Vietnam remains a very safe country with a low level of criminality under common law, even if cases of petty crime can be found in some tourist regions (certain districts of Ho Chi Minh City, Sapa, Nha Trang in particular). The groups tend to organize themselves in specialized bands, with foreigners being the preferred targets of pickpockets. The incidents are rarely violent and most cases tend to be theft of bags, cellphones and/or valuables, committed by clever thieves who move by scooter and act quickly. While these incidents can be very upsetting, there are some simple steps below to avoid being the victim of a crime. Throughout your holiday, you will find that safety in Vietnam is not an issue and most Vietnamese are welcoming, very friendly to travellers, and will not hesitate to come and help you especially if they speak English.
Here are some tips to ensure your safety in Vietnam and the smooth running of your trip:
From the embroidered tablecloth merchants to sellers of souvenirs, shoe shiners and motorbikes-taxis: visitors to Vietnam are often approached with insistence but without aggressiveness. Be patient and know how to calmly refuse, even if it is not always easy. These street vendors do not pose a threat to your safety in Vietnam.
The traffic on the streets in Vietnam will be one of the first things that surprises you when you arrive in this country. The number of scooters is so large that crossing the streets on foot becomes an impossible task for many travelers. But don't be afraid: cross the street firmly, looking first to your left and then, in the middle of the road, to your right. Do not hesitate when crossing, knowing that people on motorcycles will try to anticipate your movement to avoid you. Nevertheless, take care and wave your arms to make sure you are seen and ensure your safety in Vietnam when crossing the roads.
Finally, in order not to offend anyone on your trip to Vietnam, make sure you respect local customs, especially when visiting the homes of different ethnic minorities. Your guide can teach you about the appropriate behaviour to adopt, the taboos and the habits of the local people. If you have any other questions about safety in Vietnam, don’t hesitate to ask your Shanti Travel Expert!