“Prevention is better than a cure” is the headline on leaflets police in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City have handed out to foreign visitors, especially those in the ‘backpacker area’, to provide them with tips to ensure their safety in the city.
The leaflets, titled “A few travel reminders for a hassle – free trip,” are presented in both English and Vietnamese and illustrated with images, providing useful advice on different activities for foreign visitors.
Regarding taxi usage, the leaflet says, “Ripping off unsuspecting passengers is an art form for dishonest drivers. Stick to reliable companies such as Vinasun and Mai Linh Taxi.”
It also advises foreigners to “remember that negotiating is not rude, but expected. Never settle for the initial offers, especially in tourist areas.”
In order to avoid having their belongings snatched, foreign visitors should keep their bags close to their bodies, avoid wearing precious jewelry and try not to be too flashy with their camera and phone, the leaflet says.
Telephones hotlines to contact police in emergency cases are also provided on the leaflets.
A part of the leaflet that gives safety tips to foreign visitors in Ho Chi Minh City
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Phuoc, chief of Pham Ngu Lao Ward, said the backpacker area in the ward receives 500-1,000 foreign visitors from different countries every day.
Therefore criminals, both Vietnamese and foreigners, often operate in the area, attacking foreign travelers to steal their property, the official said.
Police officers have not only handed the leaflets directly to foreigners, but they have also provided them to restaurant and hotels in the city’s downtown so that they can deliver them to their guests, Phuoc said.
Most of the foreigners who received the leaflets were very happy and showed appreciation for the effort by police, the official added.