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Cablegate: Sex and the City -- Hanoi Style

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

260957Z Nov 02

2002HANOI02845 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2624

PAGE 01 HANOI 02845 01 OF 03 261021Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 EVG-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 ED-01 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OES-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W
------------------0E92C7 261022Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8195
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 002845

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI PGOV KHIV VM HIV AIDS TIP
SUBJECT: SEX AND THE CITY -- HANOI STYLE

REF: 01 HANOI 735

1. (U) SUMMARY. THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM (CPV) AND
GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM (GVN) ADMIT THAT PROSTITUTION IS A
MAJOR PROBLEM FOR THE COUNTRY. DISCOS, KARAOKE BARS,
MASSAGE PARLORS, AND OTHER "FUN" LOCATIONS EVEN IN STAID
HANOI INCREASINGLY OFFER PROFESSIONAL OR SEMI-PROFESSIONAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02845 01 OF 03 261021Z
SEX SERVICES FOR SALE. APART FROM LAMENTING THE PROBLEM,
OFFICIALS APPEAR TO DO LITTLE TO REMEDY THIS SOCIAL EVIL --
PARTLY DUE TO CORRUPTION BUT PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY
BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BE SURE WHETHER THE PUBLIC WOULD RATHER
CONTINUE TO ENJOY SUCH NEWFOUND FREEDOMS OR WELCOME A
CLAMPDOWN AND RETURN TO "SOCIALIST MORALITY."
UNFORTUNATELY, THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF THE GROWING SEX
INDUSTRY ARE NO JOKE, WITH HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS RISING
STEADILY (ALTHOUGH OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN THAT THE
LARGE MAJORITY OF INFECTIONS STEM FROM INTRAVENOUS DRUG
USE). TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS RELATED TO PROSTITUTION ALSO
REMAINS A SERIOUS ISSUE OF CONCERN TO THE GVN, ALTHOUGH MORE
IN VIETNAM DUE TO THE EXPORT OF WOMEN THAN TO THE DOMESTIC
MARKET (REFTEL). THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT HANOI NIGHTLIFE
AND SOCIETY INCREASINGLY RESEMBLE THE REST OF SOUTHEAST
ASIAN CITIES -- ESPECIALLY HO CHI MINH CITY. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) THE COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SEVENTH
PLENUM OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM (CPV) 9TH CONGRESS
ON NOVEMBER 9 ADMITTED "URGENT SOCIAL PROBLEMS" THAT NEED TO
BE ADDRESSED, NOTABLY "SOCIAL EVILS SUCH AS DRUG ADDICTION,
PROSTITUTION, AND CRIME" AS WELL AS CORRUPTION. SIMILARLY,
PRIME MINISTER PHAN VAN KHAI, IN OPENING REMARKS TO THE
SECOND SESSION OF THE 11TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON NOVEMBER 12,
REFERRED TO "URGENT SOCIAL ISSUES" AND POINTED IN PARTICULAR
TO "DRUG ADDICTION, PROSTITUTION AND CRIME." NEITHER ARE
BRAND-NEW THEMES FOR SENIOR CPV AND GVN OFFICIALS, BUT THEIR
PROMINENCE IN THESE KEYNOTE ADDRESSES -- AS WELL AS THE
TOTAL ABSENCE OF PROPOSED SOLUTIONS -- REFLECT THE NOW "IN
YOUR FACE," ENDEMIC NATURE OF THESE PROBLEMS IN THE VIETNAM
OF THE 21ST CENTURY.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02845 01 OF 03 261021Z

3. (U) HANOI HAS A REPUTATION OF BEING THE DOUR
BUREAUCRATIC OLDER BROTHER OF THE MORE FLASHY HO CHI MINH
CITY; THIS CHARACTERIZATION IS NOT FAR OFF THE MARK. BUT
OVER THE PAST DECADE, WITH RISING INCOMES, GROWING PERSONAL
FREEDOMS, AND DIMINISHING PUBLIC SECURITY INTRUSIONS INTO
PERSONAL LIVES, AT LEAST MANY HANOI RESIDENTS HAVE AGAIN --
OR FOR THE FIRST TIME -- BEEN ABLE TO INDULGE IN RANGE OF
SEXUAL LICENSE THAT WOULD MAKE HO CHI MINH AND HIS
REVOLUTIONARY CONFRERES TURN OVER IN THEIR GRAVES. (OR
MAYBE NOT; RUMORS CONTINUE TO PERSIST ABOUT CPV GENERAL
SECRETARY NONG DUC MANH BEING THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF UNCLE

SIPDIS
HO AND ONE OF HIS SERVANTS.)

------------
DISCO LIVES!
------------

4. (U) AT LEAST THREE DISCOS IN HANOI CATER TO THE WELL-
HEELED TWENTY- AND THIRTY-SOMETHING VIETNAMESE OF HANOI;
ALL, INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, SPORT ENGLISH NAMES: "NEW
CENTURY," "MAGIC MOO," AND "SPARK." ANOTHER, "APOCALYPSE
NOW," CATERS PRIMARILY TO A WESTERN CROWD BUT HAS A SIZEABLE
AND APPARENTLY INCREASING PERCENTAGE OF LOCALS. COGNAC --
AT PRICES THAT IN THE COURSE OF AN EVENING COULD EASILY EAT
UP THE ANNUAL PER CAPITA INCOME OF THE AVERAGE VIETNAMESE --
AND BEER ARE THE BEVERAGES OF CHOICE. CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
HOLDS THAT "NEW CENTURY" IS ALSO A POPULAR SITE FOR DRUG
PURCHASES AND EVEN USAGE, ESPECIALLY OF METHAMPHETAMINES.

5. (U) WHAT ALL THESE CLUBS HAVE IN COMMON ARE, UNUSUALLY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02845 01 OF 03 261021Z
FOR VIETNAM, LARGE NUMBERS OF UNACCOMPANIED YOUNG LADIES WHO
ARE REMARKABLY FRIENDLY TO STRANGE MEN. MANY, ESPECIALLY IN
THE UPSCALE "NEW CENTURY," EVEN SPORT LONG, SLINKY EVENING
GOWNS (WHICH MUST BE A TRICK TO WEAR WHEN ARRIVING BY
MOTORCYCLE, AS VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE CLIENTELE DOES). BASIC
POLITENESS REQUIRES GENTLEMEN WHO DANCE WITH THEM TO BUY AT
LEAST ONE DRINK PER DANCE; EVERYTHING FROM THERE ON OUT
APPEARS NEGOTIABLE. UNLIKE THE MIDNIGHT CURFEW THAT HAS HIT
HO CHI MINH CITY'S DISCO SCENE IN RECENT YEARS, HANOI'S
CLUBS STAY OPEN -- AND OFTEN STRANGELY FULL -- INTO THE
EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK.

-----------------
SING, SING A SONG
-----------------

6. (U) KARAOKE HAS EXPLODED ONTO THE HANOI SCENE WITH A
VENGEANCE; THERE ARE LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF KARAOKE BARS --
VIRTUALLY ALL PRIVATELY OWNED AND OPERATED -- SCATTERED
THROUGHOUT THE CITY. THEY RANGE FROM LUXURY ESTABLISHMENTS
AT THE DAEWOO AND FORTUNA HOTELS TO BARE MINIMUM HUTS ALONG
THE ROAD TO THE AIRPORT AND ELSEWHERE. THE MAIN ROAD NORTH
OUT OF HANOI THROUGH ITS GIA LAM DISTRICT -- JUST ACROSS THE
DOWNTOWN CITY BRIDGE SPANNING THE RED RIVER -- IS KNOWN BY

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2625

PAGE 01 HANOI 02845 02 OF 03 261022Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 EVG-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 ED-01 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OES-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W
------------------0E92E1 261022Z /38
R 260957Z NOV 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8196
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HANOI 002845

SIPDIS


LOCALS AS "HONG KONG HANOI" DUE TO ITS HEAVY CONCENTRATION
OF KARAOKE BARS AND OTHER "ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS." MOST OF
THESE KARAOKE BARS CARRY THE FULL RANGE OF SONGS, INCLUDING
NOT ONLY VIETNAMESE FAVORITES BUT ALSO A SURPRISINGLY BROAD
SELECTION OF ENGLISH, CHINESE, AND KOREAN TUNES. (RANDOM
SAMPLINGS SUGGEST THAT THE NUMBER OF HANOI RESIDENTS WHO
KNOW "SEALED WITH A KISS" AND "UNCHAINED MELODY" IN ENGLISH
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02845 02 OF 03 261022Z
FAR OUTNUMBERS COUNTERPART GROUPS IN THE U.S.) MOST KARAOKE
OFFER AT LEAST ONE -- IN SOME CASES, DOZENS -- OF PRIVATE
ROOMS FOR MORE DISCREET CROONING.

7. (U) PROBABLY BECAUSE SINGING CAN BE A LONELY BUSINESS,
MANY KARAOKE BARS EMPLOY A STABLE OF USUALLY VERY GOOD-
LOOKING "HOSTESSES," WHOSE SINGING ABILITIES VARY
CONSIDERABLY. VIETNAMESE CALL THIS KIND OF KARAOKE BARS
"KARAOKE OM" -- CUDDLE KARAOKE. THE HOSTESSES ARE GENEROUS
WITH THEIR ENTHUSIASM FOR OTHERWISE UNTALENTED RENDITIONS OF
POPULAR TUNES, BUT ALSO WILLING -- NAY, EAGER -- TO KEEP THE
MALE SINGERS WARM AGAINST THE CHILL OF AIR CONDITIONED ROOMS
IN THE HANOI HEAT. MOST, ACCORDING TO ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE,
ARE ALSO QUITE WILLING TO GET OFF WORK EARLY TO GO ON TO
OTHER NOCTURNAL ACTIVITIES, IN EXCHANGE FOR CERTAIN MONETARY
COMPENSATIONS.

-----------------------
RELAX -- THE "THAI" WAY
-----------------------

8. (U) A REAL BOON FOR HANOI RESIDENTS WITH BAD BACKS OR
STIFF NECKS, INTER ALIA, HAS BEEN THE PROLIFERATION OVER THE
PAST SEVERAL YEARS OF AT LEAST HUNDREDS OF MASSAGE CENTERS,
OFTEN HIGHLIGHTING THE FACT THAT THEY OFFER "THAI-STYLE"
MASSAGES. (ODDLY, THE VIETNAMESE TERM "XOA BOP" IS
GRADUALLY GIVING WAY IN THE LINGUA FRANCA AS WELL AS ON
SIGNS TO A MORE VIET-ENGLISH "MASSAT" OR THE STRAIGHTFORWARD
USE OF THE ENGLISH WORD.) AN ASTONISHINGLY HIGH PERCENTAGE
OF THESE MASSEUSES APPEAR TO BE ATTRACTIVE YOUNG LADIES,
MANY OF WHOM CLAIM TO BE FROM OUT OF TOWN. (FOR SOME
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02845 02 OF 03 261022Z
REASON, MANY DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS SAIGON NATIVES; MAYBE
THEY ARE.) VIRTUALLY ALL APPARENTLY OFFER PRIVATE ROOMS,
SOME WITH ATTACHED BATHS. ONE NEW MULTI-STORY
"ENTERTAINMENT CENTER," WHOSE ELABORATE STATUARY AND OTHER
DECORATION HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED BY SOME OBSERVERS AS "CLASSIC
BROTHEL STYLE," IS JUST A COUPLE OF DOORS DOWN THE STREET
FROM THE US EMBASSY AND WAS REPORTEDLY BUILT AT A PRIVATE
INVESTMENT OF SEVERAL MILLION US DOLLARS. IT INCLUDES NOT
ONLY SEVERAL FLOORS OF INDIVIDUAL MASSAGE ROOMS BUT ALSO
SAUNAS, A SMALL SWIMMING POOL, SEVERAL RESTAURANTS, A BAR,
AND A KARAOKE LOUNGE, AS WELL AS SOME OFFICES AND APARTMENTS
NOW AVAILABLE FOR RENT.

9. (U) ACCORDING TO MANY HABITUS OF THE MASSAGE SCENE,
THE MAIN ATTRACTION IS NOT THE MASSAGE ITSELF OR EVEN OF
OTHER PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES ON THE PREMISES. RATHER, THE
ATTRACTION IS THE WILLINGNESS OF THE MASSEUSES TO "GO OUT"
WITH THE CLIENT AFTERWARDS. HOWEVER, SOME MANAGERS
QUAINTLY PROMISE "HAPPY ENDING MASSAGES" TO WOULD-BE MALE
CLIENTS AT THEIR MASSAGE CENTERS.

------------------
REST FOR THE WEARY
------------------

10. (U) WHERE ARE ALL THESE NEWLY FORMED COUPLES HEADING?
TO ONE OF THE SEEMINGLY UBIQUITOUS "NHA NGHI" -- REST HOUSES
-- THAT DOT THE URBAN (AND MORE AND MORE, EVEN THE RURAL)
LANDSCAPE. AGAIN, MOST ARE SMALL ESTABLISHMENTS, PRIVATELY
OWNED, AND ASK FEW QUESTIONS OF THEIR GUESTS, UNLIKE HOTELS
AND GUESTHOUSES, WHICH USUALLY REQUIRE THE DEPOSIT OF A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02845 02 OF 03 261022Z
GOVERNMENT ID CARD AND/OR FOREIGN PASSPORT TO RENT A ROOM.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, THESE "REST HOUSES" OFTEN OFFER ROOMS BY
THE HOUR FOR THOSE QUICK NAPS -- OR TRYSTS. AT ABOUT USD 7
AN HOUR, THEY ARE NOT ONE OF THE BEST BARGAINS IN HANOI, BUT
ARE NOT OUT OF THE RANGE OF THE LOCAL CLIENTELE. SOME, BUT
PROBABLY NOT EVEN MOST, OFFER YOUNG HOSTESSES OF THEIR OWN
FOR OTHER SERVICES.

11. (U) ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE -- INCLUDING FROM THE USUALLY
RELIABLE STAPLE OF POLOFFS EVERYWHERE, TAXI DRIVERS --
INDICATE THAT THE COST OF SHORT-TIME SEXUAL SERVICES RANGE
FROM 100,000 VIETNAMESE DONG (USD 7) UPWARD. VIETNAMESE MEN
CALL STEPPING OUT FOR ONE OF THESE EXTRAMARITAL LIAISONS
"EATING PHO" (THE CLASSIC VIETNAMESE NOODLE SOUP), IN
CONTRAST TO "EATING RICE" AT HOME. AS IN OTHER ASIAN
CULTURES, MANY HANOI MEN TEND TO GO OFF AND "EAT PHO" ALONG
WITH THEIR BUDDIES, RATHER THAN ON THEIR OWN, OFTEN AFTER AN
EVENING IN A BEER HALL AND/OR KARAOKE AND/OR MASSAGE. WHILE
OF COURSE MANY -- PERHAPS EVEN MOST -- HANOI MEN MAY NEVER
ENGAGE IN THIS STILL ILLEGAL PASTIME, RANDOM SAMPLES SUGGEST
THAT MANY MALES DO SO ABOUT ONCE A MONTH, AND THAT THE FIRST
SEXUAL EXPERIENCE OF MOST HANOI MEN PROBABLY TAKES ONE OF
THESE FORMS.

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ2627

PAGE 01 HANOI 02845 03 OF 03 261022Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 EVG-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00
DS-00 ED-01 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OES-00 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W
------------------0E92FB 261022Z /38
R 260957Z NOV 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8197
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ASEAN COLLECTIVE
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HANOI 002845

SIPDIS

----------------
DOWN BY THE LAKE
----------------

12. (U) HANOI'S NUMEROUS SMALL LAKES, WHICH USUALLY HAVE
ATTRACTIVE PARKS AROUND THEM, OFFER CHARMING LOCATIONS FOR
BOTH PRO- AND NON-PRO SEXUAL ACTIVITIES. THE LARGE LAKESIDE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 02845 03 OF 03 261022Z
LENIN PARK FAIRLY TEEMS IN THE EVENING HOURS WITH YOUNG
COUPLES SEEKING A PRIVATE SPOT FOR A BENCH -- OR IN THE
BUSHES. (DRUG USE HERE IS ALSO A PROBLEM; USED SYRINGES DOT
THE PARK, AND THE BENCHES ARE FULL OF SLEEPING ADDICTS AT
ALL HOURS.) EXPAT FOLKLORE HAS IT THAT THIS PARK WAS A
CENTER FOR FURTIVE HOMOSEXUAL ENCOUNTERS AS LONG AGO AS THE
EARLY 1980S. NOWADAYS, THE HOAN KIEM LAKE (LAKE OF THE
RETURNED SWORD) -- THE SPIRITUAL IF NO LONGER PHYSICAL
CENTER OF DOWNTOWN HANOI -- OFFERS AGGRESSIVELY FRIENDLY
YOUNG MEN COURTING CLIENTS; EMBASSY ADVICE TO TRAVELERS IS
TO STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC TOILETS THERE UNLESS EXPLICITLY
SEEKING AN ENCOUNTER OF ANOTHER KIND.

---------------------
IT'S NO JOKE, HOWEVER
---------------------

13. (U) ACCORDING TO A RECENT REPORT IN THE OFFICIAL
MEDIA, THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH HAS PREDICTED THAT THE NUMBER
OF PEOPLE IN VIETNAM INFECTED WITH HIV/AIDS WILL REACH
200,000 BY 2005. ALREADY, ACCORDING TO THIS REPORT, 154,244
PEOPLE ARE INFECTED, 23,605 CASES WITH FULL-BLOWN AIDS, AND
20,089 ON THE VERGE OF DEATH. THE NATIONAL AIDS STANDING
BUREAU OFFICIALLY HAS ACKNOWLEDGED ONLY 56,495 HIV CARRIERS
(13,000 OF WHOM WERE IDENTIFIED SO FAR IN 2002), AS WELL AS
A TOTAL OF 4,649 DEATHS (1,096 IN 2002) AND 8,450 CURRENT
AIDS PATIENTS, ACCORDING TO ANOTHER REPORT IN THE OFFICIAL
MEDIA. MOST GVN OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN THAT THE
LARGE MAJORITY OF INFECTIONS STEM FROM INTRAVENOUS DRUG USE,
ALTHOUGH SOME EXPERTS BELIEVE THAT THIS TREND IS NOW
SHIFTING IN FAVOR OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS. GVN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02845 03 OF 03 261022Z
OFFICIALS HAVE NOTED PRIVATELY THAT HIV/AIDS INFECTION BY A
PRISON INMATE IS SOMETIMES A FACTOR IN WINNING AN AMNESTY.

14. (U) AS NOTED IN REFTEL SUBMISSION TO THE ANNUAL ANTI-
TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT, TRAFFICKING IN VIETNAM
REMAINS AN ISSUE OF CONCERN TO THE GVN AND OTHER OBSERVERS,
INCLUDING THE USG. HOWEVER, MOST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN
APPEARS TO BE AIMED AT FOREIGN AUDIENCES, ALTHOUGH SOME
TRAFFICKING FROM RURAL TO URBAN AREAS FOR THE PURPOSES OF
PROSTITUTION EXISTS. ECONOMIC INCENTIVES ARE MORE LIKELY
FACTORS TO INDUCE YOUNG WOMEN VOLUNTARILY INTO PROFESSIONAL
OR SEMI-PROFESSIONAL PROSTITUTION DOMESTICALLY, HOWEVER.
WITHIN HANOI, THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE CHILD SEX
PROSTITUTION SO ABHORRENT IN OTHER NEAR-BY COUNTRIES.

-------
COMMENT
-------

15. (U) NO RELIABLE ESTIMATES EXIST ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE
ARE ENGAGED -- FULL-TIME, PART-TIME, FREE-LANCE, EMPLOYED --
IN PROSTITUTION IN HANOI THESE DAYS, BUT THE NUMBERS APPEAR
TO BE GROWING. HANOI STILL (AS FAR AS EMBASSY KNOWS) HAS
NOTHING LIKE DE FACTO BROTHELS OR BANGKOK-STYLE "MASSAGE
PARLORS," BUT THE RANGE OF OTHER OPTIONS HAS DEVELOPED
MARKEDLY AND IS CLEARLY MEETING SOME MARKET DEMANDS. THE
RESPONSE OF POLICE AND SECURITY OFFICIALS TO ALL OF THESE
TRENDS APPEARS WEAK, EVEN INDIFFERENT. THE CLEAR
IMPLICATION IS THAT, AS ELSEWHERE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA,
CORRUPTION IS EFFECTIVE IN KEEPING POLICE AWAY AND OFF OF
THE BACKS OF THESE DEMIMONDE ENTREPRENEURS. IT IS NO WONDER
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02845 03 OF 03 261022Z
THAT THE GVN AND CPV FEEL COMPELLED TO ADMIT THE GROWING
PREVALENCE OF SOCIAL EVILS. WHAT THEY MAY NOT YET HAVE A
GOOD GAUGE FOR IS WHETHER THE HANOI PUBLIC WOULD RATHER
THESE SOCIAL EVILS CONTINUE TO PROLIFERATE, OR WHETHER THEY
WOULD PREFER AUTHORITIES MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. IT MAY BE
THIS INDECISION THAT PREVENTS A MORE VIGOROUS OFFICIAL
RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEM OF PROSTITUTION IN HANOI AND
ELSEWHERE IN VIETNAM. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT HANOI'S
NIGHTLIFE AND SOCIETY INCREASINGLY RESEMBLE THOSE OF OTHER
SOUTHEAST ASIAN CITIES -- ESPECIALLY HO CHI MINH CITY.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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