Health & safety
In Nha Trang there are many ways for you and your money to part company. We’ve heard reports of thefts on the beach (pickpockets, and jewellery disappearing during an embrace), during massages (a third person sneaks into the room and removes money from clothes) and from hotel rooms (none of the ones listed in this book, but you should still be cautious). Don’t carry too much on you, and consider leaving surplus cash at the hotel reception. That way the hotel is responsible if it goes missing, although even this may not protect you from unscrupulous operators.
At tourist sites unobservant foreigners may be overcharged – check the price on pre-printed tickets, check your change and don’t pay more than a 2000 dong for bicycle parking.
A persistent scam exists at the Long Son Pagoda, where you will be approached by children with pre-printed name badges (and occasionally older people) claiming to work for the monks. After showing you around the pagoda, whether invited to or not, they will then demand money ‘for the monks’ or, if that fails, insist that you buy postcards for 100, 000d. The best course of action is to firmly let them know you don’t require their services when they first appear. If they persist, tell them that you know they don’t work for the monks and you’re not about to give them any money – this should ensure a quick disappearance. If you want to give money towards the monks and upkeep of the complex, leave it in the donation boxes as you would in any other pagoda.
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