Visiting a new city or country for the first time can be daunting, especially as we become more aware of people being a victim of a crime or scam.
Vietnam as a country is particularly safe to travel around, however like any country there are certain things to be aware of.
Hanoi has very low crime average although due to the high volume of tourists traveling through the city, it does unfortunately have a reputation for tourists falling victims to scams.
Most issues in Hanoi revolve around transport scams and we have put together a list of ways you can ensure you stay safe and enjoy your visit the wonderful capital city of Hanoi.
1. Taxi Scams - The best way to avoid being overcharged by a taxi driver is to ask your tour operator to book your transport from the airport in advance. They will use only reputable drivers. If you are using a taxi within the city, as a local hotel concierge to book transport for you or better still use the local bus transport to get you around the city. Be smart and book ahead, do your research on reputable taxi companies before you leave and if in doubt ask someone.
2. Hotel Room Costs - Unfortunately some hotels will take advantage of tourists looking to change some local currency. Rates are typically quoted in dollars but when it comes to settling your bill the exchange rate is increased and you will be left paying a lot more than necessary. Always ask to be quoted in the currency you will be expected to pay in and compare the rates prior to traveling. Always check your bill before paying too.
3. Tours - If you have not pre booked tours or excursions you can be over charged for arriving on the day to book your tour. Always use your Vietnam tour operator to manage any bookings and ask what the cost will be prior to conforming the booking, do your research online and see what other tourists paid. If you are unsure ask your hotel concierge to recommend tour guides in your area.
4. Avoid Theft - Although not common in Hanoi theft is still something to be aware of. Use a common sense approach when walking the city, especially in a busy area like the old quarter. Never show your expensive jewellery or watches, keep backpacks locked tight and always keep an eye on your bag and wallet when sitting at a restaurant, cafe or street food vendor. If you do have something stolen report it to the local police or ask your hotel concierge or tour operator for advice. Be smart and be savvy.
Hanoi is a safe and friendly city to explore and being aware of the scams you might be faced with will help to ensure you have a fabulous time. Be smart and use your common sense and get ready to be amazed by the capital city of Vietnam.