This, That & Getting Pick Pocketed at Hanoi Liberation Day, Vietnam

hanoi liberation day fireworks

Greetings and TGIF or something like that,

From this lengthy title you can tell it’s been quite an interesting day, yes?

After passing out at 4am last night I awake at noon too get my visa, still not there. Then found out tomorrow is the soonest I can leave, booked a train. The train was $29US leaving tomorrow night. The bus was $22 leaving tomorrow morning.  I reckon it makes more cents (sic) to sleep on the train and sleep in.

Walk to get some water meet these girls, they want to drink beer. After drinking half a beer I realize they are posh princesses with a plethora of problems. I say good day and get on my way. Try and hit up a Dentist, can’t find it. Find it and it is closed.

Wander around and try again later, also closed. At this point I am walking home and notice a car inside a living room and think to myself “I must say, this is quite odd”.  So odd that I take photos then realize it’s a Dentist, odd.

car in living room

I walk in and the place looks clean, I’m greeted by an older gent who speaks decent English. He walks me through the sterilization process and it meets my standards. He polishes my teeth for $7.50US.

hanoi vietnam dentist

It’s the 35th Anniversary of Hanoi’s Liberation Day today. As a result the town is extremely busy, mainly the lake area. After a long afternoon nap I walk around and take some photos, enjoy it. I am then walking for some food when I run into a Norwegian or Danish girl, if you’re reading this sorry, I can’t remember. Anyways we chat a bit and then get a bite to eat, then grab a beer and go back to the festivities.

I’m filming this bs on stage and I think to myself “This is where you’d get pick pocketed” there is like 1,000,000 people here and it’s so tight. Anyways I keep looking over at this sweet old lady with a hrmmm type eye. At this point I take my wallet and put it into my side cargo short pockets because I didn’t feel safe but for some reason I kept filming this show I’m almost certainly never going to put on the web. I felt like an old 50 year old man filming his kids friends eating cake or something at a birthday party. It’s probably never going to get watched because it’s nothing special so who cares.

Suffice to say, some lady comes over with little kid, I’m like that kid is close to me. Then go back to doing my thing, then feel slightest touch on my side pocket, notice it open. Figure ok, not sure what this kid is doing and motion to the lady I’m with, let’s go.

As we’re walking I explain to her what happened and how I “almost got pick pocketed”. Check my pockets, he got me. I run back to the area and it’s just a mess of people and they are obviously gone. Luckily, I found my money clip right where I was standing. A standard grab the cash, no evidence. I lost ~$5us. This is why you don’t carry large sums of money on you or passports.

Now I know why Canadians are so liked. There is a joke that you could slap us and we’d apologize. I’m sure many other cultures would have not been so naive when they felt the kid and definitely when they saw the open pocket and that kid would have been “in for it” along with mom.

hanoi vietnam liberation day festival

This is the type of stuff they had going on at the festival. Kinda cool in a “extreme sports meet high risk gymnast type way” but not worth losing a wallet over, yes!?

Tips hat,

P.S: Kinda glad to be leaving this hotel, it’s nice but it’s 90 steps to my door, kinda intense in the mid day heat.


  1. Ingvild

    May 1, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I’m norwegian and will never forgive you for not remembering 🙂

  2. Candice

    May 3, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Dude, that blows. Lucky you didn’t have anything too valuable on you though. I can’t believe mothers set their kids up for that sorta thing? Insanity.

    Also, love the video post! You’re a natural.

  3. Rob

    May 3, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Ingvild – I know you don’t mean that 😉

    Candice – Thank you, madame and that is why I don’t give to child beggers / peddlers either. They are used as pawns, take the risks, do the work and receive none of the benefits.

  4. sue

    September 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    i and my sis were in hanoi the second time, we were strolling at hoan kiem lake-day time- and came from no where 3 litle kids running circle around us- like they playing hide and seek-they touched my sis pocket, went she sceamming at the kid. when i looked up i saw their mother was right behind them.yes, they do that in hanoi. the mom look out when her kids doing pickpocket.

    • Rob

      September 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      You are right and part of what allows pick pockets to do their thing is it is always who you least expect.

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