It has been alarming to hear and read lots of untoward incidents happening to tourists in Saigon. If these were happening in Manila, I’d say it’s because the holidays are rolling in soon and well…it’s a seasonal thing. But hey, we’re in Saigon and it’s just October. Tet is months away.
A friend of a friend who is visiting got her bag snatched while touring the city. Her passport was inside her bag. Similarly, a friend of a friend who was having breakfast in a hotel left his bag unattended to get food. When he came back, his bag was gone. Another incident was that of a friend who got off a taxi cab — the taxi ran off with his laptop bag as he completed the payment off the cab.
I’m sure this doesn’t happen in Saigon only but better be reminded —
Do not leave your belongings unattended. Saigon is a relatively safe country. The word is RELATIVELY. That doesn’t mean it’s void of bad elements. Do not flash your jewelries. Maybe just don’t bring any.
Do not bring your passport with you when touring. You won’t need to show your passport! Better yet, store it in the hotel safe.
Wear a body bag. Don’t make it easy for snatchers to drive past you and snatch your bag!
Beware of non-metered taxis. Stick to Mai Linh, Vinasun, and Vinataxi. Better yet, if coming from a hotel, ask your hotel to get you a cab. Steer clear of taxis with all-tinted windows. Read more about it here.
When riding a cyclo, clarify the cost. I’ve heard of friends complain all the time about cyclo drivers asking them to pay way too much. A couple I know was asked to pay 1MVND for each cyclo for an hour ride. That’s 50USD, and yes that’s way too much.
Be vigilant. Secure your belongings.
If you still have tourist questions, here are my 10 Tourist Tips in Saigon.