Short Advice on Living in Vietnam


This is mainly targeted to the young Viet Kieu guys newly arrived in Vietnam.

I hate to tell you this but there are NO Vietnamese criminal gangs targeting you guys here in Saigon.  It is safe for you to ride your motorbike around Saigon even in District 4 at night.  Saigon is relatively a safe city when compared to many US cities.  I am not sure where you got this information.

Don’t tell Expats, Vietnamese, or whoever, that somebody wants to kill you because you are dating a certain Vietnamese lady.  And if SHE tells you that you will be targeted for dating her, well then believe since I expect she will be telling her other boyfriend about you as well.

And if I am wrong and you guys are really targeted by these so-called criminal gangs, I promise that I will attend your funeral.  There must be many of them going on each day by the stories you keep telling everyone.

This was meant to be a sarcastic post.  And yes everyone, this story is true 🙂


  1. I have never heard of such stories. None of the viet kieu I worked with mentioned any such things. I’m not viet kieu but I did date a vietnamese lady and I often wandered the streets late at night. Never had a problem or even felt like I might have a problem.

  2. what? I run a gang targeting viet kieu’s who date our precious ladies.

    We call ourselves the Jets and we will circle dance around you while snapping our fingers.

  3. I wouldn’t discount the stories simply because they haven’t happened to you yet.

    Vietnam is a crazy place and we all have crazy stories. Most of us don’t share them on blogs. That doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

  4. Viet Kieu in the US have very skewed perceptions of life and especially life in VN.

    I know this first hand being one myself.

    They are wierd and isolated in their own little world. They still think the war is still going on and that the communists are spying on them.

    Check out this article about the monthly protests that these vietnamese do.

    (SHOUTING OUT: “Down with communism” Hung Nguyen, 65 of Westminister, screams. About 150 protesters gathered at Main Street Garden Grove to protest Viet Weekly, a magazine they believe is pro-communist.)

  5. @JJ: That is true, but you shouldnt cast most vietnamese that r living in the states as some sort of ignorant people. Most vietnamese left vietnam because of the economic problems in vietnam a long time ago. Many have not come back to Vietnam because they can not (left vietnam illegally or can not afford to), for that reason they have not seen the progress Vietnam has strived in the past decade. Those that have come back to visit, compare vietnam to america, which is a VERY unreasonable comparison. Considering that the US has the highest standard of living in the world.

    However, the anti-communist protest is a thing to appreciate JJ. By protesting, it is a reminder that Vietnam is still a communist country. Good or bad, it can be argued both ways, but for now, it is a bad thing that Vietnam is still a communist country. If vietnam was to change its government to a multi-party democracy, it would open a VERY large oppurtunity for Vietnam to create a close tide with European nations and the US. And trust me, it will be very beneficial for vietnam.

  6. Kyle, the protesting message loses all credibility when the people protesting have no credibility.

    Unfortunately, I can’t change the gov’t here. Its not ideal, but we can make it work in the meantime.

    Stability > Political Freedom for now.

    It wouldn’t do us any good if we fall into the Thailand or Philipino version of democracy.

  7. *Even in district 4* ??

    What’s wrong with district 4? I used to live there and I thought it was pretty safe. Sure, there are some drug users, and there are some prostitutes who live (but don’t work, AFAICT) there, and you keep everything locked up really well at night, but where in Saigon *don’t* you keep everything locked up really well at night?

    The danger of being burglarized or pickpocketed in Saigon is way higher than it is in most places in the world, but violently attacked on the street for being VK? I doubt it. VK are a significant contributor to the local economy and I doubt many people want to drive them away.

  8. I later asked my wife about district 4, and she saidit was long a popular place for organized crime members to live, which probably gave it something of a reputation. A few years ago (while we lived there, IIRC), a major organized crime figure was arrested. They sent the army to do it b/c they didn’t think they could count on the police, or so the story went. He’s already been executed, IIRC. They move on that stuff in VN.

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