Thieves & Beggers, Ho Chi Minh City
Beware all tourists and everyone who thinking of living in Vietnam. I was planing to live in Ho Chi Minh City with my husband and my daughter as my husband has a job here and we were being apart for a year and the baby keep asking for daddy. I have been Ho Chi Minh City for only 3 months with the warning from my Vietnamese friends and my husband family who originally from Vietnam but immigrant to Australia long time ago. I put my baby to local school for 3 months for strengthen her Vietnamese as she is still too young and we have plan for her international school here by this year in August. Everything went ok and I always beware what I have been warned!! until yesterday at 11 AM, I rode the automatic motorbike just to wonder around for the spa from my husband building on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, I went only 3 KM away ahead the same road with my bag around my neck. I was about to do u-turn then I felt someone pulling my bag strap on my right side so I turned to see then I was shocked a bit when I saw the motorbike with 2 guys, the guy at the back used one hand holding my bag strap and the other hand holding cutter trying to cut but my bag is a leather and thick so it's very hard to cut when I turned then the cutter cut on my arm and he grab the bag very tight then speed up the motorbike with the pulling the bag as well. That action makes my motorbike fall down and of course I did fall down in the middle of the main road. My face slice to the road and my forehead knock on the road, my left hand had got bad injured and as same as my left foot. I got up immediately and go to stand in front of the house beside the road there. Can you believe that a lot of people around me but no one look at the bad guys, everyone looked at me and start gossiping as I looked like local as Asian looked but speaking English for help!!! Dam it!! I can't see any thing. It was so quick and I lost everything, my iphone, money, important documents (Lucky that my passport was not in the bag). I was hurt and frightened. I asked one girl to give me a ride to my husband building and help me with the police report. On the ways she said that it's happened very often especially that area in front of her house and herself get it twice!!! The policeman make the girl to write the report for him then he sign and get me to sign. Then I went to the hospital, staffs there said "this is bad but happened every day even the doctor here get spot after the ATM machine and get electric shock when she was riding the motorbike so she get bad injured hip broken need so long time for recovery" so my question is "oh, most of the case happened to the girl then, the reply is "no, both girls and guys, yesterday the american man get neck cut as they wanted his phone, money and watch". After finished I then went to my husband building waiting for him as I lost the apartment key as well. The staffs in the office came in and talked to me then they told me that nearly everyone experienced and told me the case. What the F_cking country I have planed to live?? straight into my head and deciding not to be here any more. So they say "you are in Vietnam you have to take care of yourself, do not hope for anyone help even the cops because everyone is afraid of danger to themselves so no one will help you, everyone knows it but no one put the nose in and no one speak out". I am deciding to go back to my country and deciding not to be here anymore. So if you are thinking of living here think twice, if you are thinking of visiting here beware and be careful take a very good care of yourselves and people coming with you. I am still on the medication, around 20 wounds I have on my body not allowed me to touch any water for 1 week and need to clean them twice a day until it's getting better which would take about 1 week I hope. Of course it's hurt like hell when cleaning. People saying "Bad Luck to me" but my question "is that bad luck or bad surrounding with bad people and bad system?" When my local friend hear my comment to the country she said "this kind of thing happened every where in any country at any time" YES, I agree but is it so often and danger like here in Vietnam??
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.
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 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.
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 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