Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

Tips to Avoid Scams in Hanoi

Tips-to-avoid-scams-in-Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, overall, is quite a safe destination for travelers but, just as in any other touristy cities, scams and petty crimes are present. It can be challenging for foreigners who don’t know what they are facing. Here are our local tips to avoid scams in Hanoi.

Tips to Avoid Scams in Hanoi: Common Scams

Taxi Scams

One of the best ways to get around in Hanoi is by taxis. However, your experience with the ride may not be the best since some drivers will try to get into your pocket. They do that by asking for a much higher fare than usual, setting the meters at a radical rate, or taking you on a longer route.

To avoid being scammed by taxi drivers, use Mai Linh (green cabs) or Vinasun (white cabs), or book a ride on your phone. If you’re at a hotel, ask the receptionists to help you translate and settle the fare.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 1

Always look at the meters

Other Transport Scams

We strongly advise against taking motorbike taxis or cyclos in Hanoi, unless you’re with a local or a tour guide. These drivers often try to overcharge you, and since most of them don’t speak English, arguing is pointless.

At the station, you may find some locals who try to sell you tickets for trains or buses. Ignore them - they are touts offering false tickets that will only cost you money but won’t get you a seat. Check the ticket-selling websites too, and only buy from trustworthy companies.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 2

Book a cyclo tour from tour companies for safety

Get your bus/private transfer tickets online to avoid scams:

Powered by 12Go system

Exchange Rate Scams

The official Vietnamese currency is Vietnam Dong. Since most of the payments require cash, exchanging your money to Vietnam Dong is a must. If you do that at credible spots like banks, then there’s no problem. However, hotels or jewelry store owners may try to take advantage of you and apply a lower exchange rate. So, always double-check the rate beforehand. And if you’ve booked accommodation, pay in the quoted currency.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 7

Be careful with the denomination

Hotel Scams

There are various ways hotel owners can trick you for your money. Roque hotels and guesthouses with the same name as the real ones are springing up in the city. Taxi drivers may take you to these or their acquaintances’ hotels.

Also, there are known cases when travelers made the reservation but ended up getting something different. Therefore, always check carefully before booking your accommodation in Hanoi and give the drivers the exact address instead of just the hotel name.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 3

Hotel scams will mess up your travel

Find quality hotels in Hanoi here:


Sneaky Local Scams

These sneaky locals are street vendors, small shop owners, and shoe shiners, mostly in the Old Quarter of Hanoi city center. If they ask you to take free stuff such as donuts, pens, conical hats, or to take pictures with their baskets of goods, steer clear from them. They will charge you an undeserving amount. The same thing applies to shoe shiners, just deny them immediately.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 4

Be careful with the shoe shiners

Fake Tour Companies Scams

Hanoi tourism is a booming business and many companies try to get a slice of this cake by imitating famous tour agencies. This a real problem in Vietnam, imitators will try to use similar names, color schemes, and designs… to trick you into thinking that they’re the real ones.

You can avoid such trickery by investing more time into your research, reading the review on travel websites or blogs. Once you’ve chosen a suitable agency, use Google Map to locate their exact address.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 6

Find quality companies for an authentic experience

Beggar Scams

In big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, beggars are common. As pitiful as they may look, do not give them money. They may be dishonest people, pretending to have severe injuries or to be disabled. Beggars in Hanoi are controlled by organized scammers, who seduce them to abandon their hometown to come and beg in big cities. If you want to support the local community, many organizations can use your help, such as the Vietnam Red Cross Society or Vietnam Women's Union.

Tips to Avoid Scams in Hanoi

1. Do your homework: Always research destinations, tour companies, hotels, stores... in Hanoi beforehand. This gives you an exact idea of what to expect and may save you from unwanted problems.

2. Double-check: It’s never a bad thing to be careful, especially when it comes to your well-being and belongings. Check all the information and the products provided to you twice, focus more on the exchange rate, prices, tour services, and the addresses.

3. Confirm your payment: Ask the seller/receptionist for the price and the currency in which it is quoted. Pay in that currency only.

4. Stay away from conflicts: If you try to argue or refuse to pay to some street vendors, underground violence maybe just a stone throw’s away. The foremost priority is your well-being, so avoid any standoffs.

5. Go for the obvious choice: Famous brands and companies are more trustworthy and they provide better services. Always opt for Mai Linh and Vinasun taxi cabs. Check out the lists of our recommended hotels and stores for souvenirs in Hanoi.

6. Go with a local: It’s advisory to travel in Hanoi with a local who knows all the ins and outs of the city. They will be a good companion as well as an instructor who will guide you through the culture of Vietnam Capital City.

Tips to avoid scams in Hanoi 5

Locate credible stores for your souvenirs

Takeaways on Tips to Avoid Scams in Hanoi

Don’t let your experience with Hanoi be contaminated by some scams and trickeries. They can all be avoided with extra carefulness and well-invested research. To be more secured, choose companies with a high reputation and look for a local tour guide. If you find our list of tips to avoid scams in Hanoi useful, please share it with your friends for their future travel to Hanoi.

Sign up for a travel insurance plan to travel safer:



© Written by Dung Tran for

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.



Guest - Sally Brandy on Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:02

Watch out for the "cake ladies" on the street. They sell some kind of fried though and can get super aggressive if you don't buy from them

Watch out for the "cake ladies" on the street. They sell some kind of fried though and can get super aggressive if you don't buy from them
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, 23 September 2023

Captcha Image


This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam?

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Find the best hotels to stay in Vietnam:

Powered by 12Go Asia system