I went to Guangxi, China in 2014, to study Tai Chi for a month. I have to say that I had a lovely time. However, the people there all warned me that if I saw an accident, or anything involving the police, that I should not help, that I should just GTFO as quickly as possible!

They said that the police would inevitably blame me, and I would have spend thousands of yuan in bribes to get myself out of trouble.

I’ve since been to Việt Nam many times, where I have a few good friends. A couple of them have warned me that it’s much the same there. Is that so?

  • McSinyxM
    10 months ago

    Accidents, disasters and fights are not safe to be around for obvious reasons, but from experience as a native the locals tend to be rather curious and any unusual gathering is a good sign that one of those is happening.

    Trying to help the injured without expertise can make it worse. If the police is already there, they know what to do, otherwise call for them (113), firefighters (114) or an ambulance (115). Try not to obstruct the road (as we witnesses tend to do ;-).

    You might get into political trouble by documenting the event against the canonical narrative, though yuan in bribes is very unlikely to get you anything but confused faces. Official fine for misinformation or causing panic is unlikely outrageous in your currency, given you don’t sound like there’s any financial burden to casually travel to Việt Nam.

    Good press is the number one concern, so I can’t think of a scenario where it’s worth it to pin a foreigner down for a crime. A corrupted officer would try to get bribes from misdemeanors, e.g. traffic violations, instead.

    Once again, it’s not an invitation to try to jump in to help. Crowds behave poorly in emergency, or in case of traffic accidents, drivers won’t look out for you and can collaborate with you to make a new one. It’s best to watch from afar and call for help.