Mekong river boat tour scam

The Mekong River Delta is known as Vietnam’s “Rice Basket” and its stunningly beautiful valley is guaranteed to take your breath away. Many tourists are planning to book guided boat trips to the Mekong Delta, but you should beware of unofficial guides and always make sure you agree on the final price and other terms beforehand.

Mekong-river-boat-tour-rip_off-VietnamFor example, a scammer could name a price of $50,- for a half-day river tour, and upon return when it’s time to pay, he will claim that he gave you the price per person, meaning that a group of four could end up paying as much as $200,- for a 4-hour river tour. No matter how amazing the scenery was, the experience will always leave a sour taste in your mouth. Sometimes the swindler specifically quotes a price per person, but then later claims that this is the price for a fully booked boat. This means that a boat with a capacity for eight persons booked by a group of four will end up being twice as expensive as has been thought to have agreed upon beforehand.

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

Mekong-river-boat-trip-scam-Ho_Chi_Minh_CityAlways make sure you write down the total price on a piece of paper, including all extra surcharges like fuel, meals or taxes. Also make sure the guide agrees on this price, for example by asking him to sign the paper if you feel confident enough to ask him to do this. Otherwise, you could decide to count the money for him and then keep it in a separate pocket (never pay beforehand as some guides may then rush through a shorter version of the tour). These precautions could save you a lot of time and hassle at the end of the trip, when payment is due.

To be 100% sure of a hassle-free and haggle-free trip, skip the guides offering their services in town or in the harbor unsolicitedly, and book at an official Mekong River boat tour organization, which have offices in town or in the harbor. An honest taxi driver will take you there, or otherwise your hotel will be happy to book for you. Most of the times these official tours are cheaper than what you would pay “on the streets” anyway, and quality is guaranteed.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam Tourist Scams Forum.

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