What shots are necessary to spend 5 weeks in South Vietnam. My son is going and he will be visiting tourist areas but staying in the rural areas. I'm also concerned about eating rat, and that many cook the whole rat including the head. I've read that if you eat rat brains that are infected with rabies but are cooked, you can still get rabies. In this case you may not even suspect that you have it until it's too late, since you were not bitten. I've also read to avoid salads or cold foods. Any advice is appreciated.
On leaving Ho Chi Minh City, there’s an early choice to be made: Highway 1 runs inland until it reaches Phan Thiet (near Mui Ne); while, from Bien Hoa, Highway 51drops down to the coast at Vung Tau, once a French seaside resort, and now a smart, oil-rich coastal town with average beaches, though much better beaches can be found further up the coast at places like Ho Coc. Few beaches in this region have been developed as yet, so with your own transport and an adventurous spirit, you’ll find somewhere to pace out a solitary set of footprints in the pristine sand. While in exploring mode, consider a trip to the former French prison islands of Con Dao, which can be reached by plane from Ho Chi Minh City or an irregular boat service from Vung Tau.
Hope this help
Well Brendan gave some ideas on what to see/do while your son is in VN, he did not address either immunizations or cooked rat.
Shots: I suggest you you consulate with your health dept. on what is recommended for rural VN. I have visited VN 5 times and never even considered taking prophylactic pills or shots. However, I did not visit the real rural areas either. Malaria & Dengue Fever are a concern in the rural parts of VN. Of course the best plan is to never have a mosquito feast on you. Long pants/long sleeve shirts during peak mozzie times: dawn/dusk. Have a mozzie net during sleep, use mozzie coils when possible, use repellent on exposed skin. You will have to decide along with your son if shots/pills are worth the time/expense.
Cooked rat: Simple, don't eat anything not recognized. I am a veggie and suggest your son tell those offering cooked rat he is as well. Learn the VN word for vegetarian and memorize it. Good luck.