Bringing Books Into Vietnam

hi people

i am moving to hanoi in march so i can live cheap and get this book ive been working on finished. (plus enjoy vietnam in process) i have some research materials, about 20 books i want to bring with me. now i understand the censorship that happens at the boarder, how the government wants to restrict all info coming in and out of VN and im not carrying anything pornographic, no maps, no pro-democracy political tracts etc...

i am however bringing several titles dealing with the hippie movement of the sixties. these are scholarly cultural-anthropology books (mostly) but they do address topics such as drugs, free love (promiscuity) youth rebellion etc.

a few are more "pulp" treatments of the same subject matter, paperback "exposes" that are really just fictionalized accounts of the private lives of hippie panhandlers and drifters.

i have some books regarding the Chicago 7, the black panthers, and of course The Vietnam War and the youth's reaction against it.

i honestly feel none of the books i have pose any threat to traditional asian values and i doubt they could corrupt any young person because you probably couldn't get a young person to read or even care about these books LOL... the thing is... the books have kinda salacious titles like "Hippies Drugs & Promiscuity" (actually a well written scholarly examination of the subject) "The Hippie Trip" {same as above) "We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us Against" (pulp psuedo-anthropology... mostly a novel about a teenage runaway living in haight ashbury) ... its all legit study material related to what im writing, but i really cant know what someone NOT studying american hippies of the 60s would think on seeing this collection of titles let alone some military customs officer...

so... what i'm getting at is; will they just confiscate anything that has the slightest whiff of impropriety? will i get into trouble/be deported for carrying these books? is there a way for me to "register" the books or get official permission to have them? last night i was thinking they might worry more about accountability i.e. they don't want me to sell the books (they are fairly valuable) then i thought maybe if i insure the books they are itemized and they can make sure i still have them on the way out?

there's zero info about this stuff online, just DON'T BRING PORNOS, MAPS, DISSENT LIT. I mean... i understand that most travelers aren't lugging around a whole shelf of books with them, so info is thin at best and i'm sort of at a loss. i realize some of my books might appear salacious by their covers and titles but the info inside is so hopelessly dated that they are fairly quaint in how innocent they really are. I have my doubts about some customs agent being able to understand this though. i would be happy to be able to just have someone official or just knowledgeable and experienced to have a look at my library of titles to see what they think of my chances getting this stuff into VN when i go live there for the next 12 months or so.

sorry about the wall of text. any advice is appreciated

I've moved to VN four times (2004, 2007, 2009,  and 2015). Each of those times my bags weren't even opened.

In my case though. I was flying into SGN from countries in the region (Thailand & Laos), and didnt have much baggage (big suitcase, smaller bag and laptop bag).

I have flown into Ha Noi once as well but as a tourist. Going through customs there was also a complete non-event. Same thing each time I have crossed overland from Cambodia.

A friend of mine moved overland from Thailand about 4 months ago. He had  an actual truckload of boxes, so naturally they checked. He said they had no interest in the books and flipped through a copy of Maxim that he had tossed in one of the boxes but just gave it back to him.

In short, I think nothing will happen especially if your books are just packed in your bags.

How much stuff are you bringing?

Anyway, hopefully someone with more experience living up north will chime in.

ask Truong at the Bookworm in Hanoi. It's the best English bookshop in Asia and Truong knows all the hurdles. Google Bookworm Hanoi

That's a great tip, thanks

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