I used to have a restaurant in Hoi An, and tourists always had the same feedback.
They loved Vietnam, but they constantly felt as they were getting ripped-off
(Which they were).
There has been an increase in chains opening in Hoi An such as A Mart, and they are heaving with tourists because they absolutely do not trust street vendors and so do I.
I can just state 2 examples of rip-off’s that have happened to me in just a few days.
(And it happens everyday I have just learned to avoid it).
1. Went for a coffee with a Vietnamese colleague in a local coffee shop, we ask for the bill and the price is double.
The owner justifies the price because she made me a strong coffee.
Did I ask for a strong coffee?
2. Today, motorbike puncture (and this happens every time), the guy fixes my wheel and asks me for 100,000 vnd although its only 5,000 – 10,000 vnd for locals.
I obviously just paid 10,000 vnd and left.
The point is I live in Hoi An, and every single time I want to do something local, or buy something in a local shop, I know I will be asked at least double if not triple what Vietnamese pay.
Luckily, I have my wife to help for market shopping, but it’s very annoying to be “handicapped” in this way that I always have to ask either my wife or a Vietnamese friend to buy something for me.
In fact, many expats go all the way to Da Nang to Metro or Big C just to do food shopping just because they are too fed up of the Hoi An mentality.
I do love living inVietnam, but if I was planning to leave this would be the main reason.
I would love to get on with my life and go and buy something I need for my house without having to find loopholes so that I don’t come back with overcharged goods.
Anyway, what I have mentioned above is especially true of Hoi An and all other touristic places.
Locals should know that we are not fooled, we know exactly that they are ripping us off and in the long term they will lose not only in number of tourists visiting but in clients, as most tourists will just be looking at big names they trust :
Yaly, A Mart, Big C, Nino Max etc…
A shame really.
Keep up the good work in raising awareness, these minority of people are giving a bad name to Vietnam it has to stop.
By ALEX H.
Source: Tuoi Tre Online