26 Most Common Scams in Vietnam

Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Phan Thiet, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Sapa, Dalat, Halong Bay

Halong Bay Vietnam

 

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Vietnam was the place where I encountered my first travel scam and it will always be etched in my memory. In fact, it has even inspired the creation of this site!

A place of breath-taking natural beauty, Vietnam is also home to a sizeable bunch of shrewd scammers. Almost everyone who has been here has met one!

Here is a list of 24 common scams in Vietnam, categorised by the sections “tourist activities”, “transport”, “accommodation”,  and “misc”.

 

 

A. TOURIST SPOTS/ACTIVITIES

1. Cyclos

cyclo

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Those three wheel bicycles/trishaws you see lining the streets at tourist attractions? Avoid them at all costs. What they do is they will approach you and offer a ride where you can pay as much as you want, or not at all! Now, alarm bells would have begun ringing for anyone with half a brain.

However, what they do next is brilliant. They will take out a notebook and show you all the positive reviews in it. You will find extremely detailed reviews praising the driver and the trip in different languages and in different handwriting. As someone who knows a few languages, I was able to verify a number of them.

The cyclo operator is also an extremely glib speaker. He is able to build rapport (this is easy, for instance, enquiry about your country and sharing some knowledge of it) and address any of your fears (such as allowing you to stop halfway if you wish). Once you get onto the cyclo, the driver will then attempt to build trust with you bit by bit.

End of the day, once all trust has been built, he will bring you somewhere secluded, fish out a list of prices based on hours of service and demand payment. You pretty much have no choice but to pay.

However, it must be said that a cyclo experience can be an interesting one. To protect yourself, agree a clear price before hiring one and make sure that you stop at a place you know.

 

2. Overcharging and Confusing Currency

Vietnamese Dong

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This is common around the world, but it is much more easily implemented here due to the large note denomination.

Overcharging can occur in many different forms, such as over conversion of currency, giving less change by rounding up/down, not giving any change by insisting on a tip, or even changing the fare once the service is completed!

Many places also quote in USD to make overcharging easier for them – either by rounding up to USD (which is higher than the value in Vietnamese Dong) or by demanding payment in Dong while using an unacceptable exchange rate.

Also beware when a vendor tells you 10, it could mean 10 USD, 10,000 Dong or even something else! Besides this, always ensure that the fee is for everyone in the group and not for each individual.

For popular tourist markets such as Ben Thanh market, prices are also marked up a few HUNDRED times, more if you are a Caucasian. Be ready to haggle or not buy!

Ben Thanh Market

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Finally, be extremely careful with the cash in your wallet, keep them out of sight from the public and from the shopkeepers.

 

3. Street Vendors of All Kind

There are some vendors who sell books in boxes at cheap prices. But alas, those books are photocopies! You would not know as these “books” are wrapped up. Some of those are also of low quality – errors in pages, etc.

Vietnam pineapple lady scam

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Then, there are other vendors who will invite you to take a photo with them. Once taken, they will demand a fee, a tip, or a purchase of their products. Ignore, and you will be hounded until you pay.

For instance, we have the fruit ladies of Hanoi. They will offer to lend you a fruit basket and to take a photo of you. It’s difficult to escape if you have taken the bait as they work in large groups. Something worse that might happen is that you get pickpocketed in the process.

Also, you might come across fake beggars. Some examples are fake cripples, hungry babies are actually asleep due to alcohol and people fake sickness and weakness. Do not donate or you will be hounded as well.

Moving on to Sapa, we have the textile women who tries to guilt trip you. They accompany you on trips, share their life stories, build trust and rapport and at the end of it all, ask that you buy handicrafts from them while crying.

Finally, avoid those pesky photographers who offer to take photos of you. Firstly, they will take multiple photos and demand a much higher payment. Secondly, they will not deliver the photos to you as promised.

 

4. Unscrupulous Tour Companies

Halong Bay

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There are many of such black sheep in the industry.

For instance, some of them claim to provide snorkelling, island trips etc which they do, but only allow for a meagre amount of time for them. There are also many grey areas they could capitalise on such as allowing for overbooking of trips.

As mentioned earlier, also ensure that the price paid is for everyone in the group!

For boat trips, it is also important to buy return tickets rather than one way ones, as you might be exploited when you find no other means of return.

Thus, it is recommended to check out online reviews of the tour companies before committing.

 

5. Restaurants that Do Not Display Prices

Avoid, but if you must try, do ask about the prices before ordering. If all you get are vague replies, that’s the sign to leave.

Be careful of those that list prices in USD as well – they might demand payment in Vietnamese Dong and use some unreasonably expensive exchange rate

 

6. Overcharging by Restaurants in Other Ways

Those nuts or fruits they serve you before the start of the meal? Reject them, as they cost an exorbitant amount.

For those who tend to stay long at restaurants, try to keep whatever you’ve ordered at your table be it empty plates or bottles. This is to collect evidence and prevent restaurants from overcharging you by asking you to pay for something that you did not order

 

7. Shopping

vietnam street market

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Always inspect your goods after purchase, especially those that are wrapped, as they might be swapped. The same goes for your change or if you were to change money at a money changer.

Also, note that a very common scam in Vietnam is that vendors will claim that something is free. Once you have used it (service, food, etc), payment will be demanded and you will be hounded until you pay.

Besides street vendors who peddle fake ware, there are many shops which sell fake stuff as well, such as silk and even war relics! So do know what you’re buying and make sure to verify them before buying.

 

8. The Place is Closed

A popular scam in Asia (Thailand especially), someone (anyone!) might approach you and inform you that a place is closed.

They will then offer to bring you somewhere else where they can get commission. Never trust anyone who tells you that, especially one who can speak good English.

 

9. Karaoke/Prostitution (Illegal in Vietnam)

This is a simple scam, yet one that many inexperienced male tourists fall for.

At the karoke, a male tourist might be approached by a hooker. Money is given to book a room but the hooker disappears. Next, the bill comes and the tourist is charged an obscene amount! If you refuse to pay, you will simply be beaten up by the mafia there.

As shared by a reader in the comments section below, even hookers a scam in themselves – pretty girls are advertised on flyers, but when push comes to shove, they do not turn out to be as advertised.

 

10. Massage Scam

As generously shared by another reader, massage places in Hanoi are a big scam. They advertise a low price for their services, but when the bill comes, you will find that you are charged for a ton of ancillary products, such as water!

 

B. TRANSPORT

1. Motorbike Rental

Motorbike rentals can get pretty tricky in Vietnam (especially in Nha Trang and Mui Ne). There are the common scams (common as in common globally), where the owner follows you and “steal” your rented bike back and demand compensation. Another common one would be mechanical problems in the bike which the owner will demand compensation by you.

Also, there are many fake Honda motorbikes around. It would be good to know your bike or to research the specs on the web before booking.

In Vietnam, you also require a Vietnamese driving permit. If you are caught without one, the motorbike can be impounded for a month and you would have to continue paying for the bike.

 

2. Motorbike Taxi

xe om

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Some motorbike “taxis” might approach you with an offer, which they claim is cheaper than normal taxis. Or they might say don’t worry about the fee, just go first and if you’re happy, you pay how much you want.

They might even say that there is no bus to the place that you want to go! That is pretty much BS. Some others use the “cyclos scam”, where they claim to bring you around for free but in actual fact, bring you to a secluded spot and demand huge sums of money.

Do note that these people have no training or certification. This means that not only is your wallet at risk, but your life is at risk as well.

 

3. Taxis

Speaking of taxis, there are taxis with tampered meters – do watch out for that at first instead of simply relaxing in your seat. Taxi meters are based on distances, not time, so if you see one jumping wildly even when you are stationary, you know it is a scam!

There are also some who demand tips and some who claim to take shortcuts but are in fact longer routes (good to know the location). In fact, there are even fake Taxis in Vietnam!

To prevent yourself from falling prey to those, only take cabs from Mai Linh (green taxi), Vinasun (white taxi) or Taxi Group. Also, never agree to a fixed fee.

vietnam taxis

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For those who arrange for taxi transport from the airports through your hotel, do be wary as well! There are operators who learn the details of these arranged pick ups and pose as the assigned driver from the hotel. They pick you up, call their accomplice and then claim that the hotel is full. They will then bring you to another hotel which they get commissions from.

The rough cost: 10,000 Dong to exit airport; 150,000 Dong to get to the main tourist area. If you realise that you are scammed, do not pay. Instead, take a photo of his ID and meter and threaten that you will report it to his taxi company.

 

4. Purchase of Train Tickets from Private Travel Agents

vietnam train ticket

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These touts will approach you and claim that the mode of transport you taking is delayed and offer to help you get a new ticket. They tend to buy for you a cheaper ticket than the one you requested.

As most people do not know Vietnamese, they are unlikely to spot the difference. It is also pretty much impossible to demand a refund as by the time you realise the scam, you would have been on the train already.

There are also some who might offer to carry your luggage as the distance to the platform is rather far. Just ignore.

 

5. Purchase of Train Tickets Online

Would you believe it.. There are even fake train websites in Vietnam! A good resource for train planning is Seat 61 (http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm).

If possible, only get your tickets from your hotel or reputable travel agents.

 

6. Long Haul Buses

vietnam sleeper bus

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This is a very common transport option taken by backpackers wishing to travel from the North to South or vice versa. However, there are also many scams associated and it is important to only buy from reputable companies!

Besides booking a lower quality bus than you had paid for, some buses might even stop unexpectedly at night and force you to stay elsewhere. Lo and behold, there is only one hotel in the vicinity and the owner is more than ready to accept you.

Another version is that they stop at a petrol station and force you off. So coincidentally, someone at the petrol station will extort you to pay an amount to take a cab to somewhere to transfer to another bus.

 

7. Luggage Fee

Sometimes, you might be asked to pay more because you have a larger or heavier bag by bus or train staff. It is pure nonsense, there is no such rule.

 

C. ACCOMMODATION

1. Trading on Popular Names

Sinh Cafe Scams

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When any company in the travel industry becomes popular/famous in Vietnam, there will be new companies popping up with similar sounding names and many have been scammed in the process.

For instance, good companies that have been a victim of their success include (the real sites have been hyperlinked) ODC Travel, Handspan, Kangaroo Café. The most notorious of the lot would be the dozens of Sinh Cafes around the country – the real one is now called the Sinh Tourist (http://www.thesinhtourist.vn/)!

 

2. Fake Hotel Scam

In today’s online world, it is easy for unscrupulous hotels to create fake reviews. Some hotels also advertise low room fees online, but when you arrive, they will claim that the low fees were for the standard rooms which have been fully booked. To book the higher end rooms, you will have to pay a lot more.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, there are many copycats hotels which trade on popular names. Thus, to verify a hotel, check its location in addition to its name.

 

3. Hotel Fee Scam

Some hotels also demand that you pay more (usually double) as the fee advertised was for one person and not for one room (usually double rooms). If your passport is held at the reception, your bargaining power is further reduced. To prevent this, always confirm your rates upon arrival.

Besides this, some hotels might advertise certain facilities online, such as a fireplace or air conditioning. However, to use them in your room, they will demand additional fees!

 

D. MISC

1. Pickpockets and Snatch Theft

As with places with crowds, pickpockets and snatch theft are common and one must always be alert and careful.

This is more common in Ho Chi Minh City, where the bag snatchers even have a name for themselves, which is the Saigon Cowboys. Watch out for child pickpockets as well!

Sometimes, pickpockets work with street touts. A street tout talks to and distracts you, while the pickpocket swipes your valuables. Be wary in such situations and check your bag if you feel someone brush against you.

Do note that other cities such as Hanoi and Nha Trang face situations too.

 

2. Hanoi Shoe Repair

Hanoi shoe shine repair scam

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This is a less common scam, though watch out if you are wearing worn out shoes!

For this scam, some guy approaches you out of nowhere and applies glue to your shoes. Next, he would take out a thread and tell you that your shoes are about to fall apart, which he can repair for $1.

If you didn’t realise, that glue is actually a solvent that dissolves stitches! Should you say yes, he would then proceed. However, the trouble does not end when the job is completed, as he will be demanding $10 or more!

 

3. Drugs in Hue

If you are offered drugs, do NOT take them. You will be reported to the police and the “reporters” will be rewarded for tipping the police off.

 

4. Invitation to a Card Game

This is a pretty common scam around the world, such as in Europe and have personally encountered this in Morocco.

Anyhow, the script is similar. Firstly, a friendly man approaches you, asks where you’re from and remarks that his sister/daughter will be going there either to work or study!

In this context, rapport is easily built as it feels that you have found someone close in a land of strangers. There will be also be this urge to share more about your home country, which the scammer will tap on. He will invite you over to his house where you could share helpful advice over a meal. But upon reaching the house, lo and behold, the man’s sister/daughter is not there!

Instead, you find the man’s brother/uncle who will get you to play some card game such as blackjack or Poker. You might also be taught some tricks so as to work together to cheat other visitors who will be coming soon. Regardless of the situation, you will lose. Here’s a fascinating recount of an experience with this scam.

 

5. Internet Cafes

Keyboard loggers, viruses, spywares and what have you are common in Internet cafes. Do not do anything in there that can potentially expose your personal or financial data.

 

6. Paying Excessively More when Buying through Agents

As kindly shared by one of our readers, Frank, he paid 290k VND for a SIM card through an agent at the airport. It was supposed to provide 30 days unlimited 3G access, but died after 5 days. When he went down to the official store, that was when he realized that the plan he had purchased was a 90k VND plan.

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50 Comments

  1. I didn’t see ISP scammers. Immediately after passing Vietnam Immigration at the HCMC airport, there is a desk offering ISP services. I bought 2 packages – one for me and one for my partner – at 290,000 VND each, for 3G unlimited service for 30 days. After only 5 days, service ended. We went to the Better Store in Dalat, where they informed us that they offer no such plan that we bought. We actually bought a 90,000 VND plan, and the salesgirl stuck the extra 200,000 (400,000 VND total) in her pocket.

    Buy from source only — never again from agent.

    Reply
    • Hi Frank,

      Sorry to hear that 🙁 But that was a great point to add (and also a good lesson), many thanks for that and I shall it to the list.

      David

      Reply
    • móst òf thếse are not skams just vietnam people trying to earn a living òf dumb arsed arrogant tourists with to much money…u don’t want to pay don’t come

      Reply
      • Most tourists only come once to Vietnam never to return, same as Burma, the smart ones do their research and never come to Vietnam, stay n Thailand, it is paradise

        Reply
  2. How about the double prices for every single thing you buy? Locals pay a fraction of the price demanded of foreigners.
    I won’t return to Vietnam as I’m sick of feeling fleeced.

    Reply
    • Definitely, a good point to raise. For travellers, watch out for this in other countries as well! I dare say it happens almost everywhere (street vendors).

      Reply
  3. I just bought a SIM card from one of the vendors around Ben Thanh. Priced at VND 150,000. I gave her 200,000 and she returned me my change. Just as I turned around to walk away and before putting the change in my purse, I saw its a VND 10,000.I double checked with my husband if I’m wrong. (I don’t have small notes on me because I just changed money before this). So I went up to her and asked her how much the price was again, coz I rcvd 10,000 change instd of 50,000. She yelled at me and asked me to check again.I took out all my VND, No 50,000. She demanded I check my whole purse, so I emptied my purse in front of her. Showed her ALL my other currencies and then she still got angry and asked me to return the 10,000 and she gave me 50,000 angrily. Lesson leant..always check change BEFORE leaving or in my case, turning around.

    Reply
    • Hi Nora, thanks for sharing your experience! This is quite a common scam, not just in Vietnam but in other places such as Mexico, so do be careful.

      Reply
  4. DOnt forget the massage scams in hanoi. MOST places in Hanoi will not show you their menu. They will quote $25 but after the massage present a bill of $120 for ancillary products such as water, juice face massage and lady tip which you didnt use. This happens in 95% of massage places in hanoi. HCMC is better for massages. Karaoke bars also scam you. You could be killed if you dont pay up. Hookers also scam you. they show you a beautiful girl and either a transgender or an ugly girl shows up. Happened to a few people i met. vietnam is full of shit. stay away

    Reply
    • Thank you! Good spot on that, be careful especially when no upfront price is shown, be it massage or anything.

      Reply
  5. I like vietnam

    Reply
  6. Taxi in bus station are a big scam! Arrived to the bus station after 24h ride in a sleeping bus and be surrounded by people offering taxi service…SCAM is coming! Innocent us we asked for a taximeter but it was totally manipulated. From the bus station to the old quarter ( around 10km) he was asking for 700.000 dong,around 32$!Then you have to start thinking a plan to get your luggage and go out of the taxi and pay there. The situation was odd. We were blocked inside the taxi asking for money. Fortunately we didn’t had these among of money so we offer to go to the ATM in front out hostel but the taxi driver decided to go to and ATM few streets far away from the hostel reception.Next step was to get our bags. We told the taxi driver we had the credit card there (even though was not true), so no bags,no money.We had to insist a bit and to pretend to accept the fake price. Ones on the streets we withdrew money and with our bags and just few streets from our hostel we had more possibilities to decided a fare price.Even in the taxi door was written something like 11.000/km!!!! So thanks to Google maps we calculated the km. The taxi driver was not friendly anymore but he was offering 50% discount hahaha unbelievable! We paid the among we consider (120.000) and left the place. That was a bad start in Vietnam.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Alba! Hope the rest of the trip went well 🙂

      Reply
  7. Very disappointing country Vietnam. It is a tourist trap. Already too developed and always paying far more than locals. Would never return and not recommend it at all!

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    • Agree Marta, out of the places which I’ve visited, I find that it ranks one of the highest with people out to make a quick buck from u.. Regardless, still a beautiful place with nice sights to visit

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      • So sad when I knew it. We know that our gov should do more to improve our tourism

        Reply
    • To my shame, some bad scrams in Vietnam, you know vietnam is a developing country and everything has its two sides !!! please overlook it and look on bright sight of Vietnam !!! there are also many lovely and friendly ones <3 and many place of interest there :)))

      Reply
      • Thank you! I am planning a trip to Vietnam right now and came across this post and can’t believe this post is all about negative scams and the negative comments. I’ve heard great things about the country and am looking forward to my visit. I plan to have my common sense with me and hope that saves me from any possible scammers

        Reply
        • Just returned from Vietnam and mostly had a lovely time, but my husband was pickpocketed at Ben Thanh markets. He lost about $250 cash but he also had credit cards in his wallet (silly man) and $5000 was racked up within an hour at the mall a few blocks down the road even though he cancelled cards within an hour. Warning to guys… don’t put your wallet in your side cargo short’s pocket….he was easy target 🙁

          Reply
        • AimDeLu please don’t lose all your interest after this post. I don’t know if your trip is already finished or not but Vietnam’s still a beautiful place for tourism. I’m Vietnamese and if you want a local to help avoid those scams, I’d like to help.

          Reply
  8. Also the scam with the coconut vendor. You can carry his stick for a picture.. and then he wants to give you a coconut to drink…

    Obviously well mannered as you are you want to pay for it but the price is outrageous

    Reply
    • Yes, thanks for pointing out Koja! This is very similar to the fruit ladies of Hanoi who invite you to take a photo with their ware and proceed to charge you for either the photo and/or an overpriced fruit.

      Reply
  9. What annoyed me most about Vietnam were the armies of beggars. They will wait for you outside of restaurants and even your hotel, and when you exit a taxi or bus, they’ll be there. I think there is almost no way a newcomer to Vietnam can avoid being scammed at least three or four times in the first two days–I fell for half the scams listed on this site within one week. One more scam–if you’re a single male and an attractive female approaches you anywhere–run! This could have a number of very unfortunate endings.

    Reply
    • My exact sentiments.

      Reply
  10. Wow just got stung by the shoe scam yesterday, beware! Guy pulled out a toothbrush started cleaning glueing etc, next thing we there were three of them and another guy offering lighters/scooter rides/ anything else we needed..security stood across the road laughing, not the nicest feeling after shelling out 20 usd and they were still asking for more! Lesson thoroughly learned!

    Reply
    • You are an idiot. Khong is all you need to know! Been to Vietnam 7 times since 2000 and been ripped off a few bucks here and there. Just say NO (khong)

      Reply
  11. I would say that Vietnam is one of the easiest places to tour and live. All you have to do is apply the same vigilance you would where you come from. Lots of Viets are dishonest but the dishonesty usually costs you not much.

    Reply
    • “Lots of Viets are dishonest but the dishonesty usually costs you not much.”

      Thank you for confirming the rampant dishonesty of Vietnamese. Honesty, no matter how costly in terms of monetary value is still dishonesty. Your standard for honesty is revealed.

      Reply
  12. Money snatching from your wallet. When leaving the Funky Monkey bar in Hoi An I mistakenly agreed to get a ride back to my home stay. An amount was agreed. When I arrived at the homestay, another two motorbikes appeared and I was surrounded by 3 people. I opened my wallet to get the correct money, when suddenly one of the people snatched some money. I protested and a note was dropped on the ground which I recovered. I then distanced myself to get the correct money. They spoke good English and I heard them say something to themselves like “you get enough”. Then they rode away. I looked at my wallet and found that all the larger notes were gone. I normally take more care then this, but got complaisant. I normally don’t keep large amounts on display. They ended up with around 600,000dong for an agreed amount of 35,000dong. I realise I made several mistakes and it has been a tough lesson. Wanted to make others aware and will report to police. I know they will not be able to do anything, because lack of evidence. But maybe these people are operating without a license.

    Reply
  13. I just got my bag snatched by a man on a motorbike a week ago. It was a small sling bag slung across my body. Happened right outside a 5-star hotel (I was walking past it) with security and CCTVs. No one came forward to help. The hotel staff were heartless (‘Oh you’re not a guest here? Sorry we can’t help’). I had about 1k cash, my passport, iPod and my iPhone in my bag. When I reported it to the police with the help of my Airbnb host, the police demanded for 500,000 dong to process the report. I had no choice as I needed to get a temporary passport to return to my country. Horrible experience.

    Reply
  14. I am Indonesian, I had travel for bussiness to Saigon, Vietnam in 2011, and stayed for 3D1N. At the first night I am trying to explore the street nearby my hotels, there are so many scumbag offer me a hooker for $50. They’re pretty but I don’t into it, fuck this city. So scary nightlife neighborhood, so I spent my 2 nights staying at the hotel, their WIFI 2 mbps btw.

    Last day, when I am about to leave the City, I go to Com Bent Tan market just to buy some souvenirs, I only buy shirts for 60,000 Dong. Everything normal to me, until I leave the market. I need to go to the airport, there is motorcycle offer me a ride for 100,000 Dong. Feel expensive, and I think it is not save.

    Then, I stop a Taxi, A white Vinasun Taxi with red stripe like above picture. He offer a normal taxi-meter charges, to the Airports. He talk english as well. I show him a maps in my tablet, he is follow the right route, the fast one. The meter runs normal, around 10,000 dong for a kilometer.

    He stop at airport gate, dont want to enter the aiport. I see with my own eyes, the meter jumps from 250,000 Dong into 2.750.000 Dong!!. Then force me to pay!. Fuck, he lock the door with kids lock, I cannot opened from inside. There is no body in the pedestrian walk. He keep force me for the money, I only had $50 for him, and he dont accept rupiah. Fuck VIETNAM.

    Reply
  15. I was approached by a trishaw rider this morning at hcmc opera house. He told me the charge is 15,000 dong per trip or per hour. I douvle confirmed with him it is 15,000 dong per hour and he said yes. I think its ok. So asked him to take me around the town. It took around 2.5 hours and at the end of the trip, he stop by the middle of the road, and show me a rate table 15,000,000 dong per hour and total 45,000,000 dong! I sure denied to pay and make him very angry. Finally he ask me to pay him 15,000,000 dong but i insisted i shall pay him 45,000 dong only as per our agreed rate. As he did not agreed with my rate,Finally i paid him a reasonable half day tour rate at 25usd

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  16. Thanks for your advise. I should have read it earlier because I was scammed by the trishaw guy yesterday too. This is how he did it. Before we are in the bike, we agreed with 50,000 dong, he was really kind throughout the journey and I decided to pay him some tips by giving him 100,000 dong. Suddenly, he took out another piece of catalog with price and asked for 1,500,000 dong by saying (15 hundred dong). I was stunned and refused to pay to them and luckily there was a local at the temple trying to help me, after a while they nearly started to fight.
    We insisted that we will only willing 200,000 dong otherwise we want to call a police by pointing at a security guard over the road. They then took the money and back off. I would like to place a complaint at the government tourism website but there was no this kind of service.

    Reply
  17. I am planning a trip to Hanoi, Siagon, and Siem Reap departing from Vancouver Canada to Hanoi where I will start my journey. Departure is scheduled for 26 January arriving Hanoi on 27 January. Not having travelled in this part of the world I am getting quite anxious with the stories and scams I have read. Not averse to a nice looking girl I am wondering if I should just practice celibacy while there??

    Does anyone have any experience with this ??? Also I am concerned about the hotel and restraunt scams ??

    Reply
    • A fool and his money are easily parted just stay sensible

      Reply
      • It’s not just as simple as that, they have good high class scams often working with one another and sometimes you don’t know until it’s too late. And sometimes you’re tired, fed up and stressed from being on the road. It’s exhausting having to be on guard 24 hours a day just because of scams. It seems service and loyalty to most don’t matter. However I did come across some where that did matter and their business and reputation was and is booming.

        Reply
  18. Hi, im planning a ten days trip to vietnam sometime in june, ive been reading articles lately, n got a bit scared reading about scams.. How safe would it be for women traveling without any man?also when i went to srilanka i was a bit put off by everyone ripping u off, expensive stuff to tourists, would it be that bad or even worst in vietnam? Ive also been reading for women to dress conservstively but no one mentioned “why”? And another thing why its written in most of the articles dont be extra nice to vietnamese,im totally confused… Even if i book through booking.com they would still charge me more there?

    Reply
    • Why? Rapists. Simple. Take care here.

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    • I’m on vietnam for some days already and I have a girlfriend here. I can’t understand very well their language but I noticed that she was protecting me from people here. People comes to me even when I’m with her. So guys, careful.

      Reply
    • Hey Sara! I’m a 23-year-old who just got back from a month-long trip in Vietnam. I went alone and it was the best trip of my life. There wasn’t one second where I felt unsafe. I never encountered any issues with scamming. I didn’t dress “conservatively” – mainly wore tank tops and shorts, and it was totally okay. Most backpackers dressed the same as I did. For the most part, Vietnamese are AMAZING PEOPLE. I think people get turned off by the people who are trying to sell to tourists, but there is so much more to the country. I would go back in a heartbeat. 🙂

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  19. I got scammed twice in the last 2 days.
    1. First I go to buy a sim card and the guy offers to give me a sim with 30k balance for 80k. I knew that 50k is the price for a blank sim so said ok. Now this was a proper shop, not someone on the street who also sell sim cards so I trusted all is well. When I get back to my hotel and check the balance, its 0. I decided not to pursue the matter as it was just 30k dong (less than 2$).
    2. This happened just an hour back. Took a taxi from Old quarter to Lang Ha. I usually prefer Uber as u know the price u’ll be paying upfront. However the 3 cabs I booked, all of them cancelled. So got into this metered taxi near the lake. I noticed the meter was running super fast. It usually costs 50-60K from Lang Ha to Old quarter and this one reached 70K halfway. The taxi driver also looked shady and since I was alone, didnt want to take any chances getting off in the middle. I just wanted to get back to my hotel. Finally I arrive and the bill is 150K, thought wth, let me just pay and be done with it, lesson learnt. But the story doesnt end here. I give him a 500K bill and ask for change, he says he doesnt have any and asks me to give smaller bills. I somehow had 150K on me so took them out of my wallet and gave it to him. The guy hands me my 500K bill back. Only when I get back to the hotel and check, there’s no 500K bill. He had swapped it with a 20K bill, which is of similar color. There were dim lights in the taxi and I never thought something like this could happen. Extremely bad experience. It sucks that I am here not for tourism but for work and might be staying for more than a year. Very disappointed. Hate this place already.

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  20. Just got badly ripped off by bus company from haiphong to hanoi. The conductor who dragged me off the bus at least 20 miles from long bien bus station in hanoi saying i had to get a taxi. Nobody else got off and they must all have been going to hanoi as that is what the bus sign said, that is what my ticket said and that was the bus i was led to by the agents in the bust station at haiphong. Dropped off in the middle of nowhere except taxis who were expecting this bus to drop westerners off here. they kept chasing me as they viewd it as their to be paid for the trip to Hanoi. Eventually had to get another taxi that cost 250,00 dong (3 times the bus fare i had already paid)

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    • I wouldn’t trust this…

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  21. My brother was put into contact with a relative of a lady my niece knows from work. They want him to go visit her to see if there any chemistry. But even before he goes they say he has to relinquish all identity documents to them for safe keeping. WTF
    My niece seem to trust this lady 100% but who the fuck makes such request. I just wanted to know if anyone has been scammed or worse knows of someone who never returned.

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  22. Anotherscam,we caught a bus from one of the bus stations (sorry I can’t remember which one!) Quoted 100k each to halong bay. Got on the bus and it was a small mini bus very posh, tan leather brown seats, air-conditioning tvs in the back of seats we thought great. Half way through the journey the bus driver stops the bus and passes a phone to my boyfriend, he is then offered a halong bay tour which we politely said no and put the phone down as this man kept going on and wouldn’t take no foresponsibility an answer. About 30 minutes prior to arriving to the ferry port near halong city, the bus stops a man jumps on board and says this bus doesn’t take you to halong come with me. We stupidly got off with another family (the only non vietnamese people on there, we were singled out) and again this man told us come to his office to sort a tour to halong city. We were angry and said no and he said fine you pay for taxi rest of way. Left us stuck next to a busy highway with absolutely nothing around. We managed to get a taxi and not knowing how far we were asked how much it would cost to get to the port, he quoted 9000k! So we thought we better negotiate, negotiated a price 5k and he took us literally 20 minutes to the pier. Also, 50s and 10s are the same colour be careful as they mix the change up often or claim you gave them two 10s instead of two 50s. We stayed away best as possible from touristy parts and tours as that’s where it was definitely worse. We travelled the road a lot and arranged the majority of buses and trains ourselves directly at the bus or train station which saved us a lot.

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  23. I must also add that I met some very beautiful, inspiring and kind vietnamese and all should not be tarred with the same brush. We were only scammed the once or twice and it wasn’t massive money, I know that’s not the point but no need for it to ruin a holiday. Just kept your wits about you, I felt safe mostly. I even got a sleeper train hard berth 6 cabins with 5 other vietnamese men and all was fine, I think most only write of their bad experiences more should write of their good experiences. I gave one woman 500k thought it was a 20k same colour she gave it me back. It’s a beautiful country and despite the few spoiling it you will enjoy it, foreigners do pay more for stuff but that’s got to be expected and when I say more I mean it might be 10k more… 40p more or something. Just do your research before going and you’ll be fine.

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  24. il be heading over to south east Asia soon and i cant wait! but after having all my filming equipment (I’m a filmmaker by trade) stolen in – what i perceived to be – an elaborate hotel scam in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, its always good to do your research and have good insurance while your away. I cant wait to explore Vietnam, and yes of course not every single vietnamese person will try to get something from you, but it only takes one person to scam you. Hopefully this person doesn’t change your perception of what i believe to be a lovely culture, and a country filled with very lovely friendly people!

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    • I have been in Vietnam for two weeks and have run into no scams. If you Use your head and watch your wallet you have nothing to fear. I was told by my guide to watch bags over the arm facing the street. motor bikes will come by and snatch them. do not hold on to it they will drag you until you let go. The markets are full of knock offs but prices are dirt cheap. I got a “Rolex” for 30.00, just for fun. You bargain, start at 50% of what they ask and don’t act to interested. when you walk away they will follow and the price drops quickly. Every person I have met is very nice. I have been to Vietnam several times and have only had great experiences. You will love this country, happy photo taking.

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  25. I usually only have just enough cash for some food and maybe a souvenir or massage that way if they hassle me too much i show them that is all i have. Usually works. And i hide my credit cards in the hotel room. Never had any issues and have traveled through Sri Lanka,Bali, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, USA, Europe. I also hide passport in hotel room, never carry it on me. I know when i first started traveling they would always say carry it with you, but too easily it can be lost or stolen. I have heard of things being taken from hotel rooms, but lock it in your suitcase or some weird place or the safe. Lucky i have never had this issue of anything being taken from my room . And read about scams before you go is a must! Bangkok was my first Asian country i had visited, did a little research and bang, we didn’t get ripped off, I knew what time the market opened, and that i dint want to go to a jewelry store. Of course there will be little things that happen, but don’t let that put you off. We had an old taxi driver that was so lost (probably wasn’t really) but he was old and cute and had no teeth so i still tipped him ,because even though we drove around for a long time it still was so cheap it wasn’t worth complaining about.

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  26. Hi just wondering if anyone has stayed at Riverside Hoi an? Are there any scams to be awhere of or any reputable restaurants, Taylor’s etc that any one could recommend. Also how much should I pay for a taxi for 4 people from Da Nang airport to riverside Hoi An? Travelling on a family holiday and want to be safe. Thanks Florence

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