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Thread: Ho Chi Minh City

  1. #41

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    I lived in HCMC for 4 years. It is NOT very safe by Singaporean standard. There's a lot of snatch thieves on motorbikes.

    They will snatch any thing whenever they chance upon, cameras, sling bags, gold chain, hand phone, etc. Even in District 1.

    Never venture by yourself into District 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. District 5 is still ok.

    Just practice vigilance. Sling your strap a few rounds around your wrist. Keep your wallet in your hotel. Bring enough cash and atm card will do. Separate your big notes from the small ones. It is really confusing for 10k and 100k, 20k and 500k.

    There's no use reporting to the police. They don't speak much English. The paper work takes 2~4 hours depending on the mood of the police and the queue. And the statement is in Vietnamese which will most likely be irrelevant to what actually happened. And after you leave, they will throw it into the bin.

    If you really want to report to police while in HCM, the nearest and 'English speaking' police station is located two streets west of Benh Thanh Market, along the street call Le Anh Xuan.

    Other useful tips:

    - There's a taxi stand right at the end of the departure hall
    - Taxi from airport to District 1 should cost no more than 120k
    - Take only Vinasun and Mai Linh Taxis.
    - Beware of the Comfort Delgro and Saigon Tourist Taxis. They are the gangsters. Even the local avoid them
    - Don't give taxi driver 100k, they will short change you most of the time. Instead give smaller or exact amount.
    - Watch ALL directions when crossing the road
    - Motorcycles do not need to obey red light when turning right
    - Beating red light is very common in Vietnam
    - Don't walk and talk/sms on the street (people will snatch)
    - Don't carry your wallet in your hand (people will snatch)
    - When in taxi, after paying, keep your wallet and money in your pocket before alighting. Do not hold wallet in your hand upon alighting (people will snatch)
    - Don't wear 'chop-hand' watches, even if they are fakes.

    Things to remember:

    - Remember to say Thank You
    - Don't complain too much! It's not Singapore
    - Remember to tip after meal
    - Remember to tip after going massage/spa/manicure
    - Remember to tip at bar
    - Remember to tip if any service is rendered
    - Remember to tip... Singaporean tourist has a bad reputation here when it comes to tipping.

    If you rent a motorcycle:

    - Read the T&C, if you lose a crap Honda Cup the compensation can be as high as USD2,000
    - Never leave your bike unattended.
    - Park you bike and remember to get a tag from the attendant
    - Remember where is the petrol station
    - Hire a taxi so you can follow behind if you are lost haha
    - Don't use any GPS not even your phone (because it will be snatched)

  2. #42
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    Very informative tips.
    But how about bringing such expensive DSLR?
    They snatch this type of camera?
    Worried if u are the middle of the road taking some photos then the snatcher will follow you. .

  3. #43
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    3rd stone from the sun
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    ....oh my goodness

    so many bad children fairy, HCMC is as safe or unsafe like any other city in Asia.
    The people are very friendly and always helpful.
    I was often in HCHC with my LEICAS and I was in all the "corners" incl. Cholon
    and there were never any problems...

    If someone with a golden Rolex and a machine gun - DSLR is running around,
    maybe he/she will get robbed.

    Just watch out and be careful like in any other city on the planet

  4. #44

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    Best advice ever.
    I lost count of how many times some ppl give this false advice: "It's as safe as anywhere. Just be careful."

    I just add on a few things (in red):

    Quote Originally Posted by chisiang View Post
    I lived in HCMC for 4 years. It is NOT very safe by Singaporean standard. There's a lot of snatch thieves on motorbikes.

    They will snatch any thing whenever they chance upon, cameras, sling bags, gold chain, hand phone, etc. Even in District 1.

    Never venture by yourself into District 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. District 5 is still ok.

    Just practice vigilance. Sling your strap a few rounds around your wrist. Keep your wallet in your hotel. Bring enough cash and atm card will do. Separate your big notes from the small ones. It is really confusing for 10k and 100k, 20k and 500k. Even if u have a waist pouch, they can cut it open using pen knife, esp in crowded places when u least notice it.

    There's no use reporting to the police. They don't speak much English. The paper work takes 2~4 hours depending on the mood of the police and the queue. And the statement is in Vietnamese which will most likely be irrelevant to what actually happened. And after you leave, they will throw it into the bin.

    If you really want to report to police while in HCM, the nearest and 'English speaking' police station is located two streets west of Benh Thanh Market, along the street call Le Anh Xuan.

    Other useful tips:

    - There's a taxi stand right at the end of the departure hall
    - Taxi from airport to District 1 should cost no more than 120k
    - Take only Vinasun and Mai Linh Taxis.
    - Beware of the Comfort Delgro and Saigon Tourist Taxis. They are the gangsters. Even the local avoid them
    - Don't give taxi driver 100k, they will short change you most of the time. Instead give smaller or exact amount.
    - Watch ALL directions when crossing the road
    - Motorcycles do not need to obey red light when turning right
    - Beating red light is very common in Vietnam
    - Don't walk and talk/sms on the street (people will snatch)
    - Don't carry your wallet in your hand (people will snatch)
    - When in taxi, after paying, keep your wallet and money in your pocket before alighting. Do not hold wallet in your hand upon alighting (people will snatch)
    - Don't wear 'chop-hand' watches, even if they are fakes.
    - Don't place hp on the table as most S'poreans do. They will snatch & run.

    Things to remember:

    - Remember to say Thank You (it's "cam on" which sounds like "gam urn")
    - Don't complain too much! It's not Singapore
    - Remember to tip after meal (abt 10-20%)
    - Remember to tip after going massage/spa/manicure (some may want as much as 50% tip but up to u if u like her service, otherwise 20-30%)
    - Remember to tip at bar
    - Remember to tip if any service is rendered
    - Remember to tip... Singaporean tourist has a bad reputation here when it comes to tipping.

    If you rent a motorcycle:

    - Read the T&C, if you lose a crap Honda Cup the compensation can be as high as USD2,000
    - Never leave your bike unattended.
    - Park you bike and remember to get a tag from the attendant
    - Remember where is the petrol station
    - Hire a taxi so you can follow behind if you are lost haha
    - Don't use any GPS not even your phone (because it will be snatched)

  5. #45

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    About the tipping part, any advice whats a standard "tipping value" for hotel staff in Saigon?

    I've been to HCMC twice, 2nd time with more photo-kakis, seemed that we tipped too much until they see us like "carrot-heads".... can even rmb our hotel room number when we leaving!

  6. #46

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    I second that with some other brothers that HCM is quite a safe place. wandering alone at night is ok. To play safe, keep your wallet in the hotel. just bring enough cash with u and not to forget, your hotel/inn address card incase u get lost at the many crossroads..hehehe.. its nice sitting at the roadside stalls at noon, having your lunch while sipping away kopi. very relaxing feeling where u can see the locals doing their stuffs. people there are friendly when u give them a smile, they will definitely smile back. that can brighten up your mood too.

  7. #47
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    Hi. This thread is good. Sorry ts i dun want to open new thread but same topic.. I be going hmc this cny. Beside wikitravel and the places mention here, where else or other suggestion? After i book the ticket, wife broke the news that she is 4 months pregnant. Its my first baby so anything i can look out for? Safety wise?

  8. #48

    Default Re: Ho Chi Minh City

    HCMC is generally safe, but I was constantly reminded by the hotel staff whenever I step out of the hotel with my camera in my hands (I hate putting my stuff in and out of my bag). So far nothing happened but I might have been plain lucky.

    I never really bothered about tips... Usually just grab all the change and leave. I been to HCMC a few times and my local friends never leave tips as well. That's for dining only... I do not fancy massages.
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