Cannabis Laws are Pretty Strict on the Paper but in Practice...
Cannabis laws in Vietnam are very strict on paper, but the implementation is not!
Once we started to do research about cannabis in Vietnam, we directly jumped to cannabis laws, and we were pretty shocked! They still have a death sentence, and you can get executed by using or distributing drugs; cannabis included! The laws are mainly referring to imprisonment; if you’re lucky, but also, for selling or distributing, the penalties can lead you in front of shooting squad.
We were pretty shocked at first, and we said, alright, no cannabis for us! After an initial thought, we decided to find a way to get and smoke around the country and do the most detailed research ever! Later, after talking with many locals, expats, tourists and reading many stories on different forums, we concluded that the laws aren’t enforced by the police officers when it comes to cannabis; especially if a foreigner consumes it.
Vietnam wants to become a huge tourist destination and police doesn’t want to bother foreigners for smoking a joint since it can possibly make a country less attractive for young travelers. It has its benefits, but also many disadvantages. For instance, in major cities where there is a huge expat community, you can walk around the street and smell cannabis on each step.
That’s cool at first sight, but when you think a bit about local people living there, it’s probably not the best thing ever! We saw many people openly walking around the city while smoking a huge spliff without caring about anything or anyone. It’s generally OK to smoke, but always use your common sense while doing anything illegal in a foreign country.
Especially in Vietnam since the cops are very corrupt, so if they want, they will get a considerable bribe from you. Don’t be the guy who is smoking in the middle of the street during the day. It’s stupid and not respectful to local people.
Always smoke in secluded places, or nature, or bars where the owners are OK with smoking cannabis inside.
No matter what, don’t grow or sell cannabis. Even if you’re a tourist, you will end up in huge trouble and possibly in life imprisonment. Also, don’t think about smuggling cannabis from the other country to Vietnam.
There are a lot of places where you can score good quality cannabis around the country, so don’t worry that you won’t find any.
How Hard is to Get Your Hands on Cannabis in Vietnam?
Check around the expat community in Vietnam; you'll probably find some weed and make friends!
It really depends on the place where you are currently staying at, but generally, it’s straightforward to get some. The biggest concern is the quality and quantity! Don’t worry about it for now; we’re going to talk about it soon.
From our experience, it’s very easy to get a good quality weed in the places where there is an expat community. In touristic areas, it’s relatively easy to get cannabis, but the quality is questionable.
Traveling to Hanoi? Read about things you should know about weed in the capital!
If you’re planning to travel around the country for a certain time, we advise you to get enough in Saigon, Da Nang, and Hanoi.
In these three cities, the expat community is huge, so you can connect with fellow expats who will introduce you to the cannabis scene. Inside the other touristic cities, there will be some places to get cannabis, but mainly taxi drivers will approach you to sell you some.
It’s up to you if you’d like to get it since many of them are scammers and sometimes, they can even work with the police, so we suggest you - skip it.
So, to answer your question - getting cannabis around Vietnam is literally effortless! With a bit of research, you can get all the information!
Don’t forget to check expat Facebook groups!
Here are some of them:
Expats & Locals In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
VIETNAM BACKPACKER TRAVEL AND TIPS Expats & Locals in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) - Vietnam DANANG & HOI AN FOREIGN EXPATS Hanoi Expats
Alright, but How About the Prices?
Weed price in Vietnam is very low compared to the Western standards.
Compared to western prices, the cannabis basically costs nothing in Vietnam.
The average price for a bag of 5 grams is 250k VND which is just a bit more than $10.
Although the quality isn’t the best, you will definitely feel a decent high. The baggie of 5 grams usually lasted us for 3 - 5 days, depending on our travels.
For instance, if we were staying in one place for longer, then the baggie would burn like crazy. If we were traveling on the motorbikes between the cities, then we wouldn’t smoke so much as we avoided to smoke on the road as much as possible. There are options to get high-quality indoor grown strains, but prepare your wallet as the prices are usually around 500k VND for a single gram.
It’s even more expensive than in Europe for the questionable quality. These prices and quantities are from expat bars and areas, but there is also an option to buy on the street from motorbike dealers.
As we already mentioned, we don’t advise you to do it as there are many scams related. More on that later. The prices on the street are usually 900k VND for a baggie of claimed 5 grams. Sometimes, it’s not even cannabis inside the bag, and undoubtedly you won’t get the claimed quantity. You can always bargain the price, but don’t expect the price to go down so much.
If there is not another option for you, and you really want to smoke, then try your best to bargain and learn basic Vietnamese phrases when it comes to numbers.
What About the Cannabis Quality in Vietnam?
Although the cannabis quality in Vietnam isn't the best; the cost/benefit ratio is pretty high!
Well, the quality isn’t the best in the world, but when you put the price in the consideration, then you get fair quality cannabis for pennies.
Every joint will make you mildly high which is perfect, especially if you’re up for cruising with the motorbike through the highway like that.
We usually stumbled upon three different types of weed in Vietnam:
Vietnam outdoor grown It’s the lowest quality and the cheapest. It’s working, but you need to put a lot in one joint. Also, sometimes, we experienced headaches from this one. The baggie will be full with stems and seeds, so you will need to throw much from it.
Cambodian/Laotian import This is the best offer you can get in Vietnam. The price is very reasonable, and the quality is very good for Vietnam standards. We recommend you go for this option.
Canadian import/indoor grown The most expensive one which is even more costly than European cannabis. If you want to spoil yourself, you can spend your money elsewhere or on other things. We don’t recommend smoking this type since Cambodian will give you the same effects. It’s up to you to choose the right type for you! We were mainly smoking Vietnamese schwag and Cambodian imports along the road.
Sometimes, from Vietnamese weed we experienced a slight headache, but except from that, everything was fine. Both types can work very well and give you nice experiences!
What Are the Common Scams When It Comes to Cannabis?
Most of the weed-related scams in Vietnam are related to motorbike taxi drivers.
From our experience, we only fell under one scam, and it was in Phan Thiet. We bought some cannabis from a motorbike driver as we didn’t have any cannabis left. The quantity was definitely not what he was saying it is, and it was probably the worst weed we’ve ever smoked!
When your cannabis addict is desperate, you don’t ask, right? The other scams from the stories of people are usually related to taxi and motorbike drivers.
They will sell you cannabis and then report you to the police. Afterwards, they will follow you back to your accommodation and bust you. After the bust, the police officer will ask you for a bribe, and then the seller and police are sharing the money. These two scams are usually the most common when it comes to cannabis in Vietnam. Our advice is: never buy cannabis from street dealers!
You will probably never experience a scam that way. If you really can’t avoid buying on the street, then, always ask to smell the bag and check the quality. Many street dealers won’t give you to do that, and then you can just walk away as it is probably a scam. Never forget to bargain!
Don’t want to get scammed in Vietnam? Check out 36 most common scams in Vietnam and learn how to avoid them!
Smoking some weed and enjoying in the vibes is an awesome experience while traveling around Vietnam.
When it comes to cannabis in Vietnam, we have a great overall experience! Antonio has been living in Vietnam (rural part of Nghe An province) for four months before we met in Hanoi. According to his experience, it was nearly impossible to find any cannabis in the countryside due to the language barrier, lack of connections and stigma related to cannabis.
He didn’t smoke any herb until we all met in Hanoi! When we all met in Hanoi, probably an hour after David’s and Lovel’s landing, we’ve found an interesting pub where you can openly buy, roll and smoke a joint. People around that area seemed very relaxed, and many foreigners are smoking weed there.
You're wandering around Hanoi without the success in getting your hands on any weed?
Read about cannabis scene in Hanoi and learn more about the prices, places and communities.
You can openly smoke a joint in some pubs in Hanoi!
We were talking with some people about the situation of smoking weed in public places, and as we understood, police get fat bribes from owners who want to make weed available in their places. It’s very common around SEA, but you never know. For instance, in Da Nang, there is an expat area where people openly roll and smoke joints.
When you’re walking around the streets, you will smell cannabis on each step. Everyone knows about the situation, and many pubs are selling and paying the cops.
Anyway, there was a huge bust in one of the pubs where many foreigners and locals were arrested.
After all, who knows how the bribery works with dirty cops?
Best idea is to smoke in secluded spots and just enjoy the vibes!
We suggest you to get cannabis in those places and get out as soon as possible. Always smoke at secluded places where you can be aware of your surroundings, and you’ll be fine. Alright, let’s go back to our experiences with cannabis... In Hanoi, the price of the bag was 250k VND for 5 grams of surprisingly good cannabis. We bought four bags that will last until Da Nang where we planned to restore our stash.
The first thought when having few baggies of weed in our luggage was the police.
What happens if the cops stop us and find cannabis on us? We researched the police situation in Vietnam, and after reading experiences, we realized it’s totally fine as there is a small possibility you’ll get pulled over by the police in Vietnam.
In short, we just packed the baggies in dirty clothes, just to be sure!
Phong Nha offers some breathtaking nature for its visitors. Enjoying weed is also pretty easy here!
We were running out of weed in Phong Nha, two more locations before reaching Da Nang. Luckily for us, the small town is full of tourists which means cannabis should be around. We booked a hotel there and instantly saw a guy on the reception wearing a hat with cannabis leaf! That was more than enough for us to talk to him! He was able to sell it, but in inflated price, so we decided to skip it and try to preserve our reserves till Da Nang.
When we were leaving the hotel, the guy approached us and gave us a gram of his stash for lucky travels. Such a good guy!
In the streets of Hue, you will most likely be spotted by guys on motorbikes who will follow you around and try to sell you marijuana. (in a very funny accent!)
After Phong Nha, we headed to the Imperial city of Hue for a night. We were surprised by how many taxi drivers offer you cannabis. You walk around the streets, and in 10 minutes you’ll get approached by ten drivers asking you about marijuana.
It’s very annoying after some time since the same drivers will approach you multiple times! We heard many bad experiences about these drivers trying to rip off tourists and even working closely with police reporting people and sharing the bribe with police.
Simply, say a friendly no to these offers and walk away!
Many joints were smoked on this rooftop!
And then, we arrived in stunning Da Nang. We were utterly blown away by the city and its vibe. Really fantastic place to be! The expat community is huge and growing with each day. Weed bars are everywhere, and you can quickly get good quality cannabis for a fair price. Us three were able to find many pubs where nice people gather and smoke cannabis openly.
We joined for a few nights and restocked the supplies that will last us till Saigon (it was just our plan).
Getting to Saigon without any weed? No worries, here's everything you have to know about weed in Saigon.
The beautiful Da Nang beach.
Da Nang is a crazy beautiful city with a great combination of urban and natural beauties. You can’t be bored in the city, and there are great nature spots that give you a view of the city and a long sandy beach.
Perfect place for smoking some cannabis and relax. We smoked so much weed in Da Nang, so we needed to restock a few times before leaving. Our stop in Da Nang lasted only four days!
Enjoying the joint in Phan Thiet!
The stash of ours lasted till the beautiful coastal town called Phan Thiet. We stayed there for five days spoiling ourselves on the beach and simply relaxing before ending our trips. It was an easy task to smoke all of our stash since we had just one bag left. Many taxi drivers around ATMs will offer you cannabis or something that looks like cannabis.
We heard many scams with these drivers, so be careful if you decide to buy from them. Of course, we bought one bag from them, and it was really expensive for the quality and quantity you get. We didn’t experience any scam except weed was really really bad! When we reflect on our overall experience with cannabis in Vietnam, we must tell that we feel extremely lucky that nothing bad happened.
The country is very corrupt, and the laws related to cannabis are very strict. We didn’t pay any bribe or getting in trouble with police officers along the way. Personally, we smoked a bit too much since we managed to finish around 60 grams of cannabis in 30 days of traveling. Our honest advice is to always use common sense, and if something feels not right, then it’s probably not right.
Listen to your intuition and just skip these situations. Be careful when buying from street dealers as there are many scams involved.
The best advice would be to connect with the expat community or check the groups on Facebook, so you will definitely get your hands on a piece of valuable information.
Final Words for Cannabis Enthusiasts
We had a great overall experience with cannabis in Vietnam!
People who love cannabis won’t have any problems in Vietnam. As you already know, Vietnam is a stunning country with many breathtaking natural wonders and crazy beautiful roads, so it perfectly goes along with cannabis.
In major cities, cannabis isn’t seen as a vice by young people, and there is a huge community of smokers. The countryside is different since the values and traditions are still strongly expressed, so you will have a hard time finding some cannabis around the country and many strange looks when smoking around locals.
Use your common sense when doing anything cannabis-related and you will be more than fine. If something doesn’t feel right at first, then you should definitely skip it!
What is your experience with cannabis in Vietnam? Please share some tips or places where you’ve got your hands on the herb!