Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

A very safe city for women and men. - Aug 2021

Almost none. Occasional petty theft but for a city of eight million, Hanoi is very safe. - Dec 2019

No, it is one of the safest cities I have lived in. I felt comfortable walking around and taking taxis - Jul 2019

It’s generally pretty safe. Occasionally we hear of crimes. In my opinion, the biggest danger is "opportunity theft." We’ve had money stolen out of our bag by a tour guide, but that’s the extent of it. - Apr 2018

Crime is about average compared to the typical American city. Stay aware of pickpocketing in touristy areas, but otherwise Vietnam is a very safe place to live. Risk of terrorism is almost nonexistent due to the heavy security presence in the country (you see uniformed policemen/guards/military everywhere!). - Dec 2017

Okay - here's the dark side of Hanoi: Domestic dogs and cats are stolen and eaten here in the most barbaric way. I thought this was fear mongering when we researched coming to post, but there are actually streets in the Old Quarter that sell dog and cat meat. Pets are stolen during Tet because some locals believe that by eating your pet, they will have good luck for the new lunar year. We live in the expat area, and have 3 dog meat "restaurants" within 1 mile of our home. Humans are plenty safe in Hanoi. Your pets are not. It's really dampered our tour. We worry about walking our dog. Dog nappers will grab your dog with a hook on a bamboo, and throw them into a ruck sack while zooming away on their motorbike. If they don't sell them for dog meat, if they're a "breed" they'll sell them. Google it. It's all true. - May 2016

No. I have never felt nervous at all. One of the benefits of living in an authoritarian regime? - Aug 2015

Not at all. - Mar 2015

IF you are a single guy, you may have some girls try to swipe your iPhone from you while another distracts you. Otherwise a very safe country. - Aug 2014

Hanoi used to be very safe. However, this is NOT the case anymore. Beside the classic pickpocket activity you'll find in any big cities around the world, there are more and more report of mugging and organized team of thieves. You have to be especially careful at night in the Old Quarter. Don't go out alone and always take a taxi from a reputable company. Leave your passport in your locked suitcase or safe or at home and keep only a copy with you. Don't carry big handbag that shouts "snatch-me".

Never take a moto-taxi (xe om) late at night: they are not the same persons you'll see during the days and have been known to prowl on drunken tourist. There is also a lot of scam from unofficial taxi drivers, or even minibus drivers in some cases. Always use a “marked” and well known brand of taxi. Make a show of learning the license plate number before boarding and make sure they use the meter. During the trip, check that the meter doesn’t get a “fever”. If so, stop immediately the taxi, pay the fare (don’t discuss... this is useless and possibly opens to retaliation) and if possible report the license number to the taxi company or police station. The main danger is the traffic: the favorite transportation means is the motorbike and everybody in Hanoi has one. If you plan on riding a motorbike, bring your own –- DOT certified –- helmet. Local helmets are more likely to serve as a bucket than a helmet. There are no rules whatsoever (well, they're must be some, but nobody cares) and traffic goes everywhere: road, sidewalks, both directions in one-way streets, red light are green, etc. Bus, taxi, bicycles, motorbike, cars, buses: all use their horn all the time and for everything, which means nothing. This is overwhelming at first you won't be able to stand outside for more than 5 minutes. Then you'll brave the noise and will juggle with everybody else to avoid been push, squash, bump, or roll over. Driving can be a challenge and a lot of people hire a driver. That being said, we have both a motorbike and a car and with a lot of extra caution, you can get by. Expect your vehicle to be bumped within the first month of arrival. - Dec 2011

Hanoi is relatively safe with a few caveats. Crazy traffic is the major security concern. Cars and scooters enter the road without looking, scooters are overloaded with everything imaginable, there are limited cross walks and during rush hour scooters use the sidewalks so even pedestrians are at risk. There are pick pockets especially around Tet. And there does seem to be a rise in house break-ins in the expat neighborhoods. - Aug 2011

Not really. Petty crime is on the rise, but violent crime is very rare. - May 2010

Very little crime, mostly pickpocketing. - Dec 2009

Few. The following is a relatively rare problem. Some prey upon unsuspecting tourists. Airport and train stations are key spots for those. Some pickpocketing. Gypsy cabs are a problems -- and the main source of problems with tourists. Do not take a cab that looks makeshift. There are plenty of good companies, and they will have their logos painted (not pasted) all over the cars. - Feb 2009

There is some minor petty theft from pick-pockets. Much safer than similar size U.S. or European city though. - Sep 2008

Few, there is something to be said for the strong fist of the communist government. I have heard of some minor petty theft and pickpocketing in the touristy old quarter and some minor harassment at the local Metro Mart, especially leading up to the Lunar New Year shopping frenzy. - May 2008

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