Health and medical information

Traveling to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia poses no major health problems. However, some precautions must be taken beforehand to avoid any inconvenience during your stay.


You must be up to date with your vaccinations from your country of origin (diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B). It is advisable to consult your doctor before your departure.

Prevention against diarrhea:

It is imperative to know that tap water is not drinkable in Vietnam. That’s why Vietnamese people drink so much boiled water. In addition to drinking boiled water, you can buy bottled water easily. Make sure they have not been opened before. It is also recommended to choose dishes cooked and prepared in hygienic places. Take all the same some anti-diarrhea drugs which can be of great help in the event of an accident.


You should know that malaria is generally present only in restricted areas in Vietnam. There is normally no malaria in the big cities, or in the coastal tourist towns, or in the plains of rice fields, nor in the region of the highland Dalat. The highest risk areas are located less than 800 m above sea level south of the 18th parallel, in particular in the center of the country in the high provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, and in the south in the provinces of Tay Ninh, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau. Check your detailed route with precision: if it does not take you to these areas, you do not need any medication protection. However, there are (rarely) cases of malaria outside of these areas. We therefore advise people who go to areas at risk to take treatment. People not going to its areas run little risk, however zero risk does not exist.

In Cambodia, antimalarial treatment is preferable, even if this disease mainly affects rural areas. In Laos it is strongly advised to take an antimalarial treatment.

Tips to stay healthy during your stay in Southeast Asia, Vietnam particularly?

Food risks are omnipresent, the heat and humidity affect the sanitary conditions of Vietnam, and Laos, and Cambodia. The risk of dengue fever is high. Take the protective measures required to enjoy your trip.

+ The climate of Vietnam can be very hot and very humid depending on the season. Protect yourself from the sun and heat, which is sometimes painful to bear.

+ Protect yourself from the cold in winter in the mountainous regions of North Vietnam. During the monsoon, torrential rains are often responsible for flash floods, floods, landslides and mudslides.

+ In Vietnam, driving is adventure: Road condition  are sometimes poor, especially outside the main roads, bad weather, traffic density, dilapidated vehicles, drivers sometimes unruly, banditry, etc. Avoid driving at night and hire cars with a driver. Tourists are prohibited from driving and foreign driving licenses are not recognized. An international driving license is required in Vietnam.

+ Drink only bottled or boiled water, or canned drinks.

+ Protect yourself against mosquito bites by using insect repellents or sprays, especially when traveling to remote areas.

+ For the prevention of malaria, start taking an antimalarial, 4 to 6 weeks before your departure. (Contact your doctor who will prescribe the most effective)

+ Take an over-the-counter diarrhea medication if you are easily prone to this type of discomfort.

+ Also bring ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), or other types of pain relievers to soothe headaches, toothaches, muscle aches, lower back pain, colds, painful periods and to lower fever.

+ Do not consume food purchased from a street vendor.

+ Do not touch animals (especially monkeys, cats and dogs), to avoid any risk of contamination of rabies.

+ Do not swim in the fresh waters (except for sufficiently chlorinated swimming pools) in certain parts of Vietnam, in order to avoid the infection of schistosomiasis.

+ Eat only well cooked food or peeled fruits and vegetables by yourself.

Do you have any concern or question of travelling to Indochina so far? Contact us here.

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