Safety in Vietnam
Safety in Vietnam is at a high level, unlike in many other Asian countries. You may not worry too much about your safety in Vietnam. There are almost no cases of any attacks or violence in resorts, and the worst thing that can happen to a tourist is to leave a phone on a wild beach, go swimming, and recognise it’s nowhere to be found afterwards (such problems do not arise in hotels, because there is always a guard on the beach). The police is responsible for the safety in Vietnam, and you, as a foreign citizen, can contact this authority if you have any problems, however, much more often the local police solves issues like noisy neighbors preventing someone from sleep than something more serious.
Safety in Vietnam: theft and fraud.
The tourist area of Mui Ne is very safe. Your health is definitely not in danger, except for excessive sunburn. It is much more likely to suffer if you rashly miscalculate your driving skills and take a moped for rent, than as a consequence of a robbery.
Of course, as in many other countries, you should pay attention to your belongings and do not leave them unattended on the beach outside the hotel sunbeds.
Also you should close the windows and doors at night and do not leave cell phones near open shutters. Break-ins are almost non-existent here, but someone can get into your unlocked room. However, this does not apply to the hotel territories, because there is always a guard on duty. However, we still recommend to close the windows and doors at night. By the way, the Vietnamese thieves are very modest and cowardly, if you wake up the moment someone breaks into you room to get your phone, he will be afraid of you much more than you are and immediately run away. However, we repeat: this happens very, very rarely and almost never in hotels (even in guest houses, where you can also get a room). Theft is much more rare here than in any major city in US, for example.
As for Saigon and, to some extent, the city of Nha Trang, as in all the major cities of the world (with rare exceptions) you should hold bags and cameras firmly and pay attention talking on the phone.
Safety in Vietnam for girls and women.
Vietnam is absolutely safe for girls and women. Here no one comes after you at the street, trying to talk. At worst, you might get some offers of fruits and taxis. Therefore, you can go to Vietnam with your females friends or even alone.
Safety in Vietnam: small deception.
Sometimes the locals try to cheat the tourists in small things. Speaking about fraud, you should pay attention to the following things: When changing money, carefully check the amount received. Some bills look alike. For example, it is easy to confuse 100,000 Dong and 10,000 Dong. If you are holding Vietnamese money for the first time, just count zeros on it.
Another popular scam is the inflated prices for fruits at the beach. It is better to first clarify the cost of coconuts and pineapples in the fruit shop. So you will be aware of the approximate prices and do not buy fruit ten times more expensive than their true value. After all, there were cases when the coconut, which costs from 5 to10 thousand Dong at the market, was sold to tourists on the beach for 500 thousand. In fact, on the beach you can buy coconut at the same price as in cafes, that is for 20-25 thousand Dong. Just remember that, going to Vietnam.
Safety in Vietnam: police work.
To give you an example of police work, here’s the situation that took place in the resort area of Mui Ne. In a club one tourist discovered her camera was missing when she returned from the dance floor, and turned to the manager, who called the police. There were security cameras in the club, so the Vietnamese police viewed the tapes and recognised the woman that had taken the camera. The police immediately came to her house and first offered her to voluntarily return the camera to the owner. The lady refused, and the police stopped negotiating with her, went into the house, found the camera and almost immediately put her in prison for several years (4 years, to be clear). This is a real example and we want you not to be afraid to contact the police if something happens to you.
The police here, of course, is not perfect, but in some cases they work quickly and efficiently.
Safety in Vietnam: Saigon.
We should also talk about Saigon, a city many tourists come to. This is a large metropolis and theft here occur much more often than in resort areas and especially in a small and safe Mui Ne area. The following type of crime is popular in Saigon: a passenger on a motorcycle, passing by a tourist, snatches their phone, camera, purse or bag from their hands. If the person resists, the motorbike accelerates to make the victim lose their balance and drop their stuff. Thus, you can seriously bruise your beach body. Therefore, to avoid such potential problems, hold your things firmly, hold the phone at the ear opposite to the roadway, do not wear the bag over one shoulder, but over the neck on the side opposite to the roadway, and even better — wear a backpack or waist bag.
We do not want to scare you and this is unlikely to happen to you, but since this happens here sometimes, we ask you to be careful and be safe to avoid possible problems.
Safety in Vietnam: Sleeper bus.
If you are not going to a nearby city with a tour, but using a sleeper bus, keep in mind that, while you’re sleeping, someone might pull your phone, purse or camera from your backpack or bag. So be sure to put all your bags and backpacks in the special department at your legs. You can safely put all your stuff, that doesn’t fit that small department, in a special luggage compartment (the luggage in Vietnam is never stolen, though the situation in Cambodia, for example, is different). We advise you to keep your purse and phone under you shirt, close to the wall, not to the aisle. Local thieves are cowards and try to do everything very quickly, before the driver or his assistant can notice them, so if you put your belongings in a place hard to reach, they are safe.
Safety in Vietnam: motorbike (moped).
Lots of the tourists, who visit Vietnam, rent a motorbike. And, indeed, travelling by a moped can be interesting and informative. But one should follow some safety rules. First of all, always wear a helmet, it can really save your life. By the way, in Vietnam both a driver and a passenger can get a fine for riding without helmet. Don’t drive in Vietnam at high speed. The traffic is quite chaotic here, and you can simply fail to navigate at high speed. And, of course, driving while intoxicated is prohibited.
Safety in Vietnam: insects and snakes.
Many tourists associate Southeast Asia with a huge number of insects and snakes, sometimes dangerous ones. But let’s see how true this stereotype is.
First of all, we believe that you are unlikely to wander through the wild jungle populated by dangerous animals or insects in Vietnam. Hotels are located in cities or resort coastal areas. Animals try to avoid contacts with humans and even avoid popular hiking trails. That’s why, while in Vietnam, you’re most likely to see a snake in a restaurant, as a part of some exotic dish.
You can find geckos (small lizards) in your hotel. These quick creatures are absolutely not dangerous to humans. Moreover, they eat insects, who disturb hotel guests. Don’t be scared of lizards, they are afraid of people and immediately run away, if they notice the slightest movement next to them.
Sometimes you can see bees and bumblebees in Vietnam. In this case, behave the same way as in your home country. But the cockroaches here are the size of beetles. Don’t be afraid of them, they can’t harm humans. Also, there are not many of them, just one or two can wander into your room by mistake.
The most annoying insects in Vietnam are tiny ants. They immediately appear if you leave something sweet lying around. So do not keep your sweets and fruits outside the refrigerator for a long time. We advise you to pack all the food, that can attract ants, in plastic and store it in the fridge.
The managers of all hotels usually try to make sure that the insects do not disturb the guests. Hotel areas are treated with special solutions that repel insects, but are harmless to humans. For example, beaches are cleaned and treated to fight sand fleas, who can live in the wild outside the resort areas. Sand flea bites are very unpleasant, because the affected area itches and burns for a long time. But they are not harmful for those who do not suffer a very specific allergy to such bites.
The only real danger in Vietnam is mosquitoes that carry dengue fever. But they are only active during the rainy season, and contagion cases are not so common. If you happen to visit Vietnam during the wet season, just use standard sprays, spirals and other means to protect yourself against insects. If you feel the symptoms resembling a very bad flu, be sure to contact a doctor and take tests to get timely medical care if necessary. We remind you that dengue almost as lethal, as flu. But you’d need some medical care (like saline solution infusion to keep you hydrated).
Safety in Vietnam: Rip current.
Few tourists are familiar with the term rip current, although the information about this phenomenon is extremely important for the safety of tourists. Sometimes this phenomenon is called just rip, or rip tide. Regardless of the name the essence is the same. It is formed off the coast and is directed from the shore to the sea at right angle. During the low tide the water starts to move back into the sea or ocean, and no one is able to cope with the force of the wave. Such a current can form in any sea, not only in the tropical one.
You can spot rip current visually: usually the rip current area is different from the rest of the sea surface. This is either a cross-shore section of turbulent water, or vice versa a strip of calm waters among the moving ones. Sometimes you can see a change in the color of the water (for example, a white area on a blue background) or a section of foam that moves from the shore to the open sea. Also, the rip current can be detected if you see a gap of several meters formed among the continuous band of waves. It can reach fifty meters wide.
In Vietnam, the rip current is relatively rare, unlike on Bali, for example. However, sometimes people still face a rip current and need to know how to behave, once in an extreme situation.
What you need to remember to protect yourself.
Pay attention to the warning signs on the shore. They are there for a reason. If they are installed, the danger is real. Don’t go swimming alone and at night in the dark. In addition to the rip current, at night you can also encounter jellyfish, that can burn you in a very unpleasant way, although it is usually not dangerous (there are exceptions! for example, in 2016, many beaches in Thailand were closed due to the presence of a very dangerous species of jellyfish — Portuguese man o’ war).
What to do if you find yourself in a rip current.
First of all, don’t fight the rip current swimming against it. It will make you tired quickly and give up, while the current will carry you further into the sea. In order to get out from the rip current, which is usually not very wide, you have to swim along the coast line, not directly to the shore.
If you feel weak or very afraid and can not swim, while you are not very far from the shore, try to attract attention. The sound of waves is likely to drown out your cries, but you can actively wave your hands, calling for help.
The main thing when caught in a rip current zone is not to panic and to know the algorithm of this phenomenon. It will help you manage this situation and get to the shore as soon as possible.
Summing up, we can draw the following conclusion regarding the safety in Vietnam. Be careful and follow the basic rules, and your vacation will be absolutely safe!