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Vietnamese call on to clear evils to clean tourism sector

Thousands readers have emailed VietNamNet’s editorial board, writing that it is urgently necessary to take actions to clear the overcharging evil which has spoiled the national image in the eyes of foreign tourists.

A reader wrote that some months ago, during a business trip in Nha Trang, his team decided to drive a car to Cam Ranh themselves. It was 6 pm and it got dark, therefore, the team lost its way. When the reader came to see a taxi motorbike driver and asked for directions, the drivers refused to give answers, meaning that they wanted money to show the way.

“It is obvious that many service providers in Vietnam keep unfriendly to tourists. They will overcharge any one at any times when they have opportunities to do that,” the reader commented.

Another reader wrote that he felt terrible when going to Huong pagoda one year ago. A group of seven travelers dropped into a shop to have a light meal. They had to pay 25,000 dong per bowl of instant noodle, while a pack of noodle was priced at 4000 dong only, and 10,000 dong per boiled egg, while an egg could be bought at 3000 dong.

However, the thing that amazed the tourists was not the expensive eggs or instant noodles, but the price of tea. No once could imagine before that a teapot cost 210,000 dong, or each of the seven travelers had to pay 30,000 dong for the tea that he could buy for just 2000 dong on ordinary days.

In conclusion, the reader commented that even Vietnamese people were so heavily overcharged, let alone foreign tourists, who do not know the ways, cannot speak Vietnamese and do not have information about prices.

A lot of stories about foreigners overcharged in Vietnam have been orally handed down. In 2011, a taxi driver of Phu Gia taxi firm, carried passengers – Chen Ang Dani and Than Sha Pen – Singaporean nationality – the guests who came to Vietnam to attend the 80th Interpol General Assembly congress in Hanoi – from Phan Boi Chau street in Hoan Kiem district to the National Conference Center in Tu Liem district.

The taxi driver charged the passengers 200 US dollars and 100 Singaporean dollars (6 million dong) just for a short distance of 10 kilometers. He also hushed up about the iPhone 4 the passengers left in the taxi.

In late 2009, Lee Dae Won, Kim Joo Hwan, Jung Jaejin, Joo Jaehun, citizens of the Republic of Korea, went to a karaoke shop at No 201 Giang Vo street in Hanoi. Realizing that the owner of the shop overcharged them, the customers refused to pay the required sum of money which was 5-7 times higher than the normal charges. As a result, the workers at the shop search thoroughly in the customers’ pockets to get 1.4 million dong. The people were only released after they paid 200 dollars more at 4 am of the next day.

Many foreigners note that there are many beautiful beaches in Vietnam and there are many types of good food in Vietnam. However, some of them say they do not want to return to Vietnam to be overcharged.

Penang is just a small state in Malaysia, where the landscapes are less beautiful in Vietnam. The most famous thing there is a butterfly farm advertised as containing 2000 species. However, this is just a place to keep butterflies with artificial cement-made mountains. There is also a pagoda with three different Chinese, Burmese and Indian architect styles.

One could not have a bath there, because there is fishy taste in the sand, and he would have to have a bath at hotels’ swimming pools.

However, the island still can receive four millions of foreign tourists, mostly from the US and Singapore, who come here every year to do shopping and relax.

Meanwhile, Vietnam with the famous beautiful landscapes and beaches can only attract five million foreign tourists a year.

Hai Linh

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