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Good and bad times in Saigon

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Milan, Italy
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Good and bad times in Saigon

Just a note after too many threads vanished.

It is obviously still possible and recommended to write a post if you have been robbed in Saigon.

Stay focused on what went wrong so other people can avoid it and make no judgment on the country or the sleeping police.

The usual recommendations:

leave passport at hotel. If hotel looks not good change place, they are the only one that can help you and they always do their best.

Leave cards in the safe, count the cash you got from ATM and go out with less than 1 million dong, enough for buying 10 big bags of trashy stuff at Ben Than market.

Avoid cyclos.

Use only Vinasun taxi but try not to take ANY taxi close to Ben Than market or at the arrival area of Nha Trang/Mui Ne buses in PNL/De Tham street.

Avoid night buses.

Happy travel.

UK
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1. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

Be wary of new friends you make, especially if you see a pack of cards. That said, there are many many nice people who are happy to chat and practice their English.

Don't change money with anyone on the street. (Haven't seen this in Saigon, but I've met folks at the south end of HK lake in Hanoi trying to offer 'better' rates on currency exchange).

Keep small notes easily accessible, so you're not fiddling around with wallets or money belts when you pay for coffee etc.

Leave your valuables at home.

Be wary of 'ladies' cruising on motorbikes in the evening.

Don't walk about looking at the map in the back of Lonely Planet or on your smartphone.

Don't rush.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau...
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2. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

If you have had a bad experience be brief state all the hotels and locations keep your wits about you as the last 2 posters have stated.Vietnam no different re scams etc re your home country

Bangkok, Thailand
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3. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

"Vietnam no different re scams etc re your home country". Not sure where you're from rodef but certainly don't agree with this - I've travelled to many countries but the amount of scamming in Vietnam, in cities and tourist areas at least, is off the charts. Only Egypt is worse. I guess the saving grace is that whereas the Egyptians have got it down to such a fine art you sometimes don't notice you've been scammed for several days, whereas the scams in Vietnam are pretty transparent to savvy travellers and easily avoided if you come prepared.

All the above tips are good apart from "Use only Vinasun taxi". Vinasun are improving but, in Saigon at least, their drivers are mostly country bumpkins who don't know the city and need directions half the time. Mai Linh are way less problematic.

My only caveat would be not to get completely paranoid about being robbed/scammed - Vietnam isn't the favelas of Rio or the Marseille docks and remains relatively safe, and the more paranoid you get the less open and friendly you will be, and friendliness counts for a lot in Vietnam.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau...
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4. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

for your info ex merchant marine Norwegian /.Canadian coast guard and retired soldier from Rhodesia/Zimbabwe as a merchant seaman have traveled please feel free to read my profile have been to Marseille

also all ports from cape town to Tanzania....Sth America spent time in Mexico..As a seaman been places most dont go like i say been there done that.Also have lived in Viet Nam for 5yrs

Milan, Italy
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5. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

The real problems are not the scams, if the Vinasun taxi charge you 50cent for airport fee nobody cry....

they just post 20 messages....

But if they robbed you and take you down the street it's another very bad story.

That is the big difference from Thailand and Saigon.

Never went to Africa, Central America one time was enough....

Nha Trang, Vietnam
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6. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

Remind me now, where was I held up at gunpoint and robbed? Oh yes, now I remember: Napoli. Home of the Mafia.

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

Never been south of Rome.

No need to, it was more fun to travel for free to USA and China....for work ^^__^^

Bangkok, Thailand
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8. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

Where have I been punched in the face on the street by a total stranger, burgled twice, and had my pocket picked on public transport? Not Saigon, but my "beloved" home country England. I'll take my chances in Vietnam thanks, much safer.

Palatine, Illinois
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9. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

My husband and I have traveled all over the world and the only place we've ever had any trouble was in Seville, Spain. We left some money in the room, in a bag, (expensive lesson learned) and someone went in our bag and took it while we were out. My guess it was the front desk clerk who saw where we stashed the cash when we checked in. Nothing was disturbed, just the cash was gone. We didn't realize it until we checked out and moved on.

Milan, Italy
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10. Re: Good and bad times in Saigon

I can talk about how unsafe are big train stations in Italy but THIS IS A VIETNAM FORUM.

So please stay focused on Saigon.....or the thread will get deleted again...