Make sure you have your malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis jabs before you go to Vietnam – especially if you’re going for a long time. You should always check with your doctors to see if you need any more before you go too. Remember, safety first.
Malaria isn’t overly present in Vietnam, but you should still carry mosquito liquid repellent with you and be careful if you feel ill at any point.
You’re sure to sample the food from street vendors so just exercise the normal safety precautions you’d take over eating food from the street in your country. Check the meat is cooked, try and have a quick look in the back and see the cleanliness levels and wash your grubby little paws before and after you eat.
As always, make sure you have adequate insurance for all the activities you plan to do in Vietnam. You don’t want to rack up a million pound hospital bill – your parents will go nuts.
Swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in Vietnam are all awesome, but you should be aware of the danger of what lies beneath. Sharks, jellyfish, stonefish, scorpion fish, sea snakes and stingrays are all lurking underneath the waters – most are perfectly safe, but it’s a good idea to be aware of any dangers.
Jellyfish prefer to hang out in groups so you should be able to see them relatively easily – just make sure you look before you jump. Stonefish, scorpion fish and stingrays tend to hang out in shallow water along the ocean floor and can be very difficult to see – I’d recommend wearing plastic shoes in the sea to avoid them.
Anyone who’s been there will be able to tell you that the best health advice for Vietnam is to learn how to cross their roads. You might be thinking you passed this with flying colours aged 8, but trust me, you’ll have to learn all over again when you visit Vietnam. It’s a nightmare. The roads are packed and the police and lights working together to patrol the main intersections are usually ignored.
To cross the road, don't try to avoid the cars, let them avoid you. Step a little forward, a little more, and you will see motorcycle drivers to slow down a bit, or go to another way. Make your pace and path predictable to other drivers. Don't change your speed or direction suddenly. Then move forward until you hit your destination.
If in doubt, just follow a local.
If anything does happen to your health in Vietnam you need to make it clear you can pay for it, otherwise locals and doctors may actually be unwilling to help. Easiest way to avoid this is to stay safe and look after yourselves.