Health and Medicine Overview

To travel to Indochina area, the first suggestion is to buy yourself a health insurance which policy provides coverage outside your country, very few pay for medical evacuation too. Depending on the medical condition and your location, the medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000, such an insurance will help you a lot if you need medical services while travelling.

There are a few big cities such as Bangkok and HCMC can provide international standard medical care in Indochina area, but most part of this area is not, taking health precautions and vaccinations are prior to your travel plan. The following immunizations are suggested, you may consult your doctor or the local health department to discuss which ones you need:

Diphtheria and tetanus: Combined vaccinations for these two diseases are usually given in childhood and should be boosted every ten years.

Hepatitis A: Vaccination provides immunity for up to ten years and involves an initial injection followed by another six months to one year later.

Typhoid: Vaccination takes the form of an injection or capsules.

Meningococcal Meningitis: This vaccine is only recommended for travellers making extended visits to rural, northern Vietnam. Protection lasts for three years.

Rabies: People making longer trips to remote areas should consider rabies vaccination, which involves three injections over a period of three to four weeks.

Bring your own medicine and prescription drugs in case you cannot get the same ones at local pharmacies in Indochina area. Many of the drugs sold in small pharmacies are copies or have expired. Stick to reputable Pharmacies that are easy to find in main cities around Indochina area.

Remember to drink a lot of non-alcoholic liquids, stick to bottled water and prevent using ice in the drinks in most part of Indochina area. If there is no bottled water, boiled water is acceptable. In Bangkok, Hanoi and HCMC, ice is general fine.

Vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned and preferably cooked. All meats and fish should be well cooked. To be safe, peel your own fruit. Yogurt, if refrigerated, is generally fine but avoid fresh milk and be wary of other non-sealed dairy products, especially home-made ice cream. If you are unsure, avoid it.

Tummy is common disease for travelers. If it occurs, maintain a diet of bland foods of fluids only. If severe, consult a physician. When you need medical care during your vacation in Indochina area, medical personnel outside big cities normally speak little or no English, so make sure your tour guide is beside you when seeing a doctor. Good communication is the criteria of correct diagnosis. Local hospital and doctors expect immediate payment for health services. Minor illnesses and injuries can be taken care of in most cities in Indochina area. If there are more serious health problems that require medical evacuation, please contact your tour company in the first time. Professional tour operator is experienced for emergency situation.