I've done my fair share of traveling, but typically, I have had a partner or it has been in a country that I've become familiar with. I am living in Thailand, so I have done plenty of lone-traveling here comfortably. I am planning a trip to Vietnam in April. I will likely be flying into Hanoi and doing the north by myself before meeting up with friends later in the trip. I am just wondering if Vietnam feels like a relatively safe, for a girl traveling alone? I feel comfortable living and traveling alone in Thailand, so I am just wondering if I should expect similar in Vietnam.
Also, suggestions are appreciated for less-touristy type things to do in Hanoi area before my friends arrive. I will save Halong Bay to do with them, but any suggestions on things to do with a bit longer time in the area is great!
#1 andreaze has been a member since 20/2/2012. Posts: 2
Vietnam is perfectly safe for you, but you will notice quite a difference from Thailand (or the other Indochinese nations). The Vietnamese are more aggressive when dealing with tourists - this will mainly concern you with transport - cab drivers, cyclo and xe om (motorbike taxi) drivers will routinely scam you (there are exceptions to this rule if you pick carefully, I insist on Mai Linh Group cabs only). If you're easily intimidated, then this might be the wrong country for you, but if you can stand your ground, you'll be fine. Once you get to know the country, this will be much less of a problem, and I didn't mean to imply that all Vietnamese are nasty or mean - quite the contrary, they're warm and wonderful people for the most part.
If you like to walk and explore, then you will not run out of things and places to fill your time in Hanoi - the Old Quarter is one of the most interesting areas in all of SE Asia. Just walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, and several students will engage you in conversation - they want to practice their English.
You must remember that Vietnam is quite a bit poorer than Thailand - for this reason, I suggest you not display excessive wealth of any kind, and be especially careful with purses/backpacks and expensive cameras. If you go to Hanoi's weekend Night Market, PLEASE do not take any bag at all!