplash.

The way to mitigate this is by wearing a backpack with zippers at the front of your body or purses with thick straps that face away from traffic.

Three: Cross the Street Carefully

Make sure the drivers coming at you can see that you’re crossing the street.

Waiting for a break in traffic will result in you waiting forever.

Instead, take small and careful steps as you cross the street, and don’t move backward; motorbikes will go around you.

The worst action you can take when crossing the road is stopping since it disrupts the flow of motion.

As an extra precaution, raise your hand to give drivers a warning that you’re crossing, as they may not be able to see you in traffic.

Four: Don’t Buy Drugs

While this may seem like a no-brainer, a violent crime occurs every once in a while because a foreigner attempts to purchase drugs.

Also, those who buy drugs without incident usually have bad experiences because they don’t get what they purchased.

Accidental overdoses of foreigners do also occur occasionally as a result.

Five: Don’t Sit in the Front Seat of a Taxi

Some women have reported being assaulted by taxi drivers alone, sitting in the front seat.

Avoid this potential issue and sit in the back so if a driver tries to make a move, you can give them a boot to the face.

Take further precautions by not traveling alone via taxi at night.

Vietnam Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Vietnam Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for solo female travelers in Vietnam?

Solo female travelers will likely be fine in Vietnam when enacting a little common sense that would be done in their hometown or any other country in the world.

These include not walking alone at night, avoiding bar districts, being aware of overly-friendly strangers, and not taking taxis alone once the sun sets.

Generally, Vietnam is a very female-friendly destination, but it’s still important to be cautious and vigilant.

Is Vietnam friendly to U.S. tourists?

Given the rise in tourism to Vietnam, the country is very friendly to American tourists.

Most visitors weren’t even alive when the Vietnam War occurred, so they had no connection to the conflict.

Also, Vietnam is now considered an ally of the U.S., primarily due to its location in the South China Sea.

Is it safe to wear jewelry in Vietnam?

It’s not recommended to wear expensive jewelry in public.

This could draw unwanted attention, making you a potential target for criminals.

2 Comments on 4 Most Dangerous Cities in Vietnam

  1. S
    Sam Adler says:

    My wife and I live in Hoi an and we feel very safe here as far as crime is concerned. Traffic is hazardous due to some crazy drivers,but if you take care and watch out( because people drive with little care about their own safety or yours )you should be Ok.
    The people are very friendly and helpful. We have made some real friendships with many of the locals who have treated us like family! We couldn’t ask for a better place to live. We absolutely love Vietnam!

  2. In general, Vietnam is considered a safe country for tourists, including solo female travelers. However, like any destination, it is important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment