Archive for May, 2013

When the country, at first, opened its doors for tourism development, travel scams seem the new word but not any longer today. Here are some forms of scams, popular to each of those listed destination and our suggested problem-solving hints:

-Rigged taxi meter: Beside some of the reputable taxis as Mailinh, VinaSun, Hanoi Taxi, there will always be a potential being rigged or transferred several rounds before getting to your wished address. Action: make it loud, more locals will come up and you soon find the allies. If it is near your hotel, insist to pay inside the hotel, get the receptionist involved and work out the matter. It’s wise to ask the estimate price from the hotel, restaurant people before you go, then you have a base to start from ( this is popular in Hanoi and Saigon )

Taxi scams

Taxi scams

-Scammed cyclo: Apart from a very minor number of kind cyclo drivers, there are many others who try to offer service without advising a price, then make it a huge bill lately ( shamed that they learn form one to another ). Action: Kindness and friendliness will never work to those people. Turn on the fierce part of you to deal with them. Make the quarrel as loud as possible. Bad stories will not prefer notice from the public. Also, don’t forget to ask for an estimated price from your guide, restaurant, hotel people…etc. ( This is popular in Saigon, Hue, sometime Hoian and Hanoi )

Tourists negotiate with a cyclo driver in the Old Quarter, Hanoi.  AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam

Tourists negotiate with a cyclo driver in the Old Quarter, Hanoi. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam

-Photo shooting from ladies with fruit baskets: Walking in the Old quarter, meet a lady with her fruit basket? Want a photo? being handed the baskets for you to try putting onto your shoulder to have a photo taken? Hey, a few dollars will be asked or they gonna keep yelling at you. What a nuisance! It is a set scenario made by a group of women. They are of course a fake fruit basket women. Real ones will never have that light loads. Action: Get away from them. If they approach, you stay back. If they put the baskets on your shoulder, just say NO, detour them and keep on ( this is popular in Hanoi old quarter )

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-Money scam: street vendors get around you, busy choosing and buying T-shirt, post cards..etc, deal is done, money is paid and you get the changes back…etc. Double check the changes, make sure you get 100.000 VND note instead of 10.000 note for example. Many of the vendors practice this nice try to you, to confuse all the zeros thus to make some money out of you. As long as you discover, they simply say oh oh, sorry for my confusion lol. The failure to give back the right amount of changes is more popular in Hue.

-Coin collection scam: Do you have coin? I’m collecting coins….are often heard from some of the street children in Hoian. Do they really collect coin? Yes, they do, but to accumulate the coins up and later ask other traveler to change into paper money.. In other words, they are fooling your kindness and friendliness. Just do not give any chance and simply say No. This is more often to be seen in HoiAn ancient town.


These are just some of the popular scams might happen or you may encounter on the way of your travel in Vietnam. Always wake your senses up, better check everything in advance, then there will be no bitterness to suffer.

Around more than 10 years back, in front of the Saigon Continental hotel, there was always a little boy, aged around 8,9 years old, well dressed like a gentleman with a neck tie. He often wait for the senior or retired-age female travelers and gave them a kiss at their hands, then ask for a dollar tip if they felt happy. Was it a scam? No, i think he was smart to pay a certain attention and to offer them a free choice, not like those real dirty and aggressive scams mentioned above.

Safe and happy traveling!

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