Alessandro Ferin has responded to Kristoffer Svendsen’s comment on how some places in Vietnam charge higher prices for foreigners, regardless of the language they speak. Ferin believes that this is not a big issue for him. Their comments were part of the discussion ignited by Ray Kuschert’s article on ‘Eight things I hate about Vietnam’ published on Tuoi Tre News. Kuschert, an Australian expat living in Ho Chi Minh City, shared his list of things he dislikes about Vietnam, including visa policies, dual pricing, hot weather, food, and traffic problems. The article received numerous reactions and comments on social media.
One commenter, Mark Walker, shared that based on his experience, prices are double for foreigners. Phan Daniel, on the other hand, felt that a difference of 4-5 dollars is not a significant issue. Rob Lock mentioned that it is fair to charge tourists more since most museums in Vietnam are government-funded, and locals pay taxes while tourists do not. Eudy Vyas, living in Ho Chi Minh City, stated that in her five years in Vietnam, she has never been overcharged for anything.
Kent Neo, who resides in Da Lat, a popular destination in Lam Dong Province, shared his positive experience of not being ripped off. Neo added that the chances of being overcharged are higher in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, where there are many tourists. Other commenters listed several recommendations for expats to avoid overpricing, such as learning Vietnamese, immersing themselves in the local culture, and connecting with the local community.
Anh Bon Andrew advised foreigners to learn Vietnamese, make Vietnamese friends, and integrate into the community. He believed that by doing so, all the issues they face could be resolved. Greg Matson shared his experience of getting discounts, free meals, and free iced tea by surprising locals with his Vietnamese language skills. Ken Byrnes from New York acknowledged that he had been overcharged on rare occasions but mentioned positive encounters, such as children greeting him and locals looking out for his safety. Louis Barber Corallo, from the UK, received support for his comment suggesting that foreigners should embrace and adapt to a new culture rather than constantly complaining.
Sivaraj Pragasm, currently living in Ho Chi Minh City, mentioned that by greeting the lady who sells coffee downstairs every morning, he has received a permanent discount on coffee, even though he never asked for it. Timmy Pham highlighted that traveling to different countries is about experiencing different cultures and environments, and therefore, everywhere shouldn’t be like America or Europe. The General Statistics Office reported a significant increase in international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in 2023, surpassing the target of eight million.