Vietnam is obviously an adorable country where people love to visits. There are lots of ancient places to explore, foods to try, and happy people to meet.
However, just like any other countries especially the developing ones, it is quite common to meet some locals trying to trick tourists with some travel scams.
There’s nothing to fear, though. But still, you have to be careful. Don’t let any scams intrude you holiday. Here are some common scams in Vietnam and how to deal with them.
There are two reputable taxi companies in Vietnam; Mai Linh and Vinasun. These two are recommended because most of the drivers are honest. Mai Linh taxis are green color and Vinasun are white color.
However, due to their good reputation, many other companies try to trick tourists by using similar name and color. These fake taxis have meters that increase the price much faster that it should. That’s the way they trick tourists.
Sometimes, money switch scam happens, too. Therefore, before you get in any taxi, always check it first. Make sure you only get in a Main Link or Vinasun. The alternatives is to order a taxi from an app like Uber or Grab. It will be safer and much cheaper.
The same thing applies for travel companies. There are many fake travel companies 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 don’t understand.
He points at your shoes, lifts your foot and tries to takes off the shoe. In the end he says that there’s a fault with the shoe (which he made it himself as the shoe was okay before). Then, he asks for a bill to repair it.
If it happens to you, just keep on walking. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid wearing dress shoes in a touristy place.
A tour is an exciting activity to do in a new place and many tourists are interested in doing this. In many cities in Vietnam, you can easily find motor bikers who welcome you once you arrive in a city and offers you a trip with them.
After you agree with the price, you will be taken into a trip to explore the city. But, when you have to pay for it, the price goes higher than it should.
When you complain, they will just give a common answer, telling that you must have misheard them. It is always recommended to avoid this kind of motorbike tour.
In addition to the price scams, these bikers are typically members of gangsters who usually sell drugs.
The Squeaky Donut
Vietnam is a heaven for street foods. They are definitely yummy. Trying these foods and snacks is a must as perhaps you cannot find them in your own country.
However, there are a few snacks to avoid such as squeaky donuts. While you are walking around, it is common 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 to buy the snacks.
As the donuts are crunchy and obviously delicious, many tourists decide to buy them. The problem is these snacks use unregulated oil and they are cooked in unsanitary way. There have been lots of report about travelers getting sick after consuming the donuts.
So, it is clear that you must say no to the donuts. There are myriads of other options, instead.
The Fruit Seller
Still about foods, in touristy areas, you will meet some men selling fruits with ling bamboo poles on their back. They sell tropical fruits like custard apples, mangosteen and so on.
These fruits can to 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’s free but after the photo is taken, they will ask you some money. Simply say no when these fruit sellers or any locals offer a photo.
Scams on porter or luggage handler does not only happen in Vietnam but these scams are common in almost every part of the world. These luggage handlers are everywhere. You can always meet 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 beforehand to your taxi driver to help you to bring your luggage. Refusing the porter is no use because they won’t go away. To make them leave, you can give them little money.
It is better than letting them carrying your luggage and charging you much more money.
Who are not interested in having body massage after an exhausting day of city exploration? But, you have to be careful when being offered 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 don’t intend to buy) and even water.
If you really want body massage, it is recommended to ask your hotel for reputable places. Researching online is also a helpful way to avoid scams.
Finally, now you are aware of some common scams and tricks in Vietnam, you will be ready for your trip to Vietnam. The travel scams are not something you have to worry about but be aware of.
This happens not only in Vietnam but also in other parts of the world. It is something that almost every tourist experiences. As long as you know how to deal with them, your trip will be fine.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the Scams in Vietnam has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you go too.