We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Veradale, Washington
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

I am considering a trip to Ho Chi Minh City this coming February. My main concern is street crime.

I spent 20 plus years in the US Navy and am fully aware of all of the recommended precautions to take while walking the streets of cities like HCMC. But while there i would like to wander around with my camera and take pictures of the people, buildings, markets, etc. My camera is not a point-and-shoot that I can carry in my pocket but a fairly expensive DSLR that I must wear using a neck strap.

If I do this, what are the odds that I will return statesides with my camera?

Thank you.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
13,800 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

I would be extremely nervous using an expensive camera in Saigon unless I had some kind of security. That could be another person watching my back, or the like. The problem here is that the police are so ineffective, the chances of a successful crime happening are very high, and in a very tight economy, your chances of leaving with your camera are anyone's guess - hope you have very good insurance.

Lincoln, United...
Level Contributor
8,463 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Fairly good I'd say. Even though my SLR camera had a strap, I tended to get it out of it's case (usually kept in my small rucksack that went everywhere with me) only when required for a shot, with the strap wrapped around my wrist. I took something like 3000 shots like that all over the place while wandering around HCMC. While there are motorbike thieves about you need to be set up for them to operate. If you're fool enough to go stand on the edges of pavements etc (sidewalks in your case) waving your camera then you deserve everything that comes your way. But that applies to any city on the planet and while i heard the odd tale i can't say I ever saw any thieves about.

Edited: 2:24 pm, October 23, 2012
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Hmmm, two very different responses! How does Hanoi compare?

I doubt very much folks stand in the edge of the pavement waving about their camera for no good reason, lol.

Even with a point and shoot you can be pickpocketed, so really it's a risk either way.

Lincoln, United...
Level Contributor
8,463 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

I can only say how I fared. I was walking around HCMC for 22 months and most of the times the camera was with me. And it is surprising how many people, with very expensive kit, will set up their camera on a tripod to shoot things once darkness falls.

Hanoi, mmm probably same same, although I seem to recall the street lighting wasn't as good as down south.

Llanbrynmair...
Level Contributor
14,753 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Ladie A, I've spent a heck of a long time in Hanoi over the years and I've yet to encounter anyone who has been a victim of a motorcycle drive-by snatch-and-grab.

Nor have I ever had anything stolen, despite being a solo-travelling female of advanced years (couldn't chase a thief even if I did have an SLR to be snatched) who feels perfectly safe walking about both day and night in the main areas frequented by tourists, despite the lack of street lighting.

Tempopo, paranoia is a bad thing, sensible precautions are essential no matter where you are in the world, including HCMC. Not just the usual things, but also backing up your photos every day - once that's done your insurance company can take the care of the rest in the unlikely event you will have to make a claim.

Australia
Level Contributor
1,550 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Weren't there some risks and hazard involved in your job in the Navy? Why did you do it then? Same reasoning applies to whether or not you should use a camera in HCMC.

And as the others have said, if you are cautious then you will have no trouble at all.

QLD
Level Contributor
1,377 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

I always find it amusing that those who always seem so worried about crime in Vietnam mostly come from a country with the highest crime rate and almost the highest murder rate in the world

www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri-crime

I can see them all cheering and fist pumping the air now

USA number 1, USA number 1 (-;

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
14,194 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

Hahahaha. That's hilarious, dacaro. I can see it right now.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
13,800 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

I suggest that you read the daily English, online press for Vietnam, and make up your own mind. The more you flaunt wealth in the developing world, the more you risk your property and your life.

QLD
Level Contributor
1,377 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Ho Chi Minh City Crime.

"I suggest that you read the daily English, online press for Vietnam, and make up your own mind."

I do, and I read the American, South African and Thai press as well.

Vietnam is pretty tame in comparison.

"The more you flaunt wealth in the developing world, the more you risk your property and your life."

Simple solution is don't flaunt your wealth.

Edited: 9:17 pm, October 23, 2012