Safe Travel in Vietnam

There are no significant security risks associated with travel to Viet Nam, although travellers should be alert to the potential for petty crime.

Foreign tourists can be a target for petty crime in Viet Nam.  Bag slashing can occur in crowded areas such as markets, trains, buses and supermarkets.  Snatch and grab theft from thieves on motorbikes is common in tourist areas, particularly in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang.   

When walking in public areas and travelling on public transport we recommend that you pay close attention to your personal belongings. We advise carrying a photocopy of the biodata page from your passport for identification and leaving the passport in a safe place such as your hotel safe. 

There have been reports of taxi scams involving foreigners, upon arrival at airports.  Travellers are advised to use common sense and to take airport taxis, prearranged hotel transfer services or taxis from clearly marked ranks with minders. Ensure that any person holding a placard with your name on it knows your destination. 

Civil unrest
Political dissent is rare in Viet Nam and protests are generally not tolerated.  We recommend you avoid any protests and demonstrations that do occur as they have the potential to turn violent and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities. 

There is a danger from unexploded landmines in former battlefields, particularly in central Viet Nam and along the Laos border.  Mined areas may be unmarked.  We advise you not to stray off well used roads and paths in rural areas. 

Piracy is a problem in coastal areas of Viet Nam, particularly in the Vung Tau area. Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures in these areas. For more information see the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy report 

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Viet Nam should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. 

New Zealanders in Viet Nam are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.