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How to avoid scams in Vietnam

Every traveller worries about being ripped off when they’re travelling, but that shouldn’t put you off having an adventure of a lifetime. Here’s how to avoid scams in Vietnam so you can do just that.

Taxis
Unlicensed taxis can be a problem in Vietnam, with taxi meters that overcharge and fake branding on the cars. To be sure you’re taking a legitimate taxi, book one with a large taxi firm such as Mai Linh or Vinasun. Taxi fares are calculated by distance and not time, so if you see the meter jumping up drastically when sitting in traffic, you’re probably in an unlicensed taxi. It’s best to get out and find another one.

Taxis Mai Linh

Cyclos
The cyclo experience in Vietnam is wonderful, but beware of a handful of unscrupulous cyclo drivers. Some of these drivers will take you somewhere secluded and then show you a price list, demanding a hiked up payment. The key to solving this is to agree on a price before you get in a cyclo and agree on your destination before you go anywhere.

Cyclos in Vietnam

Street vendors
Vietnam’s streets are full of wonderful artisans, food providers and others working their crafts. Enjoy this experience of Vietnam, but look out for those with less positive intentions. There are a variety of scams out there, from street cobblers who demand high prices for repairing your perfectly good pair of shoes, to those who offer to take a photo of you only to demand money afterwards. If something doesn’t feel right, just keep on walking.

Street vendors in Vietnam

Dishonest tour companies
Some unethical tour companies in Vietnam sell tour experiences that turn out to be extremely poor in quality. For example, the tour only allows a very short amount of time at an attraction before you return, or those who sell one-way boat trips, making visitors pay for an expensive return journey when they have no other way of returning. Some dishonest salesmen sell tickets for tours that simply do not exist. Always check the credentials of a company before you buy tickets and read some of their online reviews. We’re proud of our reputation at Mr Linh’s Adventures!

Mr Linh Adventures

Restaurant tricks
Watch out for restaurants who do not display prices on their menus, and those that serve snacks before the meal begins. These are often ways for a restaurant to present you with a very high bill at the end of the meal. Always ask for prices before you order anything and consider refusing pre-meal snacks.

Restaurant tricks in Vietnam

Renting motorbikes
It’s popular for travellers to want to feel the freedom of the open road in Vietnam – and it’s no wonder either, with some amazing scenery and stunning mountain passes to explore. However, motorbike rentals can sometimes be scams. Sometimes, the owner of the motorcycle you rent follows you and takes the bike back, demanding compensation. Alternatively, the rental company may say mechanical problems have developed after your rental, and ask for payment. The best way to avoid these problems is to check you’re hiring a motorbike with a reputable company. Or book a trip with a well-known tour company to take you on an organised motorcycle tour of Vietnam, where all the motorcycle hiring will be taken care of for you.

 Renting motorbikes


Make sure you know how to avoid scams in Vietnam before you embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Check out the authentic and original tours at Mr Linh’s Adventures.
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