[Vietnam/Hanoi] A story about getting ripped off by a taxi and 3 countermeasures

Vietnam/Hanoi solo trip

Previously, when I went to Vietnam, I was ripped off twice by a taxi on my way from Noi Bai Airport to a nearby hotel, and was charged a total of $14.50.

Although the amount was small, it was a shock because it was only 1 km from the airport to the hotel and I had planned to walk.

So, I didn’t want anyone reading this article to feel the same way, so I thought of three countermeasures.

In the first half, I will tell you how I was deceived. In the second half, we will explain three measures to avoid being ripped off.


A story about how I got ripped off by a taxi two days in a row.

Anxious first day [$8.2 loss]

Hanoi, Vietnam is famous for its old quarter, which is visited by many tourists.

I was also aiming for the old town, but I was nervous about arriving overseas for the first time, arriving at night, and traveling by bus, so I stayed at a hotel near the airport on the first day.

I felt uneasy about walking so I turned back.

The hotel was only 1km away, so I initially walked there, but when I saw the car toll booth and the no-walking sign, I became worried, so I headed back to the airport.

Apparently, he took a wrong turn and walked in a no-pedestrian zone.
↑ I was walking at a red marked place in the middle of the night.

In the end, I had no choice but to rely on taxis.

When I asked about the price, I was told “200.000VND ($8.20),” which seemed expensive, but I didn’t know what would happen if I objected, so I decided to accept the terms.

Taxis require negotiation

When I asked a local later, I was told that taxis are a rip-off from the start, so you have to negotiate.

By the way, you can get to the old town for 200,000 VND using a ride-hailing service…What a shame.

2nd day when I took revenge but got ripped off again [$6.3 loss]

↑ This guy is not a rip-off!

On the first day, it was dark and I couldn’t find the route to walk, but I thought I could do it in the morning, so I decided to take revenge.

Just before heading to the fateful toll booth, a motorcycle taxi stopped me and told me, “You can’t walk here.”

I insisted many times that I would walk, but I was told that was not possible, so I decided to ride.

By the way, when I went the next day, I was able to walk through it. The driver lied to get me into a taxi.

I negotiated the price for the first time.

The airport is only about 500m away, so we negotiated to avoid getting ripped off like we did on the first day.

As a result, it was 70,000VND ($2.9) so I decided to ride it. I didn’t have any small bills, so I handed him VND200,000 ($8.2) and he said, “Get on!”

I took a motorcycle taxi, wondering if I would get my change back.

Change was not returned according to the amount.

When I arrived, the bike was just leaving, so I asked for change. He handed me VND50,000 ($2.1) and disappeared.

I was told it would be $2.9, but when I handed over $8.2, I got $2.1 back…

I made a mistake by handing over the fee first.

*It was a shame because the change is accurate in Japan.

3 ways to avoid taxi rip-offs at Noi Bai Airport

There are three countermeasures:

  • On the day, take a bus to the old town
  • Use a ride-hailing service
  • Know the walking route to the hotel area

On the day, take a bus to the old town

Honestly, staying at a hotel near Noi Bai Airport is a waste of time, so head to your destination by bus the same day.

When you hear the word bus, you have a scary image, but in fact, you can ride it for a very reasonable fee (45,000 VND = $1.9). By the way, this is the same amount no matter where you get off, so you can see how expensive the taxi I mentioned earlier is.

  • Hotel approximately 1km from the airport…$8.2
  • Old town about 30km from the airport…$1.9

Now that I think about it, I regret that I should have taken the bus on the first day.

Use a ride-hailing service

When it comes to ride-hailing services, “Grab” is famous.

If you reserve in advance, you can get a good deal on the ride, and you can pay through the app, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off.

There are two things to note.

  • Create an account and link your credit card and other information before you go to Vietnam.
  • If you don’t make a reservation, you’ll get ripped off.

It’s a good app, but if you’re not careful, you might not be able to use it or be fooled.

Create an account and link your credit card and other information before you go to Vietnam.

Link your accounts, credit cards, and other personal information before you leave your home country.

This is because authentication may not be possible if you are overseas. I live in Japan, but when I tried to link my credit card in Vietnam, an error occurred and I was unable to link my credit card.

If you don’t make a reservation, you’ll get ripped off.

Grab taxis are cheap, but if you take one without a reservation, it’s no different than a rip-off taxi.

Actually, I was ripped off by “Grab Taxi”

Just because a ride-hailing service is famous doesn’t mean you can feel safe. If you do not have a reservation, you will need to negotiate the price.

Know the walking route to the hotel area

I wrote that I don’t recommend staying near the airport, but depending on the time of your flight, you may have no choice but to stay overnight.

Please refer to the separate article that explains how to walk from Noi Bai Airport to nearby hotels.