Vietnam has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world for travellers, however it always pays to be prepared. These safety tips will help you travel Vietnam with greater peace of mind.
Vietnam is a relatively safe country, however petty theft is a legitimate concern, especially in the big cities. Refrain from extending cameras and cellphones on busy streets and corners: most robberies are drive-by snatchings. When taking pictures on sidewalks, keep your camera close to your body and away from the flow of traffic.
Women in particular should be warned to keep a tight grip on their bags and purses when walking in Ho Chi Minh City. When riding a motorcycle, place your bags in the seat compartment or hook them in the front of the bike. Bags carried around the shoulder or in bike baskets can easily be snatched.
When staying in hotels and guesthouses, place your valuables in the safe or lock them in your bags before leaving your room. It is a good idea in general to be mindful of your valuables, keep a close eye on your bags and not to flaunt large amounts of cash or expensive gadgets in rural areas.
Unfortunately, if you find yourself the victim of theft, little can be done by law enforcement to recover stolen belongings.
Taxi scams in Vietnam take the form of rigged meters, overcharging, confusing currency and fixed prices. Two trusted companies you can rely on are Mai Linh and Vinasun. Both of these taxi companies have new vehicles and sealed metres, they also have a pick-up service that works in most Vietnamese towns and cities. You can look for them as soon as you land in Vietnam's international airports.
Tourist scams in Vietnam
Vietnam is constantly improving its tourism services, however there are still some agents and independent operators who flout the rules. When booking cruises on Halong Bay, always go with reputed companies. For tours around Vietnam, book with vetted travel agents as opposed to hole-in-the-wall establishments to avoid being scammed.
For Female Travellers
Vietnam is generally a safe country to travel and female travellers will find themselves welcome. The Vietnamese are still quite conservative, so it's best to respect the local culture by not baring too much skin. Solo female travellers can expect to be approached with questions about why they are travelling alone. The enquiries are usually harmless and borne out of curiousity. Crime against women is uncommon in Vietnam. Nonetheless it's wise to not be alone on the streets late at night, and to take a taxi if you're heading back late.