18 Mar 2019
I just got caught out by what in retrospect was a very obvious scam whilst riding between Dalat and Nha Trang.
I was flagged down by a guy on a bike telling me there was something wrong with my bike. When I pulled over, he pointed to the chain and told me in broken English to see a mechanic when I arrived.
I went on my way and moments later the bike fully broke down. Of course this guy reappeared and happened to have everything needed to repair it, subsequently demanding ridiculous amounts of money for the parts.
Even at the time I was very suspicious, but I never saw him touch the bike when I had pulled over the first time, and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was since I know nothing about bike mechanics.
Naturally he demanded a ridiculous amount of money for the parts replacement and after some intense negotiation mainly involving typing numbers back and forth on a calculator, I ended up giving him about $12.
In retrospect I think what he had done was turn off the fuel supply while he was distracting me gesturing at the chain..
Naturally I feel like an idiot for not noticing this, but hopefully my ignorance on this one will help someone else out there who might otherwise be caught out by the same scam. I can’t find anything about this scam on the web so please do spread this around to other motorbike travelers in Vietnam or elsewhere in SE Asia!