Ho Chi Minh City - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

The traffic is definitely a security concern - it seems like a live-action version of Frogger when trying to cross the street. I have heard there have been some purse snatching and phone snatching amongst some of the Consulate community, but nothing that can't be replaced. Otherwise, just be aware of your surroundings, and don't make yourself an easy target...that's what they're looking for - easy. I have never felt unsafe walking around our district or downtown; I just keep my hands on my purse, and my phone in my pocket. - Sep 2021

Petty crime and crime of opportunity is common. Many people are victims of snatch-and-ride theft by thieves on motorcycles. As a male, I never felt vulnerable, even at night in sketchy areas. My female friends have told me that they feel otherwise. Travel with a friend is safer. - Jul 2019

Having your bag snatched pretty violently. There is a sad increase of violence among Vietnamese people - revenge killings and people getting beat up. Expats should keep themselves away from any of that - it's serious. - Mar 2016

There are bag/purse snatchings here by people on motorbikes, and there have been a few house break-ins, but not in the compounds. Other than that, I feel completely safe here. I just take precautions and carry a very small purse when I am out. I also don’t wear any fancy jewelry. - Aug 2015

We take the same precautions we would take in any other big city, there is a lot of "petty" crime like purse snatching. We are just very careful, especially since they target foreigners. We also don't use the local motorbikes for fear of getting ripped off or harmed in some other way. We use respected and well-known cabs. - May 2014

General pick-pocketing and bag snatching, the usual grab and dash. Nothing extremely violent. - Jul 2011

Yes. Petty theft, phone and bag snatchers, pickpockets. The most common theft I hear of, is 2 guys speeding by on a motor bike will knock cell phones from your hand or unhook or wrench bag straps from pedestrians and speed off. Usually these are crimes of opportunity, when you are out and about you are always being observed, especially in the markets. Everybody I know here has had their cell phone stolen at some point. My bag was strapped over my shoulder and under one arm, I felt the strap go, the robbers had wrenched it from the leather bag so fast and sped off causing the strap to spin off my body and leave me running after them yelling. Hopeless. There are house break-ins across the river in a district called Anh Phu where families live in residences, they have security guards, but here in the heart of the city we live in a Condo and the security is very good. I know of people who had their passports stolen when their hotel room was broken into. Never leave anything lying anywhere at any time, it will be stolen. The local culture is very tolerant of untruthfulness, you will often not be told the truth. Domestic help will lie to you, it is not unusual, make sure references are good, a lot of theft can be an inside job. The yoga studio I once attended had money stolen from the lockers by a family member of the owners. If you have something of value make sure it is locked a way in a secure place. - Sep 2010

I have been robbed twice on the street, pretty violently I might add. I now take taxis everywhere. As the global economy crashes, people become more desperate, so you have to be careful. But there is no chance of being held up at gunpoint. One growing danger is the rising rate of house break-ins and home invasions. This used to be a problem for the local population only, but now it has spread to expats as well. Ironically, the area with the most danger of this is the big expat compound. - Nov 2009

Pickpocketing, purse snatching in markets and pedestrian/ traffic issues. - Dec 2008

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