Vietnam is one of the safest countries in South East Asia for traveling, even more than many big European and American cities. Women and independent travelers have found it relatively hassle-free and easy to travel throughout the country.
Some safe tips:
- Petty theft, such as pickpockets and drive-by bag snatchers, is more rampant in Ho Chi Minh than elsewhere in the country. Travellers are advised to avoid wearing extravagant jewelry or carrying large amounts of money when walking in the streets, should leave all valuables at hotel. If you do choose to drive a motorbike or ride a bicycle, always wear a helmet. And do not taking cyclos or go out on your own late at night, especially in HCMC or as a female. while on the trains, especially the night trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai, please make sure all your luggage is safely locked, stowed out of sight or attached to an immovable object, and not near open windows.
- The traffic. Trying to cross the street in Hanoi or HCMC is really an adventure! Be careful when facing a tightly-packed stream of scooters, bikes and cyclos which looks completely chaotic. The key is to walk slowly and steadily out into the traffic. As long as you keep a steady pace and make your movements clear, the traffic will flow round you. Problems arise if you stop or move too quickly and the drivers/riders can’t anticipate your progress.
But don't hesitate to travel Vietnam. Thousands of people visit Vietnam each year without experiencing any problems whatsoever. Just take the same precautions you would in any unfamiliar place, and you should be fine here, in our country.