In spite of being one of the safest cities in the world, you will be possibly related to some unexpected travel scams in Hanoi - Vietnam's capital city. If you are willing to raise your awareness of Hanoi travel scams, then Excursionvietnam would like to dedicate this post to you to prepare for a safe and fun trip to this charming city.
This seems to be an uncommon scam for most tourists to Vietnam because they must have never heard about it before. As a local youngster and a daily walker, I’ve seen a lot of shoes fixing scams in Hanoi, especially around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter, when foreign travelers really got into troubles. While walking along peaceful ancient streets in the Old Quarter, you will possibly see someone’s running into you or trying to take your shoes off without asking for your permission. When you don’t know what is going on, he will immediately put some special glue on your shoes or sandals and pretend to fix or sew it. When the shoes are returned, he will ask you to pay a ridiculous fixing fee of around US$40 or more. If you refuse to pay, then he will possibly threaten, say some bad words or let you walk on your barefoot.
All you need to do when walking around is to raise your awareness of these unreliable guys, especially the ones carrying sandals or shoe shining equipments on their hands. If you can't help doing anything, ask some policemen or security men around.
Photographs with Yokes
Every international tourist on their first visit to Hanoi will surely be impressed by the gorgeous images of local fruit sellers with Yokes, which is one of the most important object of Vietnamese women in the past, and not really common to see in both Asia and other regions in the world. As a result, many tourists want to take photographs carrying these yokes on their own shoulders. However, they do not know this is another travel scam that you will know. Just like shoe fixing guys, these women seller with yokes do not hesitate to ask you for a specific fee for letting you carry their yokes. It is mostly about $4-5 but sometimes they will ask for more. The simple way to avoid this is to not to touch the yokes. You can feel free to photograph them but before carry them for photographs, ask if they will charge you or not first.
Mysterious Fruit Sellers
It is understandable that you cannot keep your eyes off lovely baskets of fresh tropical fruit on bicycles or on sidewalk in Hanoi. However, you have to be really careful when buying fruits on your own due to the fact that the range of price for tropical fruits is up to the local seller. That means you can possibly get a ridiculously high price at anytime or anywhere. I know that $10 or $15 is not a problem for your budget, but, in comparison to the price for Vietnamese, you can totally be able to bargain them (at least half price) to get a package of tasty fruits.
This must be the most common scam in Hanoi that you should highly notice. Well, there is a wide range of taxi's brands in Hanoi including some private local taxi companies, offering you the access to different choices. Thus, it is never easy to catch the right cars in Hanoi Old Quarter. Once wrongly boarding scam-able cars, you can be transferred around and around instead of moving straight to your destinations so you can lose much more money than it ought to be. More seriously, you will have to pay some extra fees for the drivers as he blames on driving on traffic jams, heavy luggage etc. What will you have to do?
- Ask your hotel or nearest travel agents to arrange for you one of the most famous and reliable taxi companies in Hanoi such as Mai Linh, Taxi Group.
- Book Uber or Grab cars to avoid scams.
- Join Vietnam Motorcycle Tours to travel to off-the-beaten-track places in Hanoi and many provinces in Vietnam without concerning about those scams.
Overall, scams can be found everywhere in the world, especially in tourist areas. Thus, don't let them affect your expeditions. Our advices for you is: Be Vigilant, Be Smart, Be Knowledgeable.