9 comments on “Ho Chi Minh City at night

    • Hello, Linda,thanks. The market is definitely safe, especially as there’re often lots of tourists walking around at night. Do be careful crossing the streets there though. The City Hall and Saigon Theater are a little further away, about at least 10 minutes’ walk along one street, but it is also quite safe. You’ll find locals there also enjoying the sights and there are high-end hotels and stores which have security guards.

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      • ok cool. I really wanna travel to Ho Chi Minh. Did you also visit rural areas in Vietnam?? how about safety there? especially for a girl. I am not planning on travelling there alone but still wanna make sure it’s safe.

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        • I only went to cities- Hanoi, HCMC, and Hue, as well as Ha Long Bay. I think Vietnam’s quite safe, with pickpocketing the only thing to really be wary of. I only had one possible pickpocket attempt during my 10 days there. Before going to Vietnam, I had concerns about crime and safety, but I felt very safe the whole time and people were generally nice everywhere.
          Of course, things like road safety and scams are bigger concerns. I did encounter a few scams- you can read my previous posts under Travel- SE Asia-Vietnam, and you’ve got to be very careful when crossing the road.

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    • Here’s my unsolicited advice…

      The main safety issue is pickpocketing and bag snatching – so it’s more about safety of your possessions than of your person. While there are incidences of violent robberies in the city and out of the city, these are still relatively rare, so not likely to be an issue. In terms of snatchings, though, I personally know four people who have experienced this (and I don’t have a lot of friends here yet) in HCMC. One had her phone snatched, another was checking photos on an iPad and someone tried to snatch that (luckily he had a firm grip), another had a bag snatched and the fourth was careless and left his bag unattended in a park (even though it was just for a few seconds). Most commonly, people will fly by on a motorbike and snatch whatever they can, but cameras and bags are common victims, along with phones. Whenever I go out to shoot, I’m mindful of this and wrap the strap of my camera many times around my wrist so there’s nothing to grab, and if they grab the camera itself, they won’t be able to pull it away (they may break my arm or dislocate my shoulder, but they won’t get the camera)! This kind of crime is a real risk, especially in touristy places, but if as long as you’re aware and proactive in not giving thieves opportunity, you’ll be fine. As you’re not travelling alone, personal safety is not a big issue in HCMC.

      In terms of rural areas, as long as you stick to popular tourist destinations, you’ll be fine. There are robbers in Vietnam, but you won’t encounter them unless you get off the beaten track, and usually only if you hire a motorbike to explore the country, as much of the robbery happens on the road.

      Basically, for most tourists, while snatchings and pickpocketings are something to be watchful for (as in any country with many people living below the poverty line), there is little to worry about in terms of suffering any kind of violent crimes. Most Vietnamese people are honest and helpful, so try not to worry too much about safety (but be alert for thieves), and enjoy the warmth of the people here.

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      • Good advice. It’s much more helpful coming from someone who lives there.
        A friend I made during my travels told me he saw a snatch attempt made by somebody on a motorscooter.
        Definitely it’s a good idea to be careful with your phone, camera, or handbag (if you’re a woman).
        In general, I never used my phone out on the street and I was always careful while taking photos at night,
        though my camera was just a small point-and-shoot. However, during the day I walked to many places around
        Hanoi and HCMC, though admittedly the main sights,
        and I never felt any concern.

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  1. Actually Ben Thanh market is not the biggest in HCMC, not by far. If you head out to Chinatown, there is a really really big and busy market there, but it gets far fewer tourists. The district is actually referred to as Cho Lon, which means “big market”. I am not a fan of Ben Thanh market to be honest (as with the locals, I feel it’s vastly overrated and somewhat of a tourist trap), but I loved the main market in Cho Lon. It’s more of a real functional market where you can get almost anything you can imagine, but not so many tacky tourist items. More of an insight into a typical Vietnam market, but on a bigger scale than average.

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    • Hello, yes, I also went to Cholon and a large market- the Binh Tay market, assuming that’s the one you’re talking about. I didn’t take pictures of it, but it definitely seemed more of a functional market and less touristy than Ben Thanh. To be honest though, I didn’t get the sense that Binh Tay was much bigger than Ben Thanh. I now remember that Ben Thanh has a second floor.

      I give Cholon and Binh Tay a little mention near the end of this post:
      https://hcyip.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/ho-chi-minh-city-the-first-full-day/.

      I did see that a lot of stuff in Ben Thanh were souvenirs, but given its location and the fact it operates both at day and night, I think it’s still a good place for tourists to check out.

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