Vietnam is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia with beautiful scenery, temples, war history, and more. The country has grown as a popular destination for backpackers and solo travelers. Vietnam has a few iconic locations that are world-famous like Halong Bay and Sapa.
When you visit Vietnam, you need to be aware of the scams that you may encounter when visiting Vietnam. A lot of scams in Vietnam do target tourists mainly in tourist areas. These scams do occur around the temples, local markets, at night in a bar, and transport.
In this post, we will go through what to watch out for in Vietnam in terms of scams in Vietnam. So let’s get started!
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Scams In Vietnam
While Vietnam is a wonderful place to visit, there are scams that target visitors to Vietnam. These scams can happen anywhere in Vietnam from temples, the local markets, and transport.
What are the most commons scams that usually occur in Vietnam?
There are two reputable taxi companies in Vietnam which are Mai Linh and Vinasun. These two are recommended because most of the drivers are honest. Mai Linh taxis are green in color and Vinasun taxis use are white in color.
However, due to their good reputation, many other companies try to trick tourists by using similar names and colors. These fake taxis have meters that increase the price much faster than they should. That is the way they trick tourists.
Before you get in any taxi, always check it first and make sure they use a meter. Make sure you only get in a Main Link or Vinasun. The alternatives are to order a taxi from apps like Grab. It will be safer and much cheaper.
The same thing applies to travel companies. There are many fake travel companies that are using a similar name to the popular ones. The way to avoid them is to research online.
The Eager Cobbler
This is a typical scam in Vietnam. You are walking along the street in Hanoi. Suddenly, you are stopped by a local man. He is saying something in Vietnamese which of course you do not understand.
He points at your shoes, lifts your foot, and takes off the shoe. In the end, he says that there is a fault with the shoe and tries to repair the shoe (it is possible he could damage you shoes). Then, he asks for a bill to repair it.
If it happens to you, just keep on walking. It is recommended to avoid wearing dress shoes in a touristy packpacking areas.
A tour is a good activity to do in a new place and many tourists are interested in going on tours. In many cities in Vietnam, you can easily find motorbikers who welcome you once you arrive in a city and offer you a tour.
After you agree on the price, you will be taken on a trip to explore the city. But, when you have to pay for it, the price changes and goes higher than the agreed price.
When you complain, they will just give a common answer, telling you that you must have misheard them. It is always recommended to avoid these kinds of motorbike tours.
In addition to the price scams, these bikers are typically members of gangsters who usually sell drugs.
The Donut Seller
Vietnam is a heaven for street foods. Trying these foods and snacks is a must as perhaps you cannot find them in your own country. When you are walking around, it is not uncommon that you are suddenly stopped by street vendors bringing a plastic bag containing small brown donuts.
They will offer the donuts for free and persuade them to buy the snacks. The donuts are crunchy and taste ok, many tourists will buy them. The problem is these snacks use questionable oil and they are cooked in an unsanitary way.
There have been lots of reports about travelers getting sick after consuming the donuts. It is best to avoid them and say no to the donuts. There are plenty of other options, instead.
The Fruit Seller
Still about food, in touristy areas, you will encounter people selling fruits with long bamboo poles on their back. They are selling tropical fruits like apples, mangosteen and so on.
These fruits can be tempting but you need to be careful when buying fruits from them. Most of the time, travelers are often overcharged. So, you should ask clearly how much are they before buying ones.
They will also offer a photo opportunity. You might think it is free but after the photo is taken, they will ask you for some money. Simply say no when these fruit sellers or any locals offer a photo.
Scams with porters or luggage handlers do not only happen in Vietnam but these scams are common in almost every part of the world. You can always encounter one, at least.
Without asking, they will lift your luggage and carry it for you. The problem is the fee for the service is often not reasonable. To avoid them, you can pretend to close your eyes. Ask your taxi driver to help you to bring your luggage.
Refusing the porter is no use because they will not go away. To make them leave, you can give them some money. It is better than letting them carrying your luggage and charging you much more money.
Who are not interested in having a body massage after an exhausting day of city exploration? But, you have to be careful when being offered a body massage in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi.
The price that you have to pay can be different from the price that has been listed. The masseur will add the charge for additional products (that you did intend to buy) and even water.
If you really want a body massage, it is recommended to ask your hotel for reputable places. Researching online is also a helpful way to avoid scams.
Finally, there are scams in every country and Vietnam is no exception. These can occur anywhere in Vietnam from the busy main streets, the local markets, and transport. These are only a few scams in Vietnam that you may encounter when you Vietnam.
These scams can happen to any type of tourist. So, you need to be careful and call the police just in case you come across scammers.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the scams in Vietnam – what to watch out for in Vietnam has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know there is more to add.