Vietnam is a fascinating country that is well appreciated for its fantastically delicious food, vibrant city life, sophisticated Buddhist pagodas, jungle-rivers and white sandy beaches. In general, a Vietnam tours package can be encountered with minimal risk of crime because this is an extremely safe country to travel in. Petty crimes like pick pocketing, purse snatching or similar are the types of crimes that prevail in major cities, but this is pretty much the same of many other popular tourist destinations around the world.
With a decent understanding of your local surroundings and a few helpful hints, any travel in Vietnam should take place without the fear of falling victim to crime.
The issues with petty crime against tourists are likely to take place in busy parts of the major cities such as Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh’s District 1. This type of crime is likely to relate to camera, phone, bag or purse snatching. Also, the lone traveller is typically at most risk. A common type of theft involves a motorbike with two individuals on board who target the completely unaware tourist. While the tourist stands in the open with a camera pointed up or a phone held out, the motorbike will quickly pull alongside and the passenger will instantly snatch the appealing item. With no time to react, the driver of the bike makes their getaway. In most cases, this is a case of a minor monetary loss and a feeling of embarrassment. However, there are also cases where this type of crime can lead to serious injury. A risk of injury can happen when a bag or camera is ripped from an unsuspecting tourist who has the strap around their neck or body which leads to instances of being pulled over and dragged behind the motorcycle.
By taking a few basic precautions it is possible to stay safe. For instance, it is practical to step back from a main road or street before taking anything of value from your bag. Also, be aware of your local surroundings before deciding to take a few photos. Also, if carrying a camera or purse with a strap around your neck, it will benefit to place the items on your side away from the road. This will make it more difficult to see or take in the event of an attempted theft.
Also, in Hanoi's Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City's Bui Vien Street, there are issues with both prostitution and drugs. It is certain to be helpful for tourists on the Vietnam tours to travel with friends in the evenings, especially when drinking, because it is typically the inebriated, young and single men that are targeted for drug or sex trades.
Issues with violent crime against foreign travellers are exceedingly rare throughout the entire country. Also, it is often the case that acts of violence against a tourist are dealt with by the local authorities more harshly than a similar act against a local. Any crime of this nature is likely to stem from a robbery that has gone bad.
Solo Female Travel
The number of reported crimes against the solo female traveller is very low in Vietnam. The vast majority of women travelling in Vietnam will have a very friendly and peaceful time. It is practical to rely on Uber bikes or GrabBikes for a reliable taxi service instead of using the driver on the street who is attempting to pick up a trade. However, this same rule can apply for male travellers for the safest and most cost-effective fares. If travelling in high-theft areas or at night, it will obviously benefit to travel in a group.
A leading cause of death for local citizens aged 15 to 29 is reported to be related to traffic accidents. Also, a significant proportion of road-traffic fatalities concern drivers of a motorbike. So, it is important to be very cautious if planning to visit Vietnam and rent a bike. However, there is less risk once out of the more open and quiet mountain passes. Tourists will need to adapt to a different style of driving compared to home and it is essential to have appropriate insurance coverage in place.
Scams, beggars and other hassle
Even with the high number of unemployed, war-wounded and disabled in Vietnam, there isn't much of an issue with beggars. The majority of the local people try to actively earn a living and there are plenty of factories that can be visited on the Vietnam travel that employ disabled people to help produce local products and handicrafts.
When visiting one of the many popular tourist destinations, there is the real likelihood of encountering plenty of young children and teenagers who attempt to sell chewing gum, fruit and cold drinks. On occasion, this can be a little overwhelming, but the children are just trying to make a small amount of money and also practice their English skills.
Tourist may be targeted by a few scam taxi drivers while on their family tours in Vietnam. A typical scam involves telling new arrivals to the country that their hotel has either changed its name or closed down. Instead, they will take their passengers to a nearby hotel, often of a lower quality, that will pay the driver a commission for the extra trade they bring in. To minimise the risk of this scam, make sure to only let your taxi driver take you to the exact address you have on your booking confirmation.
A further issue that sees quite a few complaints is the organised tours that don't live up to their billing. Typical issues include the tour guides English is very limited or the accommodation isn't as stated. For instance, the room does not have air conditioning as promised.
For the best all-round tours on the tours of Vietnam it benefits to book through a trusted tour operator or agency. Try to avoid the dirt-cheap tours because they aren't likely to deliver on the promise.