Please advise about visiting Vietnam

starry night

Recycles dryer sheets
Mar 3, 2006
We are planning a tour of Vietnam in Sept. I'd like advice and suggestions regarding preparing, touring, etc. What about medical issues? We have received yea and nay advice regarding shots needed for Hepatitis, tetanus, typhus, oral medation for malaria, etc. Some say definitely get them -- others say no longer needed. Any suggestions??

Also, Our tour will take us from Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Nha Trang, Dalat, Mekong Delta and HCM City. Would value learning anything we can and suggestions of what not to miss.

Many Thanks.
I'll be there in October, and I am just preparing so don't have much to add. So I will be following this thread.

Here is a site with some info, aimed at budget travelers:

A backpacker's travel guide to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Includes itinerary advice, hotel and guesthouse reviews, maps, photos and general planning advice. All at

But on the meds, specifically, hepatitis A/B, typhoid, tetanus booster -- yes, you should get them. Everyone should have these for traveling virtually anywhere outside of the developing world, and everyone should have Hep A/B period (and tetanus booster), even in your home country (all kids get Hep A/B vaccinations now).

On malaria, I'll be doing some research, will share and hope others will share here. The best site is always the CDC web site. It has great info. What is needed varies by country and season and how the traveler handles the medications (different people react differently).

Listen, I am a big sissy when it comes to shots; but, let me relate this true story to you: My friend's mother had raised 7 kids and been a restaurantuer for many, many years. She knew food, anyway. She goes to Hong Kong; she eats something that must have been spoiled or poisoned; and DIES in Hong Kong 9 years ago. DIES!
So, personally, insomuch as I hate shots, hit me with everything you have before I got over to SE Asia. I am just not taking the chance of not being covered for things I could prevent myself.
And, yes, I know the US government only "suggests" certain shots in case you go to rural areas; but, this is kinda like circumcision, because how do I know beforehand where exactly I might end up in SE Asia (the analogy being you don't know where your son will end up 20 years after his birth, we might be at war and he might be slogging thru swamp, so circumcise him argument).
I was there in 70-71 at the request of my favorite uncle. Damn unfriendly place at that time, but still met some fine local people.

Seriously, you can't beat the culture or the people once you get out of the cities.
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