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Tourist Scams in Vietnam and how to avoid them

Updated on: 23 November,2023 07:30 PM IST  |  MUMBAI
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Vietnam tour packages from India offer a hassle-free way to explore this beautiful country.

Tourist Scams in Vietnam and how to avoid them

Vietnam is a captivating country with a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant culture that attracts travellers from every nook and corner of the world. For Indians, Vietnam offers an enticing blend of experiences, from exploring its historic sites to savouring its delectable cuisine. However, like any other tourist destination, Vietnam is not without its share of scams and pitfalls that can potentially tarnish your travel experience. In this article, we'll discuss different types of scams in Vietnam and offer tips on how to avoid them with a focus on Vietnam Visas for Indians and Hotels in Vietnam.

Vietnam Visa for Indians and Finding the Right Accommodation

Before you embark on your adventure, it's crucial to secure your Vietnam visa. Many travellers apply for a Vietnam visa online, which is a convenient and reliable method. However, be cautious when using online visa services, as some may charge exorbitant fees. Always ensure you're using official and reputable channels to apply for your visa to avoid potential scams.

When it comes to accommodations, Vietnam offers a range of options, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels. To avoid any accommodation-related scams, do thorough research on hotels in Vietnam. Check online reviews, ask for recommendations from fellow travellers, and verify the legitimacy of the hotel's website and contact details. Scammers sometimes pose as hotel staff, luring unsuspecting tourists into fake accommodations, leaving them without a place to stay and out of pocket.

Vietnam Tour Packages from India and Cheap Flights to Vietnam

Vietnam tour packages from India offer a hassle-free way to explore this beautiful country. However, it's essential to book your tour through reputable agencies, such as Scammers may offer seemingly attractive deals on tour packages but leave you with subpar services or even vanish with your money. To avoid such scams, read reviews, ask for recommendations, and double-check the credentials of the travel agency.

In addition to tour packages, flights can also be a source of potential scams. While you may be eager to find cheap flights to Vietnam, be cautious about deals that appear too good to be true. Scammers sometimes advertise extremely low fares, but when it comes time to book, hidden fees and conditions can quickly inflate the cost. Always book your Vietnam flights through trusted airline websites or reputable travel agencies to avoid being a victim of these scams.

Different Types of Tourist Scams in Vietnam

Now, let's delve into some of the common tourist scams in Vietnam that you should be aware of:

Cyclo or Xe Om Scams

Cyclo and Xe Om drivers (cycle rickshaws and motorbike taxis) may overcharge unsuspecting tourists. Always negotiate the price in advance or use ride-sharing apps for fair fares.

Fake Tickets and Attractions

Be cautious when purchasing tickets for tourist attractions. Always buy tickets from official counters to avoid counterfeit tickets.

Fake Police Officers

Scammers posing as police officers may demand money for fabricated offenses. Always ask for proper identification and verify with a legitimate police station if you're in doubt.

Money Switching Scam

Examine the Vietnamese dong you receive in exchange. Scammers may slip counterfeit notes into your change, especially in less touristy areas.

Gem and Art Scams

Be wary of "gem" or "art" deals offered by street vendors. These items are often fake, and you'll end up paying a high price for a worthless item.

Photograph Scam

Tourists often fall victim to photograph scam in Hanoi, Vietnam. Asking permission before taking pictures is crucial to avoid unexpected demands for remuneration, ensuring a smoother experience.

Hello Doughnut Trick

In popular Vietnamese tourist areas, middle-aged women in traditional attire aggressively offer tempting doughnuts to unsuspecting tourists, luring them in with a friendly 'Hello, Doughnut?' They make people say yes without disclosing the price. After consumption, they charge $20-$30 for a small treat, a whopping 50 times its actual value.

Vietnam Trip Cost and Learning to Cope with Vietnamese Scams

While Vietnam is known for its affordability, it's essential to manage your budget wisely. Keep an eye on your expenses and be cautious about overly cheap deals. Scammers often prey on travellers who are too eager to save a few bucks.

To stay safe during your Vietnam trip, consider the following tips:

  • Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of pickpockets.
  • Avoid showing off valuable items like expensive jewellery or gadgets.
  • Use reputable transportation services and confirm prices in advance.
  • Learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases to help you navigate and communicate effectively.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited help or advice from strangers.


Vietnam is a fantastic destination for travellers from India. It offers a wealth of experiences and opportunities to explore its beauty. However, being aware of potential scams and taking precautions, especially when dealing with Vietnam Visa for Indians, hotels in Vietnam, and cheap flights to Vietnam, is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. By staying informed and vigilant, you can make the most of your journey in this enchanting country while avoiding the common tourist scams.

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