Safety Guideline

Introduction

The aim of this document is to give our travellers an insight into the safety standards they should expect when on an. However, there is no set of guidelines can anticipate all possible conditions that may arise.

Transport

Crossing roads

If this is your first times to Asia, especially Vietnam you will be amazed or feeling be dropped to a new world as the traffic is weaving by motorbikes and cars as if they are crashing or hitting to you! No they are not! And you are safe, provided that you following some simple introduction:

  • Do as local do is always the best way to learn the experience of the trip and fun and for your safe: slowly and steady walk the crossing with no hesitation, motors, and cars will slow down or stop. No worry, no hurry!
  • Come to traffic light to wait until green light is up for walkers
  • Ask your guide to walk you crossing roads for a few times
  • Walk with locals
  • Ask any local near by to help as Vietnamese are very friendly and willing to help foreigners (most young people in big cities can speak some English)

Motorbikes

Motorbikes are fun way to get around, but they may also a high risk form of transport.

  • Local people grow up with them and live up with them, but you are not as you are driving car
  • “I drove motor in the past and it is easy!” Not here in Vietnam as traffic is not the same as your home.
  • In case you are sitting on the back of someone’s motor remember to get off and get in from your left side as the motor exhaust may burn your right foot.
  • Always wear helmet when you are on the riding though you may not see any local around wear them.
  • Before riding a motorbike should check the terms of travel insurance, as it will most likely exclude motorbike injuries unless you are licensed riders.

Boats and Ferries

Life jackets are available on all boat travel, and you may be asked to wear lifejackets, rather than just having them available to put on.

Security and other useful tips

Be careful with your valuables when walking at night in Saigon and in Nha Trang as there have been known for some motor snatchers. Some guidelines are:

  • Do not exchange money on the street.
  • Check all valuables into hotel safety box.
  • Do not buy copy books from street vendors in Hanoi old quarter as some of the vendors are tending to cheat you and ready to say some foul language at you if you don’t buy.
  • Upon leaving Saigon or Hanoi, travellers should arrange to arrive at the airport about 2 hours before taking an international flight and 1 hour before taking a domestic flight.

Some emergency number that you should take note:

  • Emergency police’s hotline: 113
  • Directory assistance number: 116
  • International operator number: 110
  • Asking general information number: 1080
  • Noi Bai airport in Hanoi: 04.3.884 3389
  • Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City: 08.3.844 3879

Food poisoning/ other health problems

Vietnam is a developing country and the health care system has been very much improved recently, as the country economy has been growing fast. In big cities you can get quite good health care services and good infrastructure. From our experience the frequent questions that travellers always ask “how is the malaria going on here?” Malaria is still exist in Vietnam but not in cities and in clean environment, it is the disease that people uphill – forest and near stream in border area with Cambodia live with, it is also a matter for some remote areas in Mekong river delta, especially the one who does not use mosquito net or having mosquito as friends. Some of the guidelines for this as below.

  • Should not drink tap water, and it should be well boiled before drink, or dink bottled water, we also recommend you to drink enough amount of water in hot and sunny days as shortage of body water may cause you a dehydration and bring you a headache or sickness.
  • Should eat well cooked food, as the food you eat here is not the same as the food and environment at home.
  • Should not stroke dogs, as in Vietnam in general, they are treated as guard dog, and they belong to spits group and always ready to bite strangers. Be careful with rabies!
  • The tropical sun is invisible burning your skin though it is not hot sometimes, exposure to sun is a real risk for travellers when doing any outside activity. We recommend that you slip, slop, slap at all times – that’s slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.

In case of illnesses or health problem ask hotel receptionist to help or contact right to your guide and go straight to hospital or nearest reliable clinic, remember to bring with you passport, travel insurance, and obtain a receipt or voucher after the treatment so that you can claim with a refund with insurance company when you are home. In most big cities International hospital or clinic are available for 24/24h.

Some of good Clinic and Medical care in large cities in Vietnam

  • In Hanoi:
    Doctors and Health Practitioners
    Add: Van Phuc Compound, 298 I Kim Ma Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
    Tel: 84-4-3 843 0748
    Fax: 84-4-3 846 1750
    Email: hanoi@vietnammedicalpractice.com
    Note: English-speaking doctors, 24 hours service
  • In Ho Chi Minh City:
    Doctors and Health Practitioners
    Add: Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
    Tel: 84-8-3 822 7848,
    Fax: 84-8-3 822 7859
    Email: hcmc@vietnammedicalpractice.com
  • In Danang:
    Family Medical Practice
    Add: 50-52 Nguyen Van Linh Street, Nam Duong Ward, Hai Chau District, Danang
    Tel: 84-511-3 582 700
    Fax: 84-511-3 583 049
    Email: danang@vietnammedicalpractice.com

Activities

Trekking

We do tailor-made trekking adventure tours for our clients in the Northwest and Northeast of Vietnam whether it be an overnight jaunt or a strenuous 7-day walk. Trekking should be the highlight of the trip, but as it necessarily involves travel in remote areas it also attracts a greater degree of risk. The following guidelines apply to all treks that we run:

  • All travellers should have the correct footwear and equipment for the trek. Organise this before leaving home.
  • Consult our operators about trekking routes that you interest and see weather your age is fit for it.
  • Our trekking guides know very well the trails they are leading so in case of rain may be slippery, land slide…they will change the route, and in this case don’t insist going on as it is your safety.

Water canoeing/kayaking/snorkelling

  • Have to be sure that you can swim before taking canoeing, kayaking… and lifejackets must be worn by all group members and guide when doing these organised activities.
  • Snorkelling should only be done by travellers who are proficient swimmers. Your guide will point out the geographical boundaries of the exact snorkelling site, and will designate a lookout who will not be snorkelling in the water. Before commencing snorkelling a communication system should be arranged for anyone who wants to convey distress – usually one arm raised straight (not waving!).