Four young travelers from the U.K. died in Vietnam last year in climbing incidents that shocked both countries.
The U.K. has issued a warning to its citizens traveling to Vietnam, saying that while the country is a safe destination, there are adventure tourism risks that should be taken seriously.
“Since 2016, a number of British and foreign visitors have died while engaging in adventure tourism in rural areas,” the U.K. government said in its travel advice noted updated this week, “you should make sure you follow safety guidelines and procedures.”
According to the public notice, British nationals make over 200,000 visits to Vietnam every year and most visits are “trouble-free.” There is also a low threat from terrorism for tourists, it added.
The warning did not specify the number of British and foreign tourists who died in Vietnam last year. But media reports showed that at least four deaths were recorded.
In February last year, three British tourists, including two women, died after they got swept down the Datanla Falls in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
All adventure tours and services were briefly suspended.
The tour guide who led them reportedly said he tried to stop the trio but could not prevent the climbing incident. According to media reports in late February, U.K. detectives were still working with Foreign Office and Vietnamese officials over the deaths.
Later in June, a 22-year-old British man was killed during his hiking trip on Mount Fansipan in northwestern Vietnam. He was traveling alone.
Webb was climbing the highest peak in Indochina, sitting nine kilometers (5.6 miles) southwest of Sa Pa Town in Lao Cai Province in northwestern Vietnam, on his own.
Vietnam and Southeast Asia in general have become new favorite destinations for many young backpackers.
Safety remains a concern in Vietnam. The tourism ministry earlier this month released a code of conduct for the industry, asking service providers to always keep their tourists safe.
Vietnam aims to receive 11.5 million foreign tourists this year. The U.K. has been one of the fastest growing feed markets, partly thanks to a visa waiver policy.