Vietnam Security Assessment
Normal Travel Precautions
Normal travel precautions apply while traveling in Vietnam. Pickpocketing and other petty crimes are common. Most pickpockets gather near hotels frequented by foreign tourists and businesspeople.
The Vietnamese government may not allow people to travel to certain areas that are deemed sensitive. These limitations may hinder the ability of foreign governments to offer assistance to their citizens in Vietnam. Areas near the Vietnamese borders with China, Cambodia, and Laos often aren’t marked, and travelers have been detained after traveling in these areas.
Take care when choosing ground transportation upon arrival. Use only airport taxis or vehicles provided by hotels. Western governments strongly discourage the use of motorcycle taxis, as they are unregulated and often unsafe. Passengers are prone to accidents and theft.
Road conditions are poor nationwide, and traffic accidents occur frequently.
Take care when traveling or staying the night in a boat. Some boat companies have severe weaknesses in their safety precautions, and travelers have died in boating accidents.
Photography of anything that could be related to the military or security could result in a fine, detainment for questioning, or delayed travel.
Primary Sources: The US Department of State's "International Travel" website (travel.state.gov/travel/), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" website (www.smartraveller.gov.au), and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's "Foreign Travel Advice" website (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/).
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