Hoi An has everything for a perfect holiday: the ancient town with valuable historical and cultural heritage, beautiful beaches, stunning islands, and its sophisticated culinary art. However, when you are new to a place with language barriers and different customs, you are at risk of being ripped-off or getting scammed. The town is not an exception.
Like many cities in the Southeast Asia, it is likely that your entire trip can be ruined by being ripped-off or getting scammed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The thought of being scammed may make you angry, confused and lose your trust in local people. Your experience in the city, which must have been great, becomes terrible. Honestly, it will not be awful if you are prepared.
The best thing to avoid scams is to prevent them as best as you can. Before setting off, you should spend time reading carefully travel guides. And you should share of other tourists on reputations sites. Do not let your guard down whenever you catch a xe ôm (motorbike taxis) or choose a tailor.
Here are common scams you can encounter in your trip in the town:
Overcharging and confusing currency – Scams in Hoi An and How to avoid it
When you purchase anything, remember to confirm the currency before taking it. Some sellers can put the numbers into a calculator to show you the final price, or use body language to give an exact amount without saying that it is in Vietnamese dong (VND) or US dollars (USD). Therefore, you need to confirm before making a payment. Or you can use the calculator on your phone and say “dong” to deal the price with the shopkeepers.
The 500,000 VND and 20,000 VND notes look quite similar and people, who are unfamiliar with the currency, may be confused. Take a look carefully when paying for a product because if you give a wrong note, you will never get it back.
Xe ôm (motorbike taxi) and taxi – Scams in Hoi An and How to avoid it
Xe ôm is the cheapest and the most convenient mode of transport in Vietnam. But drivers are those who mainly take advantage of travellers. You should check the price for your preferred journey at your hotels before heading for a xe ôm. Before getting on, make sure to ask for the price and do not mind bargaining until you agree with the final one. Do not pay until you reach your destination. Remember to prepare smaller notes or you do not have your change back.
You also need to be cautious about cabs. You can ask receptionists of your hotel to call a taxi.Asking them to give an estimated price for the distance you wish. When getting into the cab, you must ask the drivers to turn the meter on. Currently, there are three taxi operators in Hoi An: Mai Linh taxi, Faifo taxi, and Hoi An taxi.
Commissions- Scams in Hoi An and How to avoid it
There are a lot of tailors, shoe shops, and restaurants in Hoi An and their competitions are very tough. Therefore, they are willing to pay up 40% commission for hotels, travel agencies, tour guides or anyone who bring clients to their places. If you do not want to fall into the trap, remember to read reviews, blogs and recommendations from trusted sources to pick up the right one.
Petrol stations- Scams in Hoi An and How to avoid it
The gas tank of your rented motorbike is almost empty, and you need to fuel it at a petrol station. Do not make yourself be bait. Before the petrol station staff fuels your bike, do not forget to ask him to set the meter reading to zero. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the amount of the previous customers.
In Vietnam, you must have a driving license to drive a motorbike. Traffic police usually do not stop foreigners unless they drive too fast. If you are caught without a license, your bike will be impounded for a month and you have to continue paying for the bike.
The yellow bus- Scams in Hoi An and How to avoid it
Taking a bus is the cheapest way to get from Da Nang to Hoi An and back. The yellow bus runs daily from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. And it costs VND20,000 for a one-way ticket. Have 20,000 VND note ready . Bcause the driver may look confused if being given VND50,000 or VND100,000 while you are waiting for the change.
Remember that you can be scammed everywhere, even in your home country. Be well-prepared and you will totally enjoy your holiday. Therefore, do not let stories of scams in Hoi An prevent you from visiting the charming town.
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