Vietnam is a popular destination with world travelers for many excellent reasons. However, when traveling in Vietnam, like most countries, one should always be vigilant and be careful about certain situations such as:
When booking a tour in Vietnam be aware that there are many fake tour companies both online and on the street. There are many companies using names similar to the legitimate companies which can easily fool the unaware tourist.
Make sure that you know exactly which company you are dealing with whether visiting them online or in person. Some scammers are very clever and can easily fool the unaware tourist. Be sure to check your documents carefully before parting with your money and be sure your tour details are correct.
2. Traffic Accidents
Traffic accidents are a major cause of death and injuries in Vietnam. Amazingly, around 25 people die due to traffic accidents each and every day in Vietnam. In 2016 there were more than 21,000 accidents in which 9,000 people were killed.
When driving a car or motorbike be extremely cautious. With millions of drivers on the road every minute of the day or night you can easily be involved in a serious accident where anything can happen anywhere at anytime. Especially on a motorbike, in only a split second, disaster can quickly strike.
Riding in a large vehicle, such as a bus, is much safer than when riding on dangerously over exposed motorbike.
The safest and quickest way for a tourist to travel is to take a “Grab” taxi. The Grab is also much safer in terms of personal safety concerning crime such as being robbed or kidnapped.
Walking can be a safe way to go to closer destinations. You just need to learn the correct directions as to where you are going and to learn how to safely cross the streets.
It is also a good idea to purchase travelers insurance before leaving on your trip. Should you be injured you will need the insurance when checking in to a clinic or hospital. “Nomad Insurance” is a popular insurance company with many experienced travelers.
3. Taxi Scams
Similar to “overpayments” taxi scams are common in Vietnam. They can happen to almost anyone. The most common type of scam is when the driver takes a longer route then necessary to your desired destination.
A similar scam is for the driver to charge you a fixed price to a popular destination which is double the normal price. This is a favorite of the drivers who want to cheat the unfamiliar tourist.
The best way to avoid being cheated is to establish the price expected by the driver before you even enter the taxi. It is also a good idea to get an idea of the normal cost for your particular journey before you call the taxi so you can intelligently bargain with the driver.
Taking a Grab taxi often times is the best way to travel to your desired destination as they will most likely be the cheapest and are well known for their reliability and honesty. The driver will tell you the cost of your trip before you even enter his cab.
Unfortunately, robbery can happen anywhere in Vietnam. The most common is the thief taking your phone or bag. Often times these thiefs are quite skilled so it pays to be vigilant and take the proper precautions both when riding in the taxi or walking on the streets.
To avoid having your pockets picked it is best to carry your money in your front pockets. This is a much safer place for men to carry their money and can also be a safe guard for other small valuables in the process.
Potential robbery is the main reason for not carrying important documents like your passport when going outside. When outside carry a secure bag like one that crosses over your body and provides maximum protection.
6. Food safety
For the most part Vietnamese food much loved and fantastic. You will experience a wide selection of food served on the streets of Vietnam. Most of it is delicious and safe to eat. But you can encounter problems if your not careful. When there is a problem it is likely due to poor cleanliness and poor hygiene on the part of the preparer. Often times you may be able to determine which food stalls are safe and which ones are not. Using your simple powers of observation and common sense check the food stalls yourself by observing how clean it looks and how busy it is. A place filled with happy looking locals eating and laughing while they are enjoying their meal is probably a place where it’s safe to eat. When you do find a place like this it’s a good idea to return for other excellent meals in the future.
7. Bad Service and Bad Manners.
Some tourists have experienced what they felt was bad manners and rudeness when dinning out in some Vietnamese restaurants.
Often times we hear tourists complaining about the bad service and bad manners they have experienced when dinning out. Sometimes it’s true that the service is bad and the servers are rude. However many times it’s really the difference in culture and language that is being mistaken as rude behavior on the part of the server. Most of the Vietnamese servers intention is honorable and they merely wish to satisfy their customers and keep everyone as pleased as possible with their dining experience.
These are just a few of the potential problems which a tourist in Vietnam may experience. Remember that the better prepared you are the greater your chances of avoiding these and other problems and thereby increasing your chances of having a wonderful, problem free experience while enjoying your Vietnam vacation.