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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic in Vietnam is dangerous, chaotic, and undisciplined. Road conditions are poor; traffic accidents are the leading cause of death, severe injury, and emergency evacuation of foreigners in Vietnam. Long-distance buses and trains do not meet U.S. safety standards. Buses and trucks can often be overloaded and travel at high speeds with little regard to other modes of road transportation. 

Traffic Laws: Driving in Vietnam is not comparable to driving in other countries. Vietnamese drivers routinely ignore traffic laws, causing traffic fatalities on a daily basis. We strongly discourage you from operating a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam. Vietnamese drivers and pedestrians may not behave in a manner to which Americans are accustomed. If you do choose to operate a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam, wear a helmet and always yield to larger vehicles. Motor bike fatalities are a leading cause of death or serious injury among foreign nationals visiting or living in Vietnam, with several fatalities having occurred on major roads and rural routes within the past year. If you are the victim of a serious motor bike accident in Vietnam, the prognosis for full recovery and survival is low due to Vietnam?s poor medical infrastructure. A motorbike license is required to operate a motorcycle or scooter in Vietnam. Motor scooter drivers without a license can be held criminally liable for injuries to or death of a victim in an accident, and you may be held in custody for an extended period of time without the ability to speak to family or a lawyer during the investigation. 

Pedestrians should always look carefully?in both directions?before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk with a green ?walk? light illuminated or when crossing what is believed to be a one-way street. When walking on sidewalks, be mindful of scooters that may be behind you. Vietnamese commonly drive their scooters on sidewalks. 

Because the United States is not a party to the Convention on Road Traffic, international driving permits and U.S. drivers? licenses are?not valid?in Vietnam. Foreigners renting vehicles risk fines, prosecution, and/or imprisonment for driving without a Vietnamese license endorsed for the appropriate vehicle. If you wish to drive in Vietnam, contact the Provincial Public Transportation Service of the Vietnamese Department of Communications and Transport to obtain a Vietnamese driver?s license. 

For more information, please refer to Vietnam?s national tourism office website.

Public transportation:

Bus system:?While Vietnam does have an extensive bus system, buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety. 

For-hire vehicles:?Major taxi companies tend to be reliable. Occasionally boutique taxi companies have rigged meters, particularly on routes to and from the international airports. Exercise caution in choosing ground transportation upon arrival at the airport in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Some travelers have reported being robbed by drivers who greeted them upon arrival with a placard showing the traveler's name. If you are expecting to be picked up, ask the company for the driver?s name, phone number, and license plate number before you travel. Areas outside of large cities typically have only rudimentary public transportation and often do not have metered taxis. Travelers are advised to use caution in these situations. 

We strongly discourage the use of motorcycle taxis (known as ?xe om?). Motorcycle taxis are unregulated and unsafe, and the helmets provided to riders offer little to no protection against injury in the case of an accident. 

Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle services:?GrabTaxi and local taxi companies are readily available, accessible via Smartphone apps, and actively utilized by foreigners and locals. 

Aviation Safety Oversight:?There is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers to Vietnam. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Vietnam?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Vietnam?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the?FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Vietnam should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) broadcast warnings website portal.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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