Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hanoi taxi scam: A total rip-off

Most Hanoians are very friendly and kind, NO DOUBT. I loved Hanoi (as evidenced by my previous post). I would live there if I could. Cabbies there were generally courteous. However, there was this one taxi driver who ripped us off. Here he is:

He insisted that we pay $45 USD for a 5-miute ride.
There was no traffic. The destination (a famous temple) was in the middle of the city - it wasn't like he was never going to get passengers from where he dropped us off. The streets were mostly one-way causing him to drive a few miles more, but still. A 30-minute transfer to the airport (including toll fees for the highway) only costs $15. So why should we pay him 700,000 dong (roughly $45-$46) for a 5-minute ride? The meter said 70,000 dong, but he insisted that we pay 700,000.

The taxi name is Ha Noi Moi.

This kind of scam is prevalent, I later learned in this thread.

We argued for what seemed like 20 minutes to no avail. I couldn't find a policeman to help us out. To make the long story short, we just paid him the $45 he wanted. I had to channel my inner Dalai Lama and think positive thoughts. We could easily earn $45. Maybe he really needed money badly.

Still, "stealing" from helpless tourists is no way to make money.

This is not an isolated incident. Other tourists got ripped off, too. Read here.

So if you are planning to go to Hanoi, my suggestion is walk whenever you can. And if you have to take a taxi, make sure you only trust established 'official' chains like:

Hanoi Taxi
CP Taxi
Mai Linh Taxi


Blogger bismuth said...

fota! dalawang libo't isang daan at anim na pung piso? para sa limang ninutong andar ng taxi? and you paid????? oh well. kung ako yon iniwan ko sya nagngangangawa. mostly because i wouldn't have as much money to give. parang buong budget ko na yon for transpo sa trip kung nagkataon.

3:11 PM  
Blogger {illyria} said...

you add to barry and roland's rich reservoir of taxi stories.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah, tell me about it.

the KL incident still tops the list. man, martin was willing to go to jail for murder, while i had to embrace the fu*&^ filthy back rest of the passenger seat just to get the complete name of the driver from the ID. it was soooo not worth it. all that smell. all that greasy feel. all that for a fu*&^ name! damn!

10:41 PM  
Blogger mussolini said...

friends> i hope this does not happen in prague. we cannot afford to be ripped off in euros!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Erica is Rich said...

Well try being in Egypt. Mas malala sila diyan. Yung 5usd naging 500!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Retro Manila said...

Pinoy drivers do that, too.

8:16 PM  
Blogger ennui said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:57 AM  
Blogger ennui said...

tis true about manila taxis -- had we been foreigners, we'd be ripped off everytime we ride. i'm kinda traumatized na nga in a way. in bangkok, we only rode taxi to and from the airport. the rest we rode the tuktuk (which was a total rip off as well!!)

PS - that driver's fuhh-gleee! *snap, snap*

1:59 AM  
Blogger acey said...

i've had bad experience with taxi drivers here, too. there are really days when i hate them. hehe.

thanks for sharing! this post and the forums you linked up are making me think about convincing my parents to pick another asian country for the family vacation. :(

7:48 AM  
Blogger mussolini said...

ekay> huwatt? i will never take a taxi in egypt!

retro> pero P2,500 for 5 minutes? even pinoy drivers are kind enough not to do that (i hope).

ennui> hahahaha. so Kitty G.

acey> i rarely take local taxis these days. it's much cheaper taking a car, especially since my bf and i carpool. but like i told retro, i can't imagine pinoy drivers asking for P2,500 for a 5-minute ride, mabait pa rin mga pinoy. and yes, do see other asian countries. you'll be surprised at how much they have to offer.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Erica is Rich said...

Actually sa Egypt, they live off ripping tourists off, especially since they have so many.

So maghire ka na lang ng travel agency to get reasonable deals. :)

8:54 PM  
Blogger Erica is Rich said...

The Czech still has crowns. Mura lang dun. :)

8:55 PM  
Blogger mussolini said...

ekay> yeah, i the korona is still cheap. pero i watched this art film about the secret lives of taxi drivers in prague. now i'm paranoid. we'll take the buses and trains. we plan to bring just one bag each, anyway.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Alfred.G.R. said...

i remember when i was in Saigon! The only advice of our tour guide was ask the taxi to open their meters before we ride!! haha! Its like the tuk-tuk in bangkok always overpriced!

12:25 AM  

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