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Safe for Chinese-American to travel in Vietnam given current conflict?

  • shise24

    Joined Travelfish
    28th May, 2014
    Posts: 1

    So I'm about to go on a trip to SE Asia, where we'll be spending about a week in Hanoi / Sa Pa at the end of June. It's a group of 6 girls, and 2 of us are Chinese-Americans, the rest are white Americans. Given the recent anti-Chinese rioting and violence that has been popping up due to the oil rig territorial dispute, we're wondering if it is still safe for us to travel to these places? How is the Vietnamese government handling the violence? Is it occurring in the urban and touristy areas, just as much as the rural areas? Does anyone have a gage on what the situation is like at the moment? And any thoughts on what they imagine the conflict will be like in about a month?

    Thank you so much for your help. We desperately need to figure out whether or not to re-route our trip and avoid Vietnam altogether.

    #1 Posted: 28/5/2014 - 11:51

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  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 910
    Total reviews: 2

    Obviously you've never been to Vietnam before? If you had, you would realize how ridiculous this question is, because the Vietnamese people are anything but violent. The current conflict (and mainly in HCMC and environs) is directed toward Chinese-owned industry, not private citizens.

    Go and enjoy Vietnam, and Hanoi and Sapa are two of the greatest places in this country. Have you reserved a free tour with Hanoikids (done for English practice by university students) - reserve now by emailing hanoikidsvn AT gmail DOT com.

    #2 Posted: 28/5/2014 - 12:54

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2360
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    "Obviously you've never been to Vietnam before? If you had, you would realize how ridiculous this question is"

    And by that, I think what daawgon meant is "Welcome to Travelfish!"

    Vietnam gets very mixed reviews from Travelfish posters, but those folks who like it seem to really fall in love with the place. Take the normal precautions you would take in any major American city, but as daawgon suggests, as long as you use good sense and are aware of your surroundings, you'll likely be safer in Vietnam than in any major American city.

    Great tip on the free tour, by the way. I'd like to hear more about that.

    Have a wonderful time. Cheers.

    #3 Posted: 28/5/2014 - 13:13

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    Daawgon, it's not that unrealistic a fear. Historically when there has been a conflict between the two countries there has been a backlash against ethnic Chinese living in Vietnam. In 1978 it was quite severe. Note the following:

    http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1514137/ethnic-chinese-live-fear-looting-and-violence-strike-vietnam-factories

    Neverthless, having said that, I think these two girls are at very low risk. First of all, they are carrying US passports.
    Secondly, they are in a group with a bunch of anglo girls. And thidly, the violence that has occurred has been small scale and directed at ethnic Chinese living in Vietnam. Given all those factors, I would say it's not worth being concerned about.

    #4 Posted: 28/5/2014 - 23:55

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    Quite agree with MAC there and it is certainly a fair question. Daawgon seems to judge the Vietnamese a bit too favorable. I guess we all do that with out favorite country in the region...

    Either way in a worst case scenario you will be saved by saying that you are american. Who would have thought that in Vietnam.....

    #5 Posted: 29/5/2014 - 04:41

  • MT

    Joined Travelfish
    29th May, 2014
    Posts: 1

    My family (parents and 2 kids) is supposed to go to HCMC for few days visit in middle of June. Eventhough we have American passport, I too am very concern about our safety since we are Chinese-American. I am seriously thinking skipping HCMC and re-route to somewhere else. Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    #6 Posted: 29/5/2014 - 14:54

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    For any advice you will need to tell a little more about your trip (length) and interests.

    As stated above the chances are very slim that something will happen to you. If you just stick to tourist areas (apart from cholon/chinatown) you should be fine. Your dress and manner will distinguish you from the local chinese community and danger would only occur when by chance you ended up in a mob.

    But then again why take any risk at all (especially with children) and I understand your consideration.

    #7 Posted: 29/5/2014 - 21:03

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 681

    "Your manner will distinguish you from the local chinese community"

    Don't slurp when you eat, spit at people's feet on the pavement or stare incessantly at tall people and you should be fine.

    #8 Posted: 30/5/2014 - 04:49

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    China - I am detecting some negativity towards Chinese culture here.

    #9 Posted: 30/5/2014 - 12:54

  • chinarocks

    Joined Travelfish
    17th June, 2011
    Posts: 681

    Would such activities be classed as culture?!

    Maybe I am stereotyping slightly but there is no denying the prevalence of Chinese people who engage in such behaviour. Sometimes it is endearing but more often than not it is outright annoying.

    #10 Posted: 30/5/2014 - 14:10

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    I guess the Chinese in Mukdahan are different. Probably because they were almost all born and raised in Thailand.

    #11 Posted: 30/5/2014 - 22:56

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