- Tour Styles
Vietnam is a very very safe destination for international travelers, including children and woman-solo travelers. In fact, tripadvisor.com, businessinsider.com... voted Vietnam is one of the leading destinations for world-wide travelers as the friendly people, excellent food, beautiful landscapes, exotic multi-cutltures, rich history.
However, same as other tourism destinations in the world, Vietnam also has petty crime on small scale. It will not be a problem if you take common–sense precautions on pushy vendors, over–enthusiastic touts, shoe-shine boys, taxi driver.... We will provide you some cases Vietnamese and foriegn traveler have encountered on their Vietnam tours Hanoi to Saigon. First is the hotline list. If anything not nice happens to you, you can call the hotline for help.
Chặt chém is Vietnamese words used in tourism crime - means request tourists to pay much more than real value. Could be 6 - 20 times higher than its value. Or pay tourists much less than it should be. We - Deluxe Vietnam Tours Company, would like to give some cases happening to both Vietnamese and foriegn tourists from Hanoi to Saigon:
Money Exchange at the Airports: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are the starting destination for most Vietnam tours package - Sometime other airports like Danang, Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc. Travelers on Vietnam trip will lose some money if you exchange at the airport in comparision with exchange with the bank in the cities. However, In Noibai airport in Hanoi, it seems to be better than Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city. As there are 3 different exchange counters belonging to 3 different banks at one area, they try to compete to get more clients. The exchange rate you can see from 3 banks at a time. However, it is still lower than the bank in the city.
There was one case happening to French travelers in Tan Son Airport. The staff exhanged 100 EURO to 2.070.000 VN Dong. The travelers should have got 2.700.000. Everyone of the 33 member group exchanges money here. Smallest amount was 40 Euro and biggest amount was 400 Euro. After the tour guide introduced Ho Chi Minh city and gave some tips how to use local money with so many 000000 and the exchange rate between VND and Euro. The group got angry. Ask tour guide to help and went back to the airport. Some of work was made and they got the money back from the staff. You can see the case mentioned on Goverment News Paper: Cheated Money exchange Service at Tan Son Nhat airport
Tips for this case: Please check the exchange rate with Vietcombank: www.vietcombank.com.vn/exchangerates. More information on which kinds of money you should bring to Vietnam and where to exchange money in Vietnam, please see it in this link: Hanoi Travel Tips and Tricks
High Price for Tourists by Street Vendors From Hanoi to Saigon : Street Vendors happen everywhere in the world and Vietnam, too. It happens in Hanoi, Ninh Binh(Hoa Lu, Tam Coc), Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Saigon, Vung Tau. They try to sell something to you. But when you say no, most of them will stop.
One case may happen to you. At first, no try to sell anything. They put bamboo frame in the below photo. They put a conical hat on your head. So nice photos. Nice photos - they said. Actually, it is a nice photo which you can not find in other places in the world. After you take some photos, they will give you some bananas, pieces of pineapple. They will ask for 4 or 5 USD. It is not fair. You should be informed first. You do not have to pay them.
For this case, if you like, you can pay them 1 USD as it is fine - You should be informed first. They will ask for more, but no.
Must know with Shoeshine Boys from Hanoi to Saigon :
Working to earn the living is good. But not in the way of shoeshine boys in Hanoi or Saigon. 1 USD for your shoes to be shoeshined is fine. Not more than 1 USD. No fixing your shoes from shoeshine boys as the boy may charge you upto 900.000 Vietnam Dong = 43 USD like an Austrailian visitor in the video. The cost for fixing your shoes is around 3 to 5 USD. In Hanoi, go to Cau Go street or Hang Dau street. You will see the shoe-fixing man in front of the shoe shops. Ask the price first before fixing your shoe. You are walking on the street and have no idea of shoeshining. But they will try to ask you to have their services. Why not if your shoes are dirty. But ask the price first and remember 1 USD only. Not more than that.
What to do if you have your shoes fixed or shoeshined by shoeshine boys? If you ask for high price, do not be afraid of them. First, take their photos by your phone or camera and they know that you have their photos now. You now pay 1 USD for shoe-shining or 3 - 5 USD for fixing. If they still ask for more, you said to them to call the policeman. In Hanoi, you can talk with the local people for help in this case. However, the locals in Saigon do not dare to deal with this case as the Saigon people are afraid the shoeshine boy will fight them. A little sad.
You will wonder why the local goverment do not catch them or give them a fine. Yes, the local governmet has done that quite often. After the local goverment did something, it would be good for a while. Then, the shoeshine boys from other places will move to this area: Hanoi Old Quarter, Saigon post office, Ben Thanh market....
Why Stop Operating 4 Halong Bay Cruises? - Halong Tripadvisor : 4 cruises in Halong bay were requested to stop operating for 10days from 25th June to 4th July 2016 because of over-charging visitors to Halong bay and having not enough live-guard equitments said by Mr. Thang - Manager of water and sea ports in Quang Ninh.
The overcharging happened to 17 visitors on 1st of June. After the trip, the visitors were charged 300.000VN Dong more for service charge which was not mentioned and 30.000 VND for one dish in their meal. It should be mentioned clearly.
Our Halong tripadvisor for booking any service, everything must be clear at the begining. More information on this case on VNEXPRESS news paper: Stop operating cruise related to overcharging tourist
Why Stop Operating Cruises for research? - Halong Tripadvisor : Another case related to overcharging. After the local goverment of Quang Ninh province got the information on overcharging while touring Halong bay, the cruise was requested to stop operating on 18th May 2016 for research. The group of 5 persons and 3 children booked the cruise by themselves to tour Halong bay on 15th May 2016. They booked lunch onboard with the price. However, when they paid the lunch, the price was double and even triple with the crab - 600.000 a crab of 300 grams. Total for lunch was 6.000.000 and 1.500.000 pay for the cruise even touring the bay only 2 hours. They had to come back as the typhoon.
However, according to the manager of QN-7038, total price for lunch and cruise for 8 persons was 6.800.000 VNdong including lunch, cruise price and entrance fee tickets. The research is on going
On 5th April, 2016 Another cruise, named Minh Huong, was stopped operating related overcharging the Vietnamese travelers. After getting the information for travelers, the local authority checked Minh Huong cruise and found out there is no price on public and the invoice with wrong amount of money for the Vietnamese group. This group booked the cruise by themselves. To know many more cases related overchanging the travelers in Halong bay, you can google the keyword "tau Halong chat chem khach du lich" you will get many results relating overcharging travelers. The overcharging has happened to travelers who came there and booked the cruise directly with the boat owners. See One of the case writen in Englsih newspaper: Stop operating cruise related to overcharging tourist
Illigal Rickshaw in Vietnam & The World:
The same everywhere in the world. Good Rickshaw and illegal rickshaw. In London(Britain), a Dutch traveler was charged 600 pound = 830 USD for 30 minute touring around London - We can say this is a robbery for travelers. In Vietnam( Hanoi, Hue, Nha Trang, Saigon...) some travelers were charged from 50 USD to 200 USD.
Take Rickshaw Tour in Vietnam or Not? - Our Tripadvisor for Vietnam Tours Hanoi to Saigon says: Yes! Why not? take the legal rickshaws. Everything is fine. How to get the legal riskshaws? We - tour operator in Vietnam, have the contract with rickshaw companies. We call the rickshaw drivers to tour around and take care you. They are professional drivers. It is very cheap tour. But great trip is waiting for you!
How to avoid illegal rickshaw in Vietnam: Say no with rickshaw drivers who look for tourists on the street. Such an easy thing!
Some of our clients enjoyed the rickshaw tour around Hanoi Old Quarter daytime. When they have free time and walk around this bustling area. Feeling tired, they took the same name rickshaw to tour around for fun. But they was charged so much money. The next day they reported this to our tour guide hoping to get money back. But there are so many rickshaw drivers working for a rickshaw company and some work as free lance, too. You should have taken a photo of them and we can reported to the policeman for help.
Watch out Rickshaw Mafia in Saigon on Vietnam travel Hanoi to Saigon:
The rickshaw mafia in Saigon often look for tourists around Ben Thanh market and Duc Ba church. This case happened to Chinese tourists on their Vietnam tours Saigon. 3 rickshaw drivers charged 4.500.000 about 230 USD for 3persons. The story start with 3 Chinese tourists. They found 3 rickshaw drivers at Duc Ba church and bargain 15.000 Dong/person/rickshaw. So total they had to pay is 45.000. The bargaining was done and they was on the ride. During the ride, they asked to stop for exchange some dollar into Vietnam Dong. At the end of the ride, the 3 driver charged them 1.500.000/person and the driver robbed their bag and took 4.500.000 VN Dong and went away. The 3 Chinese tourists took photos of them and the rickshaw number and reported to the local policeman in Ben Nghe district in Saigon. The police caused the 3 drivers and was trying to find out how long they drove the 3 Chinese tourists. They had unhappy time on their Vietnam travel Saigon. I feel so sad with Vietnam tourism sector, too. I am writing this hoping travelers on Vietnam travel Hanoi to Saigon read it before they arrive in Vietnam.
Taxi Mafia in Vietnam: Some of visitors to Vietnam including our clients have reported that they had to pay much more money for the taxi driver. It is true. Our tour guide did tell our clients about this and note with our clients: looking on the map or check online to see the distance. You will know almost correct money to be paid for the taxi. 12 munite walking from Ben Thanh market to the hotel in Saigon. But the taxi driver charged them 60 USD with illegal taxi meter. The taxi driver dropped them off nearby the hotel. He did not dare to stop in fron of the hotel. Otherwise, he would get into trouble. Please do not pay them. You said money in the hotel and request him to drop you off at the hotel. Now, you can ask the reception to help and call the policeman.
Taxi Mafia in Hanoi: On 24 April 2013, a taxi driver of Trung Viet BKS 30P - 4009 took Mr. David Patrick and Mrs. Brandi Dawn Burney from Dien Bien Phu street in Hanoi to the Museum of Ethnology in Nguyen Van Huyen street. The distance is around 7km. Arriving there, the meter is 98.000 VN Dong, but he charged them 980.000 VND. Mr. David took the photo of the car and ask the security of Ethnology museum for help. They call Trung Viet Taxi company, but the company could not contact the driver. In the end, the musuem staff called the policeman. The taxi driver admitted the money charged Mr. David. The taxi company was possible to give him a fine of 20.000.000 VN Dong and stop cooperating with this driver. 20.000.000 VN Dong fine for Taxi Driver
How to avoid the illegal taxi in Vietnam: Do not take taxi on the street. Ask the staff of hotel, retaurant, bar, museum... to call taxi for you. They are willing to do it for you.
On 15th Feb 2014, a British couple took a taxi from Ngoc Son temple on the side of Hanoi Old Quarter to Ho Chi Minh museum. The distance is 3 km. They saw the taxi meter run so fast. After talking very loudly, she - Taxi driver robbed 50 USD on the tourist hand and requested they get off the car. They took the photo of the car and report with tourist-supporting centre under Hanoi Tourism Department at 47 Hang Dau street. The policeman found out the taxi driver is Ngo Thi Nhung(female). She put fake logo of Ha Anh taxi company.
Bags, Iphone, Camera Robbery in Saigon: We translated the article from Thanh Nien news paper - famous news papper in Vietnam: Bag Robbed in Saigon
Alaa Mohammad Abdu Ali Aldoh Got An Excuse from Ho Chi Minh city as her bag was robbed here.
In the afternoon, Ms. Tuyet - Manager of Ho Chi Minh tourism department with policemen and other leaders of Pham Ngu Lao district made an excuse to Alaa Mohammad Abdu Ali Aldoh - a 22 year old visitor to Saigon from Egypt. She returned to Ho Chi Minh city from Da Lat city and she was arranged with a hotel by Ho Chi Minh Tourism sector. " we are very sorry for the case. But this bad guide is one among most friendly Vietnamese people" said representative of Ho Chi Minh tourism department
The Egyptian visitor is happy to accept the excuse from Ho Chi Minh city goverment and the invitation for a local travel company for Vietnam tours Saigon to Hanoi. On 9th of March, she arrived in Saigon - the 1st stop of her Vietnam travel Saigon to Hue, Quang Binh, Sapa, Catba island, Hanoi.... She will leave Vietnam on 7th April.
On the afternoon of 11th March, she and her boyfriend was looking at Saigon map on Luong Huu Khanh street in Pham Ngu Lao district. 2 men were driving motor-bike near her and rob her bag. She and her boyfriend were trying to follow them, but she fell down. she lost 230USD and credit cards and some personal papper. She was so fearfull. She was supported by Vietnamese policemen and got recovery. She call her mother to lock her bank account.
She said it was the 1st time she got robbed while she has been to 10 countries. She said even she was robbed with her bag, Vietnam is still a safe country to travel and explore stunning nature, friendly people and rich in food
Robbery is a national problem in every country and Vietnam is no exception. She said after working and saving money, she will be back to continue visiting Vietnam. She said to minimize the robbery, Saigon should have more cameras in the places where more tourists are visiting. It is very helpful for the policemen to find the robbers. Besides, there should be guides at the airport for the visitors to know what may happen in Vietnam.
Female Polish Visitor Got Socked When Her Iphone Robbed in Saigon.
"When Mr. Arkadiusz Chabrowski and Ms. Katarzyna Regula were walking near the Kenh Trang bridge in Binh Chanh district in Ho Chi Minh city, a man driving motorbike so fast in the opposite direction robbed her iphone and went away on 17th March 2016." Said Mr. Kien - a Vietnamese man who saw the case. He also said the female Polish visitor was crying alot. Her boy friend tried to make her calm down. The Vietnamese nearby came and offered help to take them to the police station to make the report. However, she refused to get their help. However, the local policeman got the news from Vietnamese peole living nearby there. A policeman met them for the report and start their job looking for the iphone. A journalist from local News papper tried to contact them. At first they refused to meet, but in the end the talk happpened. She felt sad as her iphone 6 Plus cost of 1000 USD. She had had saved for serval months. She still goes on with her plan to stay in Vietnam. She said she is not sure to come back Vietnam. Her friend was luckier than her with the same situation. But she tried to keep her bag from the robber's hands. She also said many Vietnamese people tried to explain with their hands to help. Some of Vietnamese tried to invite her for a meal as the sympathy. She said only one person made mistake in this case and she would like to thank the others. She said this is the 1st time she met a robber. It is a terrified experience. All video clips for 3 month traveling in India, Malaysia, Singapor was lost and she got the only memory left.
Vietnamese Facebookers Have Shared 2 Travelers From Hong Kong Robbed in Saigon.
Vietnamese on facebook have had many shares about 2 Hong Kong travlers robbed in Saigon. Many people said we - Vietnamese people should help them. At 22:00pm on 14th Dec, Poly went to Bui Vien street - wll-known as foreign street in Saigon for a beer and relax. When came in Bui Vien street, Poly saw a Vietnamese couple like tourists sitting on the pavement. Poly saw the girl crying. It made him forget to drink beer and dance. Looking carefully, Poly saw a big board with famous tourist destinations in Vietnam. According to what Poly saw, they are from Hong Kong and had all money and personal papers robbed. As tourist, Poly love travel like back packers and understand the problems on the way. Poly understand and want to sympathize with them. Poly came to talk with them. Kay and Doris is a young couple from Hong Kong, arriving in Ho Chi Minh city 2 day ago. Yesterday, as they were walking along Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Doris's bay was robbed by a man driving so fast. All passports, money and credit cards was lost. They reported with policeman and were requested to come back in a week. Now, they do not have enough money to rent a hotel room and got helh to stay overnight at a local home at Pham Ngu Lao street. They do not have money to go anywhere. To get over the coming time, there is only way for Kay and Doris to do is to print their photo of the travel places and postcards to sell on the payment for food.
Already or going to have foreign vacation with lover, put you into the shoes of Kay. Looking forward to a beautiful country with friendly people. But now, they had to sell postcards for food. They arranged Noel and new year vacation in Vietnam. Now, no money, no credit card, no passports, Iphone robbed. All is to wait for the local policeman and ambassy to issue the new passport while they were seeking the way to live. No where to go and can not stay longer at the back packer area. Doris is a girl who can not sit under the sun in Saigon. According to the blogpoly.
Price 10 Times Higher for the Medicine in Hoian: A foreigner married to a Vietnamese lady was on holiday in Hoian. Unluckily, the wife got sick. The husband went to buy some simple medicine and he was overcharged 10 times. His wife came back and got the money back. She reported the case to newspaper.
Com Binh Dan - 880.000VN Dong for 2 Persons in Da Lat: Com Binh Dan is a very popular keyword for normal restaurant serving rice and normal Vietnamese courses for low income workers students. However, a couple having lunch in Com Binh Dan restaurant in Da Lat was overcharged upto 880.000 for 3 courses. These 3 courses were maximun 250.000. The reason why they was overcharged was not asking the price before eating. This is the fee for those one eating at a strange restaurant. However, it is a big problem for the local government in Da Lat - a tourism destination for both Vietnamese and foreign travelers. This problem happens very often especially at the night market in Da La - a chicken noodle soup cost upto 120.000 if anyone does not ask the price before eating.
Sweater of 300.000VN Dong Goes Up to 1.700.000 VN Dong in Dalat: 6 times higher than the normal cost. Many travelers including Vietnamese travel to Da Lat without a jacket or a sweater. As Da Lat in the highland central of Vietnam is at about 1600m higher than the sea level and is often cold in the morning and afternoon. A Vietnamese visitor to Da Lat did not bring a jacket with him. He went to the market in Da Lat to buy a sweater and the seller said its price is 1.700.000. Luckily he did not buy. Late he bought the same one at 400.000 VND and he met a local person buying it at the cost of 300.000VND. Da Lat is probably called an overcharging tourism destination in Vietnam.
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