Safety Policy

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Safety Policy

 

Overall Vietnam is a reasonably safe country, and most people you meet will be friendly, honest and trustworthy, however, travel and living conditions are different from your home country, so be alert.

Be aware that local laws and penalties, even those which may seem harsh by your home country standards, do apply to you. For example, there are strictly enforced laws which prohibit demonstrations unless they have prior approval from the government. Penalties for drug offences are severe, and include the death penalty, as do certain other serious crimes.

The rainy season occurs between May and November in southern Vietnam (from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh city). During these time severe rainstorms can cause landslides in mountain and remote areas in the north which may interrupt essential services. Rural areas near the central may be subject to flooding. Typhoons can occur during the wet season along the central coasts. You should monitor weather reports if travelling in affected areas. If a natural disaster occurs you should follow the advice of the local authorities.

The police in Vietnam are generally very friendly, though they speak very little English except in big cities like Ha Noi and Sai Gon where some police can generally speak simple fluent English. If you are lost then ask for directions as they will usually be happy to help. For better communications, simple notes with common expressions both in Vietnamese and English are recommended, and also carry a card with your hotel’s name and address in Vietnamese as well as English writing.

By and large, Vietnam is safe, but petty crime is on the increase and tourists are particularly vulnerable so precautions and common sense are still advisable, particularly at night, and particularly around the expatriate bar areas. Here are some pointers:

1. Try not to carry large amounts of money or obvious symbols of wealth, and keep your wallet or purse out of sight (back pockets are a big no). Pickpockets tend to operate in crowded areas, for example the public bus, so in busy areas make sure that you carry your bags where you can see them - for example a backpack, even a small daypack, is extremely vulnerable. Wallets, mobile phones, cameras, jewellery and laptops are tempting targets for thieves.
2. Make sure that you protect your passport, tickets, visa documents etc by carrying them on your person, preferably underneath clothing in a pouch or money belt. Never leave valuables lying around your hotel room or in your car. And if you are backpacking or staying in hostels buy a padlock so that you can secure your possessions in lockers, or enquire about a safe deposit at the hotel.
3. Carry a photocopy of your passport and other vital documents separately be particularly careful at night. At all times try to stick to busy, well-lit places.
4. Make sure that you take notice of advice from our local guides. If they tell you an area is unsafe, do not go there.

You may well come across beggars in Vietnam, particularly in the larger cities. In the vast majority of cases you shouldn't feel threatened or intimidated, but if you do report the incident to the police. And if you want to hand out money, make sure that you exercise some caution and common sense. For example do not flash around a huge wallet but carry some loose change.

As elsewhere in the world, in Vietnam you may come across people who try to exploit the unsuspecting. When on holiday, tourists often let down their guard and that makes them especially vulnerable to scams. So again, caution and common sense are vital. For example, beware of people on the street side who offer services of money exchange. If you do need to exchange money, do it in the Bank or at the star-rated hotel. When you are shopping check your change carefully – if you are using large denomination bills, make sure that you get good, clean and genuine notes in your change.

 

 

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