Thursday, 23/05/2024 07:48

Looking for a place to travel solo? Việt Nam is an ideal place for women

By Trần Khánh An (additional reporting by Linh Vương, Trang Trịnh and Đức Mạnh)

Việt Nam has been named as one the safest destinations in the world for women travelling alone.

British magazine TIME OUT lists Việt Nam among the nine top places on the planet for solo female travellers. It's also the only country in Southeast Asia to make the list. 

India-Jayne Trainor from TIME OUT wrote: “With a well-trodden tourist route, stretching from the capital of Hà Nội in the north to Hồ Chí Minh in the south, the country encompasses mountains, beaches, islands and ancient villages like Hội An and Huế, plus some of the region’s best cuisine. Whether you make the journey by train, sleeper bus or scooter, thousands of other solo travellers will be making the same trip.”

Vũ Thị Uyên, a lecturer at the Tourism Administration and International Language Faculty at the Hà Nội University of Culture, believes low crime rates and solid infrastructure are key to ensuring safety.

“The transportation system in Việt Nam is quite stable and convenient for travelling," she said.

"When you travel, you can choose numerous different means of transport, including planes, trains, buses, motorbikes, and ride-hailing services, which are also popular. 

“Việt Nam has a low crime rate due to its stringent legal system, therefore, it is a safe country, not only for female visitors but also for everyone.” 

Abisola Onojobi from Nigeria visits St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hà Nội. VNS Photo Trần Khánh An

Safety and convenience

Việt Nam News took to the streets of the capital and HCM City to ask female tourists their opinions. 

Abisola Onojobi, 29, from Nigeria, described Việt Nam’s e-visa registration as seamless, adding that the country is easy to visit. 

“Coming from the airport, I didn't feel weird, as I was literally the only black person on board. I didn't feel uncomfortable with immigration, getting a Grab, and going to tourist destinations,” she said.  

Emer Handly, content creator of Where In Hanoi and an expat living in Việt Nam: “I'm safe compared to other countries I've been to. There are always lots of people around even at night time and police stations are pretty close to where you are, which always gives me comfort.

“I found there are less scams here than there are in other parts of Southeast Asia, so there are not as many people coming up to you on the street and trying to scam you.”

Other female visitors think Việt Nam is in the list for female backpacking due to its convenience and kind locals. 

Indonesian tourist Lintang Lutfyana said: “Vietnamese people are willing to help. When I want to find a local shop or a recommendation, they will direct you on where to go, and tell you what is recommended by the local people.”

Lintang Lutfyana, an Indonesian tourist, in HCM City's District 1. VNS Photo Trang Trịnh 

Amanda Ibarra, a visitor from the Philippines, added, “I feel very safe walking along the different streets, whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening—not a lot of people bother me or stop me, so I feel very comfortable walking around on my own. 

“I think the people are very friendly and welcoming, and it's a very lively vibe in HCM City.”

Ride-hailing services are more popular, as they provide dependable and safe transportation options.

“The only transport that I have been using is Grab, mainly, but it's very easy to use on the app, and the Grab drivers are also very friendly and helpful as well,” Amanda added.

Supportive community

There is a strong female community to support women travelling alone in Việt Nam. If you are travelling solo, chances are, you’ll never be alone. 

Where in Vietnam, founded and run by Vietnamese and expats living here, aims to become the number one lifestyle hub and community connector for the citizens and visitors in Việt Nam. They have a massive community, earning them nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram.

“We are constantly being reached out to our DMs, about what to do when they are travelling here – from any question you can think about,” said Cydny Voice, co-founder of Where in Vietnam. 

“From Where In Hanoi to Where In HCMC, depending on which city you decide to go to, there is a team behind each account that is all female as well, answering any questions you have.”

Based on questions they have received and their expertise, they also craft recommendations for creating blogs on their website and Việt Nam’s visitor pack that go beyond utility for travellers.

Emer also told Việt Nam News: “We want visitors to have an authentic, fun and engaging experience here. The starter pack offers everything you need to know about visiting Việt Nam, such as SIM card, Grab app, emergency line numbers, currency and basic Vietnamese words.”

Another option is Girl Gone International, the world's largest female expat community and network. Their vision is to support women who live and travel overseas to be more comfortable. 

In Việt Nam, Girl Gone International is making appearances in Hà Nội, HCM City, and Đà Nẵng, powered by global and local communities.

“Even if you visit here long-term or short-term, there are great discussions. It's a great way to find events held by Girl Gone International,” Cydny said. VNS

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