Unfortunately, on 2 separate occasions this week, myself and my girlfriend have fallen foul of this. First time, 2 guys drove past the girlfriend and snatched her handbag .. luckily she was not hurt. She lost her phone, ATM cards and her Thai ID card. Second time, I was waiting outside a food takeaway place with my phone in my hand, waiting on an Uber taxi to turn up. A guy came from behind, snatched my phone and started running down the street. He then jumped on to his friends motorbike and sped off. I tried to give chase but fell over and grazed my hand.
After more than 30 years of travelling the world to maybe 30 countries, this is first time I have experienced something like this. I do not feel safe and have cut my trip short and will return to Thailand in 2 days time.
My advice to others wanting to travel to Vietnam, is do not. There are plenty of other countries who are happy to take our tourist dollars without having to look over our shoulders 24/7.
Here is a quote from a government website: –
Despite the high crime rating for Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), most visitors feel relatively safe. Random violent crime against foreigners is relatively rare, and the level of crime is comparable to other cities of a similar size throughout Asia. Visitors regularly fall victim to property crimes, which are usually non-confrontational crimes of opportunity. Pickpocketing, purse slashing, bag snatching, and the theft of valuables is a common occurrence, particularly in areas frequented by tourists and business travelers. Maintaining an extremely high level of 360 degree situational awareness and alertness is critical to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of petty street crime.
Theft by motor scooter is a popular modus operandi wherein thieves grab bags/purses from victims while speeding by. This approach can cause serious injury to victims if they are unable to quickly release themselves from the straps of the bag, leaving them to be dragged by the motor scooter at high speeds. Carrying bags on the arm opposite the road and walking away from the edge of the curb can discourage potential motor scooter thieves. Smart phones, particularly iPhones and Androids, are very popular with thieves and are snatched out of victims’ hands by passing motor scooter thieves.
Please share and make others aware the dangers of this country. I do not think I will ever come back.