Below would be the usual question about health and safety in Vietnam, which we have collected from practical. Hope that it can help you as a local guide!
Q1: IS VIETNAM A GOOD DESTINATION FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELLERS?
A1: Vietnam is one of the safest destinations for solo female travellers in the region. Vietnamese people are for the majority, non-confrontational, and are quite shy around foreigners. That being said, use your judgement wisely. In cities especially Ho Chi Minh City, women should look out for bag snatching from motorists driving by..
Q2: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SICKNESSES TRAVELLERS GET IN VIETNAM?
A2: Most likely, the worst you’ll come home with is the common cold or some minor stomach woes. Heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and dehydration can be an issue in the hot season. Stay vigilant about hydration and applying sunblock..
Q3: IS THERE A MALARIA RISK IN VIETNAM?
The risk of contracting malaria is heightened in the rural highlands. Consider taking anti-malarial medication before traveling to remote region. A more common mosquito-borne disease is dengue fever, which has been more frequent throughout the nation over the last few years. The best preventative measure is to wear bug spray at all times and cover your ankles and arms early in the evening, around sunset.
Q4: WHAT TO PREPARE BEFORE YOU GO TO VIET NAM?
A4: Before traveling to Vietnam, be sure to purchase insurance for your trip. Two months before you leave, you should also consult your doctor or local travel clinic for the latest information on health risks in Vietnam and to receive any vaccinations you may need.
Pregnant women should consult their doctors for specialised advice. Anti-malarial drugs and many diarrhoea treatments are not completely safe during pregnancy.
If you have a medical condition or allergy of which requires particular attention, carry a doctor’s letter with you that describes the nature of the condition and treatment needed. We also recommend you pack a medical kit with:
DEET-based insect repellent
Paracetemol or ibuprofen for pain relief
Anti-itch ointment, such as hydrocortison
Antihistamine for allergy treatment, such as zertec, benadryl
Bacitracin for wound care, such as neosporin
Diarrhoea treatment, such as imodium.
Q5: WHAT ABOUT HOSPITAL IN VIET NAM?
A5: Major cities such as Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh have a number of state-owned and private hospitals with English-speaking staff. While small pharmacies are common in almost any Vietnamese city, in the rural areas you may be far from the nearest pharmacy or hospital.
Q6: WHAT ARE COMMON HEALTH ISSUES IN VIET NAM?
A6: asthma, allergy, malaria, dengue fever, sunburn, dehydration, heatstroke, traveller’s diarrhoea, fleas, bed bugs, lice, rabies,….
Q7: POLLUTION IN VIETNAM?
A7: Air pollutants may aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms. Symptoms include scratchy throat and nasal drip. For anyone with respiratory ailments, invest in a small mask while travelling around metropolitan areas, or plan to spend more time in the countryside if possible..
Q8: MOQUITO-BORNE DISEASES IN VIET NAM?
A8: The risk of contracting malaria is heightened in the rural highlands. Consider taking anti-malarial medication if you plan to travel to any remote destinations in Vietnam. Dengue fever has become increasingly problematic in Southeast Asia and occurs mostly in the Mekong Delta, including Ho Chi Minh City. With no vaccines available, the best preventive measure is to wear bug spray during the hours of sunrise and sunset..
Q9: HEALTH PROBLEMS RELATED TO HEAT CONCERNS IN VIET NAM?
A9: Vietnam tends to be hot and humid year round. Don’t underestimate the strength of the sun. Sunburn can happen quickly: it’s best to wear sunscreen throughout the day. Be vigilant with reapplication, especially at beachside destinations. Dehydration is another concerns, as well as heat exhaustion, which may show up in symptoms such as headaches and irritability. Drink plenty of water. Heatstroke is a more serious consequence of overexposure to sun and may require hospital treatment. If you’re feeling weak, dizzy, nauseous, and have a temperature of over 41°C, get medical help immediately..
Q10: WHAT ABOUT FOOD-RELATED ILLNESS IN VIET NAM?
A10: Traveller’s diarrhoea is a common concern when in new countries. Stick to bottled water and avoid ice in rural areas. To avoid contracting bacteria, look for restaurants with a high turnover of customers and those that prepare freshly cooked food. Generally street food in Vietnam is quite safe, but always use your own judgement when choosing from vendors. If you experience stomach upsets or diarrhoea, take rehydration salts and stay hydrated. If the problems persist, seek medical attention..
Q11: I’M WORRIED ABOUT INSECTS AND ANIMALS IN VIETNAM…
A11: These are sometimes an issue when when staying in hostels and other shared dormitories, and sometimes even in hotels. Seek help at the nearest clinic if you’re suffering from the bites of fleas, bed bugs, and/or lice. Be on the lookout for rabies when in contact with animals, wild or domesticated. Avoid the monkeys on Cat Ba Island when touring Ha Long Bay. When jungle trekking, be wary of ticks, leeches and poisonous snakes lurking in the undergrowth. Seek medical assistance immediately if bitten.
Q12: ARE THERE MANY THEFT IN VIETNAM?
A12: 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..
Q13: WHAT ABOUT TAXI SCAMS IN VIET NAM?
A13: 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. .
Q14: DO TOURIST SCAMS COMMON IN VIET NAM?
A14: 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..
Q15: WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL SCAMS IN VIET NAM?
A15: Overcharging street vendors, The cyclo Scam, The taxi scam, The restaurant scam,.
Q16: WHAT IS RESTAURANT SCAM IN VIET NAM
A16: Most restaurants in Vietnam serve peanuts and give wet tissues in packets. These aren’t free. People happily munch on the peanuts and use the wet wipes thinking it’s complimentary. Especially after the waiter opens both before placing them on the table. You have to pay for them.
When it comes to beer, always keep track of how many you’ve had. Some waiters will charge you for extra and pocket the cash. Always check the bill before paying. There are also restaurants that don’t display the price correctly on their menu or in defiance of Vietnamese law, in USD. You’ll always be overcharged here when they convert to the local currency..
Q17: WHAT IS CYCLO SCAM IN VIET NAM
A17: You’ll see lots of cyclos roaming the streets of Vietnam. Cyclos aren’t a form of transport for the locals; they’re here for the tourists and an exorbitant fee. The rider entices you by saying that it’s cheap. Once you engage, he tries his best to convince you to take his mini-tour of the city, and might even show you his convenient notebook full of handwritten reviews from satisfied foreigners.
You get on, and he takes you around the city. Suddenly the cyclo stops in an unfamilair neighbourhood and starts demanding a huge sum of money, which you didn’t agree. Virtually all cyclos are scams in Vietnam, regardless of how charming they seem or glowing their fake reviews are..
Q18: WHAT IS OCERCHARGING STREET VENDOR SCAM IN VIET NAM
A18: Areas full of tourists such as District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City and Hoan Kiem in Hanoi are full of overcharging locals. Vendors sell souvenirs and street food, but, usually, no price is stated. Don’t let this deter you, but be aware that you’ll probably pay $5 for something a local gets for less than $1.
The friendly and helpful coconut seller wandering around District 1 is also one big scam. He will pose for photographs and give you a coconut without you even asking, insisting it’s yours. Naively, you think he’s trying to be helpful to tourists. Not the case. He then demands money, typically 200,000 VND ($9) and becomes aggressive if you don’t pay..
Q19: WHAT ARE GENERAL NOTES FOR HEATLTH CARE ISSUES IN VIET NAM?
A19: If you’ve fallen sick in Vietnam and if it’s nothing serious, you can get medication from any pharmacy. Don’t try and tell them what’s wrong. Instead, have a list of the names of the medication you need and tell the pharmacist that’s all you want. If not, they’ll give you a bag of multi-coloured pills in tiny packets and say you need to take them all over the next few days. Many pharmacies make their profit from selling medicine. Typical pharmacists outside of touristy areas have limited English.
For more severe health issues, for example, motorcycle accidents or a tropical disease, don’t expect much at a local hospital. You may find yourself sat inside without understanding what’s happening for several hours and being given unknown medicine.
Most staff including the doctors in local hospitals don’t speak English. Communication can be a big problem unless you have a local friend to help you. Don’t go and see the doctor for minor things, rest for a few days to avoid the trouble.
Getting admitted to any international hospitals where staff and doctors speak English without insurance comes at a high cost. If you do have insurance, make use of it, and it’s recommended to go international for a higher quality of treatment and to avoid miscommunication..
Q20: WHERE SHOULD I GO TO WHEN I FEEL SICK?
A20: You can contact the closest Medical Base, or use google translate to ask for guide of local residence.
Q21: WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR IN VIETNAM?
A21: Do not consume tap water, buy bottled water
Wah you hands, observe basic hygiene rules
Avoid wandering animals
Do not eat bad smelling food
Wash fruit and vegetables.
Q22: FAKE COPS IN VIETNAM?
A22: • put the keys of the motorcycle in your pocket so they can‘t take them out of the ignition
• watch how they behave, whether they are in a hurry, or seem nervous or behave suspiciously
• check their ID > ask for an official badge and see they are wearing their name
• in case of a problem, call the police, telephone number 113
• they are supposed to say hello to you, introduce themselves and treat you politely.
Q23: HOW TO BEHAVE IN A VILLAGE WITH ETHNIC INHABITANTS
A23: • do not use drugs – the use and sale of drugs in Vietnam is illegal
• do not touch the sacred objects
• dress appropriately (long trousers/ pants, dresses…)
• do not drink alcohol in the village and do not be noisy ( you can drink the rice wine with the locals )
• it is not recommended to kiss in the villages
• be careful when taking pictures (especially with the older people and children, ask for permission and then show the finished photo)
• go in to a house only if you are invited (you can also bring a small gift – for example fruit and balloons for children)
• do not give the money and sweets to children or teenager (give them only small items, or small toys for the children)
• to show appreciation of their hospitality you can buy a handmade object
• if you are invited for lunch or a homestay accomodation – of course do pay.
Q24: WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF LOST OR STOLEN PASSPORT?
A24: If your travel documents are stolen or you lose it, you need to contact police and then go to your embassy in Hanoi. It is recommended for the first time to call your embassy.
YOU MUST BRING:
– 2 color photographs with dimensions of 3,5 x 4,5 cm
– police report on the event issued by Vietnam police
– a copy of a lost / stolen passport (if you have one)
– money for payment the fee according to the current exchange rate