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Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Saltcoats, United...
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176 posts
12 reviews
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Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

What with all the posts about being scammed/mugged/held at knifepoint in Saigon etc, im kind of worried about my upcoming trip now.

My main concerns are using ATM's, taxis, my DSLR camera, my personal money.

For my DSLR camera I replaced my normal straps with slashproof ones, and also attached a secondary wrist strap. I am a photographer so my camera will be staying with me most of the time.

My personal money I have ordered a pacsafe slashproof under body wallet, to conceal my money and cards.

As for expensive jewellery ( will be proposing to my girlfriend in phu quoc) and i will be insisting she takes it off in Saigon and makes use of the room safe, which will also contain our passports etc.

Our trip has been organised by a travel agent and we will have a private guide in most of the places we go, so this had alleviated my worries, as often having a local with you deters potential thieves.

What about taxis? Should I always arrange transport through my hotel (or restaurant), and arrange a pickup time, and a time for them to collect us as well? how do we negotiate a price? what if they lock us in and demand more?

Please help alleviate my concerns about this trip. mainly to Saigon and Hanoi. I want this trip to be perfect so my girlfriend remembers the time i proposed to her for the rest of her life, and not because we fell foul of some scam or mugging.

thanks, Bryan

Melbourne, Australia
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5,370 posts
109 reviews
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1. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Hi Bryan, We didn't have a issue when we were in vietnam (coming again in 2 days). We always felt perfectly safe.

Jewellery, keep it to the minimum.

Money, had in in my bag which was strapped over my body and my hand resting on the bag. My husband just put his money in his cargo pants and we never had a issue.

ATM just used one at the bank, but we take mostly cash and exchange money as we move arround. Never had a problem.

Camera, sorry only have a little camera I put in my bag, so cant help you there.

We have arrange hotel pickup at the airport. It is more expensive but great to see your name on a board and they take you right to your hotel.

We walked the streets all day and into the evening and never had a problem, when we went by taxi we only hailed a Mai Linh taxi (make sure he is wearing a tie) and ask for the meter. Once jumped into a fake and jumped out pretty quick when we noticed it was really dirty.

We are really looking forward to our trip, as long as you are aware of the scammers you should not have a problem, just enjoy this beautiful country and relax.

We stayed in Dist 1 in HCMC and near the centre in Hanoi.

I am sure you will be fine.

Take some great pics

Viv

Italy
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39,493 posts
226 reviews
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2. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Just take all the usual precautions you would in any other country and you'll be fine. Before you leave get good info here about all the scams and you'll know what to avoid.

Birmingham, United...
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1,275 posts
41 reviews
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3. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

If you've not seen this on TA it's worth a quick read;

tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g293921-c3348/Viet…

vietnam
Destination Expert
for Nha Trang
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6,066 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

With all the precautions you are taking can't see you having a problem.

Pattaya, Thailand
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for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
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56 reviews
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5. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Hotel room safes are easy to get in, so that isnt as secure as u might think. Streets are manageable just keep wits about u!

Saltcoats, United...
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176 posts
12 reviews
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6. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

thanks all for the messages. We were in peru for 3 weeks a few months back and never once felt unsafe there. hoping this is going to be the same. The comment about the hotel rooms not being secure is a tad worrying. Ill keep up my reading of the various posts on this forum and try to learn all the scams so im fully aware.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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4,140 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

The hotel safe is more secure than anything else. As long as you know that there is always a way to open them in case you forget your pin.

You shouldn't feel paranoid about being in Vietnam. Just use common sense. I understand the reason for bringing the jewellery but normally I'd advise against it. For myself I finally caved in and bought a solar powered, waterproof, indestructible (I hope) watch to replace my Rolex when travelling in Vietnam.

As for DSLR and other stuff, having it stolen is a nuisance, but you have travel insurance, right?

Pattaya, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
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8. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Hotel Staff can open at their discretion some are default passwords set and others need a key. Also safes can be removed from the rooms - should be bolted down, but common place to just throw in a wardrobe.

Good idea to maybe stick valuables to the top of the safe ceiling in a envelope which if opened looks like nothing is there. Chances are nowt will happen but pays to be cautious.

Other Scams - taxi always use Mai Linh or VinSun, keep gear in front of you, avoid walking on side of the street. (easy pickings for motorcycle bandits) Like I said most of this is pretty much common sense - never had an issue in Saigon but like anywhere if you let your guard down then you can be taken advantage of.

Kiu
London, United...
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149 posts
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9. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Hi Kamikazi929

I will be packpacking around Vietnam in a few weeks time. Like you, will be carrying my DSLR with a telephoto lens which makes my camera pretty big. Can you advise me where you bought slash proof straps? Also any info or tips for insurance would be great.

I have travel insurance but the reimbursement for valuables, which a camera is categorised as, is no way near enough to cover its value.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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4,140 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Safety concerns about upcoming trip...

Slash proof straps are sold by pacsafe. Be aware, though, that they are usually made to tear at a certain place to prevent someone getting decapicated in case of an accident or in case someone grabs it when driving past. I have one for my point and shoot camera, but it is nowhere enough for a big DSLR with a 28-300 mm lens.

Edited: 14 February 2012, 11:51