Will you come back to Vietnam?

This is a very interesting question. Will you come back to Vietnam? Everybody has their own story and experiences while visiting the “Hidden Charms of Vietnam”. Many travelers might have good memories of the wonderful hospitality of Vietnamese tourism services, mouthwatering and authentic Vietnamese cuisine and enjoying the most spectacular views of sea front, highlands and historical sites in the country.
According to a travel writer in his website, Matt said that during his trip to Mekong Delta, he took a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City and intended to buy lemon juice at a rest and relax station. The lady drink vendor kept laughing and looking at him continually. A Vietnamese overseas who joined the trip informed  him that the seller tried  to rip off to him because he was white.But, some others may have a bad experience when visiting this country. In some cities, there are some street sellers that have always overcharged and refused to return back proper change during business transaction. One of my personal experiences, during my first trip to Vung Tau beach city, the seafood restaurant used to charge triple to the lobster that we ordered, even during that time, I was there with a native Vietnamese travel buddy from Saigon. In other case, a friend of mine took a cruise trip to Halong Bay and unluckily the tour operator had overbooked and suddenly he had an unexpected roommate during the cruise. He couldn’t get any refund, just continued with the trip.
Mark, another white traveler said that he came twice to Saigon and Hanoi and he always enjoyed the stay at backpacker area even being ripped off is always as expected to happen. He shared that most of cab drivers are rip offs especially at Noi Bai International Airport. But, you need to be wise with Viet-can-scam cabbies. A dodgy cab meter is normal and it is great if your hotel can arrange for airport pick up. Buying watch, books, postcards and DVD are mostly a ripped off especially for White in Asia.

Be cautious, Less Hassle & enjoy your Trip in Vietnam

  • No kids. Believe me! Vietnam is not a friendly kid place to travel. Mekong tours need you to jump from one place to one place. The traffic in city centre is crazy and the food hygiene is limited for your kids.
  • No flashy dress. You might get sexually or emotionally harassed.
  • No Iphone, No Ipad and flashy gadget when travelling here. These stuff is very high in demand in Vietnamese second hand gadget market. Instead of losing your gadget, get some nokia with price around VND200,000 from local mobile shop.
  • Never go out with less than VND300,000 cash. It may not be enough for your food and transportation.
  • Use cabs instead of “xe om”or motorbike taxi. It is safer and less hassle to use a legalized cab operator such as Vinasun and Mai Linh.
  • Always eat local and remember that wet tissue is not for free. It will cost you around VND2000 each.
  • Sometimes you will meet with a “mid age women” at backpacker area and says that they have a cheap room and you should give a try on it for 1 night. You need to avoid any hotel that the owner is staying there because normally they will lock the door after 12 AM and you will have some difficulties to get in.
Back to the original question, you will come back to Vietnam? You may get ripped off but with power of Google and information sharing in online forums and blogs, you should be well prepared to visit or maybe come back to Vietnam.
This article was published in The Vietnam Guide on September 30, 2012


  1. Most do not...making it tough to have a tourism industry without repeat customers

  2. A lot of my friends and family have come back or still want to come back

  3. I would love to. Being so far from the US makes flights a little out of my price range for regular travel

  4. I think its depends on the individual.
    The more I master the country's culture and people, the more I managed to avoid from any rip off.

  5. lol Johan..I've been here 9 months, speak the language, and still get ripped of lol what gives

  6. most likely stupid people won't come back. Or people who travel with no plan or research

  7. I was planning on staying here long term, but after a short time in Ho Chi Minh I most likely will not return. I have been travelling around Asia for the last 13-14 months, and I have stayed in some pretty rough areas, but I would have to say that Vietnam has been among the most unpleasant. It most likely would be a wonderful place to visit if the mindset of the locals towards tourists changed. Different people will have had different experiences to me, and maybe I just got unlucky with what I have seen here. Mileage may vary I guess.... I don't mean to offend anyone, maybe once I spend some more time here my view will change. I can certainly understand why tourists come for a few days or weeks and then never return.

  8. Bad experience or second home does not totally depend on Vietnamese companies. It also based on how careful the foreign partner studied and decided the right and suitable Vietnamese company to cooperate...

  9. The criticism in this article is a little bit harsh as I feel while reading. Travel is a risky thing to do, and travelers should be aware of the most unexpected matters during their trips. Either it is a bad or good experience, I believe that they all contribute to make your trip worthwhile.

  10. Having traveled fairly extensively in similarly developing countries such as Loas and Cambodia and been resident for over three years in Thailand's tourist resort areas and now resident in Hanoi, Vietnam for almost 10 years, I have to say that my personal experience would not put Vietnam's local residents at the top of the hit list for rip-off artists or those presenting any significant danger to the average, well behaved traveler. Bad boys and girls get everywhere, with some very clever, determined and possibly dangerous. Look to home before we start throwing stones, in likely, a massively poorer, less developed part of the world than we may call home.

    Let's not make any excuses however, for some of the difficulties that present themselves to travelers in all of these three countries and given the higher population and tourist numbers, to a much greater and well mentioned degree in Vietnam.

    Traveling in Vietnam by road is not for the faint hearted, regardless of the mode of transport. There is an almost complete disregard amongst the local population, and therefore the visiting population, for any real compliance to the expected rules of the road. Public transport is poorly maintained and passenger services offered are often dictated by the families who have roadside stalls or restaurants and drivers in the family to stop when required, with little concern to the quality of service provided or prices requested. Much the same as a service station on the M6 in the UK I might say.

    I could go on and on, with a list of small things that seem to irritate and befuddle travelers who may just have an unrealistic expectation of how things should go.

    Thailand can be a dangerous place for everyone, foreign and local residents/tourists. Dangerous as in mafia/prison/dead dangerous. Each to their own but the numbers speak for themselves.In Thailand there are dangerous people who pray on the unwitting, innocent traveler, the infrastructure won't kill you.

    Vietnam's roads if not negotiated with extreme awareness, are dangerous. Again the number of recorded accidents and deaths speak volumes. The people on the other hand I would say have not been shown to present any significant danger to western tourists. There are always incidents, always and some worse than others but it is much more a local on local problem than that which might targeted tourists in an organised fashion.

    Cambodia is much the same with Laos coming in a distant third.

    Many people in poor countries develop an opportunist mentality and may seize the opportunity to acquire and sell a laptop/IPad/Phone left on it's own by the day dreaming owner and these are the things that you could sell in any market the world over, no different in Vietnam. Take care of your property and you won't lose it, very very few incidents have been recorded whereby visitors have been forcably robbed of all their favourite toys although as anywhere there have been some.

    Any unregulated public service that tourists have contact with like taxis and restaurants/bars and market places present no greater threat to anyone than they do back home, with the exception of restaurants where we clearly know and can enforce our rights.

    If you think you are being asked to much, walk away. Ask friends and return at another time when everything is a little clearer on pricing and acceptable behaviour. Walk away and there is only one loser.

    There is no doubt at all that the tourism sector needs to pick up it's socks if it is to reach the comfort and organisational level of Thailand, with considerable HR training required throughout to create a better impression overall and possibly then start to market reports of return visitors, impressed with the visit so much they want more, instead of the alternative moans and groans of never to return stories.

    A little more time and training and I do believe it is possible for Vietnam to genuinely compete with Thailand on all fronts, but do we really want the results of that development? There are always two sides to the coin.

  11. In addition to the above I do realise that it is the people's behaviour that make the roads dangerous but I think you can see the point being made.


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