Thieves & Beggers, Ho Chi Minh City
We were told to beware of pickpockets. I kept my valuables hanging around my neck, inside my shirt, where they were totally invisible.
Only once did I feel a hand in my pocket and that was when surrounded by kids.
careful, Ho Chi Minh City is full of people beggin gfor money or selling lottery tickets at every corner you turn. If they get annoying or " pressure " you into buying the tickets. Just smile slightly and say no thank you or a hand out to decline.
Just got snatched my Samsung S3 on 4th July 2014.
I was using google map to direct us to Pizza 4p in the city.
Just as I was enjoying the use of google map to go for food places, this happened.
The advise is to you folks not to hold the phone while walking on the streets.
Check yr phone only in the shops.
Did a bit of research about crime in HCMC, seems that it has increased alot from the local news.
Indeed , HCMC is no longer a good and safe place to travel anymore. The crime rates are going up and the local authorities seems unable to do anything at all.
Those thieves are everywhere now, from the Home to the Street, From the Street to Hotel and from the Hotel to the Airport .. EVEN THE AIRORT IS NOT SAFE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! , if you think your belonging is safe while you lock your baggage , try it next time and when you landed in your home country , then only you figure out that your baggage is there but it just a shell ..
I think if Sir HCM is still alive, don’t know if he will be damn upset with his own people….
WHAT A SHAME TO THE COUNTRY AND THEIR AUTHORITIES FOR UNABLE TO ATTEND TO THE CRIME…. DON’T KNOW WHEN THEY WILL WAKE UP … SOONER OR LATER, THERE WILL BE NO MORE TOURIST IN HCM City , now at least they lost one more ….
When I walked on a street to the tallest building from the market at 7.30pm, I can see there were 2 men stands side by side on the road side not far from me. When I get closer to these men, out of sudden, there is a motor bike with a man and lady from the front and another bike with a man come from the back try to squeeze in at the same spot.During that time, they pickpocket away my iPhone 5... the lucky thing is I managed to hold and secure my wallet... This happened just less than 5 seconds and all 5 of them gone... the two men run across the road while the bikes just ran away.
I go to make the police report, unfortunatley, there was a Korean lady and a white guy came to make the same report for same incidents.
Vietnam is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Most of its population live in the country on the edge of poverty. With the injection of foreign investment, things are gradually changing.
There are numerous beggars especially children in Saigon, be very discrete about giving anything to them. If anyone is seen giving handouts to a beggar, he or she may end up being pursued by a mob of other beggars. This does not help create a good image for foreigners; it gives them instead the reputation of being easy to hit up for money.
While Vietnam is generally a safe country for travel, street crime is a serious problem in Ho Chi Minh City and to a lesser extent, throughout Vietnam. There is a general warning out for travellers to exercise caution. Generally, crime is mainly by pickpocketing or snatch-and-grab incidents. Motorcyclists, mostly carrying passengers, frequently grab bags, cameras, and other valuables from pedestrians or passengers riding in pedicabs. A friend of mine living and working there was almost a victim of a pickpocketer - he grabbed the guy just as he was lifting his wallet. Generally, just be careful.
Do not get too drunk with the bar girls. Most of them only want to take you home and do their business but many are happy to pick your pocket while at the bar. My brother had is wallet lifted but he bumped her and she dropped it...that's when we jumped on her grabbed the wallet and bolted.
These girls may act very innocent and tell you they just came to Saigon from the family farm in the last week or so, but its all a line and some of them will use it to get your wallet.
Crime is supposed to be limited to motorcycle hoodlums grabbing things from unaware tourists: cameras, handbags, glasses, watches etc. Your guide should warn you not to make it easy for them to do so. Handbags should be clutched securely away from traffic etc. It is also important to remember that when you ride in the open-air cyclo-taxis, you are very vulnerable to the motorcyclists.
I've heard of people (mostly women) having bags, sunglasses and other items stolen from them while riding in a cyclo (Vietnamese rickshaw). Normally, the perpetrators ride by on a motorcycle, and grab the item that is laying loosely on the tourists lap. Make sure when riding in a cyclo, you secure your valuables.
The biggest problem our group (of 4) had was with snatch thieves. While crossing the street, a motorcyclist tried to snatch a camera bag, and we also encountered little kids who would crowd around us trying to sell us postcards while also trying to unzip our backpacks.
When driving or walking around Saigon, there's a risk (as in any major city but Singapore) your stuff gets stolen. Some people drive around on motorbikes and snatch your belongings away, after which they disappear in the traffic. I never ever had safety problems in HCMC (nor the rest of VN), but the risk exists.
Many people will be trying to sell lottery tickets to you (and the Vietnamese) or plainly beg for money. When you visit the War Remnants Museum, you're sure to meet this mutilated guy selling books. Kids will sell postcards at the main post office. Saigon is a good place to learn saying 'no' to beggars... But one's heart will always bleed when a little kid is begging for money cos he/she is hungry. Be sensitive yet sensible: you can't give something to every beggar in HCMC. Giving too often will encourage even more beggars, and thus more annoyance for other tourists. Yet, it's a good thing to give 5000 dong (30 cents € or $) from time to time