It only took about 10 seconds after stepping out of Tan Son Nhat International Airport when we were almost scammed by a taxi driver! Don’t think because I’m half Vietnamese that I’m immune to these scammers — I’m as naïve and lost as the next person. I’ve always had my fierce mama by my side as my protector and negotiator when I visited Vietnam in the past, but this is the first time that I’m traveling here without her. So let the learning experience and adventure begin!
Daniel and I were informed that there are only 2 taxi companies that are trustworthy: Vinasun and MaiLinh, both are in green and white, and with this knowledge, we rolled our luggage out with confidence looking for these 2 brands. Within 10 seconds of walking, a skinny man approached me asking if I needed a taxi and flashed his badge with Vinasun brand on it. He told me that it will cost about $25 USD to get us to our destination and Daniel and I thought that was reasonable – It was 11 pm and we were very tired from moving and packing in Taiwan so we accepted the price. As we approached his van, we noticed that it didn’t have the Vinasun logo nor was it green or white – it was gray. The taxi driver quickly tossed our luggage inside, but thankfully, I’ve prepped Daniel to be on high alert for scammers and he quickly grabbed our luggage back from the van and we walked away. After walking away, we saw many taxi cars waiting in the back with lighted logos. I ran down to hail the “real” Vinasun and we safely made it to our home. The cost of this taxi ride was 118,000 Dong (Vietnamese currency) this price is including an extra 10,000 Dong for airport pickup fee ~ $5.50 USD. Thanks to Daniel fast and stern judgment, we saved ourselves $20 US dollars!
[box type=”info” ]Tip: You will get hassle by random taxi drivers on the way out of the airport, but don’t feel pressure to get the first one. Make sure their car have the logo on them with the lighted logo on the roof of the car.[/box]
[box type=”info” ]Tip: Right before you leave the airport there are several stores that sell SIM cards for unlocked phones. 1G of data for $200,000 Dong ~ $10 USD. Outside of the airport, you can get the same package for half the price, but we wanted one of us to have data as a “just in case”.[/box]
[box type=”info” ]Tip: If you don’t want to buy the SIM card then, preload Google offline map on your phone with your final destination so you can track where you are going even if you don’t have Internet. How to download offline Google maps.[/box]
[box type=”info” ]Tip: If you suspect anything like if the driver is unnecessarily driving around to extend your trip, take a picture/write down his ID number which will always be facing the front seat and you can report him.[/box]
[box type=”info” ]Tip: Don’t expect that all taxi drivers have exact change to give to you when you pay, unless it’s over 10,000 Dong ~ $0.50 USD.[/box]