Living in Vietnam is great. The weather is nice, people are friendly, and food is delicious. However, this is still a developing country and there are safety issues you need to be aware of.
Knowing how to deal with these problems and protect yourself is crucial. In fact, it can even save your life.
In this article, I’ll share three of the best safety tips I know. Each of these has helped me avoid serious trouble, and allowed me to rescue people who were in a very dangerous situation.
If you’re in Vietnam, or planning to visit Southeast Asia, you need to read this entire article.
The information I’m about to share is lifesaving.
Three Outstanding Vietnam Safety Tips
Most travel blogs offer up advice like “drink bottled water” or “carry a bag of trail mix with you.” This is common sense stuff meant for very tame trips. The target audience for these articles are usually senior citizens visiting Rome, or families going to Disney World.
Nothing wrong with this, but it’s not suitable information for a rough and tumble adventure.
Vietnam is a country where you’re “on your own.” It’s not a major tourist destination (like Italy or Paris), and some areas of infrastructure are lacking. Especially when it comes to traffic safety.
Because of this, I want to give you “real deal” information that’s actually useful for your trip.
As a result, we’ll cover topics like lock picking, first aid, and digital security.
Real issues that really matter.
1. Learn Basic Survival Skills
Vietnam isn’t a hot spot for crime. In my whole time living there, I’ve never felt unsafe. Locals are friendly and street gangs are almost nonexistent.
That said, shit does happen.
And when it does, you should always be prepared.
(The Best Book On Learning How To Fend For Yourself)
That’s why it’s important to develop practical survival skills.
Knowing how to pick a lock, secure your hotel room, and win a fist fight are all crucial skills.
And if that sounds silly, I’ve got a personal example proving otherwise.
Last May I was in an office building when the power went out. Some people were trapped on an elevator and unable to get out. Luckily, I knew how to pick locks.
Minutes later, I had the elevator door open and was pulling the trapped people to safety.
That one simple skill helped to get half a dozen folks out of a very uncomfortable situation.
I’d suggest reading at least one or two survival books (100 Deadly Skills is a good start) so you know how to stay safe in an emergency. This way you’re prepared if anything bad happens.
2. Keep Your Important Documents Safe From Scanners
Identity theft is becoming a major issue around the world.
In recent years, Eastern European criminals are going to Thailand to steal credit card and personal information.
These crooks use cheap digital scanners to steal bank names, bank accounts, and card numbers from unsuspecting tourists. And because this crime is done wirelessly, it’s almost impossible to catch them.
Although this isn’t a big issue in Vietnam, I’d err on the side of caution.
(These RFID Blocker Sleeves Keep All Your Personal Information Safe)
For eight bucks on Amazon, you can get a 15-piece set of RFID blocker sleeves. These store your cards and passport, shielding them from digital readers and card scanners.
I keep my passport and debit cards in these, and have never had an issue with identity theft.
3. Invest In A First Aid Kit
Vietnam’s traffic is crazy. People merge lanes at will, stop signs go ignored, and drunk riving laws are rarely enforced.
As a result, accidents happen.
If you’re planning on renting a motorbike in Vietnam, you need to invest in a good first aid kit. This way you’re well prepared in case anything bad should happen.
I carry one of these with me, and it’s helped immensely. Last year some people behind me got cut up in a fender-bender. The injuries weren’t life-threatening, but they were bleeding. Using my first aid kit, I helped bandage them up while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
While there are lots of first aid kits on the market, but I recommend this 299-piece set from Amazon.
It’s got all the medical supplies you’ll need.
Bring it with on your trip and throw it in your motorbike’s trunk. Hopefully you won’t need it. But, if you do, it will be there to help.
Special Bonus: Carry A Flashlight With You
Whenever you go out at night, bring a flashlight with you!
Certain roads don’t have street lights and get very dark once the sun sets.
I keep a J5 Tactical Ultra Bright Flashlight in my motorbike, and it’s helped me countless times. I’ve used it to read street signs, spot roadways, and avoid hazards (like potholes).
This is also a good tool for power outages, and it’s incredibly helpful when hiking or camping.
There are tons of situations where you’ll want to see better at night. So it’s always smart to have a flashlight with you whenever you’re out in the dark.