Vietnam Country Guide

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Bargaining

Overcharging has long been an issue in Vietnamese tourism. It can happen anywhere on anything from an hotel room, a ride on taxi, coffee, meal, clothing, basic grocery stuff. Your coffee suddenly becomes 100% more expensive and a restaurant may present you an English menu with inflated prices. A friendly local who spent 30 minutes talking with you may also feel like overcharging you on anything.
 
 
 
 
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Vietnamese hold a diverse view on this issue but in general it is more common in Vietnam than other neighbouring countries and see it socially acceptable to overcharge foreigners. The good news is that standard pricing is much more common than in the early 90s. You will absolutely spoil your travel if you assume that everyone is cheating you, just try to be smart. In a restaurant, learn some common dish names in Vietnamese, insist that you need to read Vietnamese menu, and compare it. If owners argue that the portion of dishes in the English menu is different, it's definitely a scam and move to other places.

Hanoi's Dong Xuan Market by Everjean

Learn some Vietnamese numbers and try to see how much a local pays a vendor and also try basic bargaining tactics. Think how much it is back home and compare prices at various Vietnamese shops. Then ask for a big discount and walk away, pretending that the price isn't right. Try to be as clear as possible on the agreed price. You may agree 20,000 dong with a "Xe Om" driver for a specific trip, but at the end he may claim you are due 40,000 dong. Then you pay 20,000 dong, smile and say goodbye, because you have a good memory. 

Dalat Market by Roy Kim

 
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