dawnation (elite user) dawnation posted June 11th, 2010 at 9:58 pm to Ask ANH Discussions. Viewed 619 times. Answered 12 times.

I'm not looking for comments on whether you are for or against, but rather I'd like to know the law. No, I am not planning a new career and it's not for a "friend" of mine.

I've seen a lot of things just recently (maybe related to the "hottie" thread) at hubby's hotel, but when I ask about the legality, I'm told that as long as they show their ID, there is nothing the staff can do. Normally, they don't have this issue, but quite recently it seems to have blossomed into something that is an issue. So, knowing the law may help me when advising staff on how to deal with the issue. I've poked around on the net and found nothing substantial.

Last answered by BacDavid about 102 months ago.

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dawnation wrote on June 11th, 2010 at 9:59 pm
dawnation (elite user)

and apparently i really like the word "issue"

NickinNam wrote on June 11th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Actually, I think that you can ask for a marriage certificate--if you'd like to turn away business.

Foreigners may not stay in the same room with a Vietnamese person unless they are married. I'm pretty sure of that one without citing black letter law.

I've heard it said about the law here that "everything is against the law, and nothing is illegal".

If you wanted to be the "morality cop" yeah, you could turn away paying customers.

Then you'd be cool.

Or, you can check with real legal counsel, instead of us, and see what the reality of your liability is. Then you could weigh your risk/reward ratio properly.

Perhaps you might make the decision to allow things to go as they are, and eventually you may be invited to drink a cup of tea with the local constabulary. You know, "tea".

I think, that since this your husband's actual, real-life business, you need to spend a few bucks and see a lawyer about this.

What is the enforcement reality? How much is tea in Vietnam?

NickinNam wrote on June 11th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I'd like to thank you very much on behalf of the group, and I hope we'll resolve your ISSUE.

Donkey-abroad wrote on June 11th, 2010 at 10:33 pm
Donkey-abroad (elite user)
Good Answer dawnation marked this as a good answer

Scroll all the way down to Article 254 of the Penal Code, Harboring Prostitutes, I guess that would apply to a hotel.


QuyTay wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 1:04 am

Of course prostitution is illegal and the police get a tip off and raid your hotel you could be in serious trouble. Alot of raids on nha nghi's in the suburbs recently so if you value your business start turning them away.

Grant wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 1:39 am
Grant (elite user)


Yeah there is a bit of an issue. It is illegal, very, but the gov is starting to change it's approach. It's the worlds oldest blah blah....and it's not just those terrible Tay...

Your staff can refuse anybody. That's their choice but it's a bit tough to expect that a senior/elder can be refused by some younger desk staff. They wouldn't dare.

I wouldn't like to be in their shoes.


Vegas wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 6:30 am
Vegas (elite user)

Regardless of the law on harbouring pros - can't you just turn the suspicious person/s away? Is there a law that says you must allow someone to stay at your hotel, so long as they show their ID?

Vegas wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 6:35 am
Vegas (elite user)

And as for what this thread really should to be about - favourite Blackadder quotes - here's mine:

"For two and a half years, the Western Front has been as likely to move as a Frenchman who lives next door to a brothel" (Blackadder Goes Forth)

NickinNam wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 11:33 am

I'm not sure if the Prostitution law as quoted by Donkey is applicable to Dawn's situation. Upon reading it, I don't see anything that the employees or hotel management is doing that would violate article 254. They would have to be "organizing" the activity to be found liable. This does not seem to be the case.

I don't know how to find the laws as easily as Donkey does, but perhaps he might find the laws that cover registering where you sleep at night. The one the makes us register our residences with the police, the one that causes a hotel clerk to request our passports to report to the local police when we travel.

I am certain that there is a provision covering people who are not married sharing a room. There is a separate provision covering foreigners and a Vietnamese citizen sharing a room.

Wife and I have been questioned by hotel clerks when traveling. We normally carry a photocopy of our marriage certificate.

I think the solution lies in a meeting with your local police.

Explain the situation and ask them what they would like you to do.

Would they like to be called when suspicious couples check in? This would remove the burden of challenging elders from the shoulders of your young clerks.

You don't want your hotel turning into one of "those" places. You need to nip this in the bud before word gets around the streets that your hotel is trick-friendly.

hanoikiwi wrote on June 12th, 2010 at 2:34 pm
hanoikiwi (elite user)

Its an interesting situation - I must say I would not go and discuss it with the local police unless you/your husband is on very good terms already.
It brings to their attention something which they probably presume is occuring at times but which they currently choose to ignore. Even if they say it is illegal and you stop there is ground for more visits for envelopes after your meeting.

As a couple of people have said the decision is to decide if the practice is to be allowed to continue.

If it is not to continue the receptionist merely says we do not have a room available for a short period - managment does not allow it to young and old alike.

If you continue to take these bookings be sure to take id from both people - registration with the police of course is not required until 9pm so they will be gone by then but should the police pay an unexpected visit reception have ID for all "guests".

It is more relaxed these days and each hotel can decide to have unmarried couples stay - I believe the law changed back in 2002 but some local/provincial police officials are happy to ignore that for their own gain.

A lot of small hotels also are a place for couples to go when they do not have a private place - ie not married and living at home.

So it comes down to "risk management".

Is there any tie in to the "hottie" situation I wonder

dior2k5 wrote on June 13th, 2010 at 7:09 pm
dior2k5 (elite user)

my advice (most 5 star hotels practice this) is that you make them buy 2 seperate rooms because:

you wont get into trouble with the authority (each is registered in a different room, you have no responsibility when two guests in the same hotel decides to be 'friendly')

you make more $

you dont lose business

BacDavid wrote on June 14th, 2010 at 7:53 am

A few months ago, VietNamNet Bridge excerpted a series of articles from the vernacular paper, Phap Luat, debating whether Saigon ought to accept that the oldest profession can't be suppressed and establish some well-regulated red light zones. The stories, in particular one featuring comment by readers (http://english.vietnamnet.vn/reports/201004/Should-Vietnam-learn-from-Thailand-about-control-of-prostitution-906985/) very well illuminated the cultural confusion of these times. Many writers seemed to believe that after the revolution and up to doi moi there was no prostitution in VN. Many other acknowledge that it's always been around and (sometimes) that for them sex for money is an essential outlet. Very few seemed to think that VN could 'just accept it' as part of life, as they imagine is the case in Thailand.

Now, about hotels. All over Vietnam, no star and one star hotels do a lot of business renting rooms by the hour to young couples -- sometimes married -- who have no other place to go for sex (it being impractical with granny and mom and dad on the other side of the curtain at home). I lived in a hotel like that for four months in 1966 and it was all managed without incident. None of the short-stay guests were obviously doing it for money, and the cops were relaxed in their oversight. The owner did not consider the amount of tea money he handed over to be excessive.

If there's a law in Vietnam that prohibits a hotel from refusing certain clients just on sight, as far as I know it isn't enforced. I've been turned away more than once just because having a Western guest is considered not to be worth the trouble.

My suggestion, Dawnie, is that your desk clerks be trained to screen out the obvious tarts and their 'Johns,' especially if they look likely to be loud or drunk, and assume that the couples that look decent and behave OK are just people who need a quiet place for the night. Bac

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