The safety of tourists in Vietnam
In any country, a tourist should take care of personal safety and the safety of his property so that some suspicious individuals do not have a desire to take it upon themselves.
Vietnam in 2012 was recognized as one of the safest countries of the Eurasian continent. Residents of the country are incredibly loyal to religious diversity. There are no racial prejudices. Therefore, the number of crimes against the person in Vietnam is minimal. But petty fraud and theft are common.
Personal Property Theft
Among the most common minor crimes in Vietnam are thefts. You need to carefully monitor your property, especially in shopping centers, markets, busy streets. Before leaving, close the windows and doors of your hotel room.
The objects of desire of local thieves are wallets, phones, cameras. Open robbery in Vietnam is a rather rare case. But to rip a handbag or a camera from the shoulder, pull the phone off the table, while the hapless tourist was distracted, snatching a wallet is a simple matter for the thieves.
Experienced tourists are advised not to carry large sums of money with them, but to make copies from documents. Authentic papers, like cash, are best left in the hotel safe. The Internet is available here in almost all cities, so you can save a scan of your documents, for example, in personal mail. In the case of theft of cash, jewelry, documents required to contact the police. If the passport has disappeared, the police must issue a certificate to restore the documents.
In many Asian countries, sellers are very annoying that immigrants from the post-Soviet space are a wonder. Both on the streets and in private stores can offer goods at an inflated price. Bargaining is necessary and possible here, but if the price is 3-4 times more than the cost of a similar product elsewhere, then you should not even start a conversation. Sometimes it is difficult to get rid of the sticky seller, but it will be even harder to pick up the change from him. And before you take the proposed product from the hands of the street seller, be sure to check the price.
If frank robbery almost never occurs here, then some Vietnamese simply consider it a matter of honor to alleviate your position by a few dollars. It is unlikely that the inhabitants of the Indochina peninsula know Ostap Bender, but by the number of relatively honest methods of taking money from tourists, they have already surpassed the great combinator.
Among the most common methods of fraud here are the following:
- Additional expenses during paid excursions. You should ask the guide in advance what is included in the program and whether you will have to pay, for example, for food, entrance and so on. In order not to part with the money at every step.
- False guides. In some popular places, especially in temples, there will always be people willing to accompany and show local sights to foreign tourists. Little sense from them, but a lot of attachment. For your services, an honorary escort you will be asked a considerable amount. Therefore, such an assistant must be abandoned immediately.
- Cheating with money. When paying in cash, be careful. This, however, concerns not only Vietnam. But here are dishonest sellers, ready to give you a bill with fewer zeros than required. For example, instead of 100,000 dong, give the money in denominations of 10,000.
- Divorce with plastic cards. It is possible to withdraw a certain commission when paying in restaurants or shops. It is advisable to clarify additional amounts before making a purchase or order. And in order not to be deceived it is better to connect an SMS alert before the trip. Then any purchase immediately reflected in the incoming message. Rolling a card in an allegedly faulty terminal and then switching to another device with apologies is also considered a classic. At this time, one purchase is paid twice.
- Toll bridges. There are no notes that the bridge belongs to someone, no. But for the passage through it from tourists may require payment. We recall Ostap Bender and the “Failure” in Pyatigorsk, we pretend that “I don’t understand yours” and leave.
- Expensive ride. Travel in transport for tourists may be somewhat more expensive. A taxi driver can make a mess with zeros, and a bus conductor on a blue eye can ask for a price twice as expensive as a regular Vietnamese passenger. We will find out the cost of tickets in advance and try to pay without surrender. Careful with rickshaws, and negotiate a fee for the trip in advance.
- Divorce on the street. Good-looking young people with badges, having caught a tourist on the street literally by the hand, will long talk about the plight of some Vietnamese office of “Horns and hoofs”, offer to fill out questionnaires, ask for help or simply beg for money. Do you need it?
And there are many such ways. Of course, hardly anyone will go to the frank robbery in Vietnam, especially in popular tourist places. But a few get rich at the expense of a representative of another country, here in the order of things. In order not to go to extremes, find out the price. Ask again, ask.
You can even ask to write it on paper, then it will be harder for the seller to give up his words. In the case of outright scams, and you can demand money back. But in the case of a dangerous situation, it can be anything, it is better to donate money and leave.
In any Asian country do not like conflicting foreigners. There is no need to exacerbate the situation in Vietnam, to make trouble, and in case of some controversial situation, try to prove yours. Even with the intervention of the police, the local population will unanimously prove that a “white” foreigner is to blame.
Do not enter into fights. Vietnamese men are usually of small stature and weight, but they are on their territory and they have many friends. So an honest one-on-one duel usually ends with a situation of “who is with Van, Tun, Dung and a dozen other guys”, traditionally of Asian appearance.
And about the night walks and in crowded places and not talk. Even in major European cities, tourists do not risk entering the remote areas in the dark.
Special vaccinations before a trip to Vietnam is not required. This country on the Indochinese peninsula is a popular tourist destination, the epidemiological situation here is quite good. But you need to take out medical insurance in order to get medical help if necessary. Some vaccinations can be done at will, but it is worth remembering that their action begins only 4-6 weeks after vaccination.
Sanitary conditions in Vietnam are normal, nutritional problems are rare. Although local dishes by our standards are somewhat unusual. Here, in the course of various additives and hot spices. Therefore, the feast of the abdomen should be arranged carefully, and in case of problems with the gastrointestinal tract, do not forget about your medications.
In a trip to Vietnam should adhere to such precautions:
- Drink only boiled or bottled water. But first, be sure to check the safety of the cork and protective ring around it.
- Fruits and vegetables should be eaten only after thorough washing with hot boiled water. You can also use special detergents.
- Wine is recommended to use only labeled. Do not drink local liquids unmarked.
- It is not advisable to use fresh juice and ice water. If in famous restaurants there is a guarantee that ice is made according to all safety rules, then in small cafes or shops you can get a bunch of pathogenic bacteria from a nearby river.
- Do not buy food from the trays. European pampered stomachs can not withstand the realities of the street Vietnamese cuisine. Therefore, it is better to dine in proven places.
- Naturally, in the hot season, glasses, hats and sunscreen are necessary so as not to get sunstroke or burn in the hot Vietnamese sun. Some Vietnamese diligently hide from its rays, wrapping themselves in clothing like mummies. Tanned skin here is a sign of a person engaged in heavy agricultural labor. And they do not understand the Russian people who diligently receive sunbathing on the beaches of Vietnam.
- To travel to the jungle, it is imperative to use prophylactic agents for malaria.
Many tour operators are advised when traveling to Asia to acquire medical insurance, which should be prescribed diseases that are common in these latitudes: tropical fever, malaria. Of course, insurance will not be required when applying for a visa and at customs. And, God forbid, it is not required at all. But if you have to resort to treatment, the insurance company will pay these costs. If you go to the hospital, you should inform the representatives of the insurance company and the Russian embassy.
Tourists who first came to the eastern countries with such a kind of movement, feel a real shock. Movement in Vietnam is right-sided. And although the majority of drivers are trying to drive on their side, but turns and rebuilds — this is already as anyone wants. Many people move only in an understandable order and often break all conceivable rules.
Crossing the road seems impossible at first. Dense traffic flow does not let people even at pedestrian crossings and traffic lights. But this does not stop any of the locals. You can often watch as the Vietnamese, not at all embarrassed, like small boats go through the moto and autoflow.
Do as they do. The main thing when crossing the road is not to twitch to the sides, go slowly without too much fuss and panic. Motor transport will smoothly flow around you. In the major tourist centers you can meet the traffic police, which will help to cross the roadway.
To get behind the wheel in Vietnam, you must have nerves of iron and endurance. In small villages it is quite simple, but not everyone can steer in large cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Hanoi.
The country has only internal driver’s license, certificates of international and Russian type are not valid. Therefore, if you wish, you can rent a scooter, but with an engine capacity of not more than 46 cubic centimeters. In extreme cases, a bicycle with an electric motor will do as well. For his driving rights are not required at all. You can move on a regular bike, sticking close to the sidewalk.
A couple of hours of movement in a chaotic stream, flavored with the constant horn of the horns, the pleasure is still there. Do not forget about pedestrians who constantly love to cross the road.
If a foreigner violated the rules in Vietnam or, even worse, got into a traffic accident, he is a priori guilty. This is where you will begin to recall, with love and longing, Russian traffic inspectors.
But if you try to drive around Vietnam on the same scooter, you can find a certain system in traffic:
- Who is in charge here on the road? Of course, trucks and buses. Skip ahead and do not resent.
- Move at the speed of the whole stream. The maximum speed in cities is 40 km / h, outside the city — 60 km / h. Here also roll smoothly, without sharp jumps and jerks sideways.
- Look in both. On the sides, back and forth. To avoid a situation like «you did not go here.»
- Be sure to wear a helmet. Fines for his absence on Russian rubles range from 250 to 500 rubles.
- And do not forget about the signal. Very useful thing. Helps to constantly inform others about their presence.
Parkings in the cities are few. It is customary to leave the car along the roads. For a few hours on paid parking lots, you will have to pay about 10–20 thousand dongs per car and 2–5 thousand per motorcycle. As a rule, restaurants and shopping centers offer free parking. The roads between the provinces of Vietnam are also paid.
From all of the above, it is worth making a conclusion: attentive should be everywhere. Especially during a trip to another country without knowing the language and local realities. Then the rest will take place, and the memories will not be overshadowed by various excesses.