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Hanoi and Hue: Rip-off places? Annoying locals?

Travel Forums Asia Hanoi and Hue: Rip-off places? Annoying locals?

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1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

I'm just wondering...

I can't stand the manner the locals deal with us. 9 months in China,nothing as irritating as the peeps in the OLD QUARTERS.

Hue was almost charming. It was so quiet and seemingly peaceful. Until someone will hear you speak an English word. It becomes HANOI VOL.2
Everyone Cheats in other countries. But they wont sell you a bowl of rice for 3 dollars in China. Its so expensive in Vietnam, coz a can of coke is 10,000 dong. Some morons even try to sell it at 15,000.

The motorbike taxi drivers tops my list as the major source of irritation.

The prices of everything is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. The coke and the malboro is more expensive than the rates in SHANGHAI,BEIJING AND TOKYO. What annoys me the most is the ignorance of the people who think people from China will pay 10 dollars for bottle of water or a bowl of noodles.

The 1st hour we arrived a woman/con artist took us from the bus and the whole nightmare begins.

I DONT KNOW IF ITS JUST ME. But one day in Hue is enough. Id rather sleep in the hotel. I should get to CAMBODIA fast. Its just sad... I hate it when everyone I meet is so hungry for dollars. They dont even exchange Chinese money.

Its been 9 days. I have yet to be impressed. I'll try Saigon. But I am expecting the same "milk the foreigner" culture.
I thought the Chinese were annoying, until I experience the Vietnam way. I am embarrassed, after all I am Southeast Asian.

Its just everywhere and I am not even blonde.

2. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

Funny l cant agree - yeah the con artists were there - l was aware of them - but a simple no sufficed. I have to say that by the end of my 3 weeks l couldve happily murdered a cyclo guy as they stalk you - but at the start it was funny!! Yeah l got off a tour bus and they tried to lead me into specific hotels - but l walked away saying no. And l was always able to find a better deal.

Im from the west so l guess lm used to paying through the nose for consumer goods but l found on the whole prices cheap in VN - l mean an aircon room with ensuite bathroom in Nha Trang for $15 a night - well to me thats great value for my pound!!

Sorry you have had a bad experience but l thought l should counter it with something lighter so people can make their own judgement call!!

And l am kinda blonde at the moment!!!

3. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

I have to agree with Heather...we didn't get ripped off at all in Vietnam. We heard other people saying about it, but if people tried it we would just walk away (yes we wanted to strangle vendors/moto drivers at times) and saying no firmly and once was enough.

We found Vietnam to be one of the cheapest countries in SE Asia and we met some really generous and friendly Vietnamese people there. For example, in Saigon we got talking to a group of guys in a beer hoi bar, they were grateful to practice their English and they bought all our beer for the night, eventhough we obviously had more money than them!

There are always good and bad experiences and in our experience Cambodia was worse (this year) for scammings, rip offs and thefts.

Oh and my boyfriend and I are both blond(e)...

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

All I know is that when I compare the ripoffs in my own country (USA) to the few I encountered in Vietnam, I'd happily pick Vietnam for a vacation any old time! You just have to grow a thick skin when traveling (it's not just Vietnam where this sort of thing happens) and smile when you say "NO".

I remember being sold a map of Hanoi in the Hoan Kiem Lake area for 150,000 VND - and stupid me actually bought that map! It was my own fault (I should have simply kept walking). In the USA people think nothing of purchasing a new home for $500,000. that looks exactly like the one next door, and made with cheap materials. (which is the bigger ripoff?)

5. Posted by Buffalo (Full Member 120 posts) 8y

I possibly didnt get as much hassle being a bloke but I honestly didnt see or hear anyone else complain too much either when I was there last year...the people are just trying to earn a few quid and while it might be annoying for you, it's just something you have to put up with in some places as a tourist. Vietnam is an absolutely quality country, I'd go back tomorrow if I could. While I have to agree that Hue wasnt as great as Hoi An, Dalat, Hanoi, Saigon or Nha Trang, I still think people should make up their own minds...

6. Posted by jokar (Budding Member 27 posts) 8y

I just got back from Vietnam actually, and I had a really good time. 10,000 dong for a Coke i about US 60 cents, which is less than 1 SGD, so Vietnam really isn't all that expensive.

May I suggest that you give yourself time to adjust to the way currency is counted? I reached Vietnam through Laos, and for the first few days, Vietnam seemed really expensive because of the the way money was counted; 1 USD was equivalent to 8,000 kip or 16,000 dong, so it took some time to get used to because it seemed like prices had doubled.

When you're a foreigner in a tourist area, people will want your business because they assume you can afford a higher than local price. But as long as you say no and smile, they usually don't keep pestering you. All they're trying to do, really, is to make a living.

Mind you, Saigon is busier, with more touts than in Hue or even Hanoi. Hanoi is considered by some as being cheaper than Saigon, so you may not enjoy it either. I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a bad experience in Vietnam, but the only almost toutless place I've been to in Asia is Laos. Even then, some of the sellers can be very pushy.

7. Posted by Alqueda (Inactive 17 posts) 8y

Dear Swept Away,

I can't understand why 10,000 VND for a coke is expensive. Since that's the least money I pay for it anywhere I go to eat or drink in Vietnam. I wouldn't mind if the price goes up to 30,000 or 50,000 if I was in a night club or a good bar.

About con/scams or stuffs like that, you meet everywhere in the world. But I take it for granted that it's not worse in Vietnam than anywhere else. Take it or leave it. I do that all the time when travelling in Vietnam. It's a developing country so it's hard to expect things/services to be of fixed price, but you can always bargain.

8. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Swept Away,
I have been to VN 5 times and can see how the place can irritate some visitors. Many of the VN people you meet daily seem to have one goal in mind: separate you from your money. You will have to tell most of them 'NO!" more than once before they actually believe you don't want their product or services. I came to accept that fact pretty quickly. I don't want to be ripped off either, but realize that most of them are just trying to earn a living in a tough place to be poor. Learn what the real price should be, bargain until you get the price you are comfortable with or walk away. Not everything is a ripoff, sometimes it is just a person trying to make a bit extra from those that can afford it. I can understand that and live with paying more than a local. I think of it as helping out at the grassroots level. I give to charities at home, this is a way to help poor people in another country.

VN can be a trial to be sure, but I have come to love the place and will go back whenever I get a chance. My 2 cents.

9. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 8y

I am on the side of those who wish the people were more honest.

Well, I met some honest people too.

I know shit like this happen in other countries.

But there is just something really annoying with the manner they try to suck us.

I spent 9 months in China and nothing can be more commercial than the Chinese cities. But I just don't like the manner people sell things here:

1. In HUE, I went to a cheap neighborhood EATERY, its not even a restaurant!!! and I asked how much is that Spring roll of some sort and the lady said its 25,000 which makes them more expensive than KFC!!! I said yes... she said 4 sticks of Barbeque, she grabs all my money from my hand and I am not even done counting. She gave me 3 sticks of barbeque.

I came back later, coz I really like the BBQ... the price was 20,000 and then the new girl saw my wallet... she said it 22,000 pointing at the 2000 cash in my wallet. AMAZING... 9 months in China, I didnt get that experience.

2. I lost some money too in a spa. I kept 300,000 in one shoe and 1,000,000 dong in another shoe. I think the thief was so generous or I was lucky, he picked the wrong shoe! he got the 300,000 dong.

3. The train tickets... I didnt know it was hell cheaper to buy from my Australian hostel than to get it from the station.

4. The motor bike drivers: NO NEED TO EXPLAIN. abominable! as the taxi drivers in Manila.

5. the student canteen that I ate in Hue... More expensive than KFC. KFC is my sanctuary in VN. Its a Rice field country and yet the bowl of rice is too small. In China, rice is eat all you can in the restaurants for the poor.

LASTLY, they always give that sad look when you buy something after you manage to bring the rates lower. AS IF THEY ARE NOT MAKING PROFIT. I really hate that. That is distinctly VN.

In all fairness, I think the beaches are amazing... especially those that are not advertised. I love the boats... Saigon is okay. I guess I spent too much time in the hotel.

I am not passing any final judgement. I shall return. But for now, I need to get it off my chest.

10. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Swept Away,
I am glad that you made your point. Venting is one good thing about the TP forum. A guy last year was really ticked off at a tailor in Hoi An. Named him and gave the address. All of us that had been to Hoi An chipped in with our stories as well. Another TP member had a horrible experience with a hotel in HaNoi. He warned everybody what a bunch of thieves ran that hotel. I then looked that hotel up on 'tripadvisor' and read many bad reviews. Hopefully the forum can save TP members from making the same mistakes. One of the many reasons many of us are members.

It is always good to get something off your chest. Now you have. "Don't you feel better?