A Few Tips on Safety
You may read some stories of theft and snatching in Ho Chi Minh City.
And just like any fast and busy city, there’s always going to be a risk of carrying belongings with you. One of the main safety concerns in Ho Chi Minh City are thieves swiftly swinging by on motorbikes and grabbing bags or mobile phones or cameras, right out of your hand.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Mobile phone – Never pull out and use your mobile phone facing or open to the busy street. When I busted out my phone I usually went to the side of the street, and tried to duck into a business patio and sheltered myself with the wall.
- Camera – Likewise with a camera, you sort of have to use your own discretion of when and when not to be holding your camera out in the open to take photos. Again, try to have your back against a wall or stand to the back of parked motorbikes when you take photos of the open roads to provide a bit of a bunker.
- Wallet – I typically like to keep my wallet in my front right pocket, and then I like to keep some small money in my left pocket. When I buy something small on the streets, I just reach into my left pocket to pay, rather then having to take out my entire wallet. Use whatever system works best for you, but it’s a good idea
to have some small money to buy small things, where you don’t have to take out your full wallet.
- Touristy areas – The majority of muggings happen in touristy shopping areas, so use extremely caution with your valuables in these areas.
My Top Tips for Scam Free rides in Saigon Taxis
*** USE GRAB OR UBER for more safety, because you know the exactly price before you go
Number 1 -Only use Vinasun or Mai Linh taxis. These are the biggest cab companies in Ho Chi Minh City. Sit in one spot for long enough and you will see hundreds of them drive by. Their drivers are well trained and professional and, in my experience, always use an accurate meter. All their cabs are air conditioned, in good condition and kept spotless. The flag fall and per kilometer rates are prominently displayed on both the outside and inside of the taxi. Drivers display their Identification and unique identifier clearly in the front of the cab.. There are other companies who are honest but as I can’t personally recommend them I won’t mention them here. Record name of taxi company, number, ask your local friends, hotel receptionist about estimate taxi rate of price of the distant you would like to go.
However, just to reassure you, many of the people in Saigon are extremely friendly and very kind.
When I was eating street food and walking around Saigon, I was greeted by dozens of friendly people. So don’t be too uptight, enjoy and experience as much as you can, but do take some precautions as mentioned above.