8 tips to survive in traveling Vietnam for Backpackers
Although Vietnam is considered to be a peaceful and low crime-rate destination to go, but it is not always safe if you don’t keep an eye on your safety concerns. Many travelers visit there, go back and confirm that Vietnam is a safe country to visit, but in some ways you should be careful and prepare precautions to ensure your safety. Here comes some tips of Backpackers Vietnam that may help you a lot when in Vietnam
- Always have cash along with you
Vietnam is a country of cashes. You can only use check or credit card in big cities or crowded towns. In rural areas, cash is the only way of payment you can make. To survive successfully when you come to Vietnam, always have cash in your hand is an important guideline. On the other hand, don’t bring a great deal of cash if you don’t intend to use all of them. 1.000.000 – 2.000.000 VND ($50 – $100) is reasonable for a one-day trip in Vietnam.
- Be careful with petty crime:
In big and crowded cities, petty crime is rated to be higher than the rural areas. Pickpocketing, snatch-and-grab robbery, and petty theft are the most frequent types of crime, occurred in big cities such as Hanoi or HCMC. One good tip to keep you (and your money) safe is to use a money belt or bag stuck to your chest and not bring an excessive amount of cash with you if not necessary. Be careful when you are in a fully-crowded crowd and make sure to take an eye to your bag. If you need to take a phone call, don’t do this on the street or pavement but move into inside places such as convenience stores or shops. Don’t surfing your phone while walking too, as you may be snatched in surprise.
As foreigners come to Vietnam, transportation becomes a big deal. You can yourself ride a motorbike, but be careful because Vietnamese traffic system is chaotic and rather awful on rush hours, especially in big cities. In some places traffic laws are widely ignored and pavement for pedestrian usually be encroached for street vendors or food corners. If you still want to ride a bike, remember to have a reliable helmet.
Calling for a taxi is another alternative. However, one tip to survive by traveling by taxi is that you should not go in an unmarked taxi or motorbike driver. Instead Uber and Grab are much better and safer. You can call for Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi – which are two big and reputational taxi corporation in Vietnam. Do not take “xe om” or motorcycle taxis/cyclos/pedicabs at night and if you are solo backpacker or go alone. If you are out late at night, take only metered taxis and always keep in touch with your friends, telling them your recent location to make you safe. Another tip is booking a local to drive you around, but first remember to check truthfulness in advance.
Mai Linh taxi hotline: (028) 38 38 38 38
Vinasun taxi hotline: (028) 38 27 27 27
- A live-death fight: Vietnam crossing road!
Two of the most dangerous activities in Vietnam are crossing the street and driving/riding in traffic. Sound weirdo but practical, the tip is to let traffic avoid you! In big cities, people are crowded and move rather slow, you can walk onto the street when the red light is on and carefully move forward, people will avoid you. When you are similar to the road, crossing it is not that difficult anymore. One more tip to survive is not to be hesitant of motorbikes. Once you step on the road, keep moving forward and don’t draw back, just keep walking! You may ask for a local to take you cross the road, they know how to do smoothly and are always willing to help.
- Vietnam by night: safe or not?
Source: Georgios Domouchtsidis
Backpackers Vietnam will reply that it depends on how late it is and where you are at in Vietnam, we can say that it’s pretty safe if you want to go out at night. In big metropolis, it’s usual to walk or hang out around the day, and even night seems to be more lively than day. But it’s not the same in rural areas. Some tips are advised that you are not recommended to stay out late at night in these rural places as the crime tends to be higher.
- Learn some tips to avoid being ripped off
Source: Florian Wehde
When traveling in Vietnam, foreigners are highly tend to be ripped off by street vendors, who think that travelers are richer and have lots of money. Overcharging is somehow a culture thing when selling for Westerners. In such a situation, learning some basic Vietnamese is a good tip to survive, or if you are treated badly, just walk away or call for help. Learn some skills to bargain is acceptable, as many street vendors overcharge so you aren’t afraid to bargain if you feel the price is too high.
- Leaving belongings in hotels:
In luxury and reputational hotels in Vietnam, leaving belongings or unpacked luggage in the hotel is okay, but if you stay at motels or small hostels, be careful keeping your assets. There are many cases reported that travelers’ luggage are stolen. To make your trip safer, remember to leave your important belongings such as money and passports in a safe or a locked cabinet. The best advice is to lock your bag in case you have to leave it unattended. In Vietnam, break-ins are relatively common in rural areas.
- Call for help if you are in trouble
Unfortunately you are in Vietnam and get into trouble, just call for help. If you are in an emergency, you can call number 113 from a local phone, or call for your country’s embassy in Vietnam for help. The Vietnamese are very friendly and willing to help you out. Don’t hesitate to communicate with the local, and ask for what you don’t sure about. They can call the authorities for you to solve the problem without any delay.
Clara, 13th July 2019.