Hoi An - an ancient city on Vietnam's central coast which is famous all over the world for its unique combined culture identity from both Western and Eastern countries, wonderful tourist attractions, tasty traditional foods and friendly locals. Although Hoi An is so beautiful, but sometimes terrible things might occur in an unexpected way. In this article, we will list some dangers and scams that might happen to visitors and some travel tips to stay safe in Hoi An for tourists.
Although Hoi An’s beaches usually have lifeguards but visitors still need to be careful at all times. The waves of the ocean are quite rough and heavy leads to the injuries and fatalities of many local people here, especially from October to March. Tourists need to be aware, do not forget to stay and swim only in the safe areas as indicated.
Traffic in Vietnam in general and Hoi An in particular is super chaotic. Every vehicles including cars, buses, motorbikes, bicycles are on the streets with no arrangement. Moreover, although Hoi An does have traffic lights on every street, but pedestrians need to watch every vehicles are running towards when crossing the roads as some people in Vietnam they do not follow the rules, go fast and still cross the red lights. According to some researches and reports, Vietnam has the highest rate of motorbike and car accidents that cause death. To be safe when going outside, tourists need to be very careful in every move. Do not freaking out if some locals honk many times and even shouting at you.
Boat Rides Safety
For some visitors who want to have a boat trip to discover Hoi An, do not forget to follow safety instructions and wear a life jacket. If you are feeling unwell, do not take a risk.
For tourists who want to stay safe in Hoi An, please be aware as typical crimes in here is pickpocketing of many thefts. The streets in Hoi An are very crowded, especially in Hoi An Ancient Town, so it is easy for criminals. There are many ways for thefts to pickpockets you, the most common way is when you are walking around, people may approach, especially women who act friendly to you, saying hello, shaking your hands with the aims to distract your attention for their accomplice action. When you realise your phone or wallet have gone, they have already escaped. Even if you report it to the police, they might cannot help you as it is so hard to find someone you just met for 1 minute and without any prove. In the worst circumstances, if you go alone, you might be beaten by bandits, even during the day. Therefore, you must be careful with their belongings, keep it with you at all times.
After Dark Safety
To travel safely in Hoi An, tourists need to be careful at night. Many stories are told by Western tourists about they are used by Xe Om drivers and drug addicts when they were too drunk, they might be robbed, or Xe Om drivers forced them to use their service and charged with unbelievable price. For women who are travelling alone, drug addicts can do something bad to you, the worst thing is raping.
The most common scam in Vietnam is overcharging. This thing is so familiar with tourists in Vietnam, especially for International visitors. In many restaurants in Hoi An in particular and Vietnam in general, they know you are tourists and foreigners, if you do not ask for the price before having dishes, when you stand up and want to pay the bill, they may increase the price terribly, can be up to 10 times higher. If you do not pay, they may scold you and do some aggressive actions. So do not ask the price before ordering. Even if you only take pictures of something on the streets, at the beginning the vendor is happy and open-armed, but suddenly they ask you to pay for ‘taking pictures’ of themselves or buy what they sell.
For tourists who are coming to Hoi An, do not forget to follow our tips to stay safe in Hoi An.