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Woman Traveling Alone Vietnam and Cambodia Safety???

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Oct 1st, 2011, 10:04 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Woman Traveling Alone Vietnam and Cambodia Safety???

I am a middle aged woman, fit and well-traveled ,and I would like to travel alone to Vietnam and Cambodia visiting regular tourist spots and in deluxe hotels.

Would I be safe or should I go on a tour?

If alone, would I need guides all over or just car and driver for out of city tours?
I speak English and some French- would I be able to get around Hanoi and HCMC to museums,restaurants, and sights by myself in a taxi?
manhattaner is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2011, 10:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Yes, absolutely safe to travel alone. I've travelled to both Vietnam and Cambobia (in my fifties) and never had any concerns. Stayed in mid level hotels ie $30-35 per night, took the train to Sapa and from Hanoi to Hue in Vietnam, got a driver and guide in Angkor Wat - make sure you go to Bantay Seri and Beng Malea (sp?) - great to see and away from Ankor Wat. Also to get out onto Tonle Sap while in Siem Reap. In Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Mihn got around in cabs or motorcycles. Go - have a great time!
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Oct 1st, 2011, 11:30 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
You do not need guides but can employ them as you'd like. You'll do fine communicating with English, smiles and occasional French. While there are reports of purses being snatched by guys on motorcycles in Hanoi and HCMC, simply being alert you'll be safer in SE Asia than you are in any major city in the US.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Oct 1st, 2011, 01:29 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Generally you will be fine if you keep your wits about you.

There are crime/safety issues review travel.stat.gov

Carefully and take appropriate precautions.

Driver/Guides through hotel concierge always best for me.

insuremytrip.com comp trip insurance always wise.

journeywoman.com good solo female tips.

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2011, 01:32 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Personally if it is your first time to asia a nice tour

would be good and can save.

Smartours.com BBB.org A+ great price points quality hotels

affordabletours.com another good comp site.

My first time out did a tour saved a lot of money and travel

was fairly seamless with good company...

So if a newbie I might give a tour careful thought.

Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2011, 01:38 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Look like you could do the SmartTour Vietnam Discovery

Flight Hotels etc. 17 days under 2 K single supplement

That is a great deal.. Hotels of great quality from

personal experience...
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Oct 1st, 2011, 02:09 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you want a tour, go on a tour, if you don't want a tour, there is no reason to go on one. Personally, it would drive me crazy to go as part of a tour group.
Kathie is offline  
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 10:04 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 28
You should check out the HanoiKids org. they are students who give free tours and in exchange of a chance to practice their English. We had great time with them. I think in Saigon there is a similar org call Saigon Hotpot but I didnt contact them.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 01:02 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 144
Hi Manhattaner,

I live in Phnom Penh and concur with those who say you're fine travelling alone in this part of the world. I'm in the same age group and have never felt threatened, particularly in Cambodia, and would suggest you stay away from groups for the most part as you can generally find people to connect with wherever you go.

Having said that, you should have a certain amount of caution (being a Manhattaner, you probably already do). I tend to be overly trusting and a wee bit naive and recently had my bag snatched by a moto driver when I was walking home one evening (on the street where I live!). There is some petty theft here so hold onto your bag.

In general, though, you will find people to be amazingly helpful, friendly and kind. Please feel free to email me directly at [email protected] if I can be of any assistance in helping you with places to stay, local spots to eat, reliable tuktuk drivers, guides to Siem Reap or anything else I have gathered in my 14 months of living in Cambodia. I'm always happy to help.
Gabi7 is offline  
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 04:13 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 441
My wife and her sister have travelled extensively in both Vietnam and Cambodia (50ish & 60ish) and have never had any problems. You'll be fine. Guides are up to you. Your hotel should be able to find you one if you feel you'd like one. At Angkor Wat English speaking guides are $20 a day or thereabouts plus a tip if you are happy. You could always take a guide for a day and do some templing on your own.

Re HCMC & Hanoi, get your hotel to organise a taxi and they can direct the driver if necessary. I did not have any problems with taxi drivers at either place. The ones who hang round hotels will (hopefully) know the tourist sites and restaurants.

As other people have said just take the normal care that you would at home. Don't flash great rolls of notes and leave the expensive jewelry at home.

Have a great trip.
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