Privacy Concerns One should assume that all rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and, all movements and activities may be subject to surveillance by government services. If you plan on riding a motorbike or bicycle, you must wear a helmet, and it is recommended that you bring a U. Generally, peaceful demonstrations have also occurred as a result of the territorial disputes between Vietnam and China in the South China Sea, but they have been tacitly sanctioned and heavily controlled by the local government. On a few occasions, individuals have not been allowed to leave the country until the dispute is resolved. The most common modus operandi is for criminals to use motorbikes during their assaults.
For further information see our advice on Internet Fraud and International Scams. Mined areas may be unmarked. Police Response Police are often under-funded and lack training in a number of areas. Sporadic disputes have occurred between local residents and authorities, but foreigners generally have not been involved. In other instances, a knife or other sharp cutting instrument is used to cut the strap or to make a hole to reach in and steal valuables. Extra care should be taken to ensure food and drink is never left unattended. The road system is chaotic, and traffic laws are widely ignored. High Crime Threats Most travelers in Vietnam feel relatively safe, and the level of crime is generally comparable to similar cities of the same size throughout the world. By Western standards, the comparative death toll due to traffic accidents is staggering. Police officials admit that they have a considerable problem controlling the steadily growing number of motorcycles and vehicles on their streets. Depending on the nature of the incident or ongoing situation, local citizens may assist foreigners in distress by contacting the police or medical authorities. Sponsors of small, informal religious gatherings Bible study groups in hotel rooms have been detained, fined, and expelled, although these outcomes have become less common because of improvements to religious freedom. For this reason, Vietnamese officials may treat U. HCMC is experiencing a steady increase in petty criminality. Personal possessions, media, and documents kept in hotel rooms, apartments, or at the workplace may be searched. These demonstrations have been a common occurrence and on a few occasions have resulted in a disruption to Consulate operations. Drug-related Crimes Drug use, particularly the increasing use of methamphetamine and intravenous drugs, contributes significantly to the crime rate and is an increasing problem. If dialing or requesting assistance from local citizens is not a viable option, one should try to get to a Western hotel where staff are more likely to speak English and are generally very helpful in emergency situations. New Zealanders travelling or living in Viet Nam should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. None of the reports involved U. Violent crimes murders, armed robbery, kidnapping remain very rare, especially for the expatriate community. Crime Victim Assistance In the event of an emergency, the police can be contacted by dialing from a local telephone, though few operators speak English. Demonstrations over the South China Sea turned violent for several days in May , targeting businesses perceived as Chinese-owned. Medical Emergencies Visitors and residents should be aware of the limitations of medical care. In preparation, many persons were instructed to move away from coastal cities and to stock up on water, non-perishable food, and flashlights with spare batteries in the event of loss of power and the need to shelter-in-place. Scams There have been reports of taxi scams involving foreigners, upon arrival at airports.
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