- Generally speaking, Vietnam is one of the safer places to travel in the current world environment but as with every where else in the world, it always pays to be cautious especially when traveling alone at night and it is advisable to stay in well lit and populated areas at all times.
- In general the people you meet will be extremely friendly and willing to help you where they can. However, be aware there is wide spread poverty among the population and petty crime is on the increase particularly in the popular tourist areas. Small utility bags and back packs, although very handy, serve to advertise where your valuables are so if using a bag of any kind, be mindful to keep it close to you at all times. This is especially important near the time of the Tet festival and at all times in the crowded market areas where pick pockets are often active.
- In many areas and especially in Hoi An, you will find it easy to hire motor scooters at very cheap rates. However, be warned, your international drivers licence is not recognized in Vietnam and unless you have an official licence issued by the traffic authority in Vietnam you will be driving unlicenced and you could easily receive a fine up to $US1,000. If involved in an accident, the financial consequences can be very harsh and driving unlicenced may cause complications with your travel insurance. A Vietnamese driving licence can be obtained and Hotel staff should be able to provide further information regarding latest policy and procedure.
NOTE: Your application for a driving licence will take approximately 1 week. It is essential you obtain a 3 month visa prior to entering Vietnam and bring with you a current international driving licence and spare passport photos if you plan to drive.
- When driving, ensure you stay vigilant at all times and assume nothing. The only thing you can be certain of is that nearly all other people on the road are about to do something silly or dangerous. The only question is, will it affect you!
- Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are common in Vietnam and there is really no need to carry large amounts of cash with you that may attract unwanted attention. Unless you are intending on making a large amount of purchases, 2 million VND is more than enough to see you through the day in most areas and not a lot to loose should the worse happen.
- During the wet season which occurs roughly between May and October in the North, August to January in the centre and November to January in the South, flooding on the coast or landslides in-land may cause delays to your travel. It is recommended you monitor weather conditions carefully to ensure the next leg of your journey can be undertaken safely before you move on. If a Typhoon or flooding should occur in your area, please follow the advice of your hotel staff and local authorities.
- It is easy to become relaxed while on holiday but it is important you stay aware at all times to help ensure you can continue to enjoy your holiday.