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Hanoi Health & Safety Hanoi Travel Guide

Hanoi Health & Safety Hanoi Travel Guide

If you have respiratory problems or concerns, you should be prepared for the high level of pollution in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In an article from VietNamNet Bridge – The Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment has made public a report on Hanoi’s environment in 2011, which shows that the capital city’s air quality is reducing.  It was updated February 1, 2012 and states:  Traffic is the main contributor to air pollution in the city, with the content of PM10 (particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter) being four times higher than the alarm level set by the World Health Organization.  PM10 are a major health concern because they can be inhaled into and accumulate in the respiratory system through normal facial masks.  Talk with your doctor to ensure you have what you need to help with respiratory issues while in Vietnam.
Many people worry about safety issues when traveling to Hanoi due primarily to rumors that Vietnam is an unfriendly place for many travelers.  These rumors stem from conventional thinking that a countries nationals are resentful to those coming from foreign countries which might have colonized the home country in the past.   It is true that in the past, Vietnam, after many years of being colonized and then dominated by other countries, erected a barrier around itself and closed itself to foreigners. However, this is not the case today as Hanoi and Vietnam have opened up to the outside world and welcome foreigners with open arms.  In fact, much of the local business in Hanoi is now driven by tourism and foreigners spending money here, thus locals have appreciation for foreign visitors, regardless of the distant pasts.  For more information on the history of the area, see . 
The one main area where there is generally some concern for safety is in using public transportation in Hanoi.  The bus system there can be confusing, which means that visitors are often not alert to their surroundings when navigating the bus, because they are trying to figure out what is going on with their schedules and routes.  This fact, combined with the fact that busses and terminals are often crowded, makes these areas a hotbed for petty theft crimes.  In particular, pick pocketing is a risk in these areas.  Visitors should take standard safety precautions to make sure not to become victims of this type of crime.  More information on such precautions is available at .
If you are a foreigner and want to find a good hospital in Hanoi, it only can be Hanoi French Hospital. HFH is the first internation hospital in Hanoi. It serves foreigners. The hospital stands as a 68-bed multi disciplinary care facility offering essential medical and surgical services. It aims at serving Vietnamese as well as foreigners, residents or travelers, in and around Hanoi, reaching for the all the northern Vietnam. 
For further information about Hanoi French Hospital, please contact: 84-4-35771100 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Another recommendation is Vinmec International Hospital ( This is the first and best hospital modelled by hospital-hotel in Vietnam. It aims at serving foreigners and high-income locals. You could contact: 84-4-3974 3556 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further details.
The Family  Medical Practice opened 1994 in Hanoi, now with clinics in Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang. Open 24 hours a day, with ambulance, medical center, in-house pharmacy, stand-by-planes and helicopters. All kinds of specialists such as tropical medicine, dermatologist, pediatrician, gynecologist and physiotherapist. Clinics are multi-lingual and foreign-owned. Inpatient and outpatient care. The prices are reasonable., 298 Kim Ma Road, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. 24h hotline: (04) 3843 0748.
 Right in the heart of the ex pat community and close to the old quarter is the International SOS Clinic, 51 Xuan Dieu (behind Fraser Suites), Tay Ho (Westlake). This clinic which is open 24/7 has expat doctors (French, Swiss, Belgian, British, Japanese, American and Australian as well as Vietnamese specialists. In addition to routine and emergency healthcare services the clinic also offers the following; House Calls, emergency and triage facilities, on-site laboratory, x-ray and ultrasound, In-house pharmacy, 2 in-patient beds, 2 observation beds and two emergency beds. Specialist consultations - GP, pediatric, cardiology, dermatology, gynecology, ear, nose and throat, ophthalmology, orthodontics, radiology, psychology, physiotherapy and dentistry. International SOS also has clinics in Ho Chi Minh and Vung Tau and medical evacuation expertise worldwide., tel +84 43 3934 0666 
If you need emergency treatement -esppecially for ear infection- the only option after 10 pm is Vietnam Cuba hospital near old town. Vietnam Korea Hospital ENT doesn't exist anymore.  Prices change from 20000 dong to 100000 dong. ENT specialist speaks english and he is a really nice guy.
Be careful with the pharmacies. They tend to charge tourists 20 to 100 times more. If you trust your hotel personel, give them your prescription and let them buy your pills.  
Be aware that cholera is always a danger in Vietnam.  Always wash your hands and be aware that some street vendors do not have access to clean water and soap.
Beware of pickpockets mostly in the touristy areas like nearby the Ma May street Tube house, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater and around the Hoan Kiem Lake. These guys work in teams and usually there is one who will try to hound you into buying postcards/pictures/anything  while another one opens your bag up to fish for valuables. Be especially suspicious of the young fellows holding only a few things to sell. Try not to carry your backpack on your back or put valuables in your pockets when walking in this area. 

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