PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY VISITORS TO HANOI
1. Taxi airport scams.
- At the airport lobby, sometimes it is so crowded that our staff cannot see you once. Our staff will hold the pick-up sign with your names, some taxi drivers may copy the names and write them down in his own paper, and then quickly stand far away from our staff and try to convince you go with them. Be careful!
If any taxi driver tell you that he is staff of Paradise Indochina Travel (with pick up sign names written by hand), please do not trust him. What you should do is to contact us (+84) 243.9260651 or hotline (+84) 982804399 and ask for information.
The official currency in Vietnam is Dong. US Dollars and Euro are also accepted in many of big shops and restaurants. Various other currencies are easy to exchange in banks and even at our office.
Make sure that the Vietnamese notes you receive are not torn, because shops and restaurants will not accept them. The largest money note is currently 500,000 dong (approx. US$ 26). Be careful because the 20,000 notes look almost the same as 500,000 one but the value is a big gap. You should keep all 500,000 dong notes separate from your other dong notes to avoid confusion.
Electricity is 220 volts and 50Hz. Plugs are often either two squarepins or two roundpins. Three-pin plugs can be found in some certain places.
You should bargain when you shop in local markets. For example, if the shop owner says 100 dollars, you should ask for 40, and then work for an agreement from there. If negotiations are not working, start to walk away and in the vast majority of cases, the shop owners will call you back and give you their best price.
The traffic in Hanoi is amazing but also seems scaring. There is plenty of traffic particularly during rush hour (7am to 9am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm). Try to stay off the roads in that period or take into account that travel at those times will take longer. When crossing the road, do not make the sheer numbers of motorbikes overwhelms you, just walk slowly and carefully.