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We all have heard of the great things about Vietnam from their awesome landscapes, amazing temples, adventures, amazing food, history, and a lot more. While Vietnam is a wonderful place to visit there are a number of reasons to not visit Vietnam.

These reasons range from overpricing, that the beaches are nothing special, the food standards are questionable for example, we all hear about the amazing food in Vietnam but is it safe to eat, and will you get food poisoning from it, and there is more.

In this post, we will go through the reason not to go to Vietnam. Let’s get started!

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Reasons Not To Go To Vietnam

Though Vietnam is a wonderful country to visit there are a number of reasons not to go to Vietnam. What I have listed below might seem cranky or over-critical but it is my option.

Cat Ba National Park Halong Bay Vietnam

Now, this shouldn’t stop you from visiting Vietnam but it is nice to know. The reasons are as follows and are in no particular order.

  • The beaches are nothing special.
  • Unhygienic food standards.
  • Crossing the road.
  • Walking on paths sometimes is impossible.
  • Overpricing.
  • Phone snatching.
  • Taxi drivers.
  • Pollution.

The Beaches Are Nothing Special

If you are expecting the beaches in Vietnam to be like those in Thailand, you are going to be disappointed. It’s not Vietnam’s fault but more a geopolitical thing as Vietnam’s pacific coastline is rocky and rough.

If you are interested in visiting beaches while in Vietnam, Phu Quoc beaches are properly the best in Vietnam. Followed by Mui Ne and Hoi An.

Unhygienic Food Standards

Vietnam is famous for its food but there is one major drawback and that is the unhygienic food standards. Generally speaking, there is a lot of rats, dirt and gods know what in Vietnam.

vietnam food

As an example, it is not too uncommon to see a rat running around the kitchen or the street food stalls where the food is been prepared.

To the Vietnamese it is normal and they continue as normal. They are unlikely to clean down the food area or throw the food out. They will serve it.

Particularly for westerners food poisoning is a common problem and there is a decent chance of getting food poisoning.

Crossing The Road

This is a particular problem in the major cities of Saigon and Hanoi but trying to cross the street is a challenge at the best of times.

The simple truth is that the traffic is crazy with it being total chaos with the never-ending stream of mopeds, and motorbikes. That just never seems to end.

The rules of the road in Vietnam are more of a guideline and are not enforced or obeyed. Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings are ignored by drivers.

Hanoi Traffic

The traffic is going to stop for you. You just have to go for it and just walk at a normal pace (not to stop or suddenly run ) and trust traffic will swerve around you.

A bit like in the film with Brad Pitt in World War Z where the zombies ignored the sick person and run around him. This can be okay for a group of backpackers but for a family with kids there might have a few concerns.

Walking On Paths Sometimes Is Impossible

Again in the major cities, it can be impossible to walk on the footpaths because not only are they taken over by parked mopeds and vendors but the footpaths are driven on by the moped drivers you are trying to get through the traffic faster.

As a result, this forces you to walk in the street where there is more traffic chaos.


There is a stereotype that tourists have money, particularly western tourists. This leads to them thinking they can increase the price of things. This occurs a lot in restaurants and markets.

Vietnam Market

As well as that it also opens tourists to be targeted by scammers and extreme efforts in trying to sell you something. To avoid overpricing in restaurants make sure they show you a menu with prices before going in.

At the markets, you can haggle but they won’t move on price much. Expect to pay 3 times the price that a local would pay.

Phone Snatching

Another problem in Vietnam is people snatching your phone. This occurs if you are texting or talking on your phone. And a guy drives all behind you grabs to phone and drives off. There is really not a must you can do about it.

This also applies to handbags. If you have to use your phone don’t use it on the street or in the open public. Find somewhere quiet like a corner to use the phone. Keep your phone, devices, and handbags out of sight.

Remember that because you are a tourist they think you can afford to be robbed. And that you are carrying an expensive device.

Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers seem to be a problem in every country and they wonder why Uber and Grab are doing so well. The taxi driver will use the old school method of driving you around and around to keep the meter running and this results in you being charged more money.

It also is known that the taxi drivers fix their meters, so the total cost is way more than the real price.

Taxi in Hanoi Vietnam


Pollution is a major problem in Vietnam and particularly in big cities. You will find that the air quality is generally not good in the big cities and that the locals wear masks to filter out the dirt.

Also, there is trash everywhere, people just their trash away.

There Are Reasons To Visit Vietnam

I covered some of the negatives of going to Vietnam and want to briefly cover reasons to visit Vietnam. The reason to visit is as follows.

  • Affordability.
  • Amazing landscape.
  • History.
  • Vietnamese are friendly.


Vietnam remains affordable but it is not cheap. It is cheaper than a lot of other places. With street food being cheap and one of the best in the world.

Accommodation is affordable and you can get a good hotel for $20 a night in Hanoi.

Amazing Landscape

Vietnam is famous for Sapa and obviously the world heritage site of Halong Bay. There are places to visit with natural beauty like Phu Quoc, Hoi An Ancient Street, Da Lat, the sand dunes in Mui Ne, and Cham Islands.

Sapa Vietnam things to do


If you are a war bluff then there is a lot to see in Vietnam, particularly Central Vietnam. There is a lot to Vietnam’s history. There are temples, caves, ancient towns, and more spanning thousands of years.

There is a history and influence of Chinese, Khmer, and French colonialism.

Vietnamese Are Friendly

Generally, the Vietnamese people are friendly. They will welcome you with a smile and are interested in getting to know their foreign visitors.

English is not commonly spoken by the Vietnamese as a result there might be some communication problems and they might come across as rude. The younger Vietnamese are more than likely to have some English.

Wrapping Up

Finally, these may be the reasons not to visit Vietnam. As you see these can range from food hygiene to being scammed or robbed. Now, these should not stop you from going to Vietnam but use this as learning about what to expect going to Vietnam and what to plan for.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the reasons not to go to Vietnam has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Reasons Not To Go To Vietnam
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