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Posted: 6/21/2011 8:17:38 AM EDT
some people told me if you travel to Vietnam and your an American or not a VN citizen they expect you to pay tips & bribes for everything including leaving the airport? and if you dont give them money they will delay your trip and make you wait a long time until you give them money?

sounds like I wouldnt want to go there if it's like that

I heard they do the same thing in the Philippines and everybody expects a tip if your an American
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:24:22 AM EDT
[#1]
Why would you go there?
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:29:33 AM EDT
[#2]
Which city are you flying into? I've heard stories like that if you visit the north but when I flew into Saigon there weren't any problems and no bribing necessary. On the way back, one of the women in our group somehow lost her gate ticket and we got her through security with a $10 bribe.
Have fun and remember, don't drink the water unless it's bottled! Drink the coffee, *fizzy* lemonade, and try out the sugarcane!





ETA: expect tons of shopkeepers to grab your arm and try to tug you into their stores and homeless kids to beg from you.



 
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:30:30 AM EDT
[#3]
actually, it's the other way around last time I was there.  If you appear to be American or Foreign you will be waved on to where you need to go.  If you are vietnamese they will stop you, search your bag, make you wait, while one guy will stand by next to you and rub his fingers together subtely indicating a "tip" is needed.  The reason I know this is because is happens to my mom and uncle, who are both vietnamese, whenever they are going in or out of the country.  My mom gets out of it because she acts dumb and keeps saying that she is an American, eventually the guys get the point and send her on her way.  

As to why the OP would go there, there are plenty of reasons.  Vietnam is now a thriving country with many great places for vacation and a growing economy.  I love going there, food is awesome and cheap.  Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City AKA Saigon is great, plenty of reasons.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:30:35 AM EDT
[#4]
Quoted:
Which city are you flying into? I've heard stories like that if you visit the north but when I flew into Saigon there weren't any problems and no bribing necessary. On the way back, one of the women in our group somehow lost her gate ticket and we got her through security with a $10 bribe.

Have fun and remember, don't drink the water unless it's bottled! Drink the coffee, lemonade, and try out the sugarcane!


How can you drink lemonade if its made with water?
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:32:20 AM EDT
[#5]
Quoted:
some people told me if you travel to Vietnam and your an American or not a VN citizen they expect you to pay tips & bribes for everything including leaving the airport? and if you dont give them money they will delay your trip and make you wait a long time until you give them money?

sounds like I wouldnt want to go there if it's like that

I heard they do the same thing in the Philippines and everybody expects a tip if your an American


Any 3rd world country expect that.  Most of the people there don't make anything.  Need the tips to survive.

Quit being a tightass you are already spending some coin on a trip pass out some more coin to the locals.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:33:45 AM EDT
[#6]
Quoted:
Why would you go there?


after watching all those episodes of the great times Anthony Bourdain had in Vietnam, it looks like a very interesting place to visit
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:35:23 AM EDT
[#7]



Quoted:



Quoted:

Which city are you flying into? I've heard stories like that if you visit the north but when I flew into Saigon there weren't any problems and no bribing necessary. On the way back, one of the women in our group somehow lost her gate ticket and we got her through security with a $10 bribe.



Have fun and remember, don't drink the water unless it's bottled! Drink the coffee, *fizzy* lemonade, and try out the sugarcane!




How can you drink lemonade if its made with water?


whoops, my bad. They use club soda.



 
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:36:41 AM EDT
[#8]
i would consider giving the baggage handlers a dollar tip on the way out of the country. I was told to by the people I went to egypt with(1994) and I did. (yes I was out 2 bucks) but the people who thought it was stupid had their scuba gear removed and looked at and then repacked with zero care. Id pay a 2 bucks every day I traveled to not have some non diver jacking with my gear.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:37:49 AM EDT
[#9]
Quoted:
some people told me if you travel to Vietnam and your an American or not a VN citizen they expect you to pay tips & bribes for everything including leaving the airport? and if you dont give them money they will delay your trip and make you wait a long time until you give them money?

sounds like I wouldnt want to go there if it's like that

I heard they do the same thing in the Philippines and everybody expects a tip if your an American


I can't speak on Vietnam, but I CAN speak about the Philippines.  While you don't have to pay bribes to get out of the airport, you will be ripped when trying to take a fucking taxi anywhere.  They don't want to turn on the meter and then try to charge you an insane amount (by their standards) for the ride and never have change either for some reason, so they can get your larger bills of Pesos.  Make sure the taxi fuck always turns on the meter, if he wont then get out and get the next shithole taxi that comes along.  Also, there are phone numbers printed on the inside of the rear doors of the taxi's company so you can threaten to call that number if the driver pulls shit.  Or better yet, just tell them you are calling the police.  Corruption is rampant in the Philippines.  Mainly because it is a total third world shithole.  My wife is Filipina so I was forced to go back there with her last year to visit her family.  I plan on that being the last trip to the Philippines ever.

Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:47:41 AM EDT
[#10]
Yes it's true like all Communist countries corruption is a way of life. After you pass through passport control and you go to collect your baggage there will be long lines of travelers with their carts piled high waiting to get their bags scanned/searched. This line can take forever. Look for men with luggage carts offering to load you up and carry your bags out for you, this guy will get you through. Show him a $20 bill and point to the exit. He'll go speak to the guy and the check point and you'll just pass through. Once we bought a guy a carton of smokes at the duty free and that was all it took.





















DO Not offer money to anyone wearing any kind of uniform.! Ever. Always go through an in between.





















ETA: you don't have to pay a bribe to get through the airport, it just speeds things up.










 







Saigon Dep Lam Sai Gon oi







 
 
 
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:49:38 AM EDT
[#11]
Tourist no, local yes, tourist who looks like a local yes.



My neighbor was born there and recently when back with his family.  They slip some money in each passport.  The resident passport agent didnt see the cash in one and refused entry.  Mom stepped up and assured him that he did not look close enough and that all his "documents" were in order.  Sure enough the somewhat covered money was found and passport summarily stamped.  Timeline for his experience was within the last year.  




All anglo's were going through without needing a bribe and not having to do much.  Tourists bring money to the country so they are given top notch treatment.  However, I am a fan of paying the insurance when operating in an environment where bribes (or "expediting" as we call it at work) are a legitimate part of the culture.






Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:58:46 AM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
Quoted:
some people told me if you travel to Vietnam and your an American or not a VN citizen they expect you to pay tips & bribes for everything including leaving the airport? and if you dont give them money they will delay your trip and make you wait a long time until you give them money?

sounds like I wouldnt want to go there if it's like that

I heard they do the same thing in the Philippines and everybody expects a tip if your an American


I can't speak on Vietnam, but I CAN speak about the Philippines.  While you don't have to pay bribes to get out of the airport, you will be ripped when trying to take a fucking taxi anywhere.  They don't want to turn on the meter and then try to charge you an insane amount (by their standards) for the ride and never have change either for some reason, so they can get your larger bills of Pesos.  Make sure the taxi fuck always turns on the meter, if he wont then get out and get the next shithole taxi that comes along.  Also, there are phone numbers printed on the inside of the rear doors of the taxi's company so you can threaten to call that number if the driver pulls shit.  Or better yet, just tell them you are calling the police.  Corruption is rampant in the Philippines.  Mainly because it is a total third world shithole.  My wife is Filipina so I was forced to go back there with her last year to visit her family.  I plan on that being the last trip to the Philippines ever.



If you think the Philippines is a third world shithole, you are correct.  However, it is no worse than, well, pretty much the rest of the world.  Even Europe has a lot of places that we would consider unbelievable\y corrupt.  There are actually few places that aren't WORSE.  I'm guessing you had some bad experiences outside the taxies though.  By the way, was your wife with you?  Because my experience was that if you have a local with you, the dodgy stuff gets turned down a bit.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 8:59:19 AM EDT
[#13]
no

pretty easy to get around if you're a white furriner.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 9:20:30 AM EDT
[#14]
Not when I went there ....










Forty-two years ago.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 9:23:13 AM EDT
[#15]
Nope, I had no problems s few years ago.  
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:14:43 AM EDT
[#16]
I have been to japan and taiwan no one was expecting any tips there. In fact i accidently over paid one of the taxi drivers and he insisted that i leave with the correct amt of money. My thai gf said no tips are really expected in thailand either but if your farang (white) you will be charged much more than a local on pretty much everything. So it helps to go with someone who speaks the language so they wont rip you off.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:19:43 AM EDT
[#17]
They get you at the airports in the Philippines with some kind of bullshit tax, and the airlines get you by charging extra for luggage weight.  This all takes place inside the airports. I never had any problems when I had a local with me.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:21:17 AM EDT
[#18]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Why would you go there?


after watching all those episodes of the great times Anthony Bourdain had in Vietnam, it looks like a very interesting place to visit


I know his former boss, Philippe, the french guy in those Vietnam episodes.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:24:16 AM EDT
[#19]
Cheap flashlights are my usual tool for problems. Has helped in numerous countries.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:42:47 AM EDT
[#20]
I've been to several countries where you pay Airport tax to leave.
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:54:40 AM EDT
[#21]
Quoted:
Cheap flashlights are my usual tool for problems. Has helped in numerous countries.


?? I dont understand.

My guess is that cops have flashlights so it gives the impression of authority?

Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:55:14 AM EDT
[#22]
Quoted:
Cheap flashlights are my usual tool for problems. Has helped in numerous countries.


?? I dont understand.

My guess is that cops have flashlights so it gives the impression of authority?

Link Posted: 6/21/2011 10:57:54 AM EDT
[#23]
I agree with grumpy old man above.  40 some years ago it was real easy to get into the country.  It was a problem to get back out though.

Maybe things have changed over time?
Link Posted: 6/21/2011 11:22:26 AM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
I have been to japan and taiwan no one was expecting any tips there. In fact i accidently over paid one of the taxi drivers and he insisted that i leave with the correct amt of money. My thai gf said no tips are really expected in thailand either but if your farang (white) you will be charged much more than a local on pretty much everything. So it helps to go with someone who speaks the language so they wont rip you off.


This is so true. Farangs get charged more and its no secret. One sign will be in thia with a price another in english with a price and not the same price. I speak enough thai to get by so that helps alot. But when my gf wants to buy something that is $100 or more ... I usually send her alone so the price wont be jacked up.

When I was coming out of Kathmandu one of the customs officers tried to get me to give him a bribe but I acted like I didnt know what he was talking about and he dropped it.

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