Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cheated by coconut seller around the Reunification Place in Ho Chi Minh

Xin chao! It is "Hello" in Vietnamese language ;)

Yeah, Hello from Saigon, or commonly called Ho Chi Minh! I chose to go to this place since it's only 1.5 hours journey from Singapore and the ticket was quite cheap. Quite near too! The airport is located very near to the city area. So when it's landed, you could see many houses and buildings surrounded it. Cool!

We took cab to our hotel that is located at District 1 and cost less than S$10 to reach. We went out continuously almost a whole day and I'm dead tired right now, therefore can't share much to you.

However, I want to share a very interesting story happened to us this afternoon.

We took cab and reached the 'must-visit' Reunification Place right at 12pm. The gate was closed when we got there and no staffs around. We walked around it quite aimlessly, not sure what was going on.

Suddenly a Vietnam guy walked beside us carrying his coconuts loaded in two baskets connected with bamboo stick on his shoulder. He was smiling to us and started talking in English informing us that the place was closed for lunch break and would only be opened at 1pm. He recommended us to visit the War Remnants Museum instead, which located not faraway from there.

He kept smiling and asked where we were coming from. We entertained him as he was very friendly. He said we were pretty and handsome, looked like Vietnamese people. Then he told my hubby that he was strong and muscular.

Suddenly he put his loads into my hubby's shoulder. And my hubby said it was unexpectedly heavy lah! The guy asked me to take my hubby's photo together with him since he was with the load. Still smiling and laughing to make us feeling comfortable.

My hubby felt that we might want to help him by buying his coconuts. The guy immediately put two coconuts, opened, put the straw and handed it to us. We felt something wasn't right as we didn't know how much it cost. So we asked the seller immediately before consuming it and asked him to stop opening it before we agreed with the price.

He then said "One fifty thousand." I was like, "What? How much?" He repeated it by mumbling the same thing. We looked each other then my hubby asking him, "What do you mean? VND150,000 (equal to S$9)?? Brother, I saw you a nice guy that's why I told my wife to buy coconut from you. But now you said it's one for one hundred fifty thousand dong??" with a raising tone, a bit almost exploded! Lol!

The seller immediately clarified, "No, no! It's not 150,000. I was saying one for fifty thousand." Tricky, wasn't it?

We visited a restaurant before reaching the place and I saw the same coconut was sold at VND28,000. Therefore, one coconut cost VND50,000 each was still too expensive! We refused and he tried to bargain, "Ok, ok. I give you VND70,000 for two!"

We insisted to say no and bargained to settle this matter fast by asking VND50,000 for two. He finally released us. At least we felt worth it paying that amount rather than 50,000 each. And we were laughing at ourselves after that. Also, the guy bluffed us 'cos when we reached the War Remnants Museum, it was closed for lunch break too! We had to walk back to the initial place and when we walked back, we walked past many other victims (mostly foreigners), either holding the loads, or taking the opened coconuts from the seller and we understood the situation clearly this time!

And funnily, when we met up with my sister-in-law who happened visiting this page too this afternoon with her friends, they were cheated too and paid VND50,000 each for every 3 coconuts that they took. Lol! I never read about this when searching the info about Ho Chi Minh online, but I'm going to write it here, right now, to prevent others being cheated by this 'over-friendly Vietnamese coconut seller' around the Reunification Place and below is their photo together :D Cheers..... (Before realized of getting cheated ^^)

Cheated by coconut seller in Ho Chi Minh,  Vietnam


Ugyen Tenzin said...

He he ...Such a related post which made me to browse my bygone past being cheated just like you all.And when I read your post, I can't stop myself from smiling lol. On one hand you all had great day and on other you all fell under the victim of being cheated. For me it has become usual here lol. But I got to learn from it everyday. Keeping unsuitable experience aside I am sure that you had great day. Do great. Take Care. :)

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you for going through this experience here Ugyen! I can imagine you being cheated there too! :P

Sometimes, just take it as giving it to them as donation. If they weren't that desperate, I guess they wouldn't do it.

Well, like you said, learn from it. Like my friend's father said, let it be an expensive lesson for all of us hehe.... Enjoy your weekend and take care! :)

Kipchu Namgyel said...

That was really bad of those coconut sellers. So looks like that kind of cheating the foreigners are everywhere.Almost everyone gets cheated the first time. That's how we learn through experience.Nice post.

Rima Reyka said...

Yes Kipchu! I bet he earned lots of money from doing that. But he did it in soft way by smiling and being friendly to attract the 'customer'. Very interesting! ^^ Thank you for going through la! :)

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