Getting pretty close to the weekend, which means the weekend-nigh-tmarket-pickpockets are getting excited. This weekend lets 'fight' back.
Hanoi is one of the safest places to travel - if not for those pesky pickpockets that seem to only come out during the night market. Really, they are not even real pickpockets. What they usually do is cut a hole in your bag and get everything out that way.
So here's what we all need to do:
- When we leave our hotels bring only what we need. 500,000 VND is about $25, that should do anybody for a cell phone case and a scarf, and probably a quick bite to eat, and still a little left over for a few bia hoi's.
- Leave everything else in your hotel room or in the hotel safe. Do NOT bring your passport, wallet, purse, or camera (if it is in a bag).
- No purses, no back packs, no bags, what ever you might call them - leave them at the hotel.
- If you want to take a camera. Where the camera's strap around your wrist or neck so that you can always feel it on your person.
Follow these simple guidelines and you will be ok. And, those pesky pickpockets, will go home empty handed!
#1 FootprintVn has been a member since 2/1/2012. Posts: 9
It's especially bad right now that everyone needs a little extra cash for Tet. At least in Hanoi, they rarely have the drive-by slashings that happen down in Saigon and Nha Trang.
#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111
Daawgon / Cranky - I don't like the idea of handing my passport over if I can avoid it just in case I forget to get it when I leave! While in Vietnam for a month, I only ever handed my passport over once. The rest of the time I got away with giving them a laminated photocopy of the picture page only. They always needed to know the visa number so I just wrote it down on a post-it note that I stuck to the photocopy.
I agree with Liz' solution here.
As for pickpockets - don't carry a bag. What self respecting real man walks around with a hand bag anyway? Instead, where a jacket with lose pockets and put a scorpion in one. That'll get his attention real quick. Scorpion stings hurt like hell.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Liz, you are totally right, and it is a great solution if you don't want to hand over your passport.
The hotels and hostels only need your passport to enter its information on a police form that is filled out every day and handed over to the police. It a Vietnamese policy. So, really all they care about is the information on it.
In regards to carrying your passport on you at all times. That is kind of an urban travel myth. Many countries require you to, but really it is not always necessary (check each country for its policy). In Vietnam we have never heard of anyone having a problem yet.
#7 FootprintVn has been a member since 2/1/2012. Posts: 9
In Thailand you are required to. And I don't. When I am stopped (on the bus or on my bike) I give them my Thai drivers license and that's good enough. I strongly suspect a copy of your immigration form with a copy of your passport would be enough.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Good call with the laminated copy, In China you should defiantly have your passport with you at all times as the police took my friend to the station after they 'raided' a popular expat bar. At the station he had to pay a hefty fine for not having his passport on him (maybe the laminated copy would have sufficed but I would assume they would want to see a copy of his visa as well).
#9 phishsticks has been a member since 10/10/2011. Posts: 32
First Madmac declares war on 100cc motorbikes, and now I can't even carry a backpack without being the subject of derision. I like the idea of keeping scorpions in my pockets though.
Without appearing homophobic, and using the term in its generic, fisherman's pants, flip flops, 100 cc bikes and purses are GAY. What kind of real man prances around wearing that crap while riding around on a Honda Dream II?
Remmember when being a real man meant driving down the road at 100 mph, stone drunk, with one hand on the throttle and the other fondling a hot chick on the back? Well, fortunately, the chopper remains the sacred shrine of real men everywhere. There are, however, a few new twists to the rules of the road. To wit:
Real men don't wear fishermans pants. What kind of road rash are you going to get when you have to lay the bike down wearing that kind of ridiculous looking attire.
Real men don't wear flip flop or Teva's. What's going to happen to your foot when you have to right the bike at high speed?
Real men don't carry handbags or "day bags". These are far too bulky and awkward while riding and we have saddle bags on the chopper for items real men find essential on the open road (like pistols and beer) which won't fit in your wallet. Furthermore, you look ridiculous carrying something women carry.
And what self-respecting real man would ride around on a Honda Dream II or a Fino?
So what do real men drive? Choppers. Massive, hulking, gas-guzzling choppers with loud straight pipes and 750cc under the seat. After all, say real men, how are you ever going to lose a local cop on a Honda?
#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'how are you ever going to lose a local cop on a Honda?'
That's easy over here in Cambodia-just make sure you've got more than 1 litre of gas as the local cops aren't trusted with more than a litre because they siphon it and sell it.
BTW I've got a 100cc bike and it goes like a 200cc.Thing is I'd love to know what it is.The engine is made in Indonesia, the frame is from China and the registration is Vietnamese.It's also got a Honda logo!!!???
Got to agree with Madmac about fisherman's pants and add turbans (why do these idiots fly in from India in this ridiculous garb, maybe they just like giving the locals a good snigger, also rasta hair but that's my pet hate.
But worse is this imported fashion popular with the local lads. A hair style that's kind of an imitation of a parrot. Is this popular in Thailand too?
Bit off thread there but on the matter of pickpockets I was always taught if you get jostled on the right look to the left and vice versa.The jostling is the distraction whilst the partner hepls himself to your wallet.I also always wear trousers (pants) with good zip pockets or at the very least velcro fastening which make noise when they are pulled.
#13 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Out of interest, what do you think about women who wear fisherman's pants? Not that I plan on wearing them, although they do look REALLY comfy
#16 Phiddy has been a member since 1/12/2011. Posts: 64
I don't ever wear shorts for the same reason I don't ever wear open toed footwear. They don't protect the legs - and mosquitos love to bite an unprotected leg! On the farm they really blow, because there are all kinds of plants and so forth that irritate as well. As for fashion, the really short, shorts that were popular in the 70s make guys look like a total dork. They work on women with nice legs though.
Phiddy that kind of clothing I think is pretty much goofy on everyone.
Basically my rule of thumb is I dress the same way here I did when I was in Germany or the US. I do like shirts with the Mandarin collar, but I wore those back home as well. Some people come here and suddenly want to become a hippie. That doesn't work for me on any level. I was playing chess a few months back with the guys on the river and this tall white guy comes strolling down the road looking for all the world as if he had just walked out of Haight Ashbury in 1967. The Thai guys looked at me and wanted and explanation - for which I could offer none. This kind of fasion perhaps works in someplace like Pai (I wouldn't know, because I haven't been there), but here where I live, it's regrded as every bit as peculiar as it was regarded in Augsburg, Germany.
#17 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I haven't been Cranky, so I would not know. The descriptions of it, however, do not make it sound appealing to me. One of the big reasons I like being where I am is I am away from the tourist scene. Pai sounds like it has a lot of tourists. On top of that, it sounds like it has the kind of tourist that irritates me the most: The sanctimonious Beatnik. But like I said, I haven't been, so I can't pass judgement.
#19 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
'I do like shirts with the Mandarin collar'
Are those the ones with flared sleaves so you can stick your hands inside to hide you k-bar. You must like those conical hats as well then.Those long moustaches are so hard to grow though.
#20 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557
Just the collar Sayadian, just the collar. Let's not get carried away.
#21 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Couldn't resist that.
But I think we're in agreement about some of the stuff these people turn up in.We just saw one, the other day wearing a doti or is it a lungi (you know that wrap around thing favoured by Gandhi) no shoes, and a long beard plaited. I didn't know if he'd just got off a pirate ship or was an extra for a film about the British Raj.Should have see the looks he got.But he was totally oblivious as he had a big spliff of ganja in his mouth.Possibly he's languishing in the local jail by now.
#22 sayadian has been a member since 15/1/2008. Posts: 1,557