Vietnam : Safety by City
Vietnam is a gorgeous country, known for breathtaking natural beauty, a heavy load of history and Buddhist temples and pagodas so beautiful they are worth taking the trip.
It is located in Southeast Asia, between China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west.
During the last couple of years, Vietnam slowly became widely popular, and each year there are more and more tourists coming to visit from all over the world.
Violent crime in Vietnam is rare, and as a tourist, your main concern should be a petty crime such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching or cell phone theft.
Generally, if you respect Vietnamese culture and show common courtesy and kindness towards the people there, any arguments or misunderstandings can be easily avoided and your trip should go smoothly.
Warnings & Dangers in Vietnam
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Vietnam is a relatively safe country to travel to. Its main source of income is tourism, so the tourists' safety is their number one concern. The capital city, Hanoi has 6 million inhabitants, so street crime is more common there.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Means of transport and taxis aren't very safe in Vietnam. Many taxis in Saigon and Hanoi have previously installed rigged meters that charge up to 2 to 8 times more. Your best chance is taking a taxi from reputable companies such as Mai Linh and Vinasun in Saigon. You should consult some guidebooks and travel forums before you travel to Vietnam that will prepare you for petty scams. There is also a very popular scam where the buses break down and the tour operators force people to pay considerable amounts for crummy hotels "while the bus is repaired".
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
Pickpocketing and bag snatching is a very common issue in Vietnam, especially on the side of the roads where motorbike snatching may occur. Keep your belongings by your side at all times and try to leave all your valuables in a security deposit box of your hotel.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Natural threats include rare earthquakes and occasional typhoons (from May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta nearly every year. Vietnam is occasionally also devastated by storms and typhoons that can cause millions of dollars of damage. In case of a natural disaster, follow the instructions of local authorities.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There are some areas where cases of mugging have been reported, it is generally rare, and foreigners are rarely targeted.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There is a low probability of a terrorist attack, however, they should never be ruled out so be vigilant and watch out for suspicious activities.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a number of scams performed on tourists in Vietnam, such as gambling scams where, if you do venture in gambling, there is a great risk you will be scammed or ripped off or karaoke scams: since prostitution is forbidden, you can find prostitutes in various karaoke bars, which are actually one big scam and their clients often get ripped off, drink spiked and robbed. Apart from these scams, you can get overcharged by everyone: street vendors, taxi and bus drivers, hotel owners and worst of all - the police. Double-check every information and pay, or negotiate everything in advance.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Sexual assaults are common in Vietnam, especially in the following cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Sapa, and Cat Ba Island. Avoid overnight trains and buses, and parts of cities that are filled with bars and clubs, since there is a higher chance of running into intoxicated people. Follow basic common sense and avoid walking alone at night and in poorly lit and secluded areas.
So... How Safe Is Vietnam Really?
Vietnam is generally a safe country.
Violent crime is rare, but lately robberies, assaults, and harassments started occurring, often involving weapons.
However, the most common risk for tourists remains petty crime such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and valuables theft, usually not involving violence of any kind.
Tourists should avoid fights and shouting of any kind because people of Vietnam think of shouting as an insult and in such situations, one never knows what their reaction is going to be.
A general rule of thumb is that if you respect this country’s culture and customs, you should have no problems or incidents.
One of the common issues in Vietnam is motorbike snatching.
This usually involves thieves on motorbikes snatching pedestrians’ bags, mobile phones, cameras, and jewelry.
They especially target foreigners and it happens mostly in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Nha Trang, and it is a crime committed so regularly that even local Vietnamese are commonly targeted.
Also infamously common are thefts of valuables left on popular beaches.
Never leave your bag or anything of value unattended on beaches.
In hotel rooms, including five-star ones, there have been reports of stolen belongings including wallets, cameras, cell phones, and jewelry, so put everything of value in a security deposit box.
As for streets, they are generally safe but there are areas that should be avoided, such as parts of cities filled with clubs and bars that are usually filled with suspicious individuals.
Sexual assaults and robberies are more probable in these places, so be cautious and avoid these places late at night.
Also, petty crime is most common in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, so be aware of your surroundings at all times when you visit this enormous city.
Avoid purchasing liquor from street vendors since they may not be authentic, and bear in mind that drugs in Vietnam can be laced with toxic ingredients and potentially fatal.
How Does Vietnam Compare?
- Visas - All US citizens wishing to visit Vietnam will need to apply for a tourist visa and no earlier than six months before their planned departure. Your passport should be valid for at least six months past your date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - The Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. We recommend changing your money in post offices, banks or larger hotels. Airports also offer a convenient exchange rate.
- Weather - Weather in Vietnam depends on the region you're at. For example, in Hanoi, it is its capital, summers last from May to October, and winters, mostly dry and mild, last from November to April with average temperatures from 17-22°C. In central Vietnam the weather is hot and dry from January to August, reaching temperatures as high as 30°C. The period from September to October is a rainfall season. Southern Vietnam is mostly dry and hot between November and April, and the rainfalls are common from June through August.
- Airports - The busiest airport in Vietnam is Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located in Ho Chi Minh and a close second is the Noi Bai International Airport in the country's capital, Hanoi.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Vietnam, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Vietnam Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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11 Reviews on Vietnam
Been to Hanoi in 2016, got scammed by the locals. They suddenly pulled my sandal, patched it. and forced me to pay absurd amount USD50. Taxi drivers are crazy. Roads full of motorcyclist. The people are not friendly. The only one who is being nice, is the on who’s trying to scam you. My word of advice, don’t be nice to the locals.
Or anyone else .
Be respectful to all
Should bargain for prices prior purchases. Custom in Vietnam or anywhere in the world we should show humble attitudes in exchanges between human to humans, the will be fine!
nice country, nice people
I love Vietnam, I just randomly picked this country to go to. Spent there 6 weeks, traveled across the country. Your experience may vary. To me Vietnam is on safer side of countries list. If you looking for trouble you will find one. People are very nice, even they speak no or very limited english. Biggest crime in big cities is definitely motorcycle snitching. Especially phones. That can be avoided though by not holding your belonging on the road side, when you walk on sidewalk. I traveled by every possible transportation in Vietnam. I can recommend Grub as motorcycle/car taxi app.for bigger cities. Works same as Uber. Buses, airplanes, etc… very safe and clean…If you use your common sense you’ll be fine. Definitely safer country than USA mostly small crimes , chance someone will directly attack you or try to fight you is very unlikely unless you provoke someone.Rate of crime always scales with size of the city.- my general rule, worldwide
Been to Vietnam twice I found the people very friendly except for the taxi drivers. I stayed in Ho chi minh city for a week, got scammed by the taxi driver with the switching of notes, rode the buses from the city to the tunnels (2.5 hr trip for 50 cents return) with no problems. Then took a flight to De Nang and a taxi to Hoian where we stayed for 2 weeks hired a scooter and drove around on that visiting different places without any bother whatsoever. I found that the locals we’re very friendly and helpful, so i returned the following year.
This is what actually ruined my last trip. The taxi drivers are just looking to scam people. I don’t know why. It was not an issue for my when I went there several years ago but in recent years, they just seem to want to take advantage of people. Everyone else is perfectly fine and very welcoming. The areas I was in were clean, safe, and quiet.
Have been to Vietnam upwards of a dozen times, it’s an extremely safe country, scooter drive bys where they snatch your phone out of your hand is common, only ride with 2 major taxi companies. Typical overcharging and street scams are common in the tourist hubs. Avoid prostitution. The country essentially runs on bribes, if you get pulled over by the cops just pay the few hundred dong and go on with your day, it’s common even for locals, not worth the fuss for $10. Men, especially older ones do have old fashioned views on women there but IMO is a very safe country for even solo women traveler’s.
Vietnam is no fun. It is so loud everywhere. I am in Da Lat right now and I won’t leave my hotel anymore. I’m physically sick from the noise. The authorities scare me. I’ve been put through the ringer with fees at the airport with a male authority figure. People yell at me everywhere like I owe them something.
In contrast Thailand was heaven on Earth. Even in Bangkok when it’s so busy with traffic it is quiet. I got smiles instead of being looked at like a piece of meat.
Vietnam is no fun
Travel to Vietnam
Don’t go to VN , very dirty places , rubbish every where , Ha noi and Saigon if rain then flooding and stinking smell , food is not safe , street food is cheap but hygiene is not there , prepare yourself for stomach aches and diarrhea. Thieves , scammers are everywhere , everything you buy is hustling by Vietnamese , bad peoples all because they are poor which lead them to do bad thing . It is not a safe country to travel , I phone , iPad , computer , camera …. Is need to carry with you when leave hotel, if not when you back they all gone and no one take responsibility including hotel owner for your lost . Worst is lost all your money /passport . Trust me I’m Vietnamese born and grown up there but living in Australia , now and then go back to visit my country but Vietnam today is a bad place and unsafe place .
We didn’t stay at the hotel we booked. The noise of the music downstairs of the hotel was so loud. We asked them to move us to other place. But before we must paid to them. Surprisingly the price we booked from an app, they said was only for 2 hours. That’s impossible. We booked for days, not in hours. What we could do was pay. I was so sure they corrupted. The price became 3 times of the price given by the app. I wrote to this app about this hotel. The rate about the hotel were from 1 to 10. I would like to give 0 point.
Actually lots of cases that make me want to tell everyone not to come to Vietnam. The policemen stopped our car ( no taxi)at the airport. No idea why. We rent a car, they have their office inside the airport. Means legal. But the policemen asked husband’s passport and made the picture. They acted like we were criminals. Others, they said husband has 1 day extra in Vietnam ( prohibited?) That made him must paid fine of 50€. I forgot to take a bottle of water from husband’s small suitcase. Again the policeman asked his passport and wrotedown his name. Why must write down? In Spain it any countries only asked throw the bottle. Nothing else. Husband said he couldn’t come to Vietnam in 3 years. Without any warning we will not come anymore. Vietnam is not the only place in this world. Don’t ever think you are included the best countries to visit. But included the worst countries to visit.
Don't bother waste of a trip
I would never go back. The people are very scammy and to be honest the whole experience was perfectly horrible. I found even the European tourists (mostly Russian) as rude as the locals.
All in all very scary and incredibly sad place to spend your hard earned money.
I am well traveled and I get why people may like it as the beaches are beautiful and the food was passable – I hope you have strong stomach as you will get sick at least once from food. If you want to go to a beautiful place go to Okinawa.