Personal Safety Ho Chi Minh City

by Gervis
(Penticton, BC)

I was just wondering how safe you consider Ho Chi Minh city to be.

It's not like I'm going to walk down any dark alleys alone but am I fairly safe if I stick mainly around that backpacker area called Pham Ngu Lao?

Do you recommend leaving cash and passports and travelers checks in the hotel room or should I keep it on me. Do they even have a safety deposit box in some of the budget hotels about Pham Ngu Lao?



Answer from

I consider Ho Chi Minh city one of the safest places anywhere in South East Asia. Violent crime is extremely rare and to harm a tourist would mean severe punishment as Vietnam tries desperately to grow its tourist industry.

Having said that, no where are there more cunning thieves than in Ho Chi Minh City. And your worst threat is the maid that cleans your room.

That may sound off but in all my time living in Saigon, the maid ends up getting you 90% of the time. So never leave anything of value in your hotel room while you are out.

Read our review of the best budget hotels in Ho Chi Minh city before you book one.

The best way to safeguard your possessions is to carry them at all times in a money belt around your waist, hidden under your shirt.

Grab and run is the biggest worry.

If you are carrying a purse or even a knapsack, the bad ones will drive up beside you on the sidewalk. One of them will jump off the bike and bowl you over then grab your bag.

He will then jump on the motorbike and speed away with his friend at the wheel.

Or they flat out just grab your bag and drive off until you let go of the bag or be dragged along the street until you relent.

I hope I am not scaring you. It is a danger everywhere. Don't present them with a target and you will never encounter a problem.

If you rent a motorbike to brave the city traffic then request a lock for the motorbike and never leave it unattended. I had mine stolen before Christmas as I paid for a bottle of water no more Than 50' away from my bike.

I still have the key!

They must have had a skeleton key because the bike was gone in under 20 seconds.

Be safe, carry everything in a concealed manner and enjoy a good Bia Hoi when you get the chance.

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