10 Most Common Tourist Scams to Avoid in Vietnam

Vietnam encompasses so much to brag about and feel proud of. The beautiful landscapes, the enigmatic temples, the rich diversity, and so much more makes Vietnam a hot tourist spot. Unfortunately, places with such the hustle and bustle of tourists also become a delight for the con artists and scammers to attract people in their pitfalls and trick them into swiping their cash and valuables.

So, raising the alarm high to protect you from such tricks and scams, I am jotting the most common tourist scams that you ought to avoid by hook or crook so that you don’t end in despair due to your trip.

  • Currency fraud

With the vast Vietnamese currency, money frauds tend to occur often with travelers. The scammers wither overcharge or confuse the travelers among currency. Due to the same colors, travelers are easy to trick by taking more money, whereas the actual cost is very less. Vendors, taxi drivers, and motorbikers often showcase such dramatic indignation wherewith the sleight of hand; they switch larger denominations for lower denomination rates.

How to avoid: Be very particular with knowing the notes and their colors. Be thorough with the exchange rate before you decide to buy anything. 

  • Pickpockets

Pickpockets are common in all the scams that most tourists complain about while their visit to Vietnam. Big cities like Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh, and Hanoi are the hub of pickpockets. If you carry any valuable item or some lavish jewelry, then you automatically fit into their target list. You can find them in groups or as individuals who target people in public transportations, markets, stations, etc. 

How to avoid: Awareness is the key to avoid such scams. Be very attentive about belongings while you go out on expeditions. Avoid taking valuable items or jewelry pieces. For documents, keep copies of the original. 

  • Photo scams

Western tourists often get tricked the photo scam. As you know, Vietnam is fully loaded with vendors, and you see them everywhere. They trick the tourists by allowing them to click photos with their baskets and then force them to pay money. Also, beggars and small children are scammers.

How to avoid: Refusal to such offers and polite walk away is better than anything else to protect your pocket.

  • Entrance fee fraud

Another scam that tourists actually get easily tricked into is paying for a sightseeing destination that is free of cost. Highlights like pristine Budha shrines to geological gardens, Vietnam has such con artists everywhere standing to trick you into getting money for the ticket that does not exist.

How to avoid: Research is critical before you visit any place. So, the earlier you plan, the better you know about the place. Always make a list of places that charge a ticket and those that are free of cost, else consult your own trip advisor.

  • Fraud taxis

Taxis being the foremost choice for transportation, it is also a popular choice for scam performing bees. The unscrupulous drivers often trick travelers with their evil deeds and overcharge you. Also, fake taxis with fake taxi stickers are a common practice that goes in Vietnam. 

How to avoid: Before you plan your trip, either book the transportation beforehand, or you can take the hotel chauffeur during your exploration of the city. 

  • Hotel booking scam

Usually, this trap is set by the small guest houses which advertise themselves as the biggest brand to stay in, whereas the matter of fact is they got nothing for you. But, they trick you in paying more for shitty rooms, and then you end in despair.

How to avoid: Always be careful what you book, especially for accommodation. Either tell your trip planner to make the arrangements or be thorough enough with the place before making the final payment.

  • Restaurants with no fixed prices

Food can be tasty, delicious but can be a scam as well? Most of us think the same, but yes, food is also a way of tricking people in Vietnam. Many restaurants offering local delicacies of Vietnam indulge in such unscrupulous activities. They tend to raise the price of the dishes as soon as the foreigners enter their place. Note that they don’t have fixed prices, so it is for them to trick you in such scams.

How to avoid: Look into the menus and their prices before ordering. Either a hired guide or have detailed research about places to eat in Vietnam beforehand. 

  • Drugs scam

As already said, research is basic to travel anywhere. So, get familiar with the Vietnam law cautiously before you start your excursion. The medication is illegal in Vietnam, and whoever has even a limited quantity of it can really convey capital punishment. Thus be cautious with it; you unquestionably don’t have any desire to demolish your entire excursion with this dangerous trick. 

How to avoid: If you discover anybody on the road attempting to offer pot to voyagers, just smoothly call the cop, and the issue is settled.

  • Fake pearls or silk

While strolling the market of Vietnam, you will come across several vendors selling fake products like bags, pearls, and silk, but claiming them to be the original version of authentic silk, real war relics, and much more. So, don’t get tricked and pay highly for cheap illusions.

How to avoid: Be a good inspector in such scams and try to check your packages very carefully. Have some knowledge to differentiate the original from fake products.

  • Train tickets scam

Being modest of all the tricks, train travel scams mostly target the backpackers or long haul voyagers. In any case, there are a lot of phony train travel sites offering alluring costs and afterward charging you extra once you’ve shown up at the station. Another normal trick is individuals moving toward you at the passage of train stations, frequently offering to purchase a ticket for you at a limited rate. 

How to avoid: Buy train tickets through your lodging, a trustworthy travel planner, or an official site. Even better, head to the train station to purchase your ticket on the spot.

With everything said, scams are found everywhere, no matter how established the place you are visiting is. All you need is some basic research while preparing your itinerary and remaining alert to know the red signs. 

Photo credits: pixabay.com


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