Every travel forum says extra precautions against snatch and run robberies are needed in Vietnam. Some say don’t carry anything that dangles, others say carry only the money you need because confront and demand robberies are not uncommon. Some travelers say they buy a cheap Nokia mobile (that’s ‘cell phone’ to you Yanks) upon arriving in country and never show their smartphone in public.
Warnings against using a shoulder bag are almost universal because a motorcycle robber attempting to snatch the bag isn’t going to let a little thing like dragging you along the ground deter him. Robberies are much more common in Hanoi and HCMC then the rest of the country, but one must be alert anywhere.
My DSLR and the messenger bag carrying it are conspicious targets. My point & shoot (P&S) camera rides unnoticed in a cargo shorts pocket. I bought the DSLR knowing that the P&S would then become something to carry all the time. It seems the obvious choice for this trip, except photography is one of my main reasons for traveling. It’s higher technical quality and it’s easier to use when composing the subject while adjusting the camera.
On the other hand I purchased a discontinued DSLR at firesale prices to see how much of a hassle it was to travel with. Up til now it hasn’t been a problem and well worth the effort. Really renewed my passion for photography because I wasn’t always compensating for the lack of a viewfinder in the P&S. If it disappeared I could justify buying a good DSLR with a fast lens or two.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Other ideas bouncing around include:
* Travel insurance with the DSLR as an additional high value item costs $93 with $100 deductible.
* Bring both. Use DSLR for specific destinations, carry the P&S the rest of the time.
* Bring the P&S because it’s the photographer, not the camera, that makes memorable images.
* It’s only money and I’m well under budget.