Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is considered as one of the most ancient cities in the world. It has several things to cater visitors worldwide such as elegant views, delicious street food or tranquil atmosphere. However, if you are planning a trip to here, you should know some Hanoi scams in order to prepare better.
1. Exchange Rates
Exchanging money for the first time coming to a new country is a must for any visitor. For those coming to Vietnam, they need to bear in mind that Vietnamese people use VND for most of the everyday payment.
It is not hard to find a place to switch money in Vietnam, especially in big cities like Hanoi. You can stop by some banks, jewelry stores or your booked hotels. The exchange rates are quite the same. But you still need to check the exact current rates first on the Internet in order to make sure you are given adequate amount of money.
Sometimes, you might be tricked by the similar look of the money. For example, a 500,000 VND is quite the same with a 20,000 VND because they are both blue. In this situation, you should divide them into separate places in your wallet. Try to pay large bills at restaurants, convenience stores or supermarkets and only pay the small bills outside.
>> For more information: Banking and Currency in Vietnam
Like many other tourist hubs, Hanoi, Vietnam offers visitors a number of amazing tour packages from different tour agencies. However, before booking a memorable tour for yourself, you need to make sure that everything given by these agencies are true. You can do some research on the Internet to know which are the reputable tourist agencies in the Old Quarter.
Editor’s Note: You can totally refer tours in our Tour List to get more options.
Before coming to a destination, you have to ensure your accommodation there. But the thing is, there are numerous rogue guesthouses and hotels with the same names as the real ones providing bad services around Hanoi. Thus, you need to use the Google Map along the way if you do not want to go to a fake hotel and ruin your trip.
In addition, check out the bills and the rooms carefully before paying money. If there are any problems, ask the owner to fix straight away.
Of course, you will have to use this means of transportation to transfer among renowned attractions around Hanoi. Nevertheless, there are some issues happened with the taxis here that you need to be concerned about.
You may come up with an airport taxi scam. When you get out of the airport, there will be many taxi drivers offer a drive to the hotel they connect with. But it turns out this hotel is much more expensive while being substandard. Furthermore, along the way, the taxi does not have a fixed fare like the normal ones. So, you will have to pay more for the drivers.
The wise advice here is to book a taxi via your smartphone or book famous taxi companies like taxi Mai Linh and taxi Hanoi. They will go by the meter and you will only need to pay as the meter displays.
In case you have to book a taxi from your hotel, don’t hesitate to ask the receptionist to help you with this. Then, you will feel more comfortable after that.
5. Free Donut
If you wander around Hanoi Old Quarter, you may see a lot of street vendors selling different kinds of food. However, if a woman comes to you and ask you to try a free donut, please say “no”.
As you probably know, there is nothing free on the earth. Once you agree to taste that donut, the seller will then gently pressure you into purchasing some donuts with high prices. In addition, if you are a picky eater, you may feel sick after trying this street donut as you do not know what are the ingredients used to make it.
In order to avoid this, you should try other street food such as banh xeo, banh mi or xoi instead of these free donuts.
6. Free Photos Opportunity
Like the free donuts, this service is not free, though. If you see a hawker carrying Vietnamese conical hats and approaching you to take a free photo, say “no” immediately. Once you say “yes”, they will demand an amount of money from you afterwards. Other street sellers will also use the same techniques to take money from you. So, be careful with these people. Always remember to disagree with the free things from strangers.
Having to pay too much higher than the real price for something can be called a kind of scams in Hanoi. From the visa extensions or the fruits on the streets, you can be easily over-charged if you do not pay attention to what the sellers say.
So, look around for the best prices instead of accepting the first one you get. The more effort you put into, the better deals you will receive.
8. Pick Pocket
Hanoi is much safer than Ho Chi Minh city. But you still need to be careful whenever go out of the hotel. Watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers as they may appear anytime you are not paying attention to your belongings.
Losing your things can ruin your holiday. So, you need to wear bags properly while strolling the streets. Do not bring valuables when being outdoors. And always have an eye on your backpack if you are stuck in a crowded area.
Having known all of Hanoi scams may happen during your time in Vietnam’s capital. Now, get ready to pack the luggage to go to this beautiful city.