Travel Horrors?

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Every country have their own set of  snatchers, robbers, and con artist.  For people who travels this is an experience you cannot avoid.

Some of my experience on the trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.

1. The Postcard Scam. While quenching our thirst with a cold Coconut juice in front of Ta Phrohm in Siem Reap, a little girl tried to sell us some post cards for $1. We politely declined. But she stayed and still showed us the different postcard that she had. We kept on declining and she kept on persisting. It was starting to get annoying. After awhile, she blurted out “If you don’t buy post card, buy me ice cream instead.” . WTF. The ice cream cost more than the post card. We said No again. T offered some slices of his dried mangoes instead and she said yes. I suggested to T to just give it all to her. T was hesitant but he did it and told the girl to share it with the rest of the children which she did not. When she left then the rest of the kids came and tried to sell us more things. Then I realized I was being stupid and fell for it. T was annoyed with me for telling him to give the mangoes away.

2. Over-Priced Taxi.  We payed $10 for a $4 ride from Saigon airport to our hotel.

3. Shoe-Shine Scam. On our last day in Ho Chi Minh, we had lots of time before our flight back to Japan so T and I decided to chill out in the park. Our peaceful moments was interrupted by a young man offering to clean our dirty shoes.  I said No and he moved to T and kept on persisting to clean his shoes.  We still have some cash left so T decided to give in. Before he successful remove T’s shoes we need to agree on the price first. Cleaning would cost us 30,000 dong ($1).  When he started cleaning,  two more young man suddenly appeared out of nowhere. One of the boys was the same one that have been offering the same service to T a few days before.  While one was cleaning T’s shoes, the two did some repair on the shoes. We kept on saying NO, don’t do that. Just clean, nothing else but I guess they don’t understand NO. A few minutes later they were done and gave us the total of 600,000 dong for everything. It was a long negotiation, T and I stood our ground. Either they accept the original agreed price or nothing at all.  When they realized we were not giving in, they accepted the money and left. Our peaceful moment was already ruined and I was so pissed, so we decided to change venue to relax.

 

The rest of trip, T did most of the negotiation with the local and we usually get a very decent price from them and the locals were also very reasonable and accommodating. We understood that they are only trying to make a living but there is no need to extort money from us poor tourist :).  In most cases,  everybody was very helpful.

 

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