What kind of Scams Happens with Tourists in Vietnam?

Ok just experienced our first scam in Vietnam and wanted to ask If anyone has had a similar experience. If not, hopefully, you can avoid the same. We have just arrived in Sapa after taking the Sapa Express bus from Hanoi. Getting off, it was rainy and we needed to find a taxi to our homestay. A woman approached us in Sapa Express green uniform and kindly got a taxi for us.

Firstly the taxi driver refused the meter (should have gotten out then) but we had big bags in the boot and it was crowded so we asked how much and he said 30,000. We set off and approach this toll booth where we had to pay 75,000 VND each. Apparently, it’s because we are tourists and it’s a fee to visit these villages. Again had no choice but to pay and there was a man stood at the window in a security uniform.

Get to the homestay and he wants 300.000 dongs. And wouldn’t let us get our stuff if we didn’t pay. So again it’s a caught with your hand’s tied situation. I never know what to do because you have no idea where you are, and causing trouble by arguing never gets you anywhere. Nice 375000 taxi ride. Talked to the guy on reception here and he says we have had a bad taxi driver and we should have got the company name (didn’t think to take pictures at the time…). Puts a downer on the trip.

What Kind of Scams you’ve seen in Vietnam which happens with the Tourists or if you’ve experienced any?

Question Geography | Country: Vietnam
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Vietnam 7 Answers 328 views 0

Answers ( 7 )

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    Hey, so sorry to hear what happened to you..the fee you paid at the village was actually kind of right, may I ask you which homestay you chose? second, about the taxi… no way they turn the meter on (if they have one), our experience was, asking and setting the price before getting into the car (I repeated the price few times to make sure no surprises at the end of the ride).

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      When we got to the homestay they told us that we shouldn’t have paid and that it was a scam, we’re staying in the stunning homestay, really good so far and very friendly.

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    We had experienced our first scam in Vietnam but riding their tuk-tuk. They said each cost 15,000 but upon dropping off it now costs 500,000 dongs and we are 3 so 1,500,000 dongs. It sucks and in the end, we had to pay for it. They dropped us off in a secluded area which is meters away from Ben Thanh market. ☹️

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    I got scammed in HCMC 4 years ago too and I was told that there are only two companies one should use: Vinataxi and Mailinh, most of the others are scammers

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      6 years in VN and I totally agree. The problem is that for tourists who have no company taxi card, sometimes they have no choice but take the scammers, for example at HCMC airport. Agreement between taxi companies I guess…

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    The only way to travel in peace in Vietnam is getting your own motorbike. Then you just have to handle scam from mechanics from time to time but they are not as bad as taxi and tuk-tuk. Sorry for you guys. This is the dark side of a wonderful country.

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      Yeah, it’s the only bad thing about being out here, and it is a big negative having to constantly look for scam here or scam there etc.

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      I am so sorry to hear that my friend…I would recommend you should use Uber/Grab in Vietnam. If not, when you travel between different cities, please need the help from your hotel/accommodation host…

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    Out of curiosity, what happens if you deny paying the amount they ask? or any room for compromise, like paying sth in the middle? I just arrived in sapa too and due to the rain, I decided to stay in town and not in the villages. hopefully, tomorrow weather ll be better and we can walk there.

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      Not sure but it will probably lead to trouble. Most likely a battle that no foreigner will win.

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        Sounds upsetting… I wish I won’t be involved in such an issue and these sad incidents won’t happen at least in that frequency.

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    You are calling a $16 taxi ride a scam? That’s just a big tip, nothing more. You can complain when you are forced to pay $600 for smoking an e-cigarette in Thailand, or when you have to pay the police $1.500 to do their job and catch a criminal.

    Well, we also have to show that we can afford travelling when getting a visa here, at least in Thailand. And I understand why when people complain about a $16 taxi ride. In my home country, the meter STARTS at around $8. $16 would get me a 2KM taxi ride.

    A lot of travellers expect everything to be dirt cheap when visiting the SEA, and many things are. But you complain about paying $2 for a beer in a bar, even though you pay $10 back home, where the beer is actually cheaper to buy than here 😀

    Alcohol prices are cheaper in Denmark than in Thailand. And still, they expect to pay a fraction of the price in Thailand 😀

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      I complain because it’s all relative to where we are. It’s ok saying ‘well at home it only cost this much…’ Doesn’t work like that. In my opinion, we aren’t at home now so we should pay the same as a local would for example.

      I was told by someone in Bangkok that she had a Thai friend who had been refused taxi rides before in peak seasons because the driver wanted ‘foreigner only’ passengers to try and get more money. Oh, it’s only an extra dollar or pound etc.. but it has a knock on effect. Point is I still paid more than I should have in THIS country, so, therefore, got ripped off. I do appreciate it could have been a lot worse fair enough. I wanted to hear people’s opinions on this.

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        I agree to a certain point. If a taxi driver tries to charge 3 times what locals pay, I politely tell him to f**k off. If he charges me 20% more than the locals, he gets that price. If he charges me the correct price, I tip him the last 20%.

        The taxi driver also spends double the time negotiating the price with the annoying tourist who read about prices on a forum that started 8 years ago. Inflation is a bit higher in the SEA than in Europe.

        You are allowed to charge annoying and time wasting customers extra 🙂

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          Is it time wasting though if the customer thinks the price is unreasonable, don’t they have a right to barter?

          Agree with reading out of date posts though. Don’t expect the price to be the same as eight years ago…

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            And who is willing to waste their time? I assure the locals have plenty of time to waste 🙂

            If it’s pouring rain and you look miserable, I assure you they will take advantage. Also of the locals.

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              Caught with my pants down situation but I still hold to the fact the taxi driver should use the meter and I should have insisted it be turned on.

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                That’s how it is. I’ve lived I Thailand for 5 years. Once have I succeeded in getting a taxi to turn on his meter.
                Instead of wasting too much time to find the one who will follow the rules, it is easier finding a driver that gives you a fixed price, that you are both happy with.
                In the bigger cities, taxi apps like Uber and Grab are the way to go.

                30.000 VND is an unrealistic price and the toll both are unavoidable. So you paid to much, but not enough to ruin your travels. It shouldn’t even be enough to ruin your day 🙂

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    The same thing happened to me! But not in Sapa. I got to Hanoi from a train coming from Dong Hoi. I got into a taxi that said he’d go by the meter. We get to my hotel which was 2.2 kilometres from the train station. The meter is 480,000 dongs!!!! I told him I know he’s scamming me and it’s not the price because in a different place for 2 kilometres I paid around 80,000. Anyways after arguing with him, he lowered the price to 300,000. There are a lot of fake taxis here in Vietnam. I think there’s like two company’s that are actually real company’s… Uber & Grab. Only ride with them! Also, another thing I noticed about this taxi was the guy was in regular clothes and didn’t have his ID shown like the other taxis I’ve been on.

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