A warning to fellow travellers: be careful if you buy anything at the ticket desk at the Royal Fine Arts Museum in Hue.
The female ticket attendant insisted that to see the Imperial Citadel you had to purchase a dual ticket for the art museum AND the citadel (costing 105,000 dong). We didn't want to see the art museum and now don't think that what she said was true. So that's mild scam 1.
Major scam 2
Also she slyly extracted an extra 100,000 dong from us by quickly switching one of the two 100,000 notes I gave her for a 10,000 dong note and then insisting that I had only given her 110,000 rather than 200,000.
It is only through inspecting my wallet afterwards that I can piece together what happened as it was all very quick.
But in a nutshell: don't be as naive as I was and don't trust the b at the ticket desk!
#1 Edbolla has been a member since 28/4/2013. Posts: 2
I don't understand your scam #1. Why were you at the Royal Fine Arts Museum ticket desk if you didn't want to see it? Also the citadel alone costs 105,000 so if that is all you paid then you didn't get ripped off at all. Please clarify.
I have seen the second claim a few times now but never ran into it myself. You have to pay attention when paying people especially in Vietnam, if you keep your eye on your money they can't pull a stunt like that but if you turn your back etc then you can pretty much expect it. "Typical Vietnamese Bull ****" is what I called it. Their attitudes towards tourists can be quite frustrating at times, luckily there are a few nice places in Vietnam that make up for the majority of the people's poor attitudes and scams. That said $5 is far from a major scam and if that is the worst they get you with then you are doing pretty good.
Ah apologies, I didn't know it was 105,000 just to see the Citadel. In that case then what she told us was correct. As she extracted extra money I assumed that what she said was wrong. Point conceded. I should check my facts.
Yes, I agree 5 dollars is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and, yes, absolutely, there are lots of great people in Hue and Vietnam in general.
What is frustrating is that it could easily happen to other people as well, and this seemed like a good place to warn other travellers who might encounter the same thing.
Anyway, on to Hoi An!
#3 Edbolla has been a member since 28/4/2013. Posts: 2
Thanks for clearing that up. Thought it was a miscommunication.
If anyone ever approaches you and happens to know someone from where you are from or that supposedly works in same field as you etc take them with a grain of salt. That is the one scam I ended up falling for and I ended up paying for a $60 boat ride through Bangkok's slums because of it. It was actually fairly interesting and I had a decent chat with the guy so it made for a half decent experience but it was frustrating as I figured he had arranged local rates with driver and was going to pay his share.
I had people try that type of scam again in a couple other places but knew to avoid it. Sad because it keeps a person from wanting to interact with locals for fear that you are going to get ripped off.
Yes, you need to keep your wits about you. North Vietnam is less friendly than the south as well.
A lot of scams can be avoided by taking more personal responsability, for example if it's 105,000 dong-pay that amount or if you give 200, 000 dong, show her the 200,000 dong so she can't scam you.
--It's all part of the travellers university!