My not so great experience travelling Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

Vietnam is a whole another level when it comes to travelling. The things you’ll see and the food you’ll eat is beyond what you can imagine. I like to dub it the adventure country!

Did you know that city trains don’t exist here? Not even in the capital city Hanoi. In fact, while I was there I could see that the Government was only starting to build one in Ho Chi Minh City. Understandably with the dense population and no way to zip across the city through a train system, it’s no wonder why there are so many motorcycles everywhere.

Vietnam is a busy country and it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the ever-changing surroundings. For myself, travelling this country was difficult because moving around the city on foot was dangerous with so many motorcycles and few sidewalks. The lack of city trains left me using the Grab ride hail app more often than I wanted to just to get for across town in the other districts.

Socially, the Vietnamese people are still recovering from the Vietnam war that left a distaste for foreign tourists (especially Americans) by the locals. How do I know this? I’m Vietnamese myself and can understand all the back talking the locals do on the streets when foreigners are around. To be honest, it shocked me to over hear the things they said.

One thing you should know before travelling here is that scams, pick pocketing, and general pestering of tourists happens here more compared to other South East Asian countries. Personally I’ve been pick pocketed by locals who rented beds inside hostels in Ho Chi Minh City and was blatantly scammed at Ben Thanh Market when eating at one of the food stalls.

When I walk around the city to explore, I’m pestered by “the friendly local” scam which usually is a person who will roam around the city all day on his motorbike trying to schmooze you into being their next victim. This made me feel like I’m always under threat out in the city.

A traveller I befriended told me he was scammed by a taxi driver and was overcharged by a large sum when he was getting into the city from the airport. It’s these sort of first initial experiences that ruins the image of a country and dampen the spirits to continue to explore and travel the country.

Before you go on your trip, make sure to protect yourself from the potential accidents that can happen during travel. Travel insurance is a must and it would be foolish to go without it.

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