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How can I avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam?

July 12, 2023 - 4805 views

Vietnam is an attractive destination for a lot of tourists, however, there are still some scams that you should be aware of. Be prepared before you start the trip and enjoy it

Like any other country in the world, there are pick-pockets in Vietnam. Therefore, take your time to read the following information about pickpocket: How it works, places pickpocket occurring, and how to handle it. Hope it helps and you will be able to enjoy the trip to Vietnam.

How does pick-pocket work in Vietnam?

Pickpockets can be men, women, young or old, innocent children, pregnant women or female who pretends to proposition you by touching you but are trying to pick your pockets. Pickpockets can work alone, in pairs, or a group. If in a group, each person is assigned a task like blocking, pushing, distracting, engaging you, some do grabbing and hiding the loot under a cover like jackets, newspapers, and then escape. When looking for their target, they loiter on the sidewalk pretending to buy food or drink or read a newspaper, some ride motorbikes on the streets in search of the victim, some dress smartly and take care not to focus attention on their selected target. Their target is anyone who carries expensive jewelry or valuable stuff like cellphones, wallets, etc. When the pickpocket finds a potential victim, they get close to him/her then act quickly and smoothly without making a sound. If the thieve works in a gang, they will put you in some specific situation to distract you then steal your money, credit card, and assets. Some use knife to slash your bag to collect your wallet, purs, then use your card to buy some expensive items in shopping malls.
Another kind of pickpocket is stealing money at the hotel by a housekeeper. Thieves do not take a whole amount of money, just a few, so clients do not notice straight away. They only know at the end of the trip or some never know this happening.

avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

Pickpockets on the street

Places to beware of pickpockets:

You can find pickpockets in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Nha Trang. Pickpockets often show up in crowded places such as main streets, markets, sight-seeing places, public transportation, or in big festivals. Below are particular places in big cities in Vietnam where you can see pick-pocket. Be aware!
Hanoi: Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Night market, Temple of Literature & National University, Dong Xuan market.
Hue: Dong Ba Market
Da Nang: Han River Bridge, The Marble Mountains, Lady Buddha, Dragon Bridge,
Hoi An: Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Ancient Town, Hoi An Night Market, An Bang Beach.
Nha Trang: Ba Ho Waterfall, Nha Tho Nui, Long Son Pagoda, Nha Trang Beach, Po Nagar Cham Towers.
Ho Chi Minh City:
Sight-seeing places: Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum, Central Post Office, The Independence Palace, Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater, Ho Chi Minh City Squares, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, Chinatown - District 5, Suoi Tien Theme Park, Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Markets: Binh Tay Market, Ben Thanh Night Market, Russian Market, Ben Thanh Market.
Streets: Bui Vien Street, Dong Khoi, Pham Ngu Lao Street, Bui Vien, De Tham, Tran Hung Dao, Nguyen Hue Street.

avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

The Marble Mountains is the place where there are a lot of pickpockets

How to handle pickpocket:

Do not make yourself the pickpocket's target

The best solution is not to make yourself the pickpocket's target. Do not wear precious jewelry, like necklaces, earrings, and watches when you go for a walk in the streets otherwise you will become the target of jewelry snatchers. Just wear simple and usual clothes. Moreover, watch out carefully when you have to answer the phone or take photos on the streets.

avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

Wearing simple clothes without precious jewelry to avoid being the target of a pickpocket

Be cautious of crowds

Crowds are the ideal place for pickpockets to work. Being in the crowds, you will be distracted by many things. An innocent child can be a member of pickpocket gangs. While you are trying to buy something from him, someone can come to pickpocket you. Therefore, be cautious of crowds.

avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

Be cautious of crowds

Keep your valuables in the safe places

Use the front pocket to keep your wallet or carry your bag in front of you. Doing that makes it difficult for snatchers to grab your bag. If you carry a strap, do not forget to let it cross your chest instead of carrying on only one side. If possible, split it out and put it in different places You can also put your valuables in money safes or lockable tools at your accommodation.

avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

Carrying your bag in front of you to avoid being pickpocketed

Buy travel insurance

If possible, buy travel insurance which can cover theft. If you are not lucky to be the victim of the theft, be prompt to contact the local police, and ask for their support. The more quickly the alert occurs, the higher the chance of the return of your snatched items is.

Make a copy of the important document

Make a copy of your important document like an ID card, passport, and bring it with you in case you lose the real one.


avoid the pick-pocket in Vietnam scams

Make a photocopy of your passport in case you lose it

Be aware of the pickpocket in advance to avoid it. Do not let this mar your trip to Vietnam.

For other scams in Vietnam, click this link: Most Common Travel Scams to Avoid in Vietnam

Jenny Tran

Image source: Internet

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