Vietnam has become a popular travel destination among many of the world’s most avid travelers. Like most countries, in Vietnam there are potential problems to be aware of when visiting there. Some particular ones are:
1. Fraudulent tour groups.
When booking a tour in Vietnam you need to be aware of fake and fraudulent tour companies that proliferate on the street and on the web. Fake companies will often use names which are similar to the names of legitimate tour companies turning them transparent to the unsuspecting travelers. Make sure that you are using the correct web site. When visiting their physical location be sure that you have the correct address so as to not be fooled by fraudulent neighbors. When booking your tour be sure the details of your tour are listed correctly.
Most importantly do not pay any money unless you are certain that all the details are correct and exactly as you want them to be.
2. Traffic accidents
Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death and injury in Vietnam. Incredibly, on average over, over25 people per day die from traffic accidents in Vietnam. In 2016 there were more than 21,000 accidents killing 9000 people and injuring thousands more.
When driving a car or motorbike be sure and exercise extreme caution at all times. With millions of drivers taking to the road every minute of the day and night you are at constant risk for an accident no matter where you are driving. Especially on a motorbike in only a split second disaster can quickly strike.
Of course when riding in a large vehicle such as a bus you are usually much safer than when riding on the highly exposed and more dangerous motorbike. The only draw back to some buses is the crowded conditions you may encounter.
Taxi’s are safer and much preferable to motorbikes. Grab and Uber have become the best of all taxis for price, safety and reliability. The chance of being robbed drops substantially when using Grab or Uber.
Walking is the safest of all providing you pay attention to where you’re walking. You just need to master the art of crossing a busy motorbike packed street.
Before you leave home be sure to buy a travel insurance policy. We’re you to get injured in an accident you will need to be covered by insurance in order to be admitted to a hospital or clinic.
3. The Common Taxi Scam
Taxi scams are common in Vietnam. They seem to happen one way or the other to almost every visitor.
The simplest scam is merely when the driver takes an extra long way to reach your destination. Another variation of this is when the driver quotes a greatly inflated price to a particular well known destination.
The preferred approach is to always have the driver quote you the price before you even enter the taxi. Once he gives you the price he will always honor it as long as you don’t change the destination once the ride begins. You should have at least some idea how much the ride should cost before you ask the question. This is why taking Grab or Uber is a good idea as they will tell you the price in advance.
4. Hygiene and Food Safety
Vietnamese food is fantastic. There are literally dozens of different combinations to be found on the streets of Vietnam. The food is known for it’s tastiness and is delicious.
The problems can arise when the preparers don’t pay attention to properly washing the ingredients. This coupled with the hot humid temperatures can result in bacteria entering the otherwise clean food.
Be careful to only eat in restaurants and food stands where you see lots of happy customers eating food and enjoying themselves. Busy restaurants are usually safe restaurants. This is because the turnover from all the customers means that the food is fresher and as a result it’s safer.
When you find a place you like do the natural thing and keep going back.
5. Bad Service can seem like bad manners.
You will often times here people complaining about the customers perception that the severs in Vietnam are rude. This is usually the result of the visitors not understanding the Vietnamese language. It can also be a result of culture differences.
The truth is that Vietnamese servers love to please their customers and do everything they can to make them happy. So the perception that the servers are being rude is not an accurate one.
If you feel that the server is being rude or disrespectful re-evaluate the situation and most likely you will find that you are incorrect and that in reality they are trying to provide you with good service.
Remember that when all else fails that a smile can make a world of difference and all or the sudden everyone’s attitude will change and they all like you.