Wonderful boat trip turns sour when they try to rip us off

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  • #891 Reply

    Freek Alberts

    We wanted to take a boat trip on the famous Mekong river, and on our way through the harbor we were approached by many locals offering such a tour.
    One of the guides was very persistent and promised us he was familiar with all the best spots on the river, that other guides didn’t even know about. We agreed on a fixed price of 2,2 million Dong, which is about 70 Euro’s, beforehand and got into the boat with him.
    The trip was truly amazing, no doubt about it, we really enjoyed it and felt exhilarated by the end of the two and a half hour tour. But then came the shock: his boss, the owner of the boat was waiting for us back in the harbor and told us the price we agreed upon was per person! That meant he wanted us to pay 350 Euro’s for 5 people!
    We told him, with our guide as translator as the boss didn’t speak English, that this was outrageous and totally out of proportion. The price was then lowered to 50 Euro’s per person, but we told them we would give them no more than 100 Euro’s total, that’s 20 per person.
    They resisted, but we just put the money in the boss’ hands and started walking away. They kept yelling at us but let us walk away, so I guess we still paid a reasonable price.
    Later that day, we found the office of the official guided boat tour organization, and when we asked them how much a boat trip cost just out of curiosity, they told us they charge 10 Euro’s per person for a half-day trip and 15 Euro’s for a full-day trip. That means we paid more than double price for our trip, but it could have been even much higher if we had been less assertive. What started as a really enjoyable boat trip had left us with a bad taste in our mouths.

  • #893 Reply


    Thanks for sharing your experience, Freek. I hope this is a warning for many travelers following you to Ho Chi Minh City.
    Always agree on a fixed price beforehand and make sure the terms are clear, as leaving room for interpretation could possibly lead to an argument and could cost you more than you had budgeted.
    Read more at http://tourist-scams.com/ho-chi-minh-city/scam-mekong-river-boat-tour/

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