Guidebook Be careful

Sense of Place

Be careful

Like the rest of Southeast Asia, Vietnam has its share of scams that target travellers, explains Gregory Rodgers in Trip Savvy. “While most are more a nuisance than dangerous, some scams in Vietnam are far more cheeky and can literally ruin your entire trip if you fall victim.” Here he lists some common scams to avoid:

Motorbike rental scams: “be prepared to decline dozens of offers for a motorbike every time you leave your hotel … if you intend to rent a motorbike in Vietnam, do so through your accommodation.”

Cyclo and taxi drivers: “always confirm before getting inside any taxi that the driver will use the meter … if getting a ride from one of Vietnam's famous ‘cyclos’ or bicycle-taxis, agree on a clear price before getting inside.”

Hotel scams: “hotels have been known to double rates upon checkout by claiming that the price quoted was per person rather than per night. If your room has a refrigerator, confirm what drinks are present when you check in to avoid being charged for something a previous guest enjoyed.”

Ticket bookings: “be wary of anyone that approaches you around the entrance of bus and train stations — most are there to target tourists … con-artists will tell you that the train or bus is delayed or offer to book a ticket for you.”

Drugs: “even think about it … drug possession can actually carry the death penalty in Vietnam … individuals on the street try to sell marijuana to travelers, then phone a friendly police officer to come shake the buyers down for a large bribe.”

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