Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Just Out Of Curiosity in My Son

Posted by Tukee on 28/1/2012 at 04:43

Posted from within Vietnam.

Not to be penny pinching, I wonder if the real entry fee to My Son is 60,000D. While waiting for my ride back home, I found a loitered ticket with the printed amount 30,000D. I wasn't concerned about the price before because I never found an article on the internet saying other than 60,000D.

What arouses my curiosity is that the tour guide collected the fees from us while we were on the bus on the way with an excuse of trimming down the time and not wasting it. Also, I never received my ticket which I was intending to keep as souvenir.

Since there are no public buses plying the route Hoi An-My Son and back, we were at the mercy of the tour operator and my pace should conform to his. We arrived there at 10:30 am and the sun is already high up, not to good for photography and too much tourists already. Since this is just a photo-op for a majority, that's what's the intention is all about - touch and go - without really soaking in the atmosphere of the place.

We only had one hour to finish all the group of rubble and it was a rush. A lot of time was wasted for everybody to have snack and go to the W.C.

I wish a local would read this and provide an alternative to this monopoly. Definitely there is a niche in this kind of service and the competition will be raised higher, a bad news for the My Son tour operators' cartel.

#1 Tukee has been a member since 14/1/2012. Posts: 12
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Posted by NYTim on 28/1/2012 at 09:46

60,000 Dong is only $3.00. So you got ripped off for $1.50 no big deal really. The short time for the visit is a problem I agree. I used Sihn Tourist for my visit and we spent at least three hours there. I liked the place even though it was crawling with tourists. Just to point out that we are some of the tourists that are crawling all over the place.

#2 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106

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Posted by stefanw on 29/1/2012 at 05:45

My Son

You could always bike out there on your own? Even stay the night before and get up and be there as it opens so it is empty and good for photography? Don't know if you are still there but if you consider it worth the time it is possible.

#3 stefanw has been a member since 10/12/2010. Posts: 50

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 31/1/2012 at 07:06

Posted from within Vietnam.

You're lucky it wasn't pouring rain when you went. I ended up drenched and my only pair of shoes and jeans were caked in mud.

#4 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by Tukee on 31/1/2012 at 18:33

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi Carrot,

I'm up here in Hue and it's drizzling but I manage to see everything. We all expect perfect scenarios according to our plans, just hope for the best and expect for the worst.

There's no reason to sulk when 99 more things are getting along your way. It's just that I'm in the group you may call not much many and not much time as compared to the first responder who can afford to splurge.

I saved my hard earned money to come here and even I have to beg my boss to deserved a long vacation. (And my multi-million bosses are stingier than me who account for every penny, so I was trained to be like one. - I would definitely want to apply to NY Tim for a job and for every minute wasted and small changes and pennies I don't account, it doesn't matter to him.).

#5 Tukee has been a member since 14/1/2012. Posts: 12
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Posted by CrankyCarrot on 1/2/2012 at 03:51

Posted from within Vietnam.

I thought you mis-typed that you wanted to apply for work at the NY Times for a second there. I was on a tour of the Cu Chi Coo tunnels today and the Viet vet. they supplied as a tour guide asked us for some extra 80,000 Dong in admission fees while we were on the bus. He didn't end up collecting it in the end and we just paid at the gate. And it was still 80,000 - sometimes they have dual pricing for locals/tourists, which sort of seems fair enough when you consider the typical wage disparity.

Do you expect to be in a predicament while you're on this trip where you'll need that extra $1.50?

My solitary pair of shoes and jeans were caked in mud right before one of those horrid 19 hour overnight bus journeys from Hoi An to Nha Trang, did I mention that?

How come everyone calls me 'Carrot' now, and not 'Cranky' as in the days of old?

#6 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by NYTim on 1/2/2012 at 09:45

I would hate to travel with someone who has to account for ever Dong, Shekel., Penny, Cents Bahts and whatever. I met a guy in India once who was incensed that he got ripped of for 10 Rupees -- about 20 cents US. He went ballistic. Relax man enjoy the journey

#7 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106

Posted by Tukee on 1/2/2012 at 20:15

Posted from within Vietnam.

More than anything else, it's the breach of trust, not actually the small money. We want things to be transparent from the start. If your boss caught you pocketing chump changes, the whole perception of you will change entirely, or you will definitely get fired.

I have not indicated in detail here how much tips I gave to every gracious acts of every guide, hotel receptionist, hawker, and driver who gave me the best and attentive service without demanding anything extra in return, although I know for the fact that they are living in the third world, and an extra gratuity that comes along is appreciated.

It's just that I wanted them to be honest and be persons of integrity. That's the way to do business everywhere in the world. When people do business with me, they expect me to treat them the best, and I expect it if it's my turn.

I also want real information to be dessiminated through this forum and people will know what to expect and what to avoid.

Just this morning, I met this hawker from hell, the most terrible ever. (Pardon me for I am a cheapo and I don't go to boutique restaurants frequently). In my experience with hawkers, in every 20, there's a very rotten one. I have just stepped out of my hotel and there was this lady at the doorstep hawking fried tofu and rice noodle bundled into a ball cut into pieces, all within the size of a Vietnamese palm. It was tempting so I asked the price. She motioned 10,000D. That's the agreed price. I sat to be served. While I was eating, she saw my wristwatch, she swept off my sleeve and caressed the watch, saying to the effect - "nice".

When I finished, I told her I have no change for 50,000D, I'll go to the hotel receptionist and be back to have the exact amount. She motioned that she got change and pulled the bill from my hand. She then gave me 10,000D for change. I was stunned - a tofu and rice noodle, the size of Vietnamese lady's palm costing 40,000D. I complained and then she went defensive but relented, a little guilty, she gave me back 10,000D. She said that's it, she can't give anymore. The price for that breakfast fare is 30,000D. Does she deserve it. No! In me, there's a feeling of jadedness and weariness that, somehow another one would come along.
She had completely changed my perception of the delightful street food experience.

We can never be sure, from a hawker food peddler to a boutique restuarant, things go wrong although the chances on dealing with hawkers are a little bit risky by now. But my advice on people and cheapos who like street food like me, be sure to have exact money when dealing with them. They may be illiterate, unprofessional, and predatory, with no qualms about saving their souls in the future. And just let that too much friendliness tucked in and show a poker face if you appreciate the food!

If these things are allowed to happen in one day, chump changes passed off to be chipped away from your budget, in two weeks, it will accumulate. And if you have that nonchalant attitude, if a big ticketed item comes along, you won't notice.

I don't work in a government office or a top Forbes 400 company who have a month's worth of paid vacation, and don't actually account for the break times lazing away every single day while at work. I work very efficiently. In short, I don't have the luxury of money and time. Just like some guys whose diversion are golf or horsebetting, mine is seeing the marvels and nuances of the world.

#8 Tukee has been a member since 14/1/2012. Posts: 12
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Posted by NYTim on 2/2/2012 at 06:25

Integrity indeed? I am not wealthy person but I am not a miser either -- the Western concept, of honesty in a nation filled with traders is bizarre to the Vietnamese people. Their job is to try and get as much money to support their families. Because you got charged more that the agreed price it does not mean the vendor is dishonest -- he or she is just pushing the negotiations to a higher lever. Just smile and point out the error. You wrote "That's the way to do business everywhere in the world." Not in my world. We have just seen the banking system rip us of for trillions but hey that's the way we do business. I do not know what country you are from, Tukke, but I think you need to brush up on Vietnamese and South Asain culture in general -- by the way again you got ripped off for a huge $1.00. Take it to the Court if Human Rights in the Hague or just drop your guard and enjoy the journey

#9 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106

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