Vietnam

Vietnam

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and has borders with Cambodia, Laos, and China. Vietnam also has coastline on the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and the South China Sea. The population is approximately 91 million people.

Vietnam is a communist single-party state. The chief of state is a president, and the head of government is a prime minister.

Vietnam’s economy has struggled to recover from the effects of years of warfare. In addition, the country lost financial support from the USSR after the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc. The government has made some changes to move from a centrally-planned economy to a market economy. Vietnam is presently considered one of the most rapidly growing economies in Southeast Asia.

Tourism has been increasing in Vietnam, and in 2010, there were over 5 million international visitors to Vietnam. Tourists can visit the many national parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, pagodas, temples, as well as beach and seaside resort areas.

Currency VND: Dong
Language Vietnamese
Capital Hanoi
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert June 22, 2017 - Dramatic increases in dengue fever in Vietnam

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Vietnam. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Malaria

High risk areas in Vietnam include rural and forested areas. These areas include highland areas below 1500 meters (3,281 ft) in the following provinces: Dak Lac, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Binh Phuoc, and the western parts of Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Quang Nam and Quang Tri. There is no malaria risk in the Red River delta and the coast north of Nha Trang. There is no malaria risk in Can Tho, Da Nang, Haiphong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hue, Nha Trang, and Qui Nhon. There is no risk of malaria in urban centres, such as the cities of Da Nang, Haiphong, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Qui Nhon.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis occurs countrywide and year-round, especially from May to October in the northern provinces bordering China and around Hanoi. The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but visiting the listed areas and extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Vietnam through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Vietnam.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Vietnam, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks occur all year long throughout Vietnam, with the peak season May through October.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is a viral disease that occurs throughout Vietnam.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Vietnam are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Vietnam. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Cholera

Cholera has occurred in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika virus has occurred in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Vietnam.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in Vietnam. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Japanese encephalitis occurs year-round in this country with seasonal peaks from May to October, especially in the north. The highest rates occur in the northern provinces around Hanoi and northwestern provinces bordering China. Vaccination is recommended for travellers who visit the high-risk areas during the seasonal peaks and engage in extensive outdoor activities while visiting rural and/or rice farming areas.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Vietnam.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. In some areas, anti-malaria drug resistance for mefloquine and chloroquine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Vietnam

Emergency Numbers

113
114
115

Personal Safety

Most travellers have no safety problems in Vietnam. Petty crime, such as theft or pick-pocketing, is common in Vietnam, especially from hotels, in tourist areas, and on crowded buses or trains. Thieves on motorcycles sometimes grab bags and other valuables off of pedestrians and even other people on motorbikes. Travellers should ensure their personal belongings, valuables, and travel documents are kept safe at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as wearing expensive clothing.

Travellers should only use registered taxi services located outside of the airport and check the fare with the driver before leaving. There have been reports of individuals posing as taxi drivers and forcing foreigners to withdraw money from automated banking machines. Never use a taxi if it is occupied by an unknown person other than the driver.

Never leave food or drinks unattended as there have been reports of drugging, robbery and assault.

Scams targeting tourists occur, with gambling scams being the most common. Travellers should be aware that gambling outside of licensed casinos is illegal in Vietnam. Credit card forgery is also common in Vietnam. Travellers should be cautious when using their credit cards. Watch retailers closely and avoid using credit cards in smaller establishments.

Hotels will require guest passports in order to register them with the local authorities, however, it is not legally necessary for the hotel to keep your passport for the duration of your stay. Travellers may request their passports to be returned after hotel staff has registered them with the authorities.

Unexploded landmines are still a hazard in rural areas of central Vietnam. If travelling in these areas, do not step off of the road.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations and strikes are prohibited in Vietnam and punishable with heavy penalties and jail time. Travellers should avoid any public demonstrations and always follow the advice of local authorities.

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