I have been travelling Vietnam for about 20 days. I first visited Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) in Vietnam. Being my first time here, I was having already trouble managing the currency. One day I took a taxi from District 1 went for around 3-5 kilometers. When the driver dropped me, the meter showed 65.0. So I thought it must be 65K Dong. But when I was paying him, he said it is 650K.
I was not totally convinced with that, but I have paid 25-30 dollars in Australia for a taxi ride of 5-7 Km. So, I asked him again about the price and suddenly he started shouting and asking me to pay him 650K.
In the confusion, I paid him that much. Later, I checked with my Vietnamese friends about the real price of the taxi ride. They said it's impossible it will be 650K. My friends from Vietnam complained to the company, but the company said after trying that they could not locate the driver.
I thought maybe it just happened one day and he must be a bad person.
After some days, I came to Hanoi. Here the same thing happened to me again. After a 2 Km taxi ride, the meter showed 14.0 and the driver started asking for 140K Dong.
But this time, I went outside the car and asked a guy from the street to tell me what's is the real price. They kept talking for some time, and some more people from the street came forward to help. The biggest issue was, these drivers did not speak a word in English, may be intentionally. After some discussion, a lady said me to pay 30K to the driver. I don't know what they talked about. But as soon as I took the money out, the lady said to pay 50K. I was shocked and said I am not going to pay any damn penny extra.
Finally, the driver looked very angry. I even told him that I am going to complain about this to his company, but I don't think he understood what I was saying.
After these two incidents, I am sure it is a common scam these drivers do in Vietnam. The taxi rides are dirt cheap here. You can get around 4-5 km very easily for a dollar or two. But if you look like a foreigner, they might even ask you to pay 10 or 15 times the price.
Just thought of sharing this with all, so that you can be aware and don't fall for any such thing.