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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Vietnam. Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
  • Petty theft is common in tourist areas, markets and other public places. Aggravated theft and sexual assault also occur, particularly in major cities. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Minimise the amount of valuables you carry. See Safety and security.
  • Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death sentence. Vietnam has strict security measures to combat drug trafficking. Over 30 Australians are currently serving long jail sentences, including life imprisonment, for drug trafficking. See Laws.
  • Traffic accidents are common in Vietnam. Consider the safety and legal risks of driving a car or riding a motorcycle, particularly if you are unfamiliar with local conditions. Don't drive without a valid Vietnamese drivers' licence. See Local travel.
  • Apply for your visa to Vietnam directly with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam to avoid visa scams and protect your personal information. See Entry and exit.
  • From June to December, flooding, flash flooding and typhoons are common. Monitor media and weather reports and follow the instructions of local authorities. Check with tour operators before travelling to affected areas. See Additional information.
  • See Travel smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

To enter Vietnam, you must have a valid and appropriate visa, a visa exemption document or a written approval letter for a visa to be issued on arrival.

Some private online visa services and travel agents have scammed travellers or been involved in the public disclosure of the personal information of applicants for visas and 'visa issued on arrival' approval letters. 

To avoid such scams, only use official Government of Vietnam services to arrange your visa. Use the Government of Vietnam's online information portal to access official visa information, including the type of visa you should apply for. Complete the visa application form online, then print it and take it to the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam.

If your spouse or parent is a national of Vietnam, you can apply for a visa exemption certificate. The certificate is valid for 5 years and allows multiple entries into Vietnam for periods up to 6 months.

If you arrive in Vietnam with a written approval letter for a visa to be issued on arrival, you'll need $US or Vietnam Dong cash to pay the fee.

If your visa expires or is otherwise no longer valid, you could face delays and fines when leaving Vietnam.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam for up-to-date information.

Changes to visa status and visa extensions

Foreigners entering Vietnam are no longer permitted to change the status of their entry visa (such as tourist visa or spouse visa) to any other visa type (such as a working visa) in-country.

In order to obtain a visa extension from the Vietnamese immigration authorities (including for overstaying your visa), your passport must have at least six months' validity remaining at the time of application. This requirement is subject to change. For up-to-date information, check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam.

Other formalities

There are value and quantity restrictions on the import and export of prescription medicines.

If you have prescription medicine with a total import value greater than $US100, you'll need to declare it at Customs.

If, when entering or exiting Vietnam, you have 'addictive medicine' (medicine that can be used for the treatment of addiction) or 'psychotropic medicine' (medicine used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and other conditions), you must not have more than the quantity prescribed by a doctor for seven days (addictive medicine) and ten days (psychotropic medicine). You'll need to present the prescription (and medicines) to Customs. The prescription must be in English or Vietnamese and include your name and age and list the name, volume and dosage of the medication(s). It must also include the doctor's signature and address.

More information: Medication

Vietnam has health screening arrangements in place for all inbound travellers. Particular attention is paid to those arriving from countries affected by Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). If you display symptoms of MERS-COV, Zika virus or Ebola virus on arrival, you may be quarantined by local health authorities.

All foreigners must register their place of residence with the local police within 24 hours of arrival. The Embassy and Consulate-General cannot provide translation services to assist with registration.

  • If you stay at a hotel, confirm with hotel management that they'll register you as part of the normal check-in process. They'll need your passport details.
  • Many hotels ask foreigners to leave their passport with hotel staff for registration purposes. While some hotels may ask to, it is not a legal requirement for hotels to retain your passport for the duration of your stay.
  • If you stay with family, friends or in another private residence, you'll need to register by visiting the local police station, with a translator if needed.
  • Local hosts need to pre-register foreign guests – if you stay in a private residence, make sure your host has satisfied this legal requirement.

Passport

By law, you must use only one passport for your entry, exit, transit and residence in Vietnam.

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia. You could be refused entry to Vietnam, or may not be permitted to board your Vietnam-bound flight, if your passport has less than six months' validity.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception.  If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

By law, you must, as soon as possible:

More information:

Money

The currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong.

Foreign currency (including cash and travellers cheques) in excess of $US5,000, Vietnamese Dong 15,000,000 and gold exceeding 300 grams must be declared at customs (with supporting documentation) upon arrival and departure.

If you carry excess currency or gold that you did not declare, it could be confiscated at the port of entry/exit and you could be arrested and/or fined. These requirements may be subject to change. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam for up-to-date information.

Credit cards are widely accepted throughout major cities in Vietnam. Cash can be obtained using several internationally recognised credit/debit cards at ATMs, which are widespread in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Check with your bank to confirm if your ATM card will work in Vietnam.

Incidents of card skimming have occurred throughout Vietnam. Keep your card in sight at all times. See Safety and security.

If you require a replacement ATM card while overseas, you may have difficulty having it delivered to Vietnam. Many Australian banks do not maintain local or regional branches with English-speaking staff and Vietnamese postal services are generally unreliable. Consider using an international courier service if you need a replacement. The Australian Embassy or Consulate-General cannot provide you with bridging funds while you wait for a new card, nor act as a personal mail holding service.

Safety and security

Crime

Petty theft, including bag-slashing, is common in tourist areas, at markets, on crowded trains and buses, and at supermarkets. The incidence of petty theft increases in the lead up to Vietnamese and Western holiday periods.

Aggravated theft, sexual assault and assault occur, particularly in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Sapa (particularly on the train to/from Lao Cai) and Cat Ba Island (near Ha Long Bay). Reports of groping and other sexual assault are increasing. Foreigners have been robbed and sexually assaulted after consuming spiked food and drinks, particularly at late-night establishments in major cities.

Street crime and harassment occur, especially in larger cities. Snatch-and-grab crimes against pedestrians by thieves on motorcycles are frequent and have sometimes resulted in injury to victims. These crimes can occur when victims are crossing the street or walking along footpaths. Valuables such as jewellery, handbags, phones and cameras are popular targets for criminals.

Tourists have been robbed after withdrawing money from ATMs. There have been reports of break-ins to hotels and private residences, even while guests are in their rooms. Personal or commercial disputes sometimes lead to threats of physical violence or death.

  • Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas.
  • Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
  • Don't tempt thieves – avoid wearing expensive watches, jewellery and cameras.
  • Be particularly vigilant on overnight trains and buses and on quiet stretches of road.
  • Only consume alcohol at reputable establishments.
  • Pay close attention to the preparation of mixed alcoholic drinks to avoid drink spiking or the adulteration of spirits with methanol.
  • Never accept food or drinks from strangers or leave drinks unattended.
  • If you aren't sure if a drink is safe, leave it.
  • Stick with people you trust in bars and at nightclubs.
  • If you suspect that you or a companion has been the victim of drink spiking, seek urgent medical attention.
  • Beware of motorcycles approaching from behind as you walk on the footpath.
  • Hold bags and backpacks in front of you or in ways that make them harder to snatch.
  • Avoid using ATMs in exposed locations – opt for ATMs in banks and shopping centres instead.
  • Make sure your hotel room is locked at all times, including when you are in it.
  • Report any theft promptly to the local police and hotel management.
  • If you are threatened with violence or death, report the matter to the local police personally, or through hotel staff or other in-country contacts.
  • To avoid potential commercial disputes, make sure you have a clear agreement on what the expected level of service is.
  • If you become a victim of violent crime, especially rape, seek immediate medical attention – HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent in Vietnam.

Scams

Many tourists have become victims of credit and debit card, taxi and gambling scams in Vietnam.

Credit and debit card skimming (where card data is obtained for use in fraudulent transactions) occurs throughout Vietnam.

Some Australians have lost thousands of dollars after accepting invitations to private homes from friendly locals. Beware of rigged card games and other confidence tricks organised by criminals. Gambling may also contravene local laws, which also apply to tourists. See Laws.

  • Keep your credit card in sight at all times.
  • Take care not to expose your PIN to others, particularly when using ATMs.
  • Monitor your transaction statements.
  • At airports, use airport taxis, prearranged hotel transfer services or taxis from clearly marked taxi ranks with minders. Check that any person holding a placard with your name on it knows your destination.
  • Be wary of people who are overly friendly towards you and invite you to their home. 
  • If you become victim to a gambling scam, report it to police.  In Hanoi, call the scams hotline run by the Tourism Department of Hanoi (+84 941 336677), which can take your report or help you to report it to police.

Civil unrest and political tensions

Although rare, protests sometimes occur in Vietnam. Avoid taking photographs of demonstrations, the military or the police, as this may not be tolerated by the Vietnamese authorities.

Internal conflict is rare in Vietnam, although some localised violent clashes between protesters and police have resulted in casualties in the past.

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world.

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Local travel

Travel is restricted near military installations. Travel is also restricted in some parts of the Central Highlands and some border areas.

Long Tan Cross site

In August 2016, the Vietnamese Government did not permit the planned Long Tan 50th anniversary commemoration service to take place at the Long Tan Cross site in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. The Vietnamese Government has advised that it will not permit official commemorations at the Long Tan site. The Vietnamese Government has indicated that access to the Long Tan Cross site will remain open to small groups of people for contemplative private visits without media coverage, but this may change at short notice.

Consistent with long-standing practice, visitors to the Long Tan Cross site in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province may not wear medals or uniforms, or carry banners or flags. Visitors are asked to behave in a solemn manner, respectful to the wishes of local communities.

More information: Australian Consulate-General, Ho Chi Minh City.

Remnants of war

Unexploded ordnance and landmines are a continuing hazard in former battlefields, particularly in central Vietnam and along the Laos border. Mine-free roads and paths are well marked.

Tours and adventure activities

The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities such as mountain climbing and boat trips, are not always met. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed.

  • If you plan to participate in adventure activities, first talk to your travel insurer to check if the activity is covered by your insurance policy.
  • Don't be afraid to ask about or insist on minimum safety requirements.
  • Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't.
  • If appropriate safety equipment is not available, use another provider.

Road travel

Streets are crowded in major cities and road rules are routinely ignored. Vehicle and road maintenance are generally poor. Traffic accidents occur frequently and tend to attract large crowds. You are four times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Vietnam than in Australia.

If you are involved in an accident, whether or not you are at fault, you could face criminal charges and may be required to make large compensation payments to the injured person.

  • Consider not driving a car or riding a motorcycle in Vietnam, particularly if you are unfamiliar with local conditions.
  • If you drive despite the risks, drive defensively.
  • Whether driving, riding or walking, be very careful when crossing busy streets – traffic can appear from any direction.

More information: Road travel

Driver's license

You must have a valid Vietnamese driver's licence to drive in Vietnam, including for motorcycles of 50cc or more. International Driver's Permits issued in Australia are not recognised in Vietnam. Fines for driving without a valid licence vary.

More information: Australian Embassy, Hanoi

Motorcycles

The number of tourists involved in serious motorcycle accidents is increasing. Under Vietnamese law, you must wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle, including when travelling as a passenger.

  • check that your travel insurance policy covers you when travelling by motorcycle
  • only ride a motorcycle if you are properly licensed and are familiar with – and comfortable in – local driving conditions.

Taxis

Be wary of using taxis hailed on the street. Always choose a reputable and reliable taxi company and make sure the taxi driver knows how to get to your destination before entering the taxi. Ensure that the meter is used and leave the taxi if the driver tries to pick other passengers up.

If you book a taxi online or through an app, make sure the details of the vehicle and driver match those provided by the company.

Be wary of taxi scams – see Safety and security.

Public transport

Inter-city buses have a high accident rate. Consider taking a train, where possible.

Petty theft regularly occurs on buses. See Safety and security.

Rail travel

Rail travel is generally safe in Vietnam, butpetty theft can occur. We have received numerous reports of theft on sleeper trains between Hanoi and Lao Cai/Sapa.

When travelling by rail, ensure you retain the ticket stub at all times as it is required upon exiting the train station.

Sea travel

Boats, hydrofoils and ferries in Vietnam may not meet Australian safety standards. Accidents on waterways do occur and there have been a number of fatalities resulting from vessels sinking, including in Ha Long Bay.

Whenever you plan to travel by boat:

  • ask tour operators about the safety record and emergency procedures
  • ensure there is adequate safety equipment such as life vests on board
  • if adequate equipment is not available, use another provider.

Piracy occurs in coastal areas of Vietnam. The International Maritime Bureau issues on its website.

More information: Piracy

Air travel

All airports in Vietnam require you to show your luggage tags when exiting the airport. Keep your luggage receipt from your airline on you at all times.

By law, children 14 years and under travelling alone on domestic flights must carry a birth certificate and an authorisation letter between the legal guardian of the child and the airline that confirms the child can travel alone. Contact the airline well in advance of the flight to confirm requirements for unaccompanied travel by minors.

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network for information on aviation safety in Vietnam.

Laws

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular services charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Drug laws

Vietnamese authorities have strict security and investigative measures to combat drug trafficking. Penalties for all types of drug offences, including those involving small amounts of drugs, are severe. A number of drug offences attract the death penalty or life imprisonment. Marijuana in any form is illegal in Vietnam.

There are currently over 30 Australians serving life sentences for drug trafficking offences, including some potentially facing the death penalty.

  • Avoid all illegal drugs
  • Never carry parcels or luggage for others.

For information about carrying prescription medications into Vietnam, see Entry and exit.

More information: Drugs

Marriage laws

Foreigners wishing to marry a Vietnamese citizen in Vietnam must seek formal approval from the Department of Justice in the province where the Vietnamese citizen is registered. You'll also be required to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI) if you plan to marry in Vietnam.

You can apply for a CNI through the Australian Embassy in Hanoi or the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City. You can also apply for the CNI from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia but additional fees will apply because it will also need to be authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam in Australia before it is recognised by the Department of Justice in Vietnam.

Business laws

Increased Australian business activity in Vietnam has resulted in higher numbers of commercial disputes in recent years. If you are considering entering into a contract of any sort in Vietnam, first seek professional legal advice.

If you become involved in a business or civil dispute, you could be prevented from leaving Vietnam until the matter is resolved.

More information:

Employment

Disputes over alleged misrepresentation of working and living conditions for Australians working in Vietnam, particularly those teaching English, occur frequently.

Before signing an employment contract or travelling to Vietnam for work:

  • verify the true nature of the work being offered
  • check for unacceptable employment conditions – example: conditions for early termination may state that the employee surrenders the right to a return air ticket, and pay may be withheld
  • verify the living arrangements you've been offered
  • make sure you have the correct visa (before arrival) – ask an Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam
  • get professional legal advice (before signing any contract)
  • obtain all necessary work permits - the Australian Embassy or Consulate-General can provide a limited range of notarial services for some documents required for a work permit.

In employment:

  • Never surrender your passport to your employer, even for "safe-keeping". Reputable businesses will not request you to surrender your passport.
  • Make sure you maintain a valid visa and work permit – if you don't, you'll be fined and possibly detained.

More information: Living and working overseas

Other laws

Penalties for serious crime, such as rape, espionage and hijacking, include the death sentence.

The following activities are illegal and may result in your arrest and imprisonment in Vietnam:

  • photography of border crossings or military installations
  • venturing too close to the border with China, Cambodia or Laos without prior written permission from the local authorities – more information: Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam
  • gambling, except in government-licensed casinos – access to licensed casinos is restricted to holders of foreign passports
  • possession of pornography
  • possession of non-state sanctioned political or religious material
  • involvement in non-state sanctioned political or religious activities, including on-line activities – those suspected could be denied entry into Vietnam, detained, deported or prevented from departing Vietnam until authorities have completed investigations
  • exporting antiques from Vietnam without a permit – contact the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for advice and any necessary permit. (Note: this website is in Vietnamese and you may need a translator to assist in determining correct requirements. The Australian Embassy and Consulate-General cannot provide translation services.)

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years' imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

Vietnam recognises dual nationality only in limited circumstances.

If you're an Australian/Vietnamese dual national, enter Vietnam on your Australian passport.  If you enter Vietnam on your Vietnamese passport, you may not be able to access consular assistance if local authorities claim you're a Vietnamese citizen. Particularly in cases of arrest and detention, Australian consular officials may not be advised, permitted consular access or allowed to provide consular assistance to Australian/Vietnamese dual nationals.

Australian citizens must re-enter Australia on an Australian passport.

If you're an Australian/Vietnamese dual national, you may be subject to compulsory military service in Vietnam. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam in Australia before you travel.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

It's important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.  Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.

Prescription medicine (except for addictive and psychotropic medicine) intended for non-commercial use can be brought in to Vietnam at a quantity where the total import value is less than $US100. Prescription medicine with a total import value greater than $US100 must be declared at Customs. See Entry and exit.

Take prescription medicines with you so you remain in good health. Always carry on your person a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.  If you need to take prescription medicines valued at more than US$100 to cover you for your entire stay, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam for advice before you travel.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Mosquito-borne illnesses

There is ongoing transmission of Zika virus in Vietnam. The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to discuss any travel plans with their doctor and defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Further advice for both females and males is available from the Department of Health. Also read our Zika virus travel bulletin.

The mosquito-borne illness dengue fever is prevalent in Vietnam, particularly in the south. There is no vaccine or treatment for dengue fever.  Japanese encephalitis is prevalent throughout Vietnam. A Japanese encephalitis vaccine is registered and available in Australia. Malaria is a risk in some remote mountainous areas of Vietnam.

Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
  • take measures to avoid insect bites, including using always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • take prophylaxis against malaria where necessary
  • get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
  • discuss your travel plans and other vaccination needs with your doctor before you travel
  • if you are pregnant, defer non-essential travel.

More information:

Rabies

Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease that can be found in dogs, monkeys, bats and other mammals. In Vietnam, most cases are reported in the mountain provinces of Northern Vietnam and most commonly transmitted through dog bites.

  • Avoid direct contact with dogs and other mammals.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by a dog, monkey or other mammal in Vietnam, get treated with rabies immunoglobulin as soon as possible.

More information: Infectious diseases

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a risk for travellers. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is common in Vietnam with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Outbreaks usually start in March or April and peak in May but can continue until August to October. It mostly affects children under the age of 10 years but adult cases (particularly young adults) are not unusual.

The illness is characterised by fever as well as blisters and rashes on the hands, feet and buttocks. HFMD is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges and faeces of infected people.

  • Take normal hygiene precautions including careful and frequent hand washing.

Conjunctivitis

Outbreaks of conjunctivitis occur in Vietnam.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is infected.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Avoid exposure to infected eyes.

Bird flu

Vietnam has experienced human deaths from avian influenza ('bird flu') in the past.

More information: Infectious diseases

Cholera and other Infectious diseases

Acute watery diarrhoea and cholera occur in Vietnam, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time throughout the country. Outbreaks of water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, rabies, typhoid, tuberculosis, and meningitis) occur from time to time.

  • Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water.
  • Avoid ice cubes.
  • Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
  • Prepare and select food carefully.
  • Use good personal hygiene.

Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.

Air pollution

Seek medical advice prior to travel if you are likely to be affected by particulate pollution present in major cities.

Drug Use

There have been reports of drug use causing psychotic episodes and hospitalisation. If you use drugs in Vietnam, you face possible health and legal consequences. See Laws.

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities and care in Vietnam varies.

Foreign private medical clinics are available in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau and Da Nang but may not meet Australian standards.

Medical facilities and care at most public hospitals, especially outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are poor. Medical evacuation to a major centre may be required for even relatively minor operations.

Doctors and hospitals expect payment prior to providing medical services, including for emergency care. Some hospitals may liaise with travel insurance companies for payment, others may require upfront payment before commencing treatment.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a destination with the required facilities. Air evacuations, often to Bangkok or Singapore, are very expensive.

Hyperbaric chambers are located in Khanh Hoa (Nha Trang), Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh), Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

You may need to produce a legalised birth certificate to be recognised as next of kin for medical consent purposes.

More information: Legalising documents

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Firefighting: 114
  • Medical emergencies: 115
  • Criminal issues, contact police: 113 or contact the local police.

Emergency numbers in Vietnam are operated in Vietnamese only and may be unreliable.

Take a translator with you to report a crime to the police. Always get a police report when reporting a crime. Local police have the discretion as to whether to accept a case reported to them by a foreigner.

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular services charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact:

Australian Embassy, Hanoi

8 Dao Tan Street
Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Vietnam
Telephone: (+84 24) 3774 0100
Facsimile: (+84 24) 3774 0111
Website: vietnam.embassy.gov.au

Australian Consulate-General, Ho Chi Minh City

20th Floor, Vincom Centre
47 Ly Tu Trong Street
Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Telephone: (+84 28) 3521 8100
Facsimile: (+84 28) 3521 8101
Website: hcmc.vietnam.embassy.gov.au

Check the Embassy and Consulate-General websites for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are unable to contact the Embassy of a Consulate in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Flooding is common across Vietnam during rainy season (June-December) and could also lead to landslides. The Mekong River Commission provides information on flood levels for the Mekong River region.

Typhoons are also common during this period. The areas most affected by typhoons are the coastal provinces of the North and Central Regions. Though less frequent, typhoons in the south also occur.

Disruptions to transport (air, sea, road and rail), electricity and communications are possible during severe weather events.

  • Keep an eye on media, weather and flood level reports, especially during the rainy season.
  • Take official warnings seriously.
  • Don't enter areas affected by severe weather or a natural disaster without first seeking advice from local authorities.
  • Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.
  • Check with your tour operator for the latest information on disruptions.

If there is a flood, typhoon or other severe weather:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag)
  • contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts
  • closely monitor the media, other local sources of information and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the instructions and advice of local authorities
  • check with tour operators before travelling to affected areas.

More information:

Tsunamis

All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis, but the susceptibility to earthquakes of Vietnam's neighbours (and neighbouring oceans) makes destructive tsunamis more likely.

If there is a tsunami or a tsunami warning is current, check the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre website regularly (for information on seismic activity and the potential for tsunamis).

Additional resources