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Cozy Hotel Warning: Problems encountered by visitors to Hanoi
there have been many tourists being cheated so that this is very good
information for travelers to avoid the troubles when you are traveling
in Hanoi or in Vietnam. This information is written by my experiences
and some travelers who had been cheated. You should take a look and
print it out to bring with you while traveling in Vietnam!
@ Problem 1
is not enough information available to first time travelers to Ha Noi
either on Vietnam Airlines or at Noibai airport. Thus, travelers are not
aware of their options for getting to Hanoi from the airport, what such
a trip should cost, and who are reliable drivers.
@ Solution 1
with this information in many languages can be printed and put in seat
pockets of all Vietnam Airlines planes; these brochures should also be
made readily available at the airport.
@ Problem 2
visitors have trouble finding legitimate transportation from Noibai
International Airport to their hotel in Ha Noi. Sometimes they are
driven by minibus drivers who promise to take them to a specific address
in Ha Noi. However, instead of being delivered to the requested hotel
they are delivered to a different hotel where the bus driver has
friends. They are frequently then overcharged at this hotel.
@ Solution 2
to Vietnam should be warned in advance or at the airport not to depend
on either the airport driver or hotel staff that he recommends. In
addition it should be a requirement that the street signs be pointed out
to the traveler by the bus driver so that the traveler knows whether
s/he is being delivered to the correct hotel.
@ Problem 3
problem arising for travelers from Norbai is that the price quoted for
transportation from the airport normally includes the road tax. However,
upon arrival, travelers are charged for the road tax again.
@ Solution 3
should be made aware by information available at the airport of
standard prices for transportation and the fact that these prices
already include the road tax.
@ Problem 4
are frequently led to foreign currency exchange venues by airport bus
drivers. At these exchanges they are given a poor exchange rate, e.g.,
15,000 VD for $1 USD rather than the standard rate at
http://www.vietcombank.com.vn/en/Exchange%20Rate.asp. In addition the
driver receives a commission from the foreign exchange seller.
@ Solution 4
should be encouraged to exchange money at the airport or at foreign
exchange sellers recommended by legitimate hotel owners.
@ Problem 5
aware of the denomination of Vietnam Dongs which consist of too many
zero (0). Some unscrupulous drivers try to rip you off by adding one
more zero to your fare OR cheating that your VND500,000 note is only
VND50,000. i.e overcharges you 10 times higher than actual cost.
@ Solution 5
Vietnam Dong notes and the exchange rates. Be alerted and stand firmed
if the driver asks for more notes. Call local reliable sources (hotel
staff, policemen, local people) for assistance if you feel unsured of
@ Problem 6
first person a visitor meets is frequently the boy selling postcards.
These sellers frequently cheat the visitor either by overcharging for
the cards or by asking for VD 5,000 but extracting VD 50,000 from the
@ Solution 6
Travelers should be encouraged to purchase cards, maps and other such items from bookshops rather than street vendors.
@ Problem 7
enterprising visitors who find a hotel on their own frequently find
that a person claiming a commission has followed them to the hotel.
The receptionist should ask travelers whether such a person helped them to obtain lodgings or not.
@ Problem 8
are frequently sold tickets by travel agencies for tours of local
sites. They are frequently promised small group tours and good train
seats. After paying, they find that either the tour does not exist at
all or that there are very many people on the tour, that the quality is
very bad and that they have paid for good train seats but received
they are in a legitimate hotel, travelers should be able to rely on
hotel staff to advise them on tour agencies that are reliable and
honest. In addition, it may be better to charge for the tour after it
has been taken in order to guarantee that the visitor is satisfied with
@ Problem 9
Tourists are prey to pickpockets when they travel to the market.
@ Solution 9
Tourists should be advised to leave their valuables and extra money in the hotel safe.
@ Problem 10
are imitated VND notes printed for ritual purposes like votive papers,
but some taxi drivers will cheat you by giving these notes back as small
@ Solution 10
should be advised to check the notes carefully. The right notes should
always have the imprinted words `Ngan hang nha nuoc Viet nam` (means
`The State bank of Vietnam`) & the picture of the later president Ho
Chi Minh. See the fake notes below for your information: