Is Vietnam Really Safe To Travel Alone? What You Need To Know

Boats on the Red River in Hanoi

Vietnam is truly an amazing place to travel, live, or visit. The country has caught the attention of many travelers as they have discovered Vietnam’s allure. I have lived in Vietnam for many years and have traveled throughout the country.

Vietnam is a very safe place to travel alone. But with any country you are going to visit, there are a few things you should know about Vietnam and how to ensure you are safe during your travels.

Here are some of my tips to ensure you remain safe during your travels to Vietnam:

Keep your belongs secure

With any travel, you need to keep an eye on your belongings. Thieves are always out looking for people they can cheat you or rob. It would help if you took precautions with your personal belongings.

I always use a backpack as I feel this is safer than a purse. If you have a purse, have a zipper on it so that the robbers cannot just reach into it and take your money. I also always have two wallets. One with my credit cards and larger cash can pull out when I need it for a larger purchase. I will always hide and secure this wallet somewhere in the backpack that is hard for anyone to reach in and find. I also have a smaller wallet with cash in it that I use for smaller Also expending for small expenses, I have a zipper pocket on my backpack where I put my small money for taxis and other small expenses.

I would suggest that every traveler consider getting themselves a perfect anti-theft backpack. I like a brand called Pacsafe. I like them because their backpacks and bags do not look and feel like an anti-theft bag. You can view their entire collection by clicking here.

There are snatch and grab robberies

Vietnam has a lot of snatches and grabs robberies. This is especially true for motorcycles. That is why you usually see the Vietnamese with a purse strapped securely around them or a backpack that will not come off easily. If you are on a motorbike, you must secure your belongings properly. Most motorbikes in Vietnam have a hook on them that can be locked.

Robbers are known to come up beside someone on a motorbike and then grab a bag that is not secure and drive off. Or if you are walking down the street and you put your bag down for a moment, they may ride up, grab it and ride off. Be aware of this, especially in the areas there are a lot of foreigners or tourists. Many of these robbers patrol those streets looking for their next victim.

Keep belongings locked and safe

Always keep your belongings locked and safe. Invest in a travel lock. Lock up your suitcase if you put it under a bus or on the train. I had heard of instances in Asia where people would get under a bus when the bus was traveling and start opening up the suitcases to look for valuables. I had a friend who put 5,000 USD cash in a suitcase under a bus, and by the time he reached Hanoi, the suitcase was there, but the cash was gone.

Also, if you have valuables in a hotel, you can lock them in a suitcase. I even do this when I am traveling in the United States as you never know what could get lost. I think if you have a lock, then use it.

If your hotel has a safe, use it

Not all hotels have a hotel safe, but if you have a safe in your hotel, use it to put your valuables, extra cash, and credit cards or ID that you will not use on your trip. When I am out traveling, I never carry my entire wallet with me.

For example, I will pull out things like my US Drivers License, credit cards I do not use, and other ID’s that I do not need. There is no reason to carry around these things that you do not need, which could just get stolen. If you do get robbed, you will still have some ID and credit cards left.

Use a reputable taxi company or use Grab

In Vietnam, there are many taxi cab companies. I have used most of the taxi companies at one time or another. The major issue I have had is that some of the off-brand taxi companies may change their meters to pay double or triple what the fare should actually cost.

That is a reason why if you ask your hotel to get you a cab, they may call a cab and have you wait on a taxi they have called. The reason is they may not trust the other taxi cab companies.

Grab is another alternative, and many times it is cheaper than a taxi. But make sure you get in the correct Grab car and not just any car, even if a driver tries to stop to see if you want a ride. We did this once, and it did not end very well as the driver wanted a lot more money than what should have been the normal rate. Stay safe and use a reputable company or Grab.

You can download the Grab App from this link onto your phone. You can even order a Grab motorbike or share a ride on Grab. I personally use Grab quite a bit as I usually find it easier than a taxi as the amount to be paid is set before you get in the car, so if the driver decides to go a longer route, it would not matter.

Motorbikes or bikes will get stolen if you do not lock them properly.

If you decide to rent a motorbike or bicycle, it will get stolen if you do not lock it up properly. That is why throughout Vietnam will find certain places to park your bikes or motorbike, and they will give you a tag; you may also need to pay a bit of money. This is usually very secure and the best places you can park a bike or motorbike.

As a word of caution, do not lose the tag they have given you, or you may have a hard time to get the motorbike or cycle out again. Most places that give out these tags will check them very carefully.

Never flash around cash

Do not flash your cash around. This is just common sense, but this is also one reason why I pointed out earlier in the article that I had several wallets, or I never took my wallet out to pay for small pocket change.

Many robbers will roam the tourist areas or check out the ATM”s and see who has a lot of cash on them. So it is best to be careful when you take cash out of an ATM, look around the area, check that there is no one watching you, and then put the cash away and do not flash it around.

Have a photocopy of your passport and visa incase your passport gets lost or stolen

If your passport gets stolen or lost, it would be wise to have a photocopy or a photo of your passport and visa. This will make things easier for you when you have to report this to the police and the embassy.

Whenever you stay at a hotel in Vietnam, they will ask you for your passport to take a copy and register you as a guest. This is a normal procedure in Vietnam. They need this to register your visit. Sometimes if you come in late at night, they may ask you to keep it overnight. I had never had a problem when they had to keep it overnight. The reason they are doing this is all foreign guests must be registered with the proper authorities.

Vietnam is a safe place to visit, but you need to watch and check your personal belongings like any other place. The main crimes against foreigners in Vietnam are petty. Foreigners should take care of their personal belongings, especially when they are in a tourist area.

Related Questions

Is Vietnam safe for female travelers to travel alone?

I have met a lot of women who are traveling to Vietnam alone. I have also traveled alone in Vietnam and have never felt in any personal danger. But with all kinds of travel, you need to be careful about your personal belongings’ safety.

iIs Vietnam safe for families to travel?

Vietnam is safe for families to travel. There are many families with children of all ages who are traveling throughout Vietnam. But with all the things you should watch your children, do not allow them to wander off independently. Also, make sure they keep their belongings secure.

Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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