It’s funny and mostly sad how often you will be ripped off in Vietnam. Not everyone will try but the majority will, especially in the touristy places.
– the noodle soup place that we had been visiting everyday for the past week had been charging us 40,000 VND each. One day another man served us and charged us 30,000 VND. He also showed us on the menu that it said 30,000 before being told off in Vietnamese by his mother for telling us the correct price. The next day they tried to charge us 40,000 VND again!
– the hotel demanding $37 USD for our visa extension even after we discovered the stamp in our passports reading $10. That’s $27 in commission…
– the DHL delivery guy requesting 488,500 VND for ‘tax’ before I realized it was actually 293,000 VND on the receipt (after I had paid)
– the motorbike guy who wanted more money for fuel the day AFTER we returned the bikes!
– when taking a taxi with a local guide the taxi driver had the nerve to ask for 30,000 VND when the meter read 20,000.
– some taxis having a dodgy meter so that the price goes up every few seconds and not every kilometer.
– our coffee bill being 30% higher for no reason.
– being short changed whenever, wherever.
– knowing that a 1.5L bottle of water is 10,000 VND and having people try to sell you a .5L bottle for the same price or hiking the price up to 15,000 or more.
– people generally telling you a price double or triple the actual value of things, just because they can.
It’s incredibly exhausting knowing that people are lying to your face everyday, all day. I know you may think that it’s ‘only a few dollars, and it’ll mean more to them than to you’ but if they are doing this everyday to hundreds of tourists then they are definitely turning quite a profit. It also adds up for us, losing a few dollars with every transaction we make. It’s also funny to see the various prices quoted to us.
Vietnam is a nice country to visit, great landscapes, a volatile and interesting history, and plenty of genuine people in the countryside and cities who are friendly and accommodating.
There are also a lot of people who see you, the traveller/tourist/whatever, as a walking moneybag. When this happens everything becomes a battle, and you get worn down very quickly.
Vietnam, you are so exhausting.