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From other boards, what do you never get used to here?
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 539
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DNK wrote:

Anyway, it just makes my life easier to only go to the places without touts and avoid the ones with them most of the time. Usually the choice is as difficult as walking a few meters over to the next place.


Sure, but if you and your friends like certain places, you should be able to go there and not get hassled. Anyway that's the principle. As you can probably gather, I don't especially like touts but I'm not going change what I want to do just because of them.

DNK wrote:

Oh, and a pox on anyone who ever hands them so much as 1 dong. If you're into charity, well, find a real one.


Cool
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I'm With Stupid



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 367

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's a difference between the sort of touts and fake beggars you get in Bui Vien and the ones you're likely to meet at a small restaurant out in district 10 who waits for you to finish your meal so he can have some of the leftovers. After all, if I was a beggar, I would be very keen to come to the tourist district and ply my trade, and yet for some reason, you only ever see the same 3 or 4 faces. Funny that.
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DNK



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 236
Location: the South

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just about changing what I want for the touts. It's also because if the owners of the place don't care enough about their customers to stop subjecting them to this bs, why should I give them my money? I do believe they're getting something for letting the touts come around - it's not just negative incentive for them.

It's clear that they DO have a choice in the matter, and many seem to choose "rip off the foreigners" over "please the customers". Well, that's how they see me, why should I spend my money there when, right across the street, is a better place with better food and ownership that actually has some interest in their customers?

It's both sides that I dislike, and for both I leave for quieter pastures. Also, there seems to be a very strong positive correlation between "no touts" and "food quality", which helps a lot Smile
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen, DNK.

Perhaps this is a more serious issue in HCMC, because in Hanoi it's rarely a problem. So much for the beloved "friendly" Saigon vs unfriendly Hanoi blather.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 945
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Foreigner Price Reply with quote

kurtz wrote:

a) nose picking

Yes! I was astonished last night to witness an attractive, elegantly dressed Vietnamese girl saunter up to a mirror and start picking her nose and squeeze a zit...in a crowded bar.
kurtz wrote:

c) paying different amounts of money at the same restaurant for the same meal.

I have a feeling I've paid the foreigner price at my local noodle, spring roll and grilled meat place on Co Giang in HCMC. 40,000 VND seems a bit high for this food.

I'll send one of the friendly girls working at my guest house to order food for me and test my theory soon. Wink

I know the Vietnamese earn much less than us but it still pisses me off to pay twice as much for the same meal.

How does this 'foreigner price' tend to work in restaurants?

Is it fixed, or just as much as they think you look like you can pay? Do they drop the price if you order in Vietnamese, or once they get to know you better?
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you guys gotta move out of the Old Quarter or Pham Ngu Lao if you want to taste the real Vietnam.
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DNK



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 236
Location: the South

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, and I also quite like tasting burgers and fries regularly also Wink
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1st Sgt Welsh



Joined: 13 Dec 2010
Posts: 539
Location: Salalah, Oman

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mushroom_season wrote:
I think you guys gotta move out of the Old Quarter or Pham Ngu Lao if you want to taste the real Vietnam.


Well, speaking for myself, I've tasted quite a bit of the "real Vietnam", but thanks for the tip Rolling Eyes.

DNK wrote:
It's not just about changing what I want for the touts. It's also because if the owners of the place don't care enough about their customers to stop subjecting them to this bs, why should I give them my money? I do believe they're getting something for letting the touts come around - it's not just negative incentive for them.

It's clear that they DO have a choice in the matter, and many seem to choose "rip off the foreigners" over "please the customers". Well, that's how they see me, why should I spend my money there when, right across the street, is a better place with better food and ownership that actually has some interest in their customers?

It's both sides that I dislike, and for both I leave for quieter pastures. Also, there seems to be a very strong positive correlation between "no touts" and "food quality", which helps a lot Smile


DNK, if you have found places where you like the food, the service and the fact that there are no touts then that's great! However, there are quite a few places where I like the food, the service but not the touts. I don't want make it sound like touts are a huge part of my life or anything (the topic just happened to come up on this thread) and, for me, they are just an irritation. A bit like the constant honking that goes on in traffic.

You said that many restaurants tolerate the touts as they are getting a piece of the action. It's possible but that's the first I've heard of it. I have heard from a good friend who owns a bar here that the touts (not the shoe-shine boys - apparently they pretty much take care of their own) have links with organized crime and if a restaurant owner kicks them out then there are consequences. Anyway I have no reason to doubt this. However, it is interesting that some restaurants have touts coming through and others don't. Maybe those restaurants are paying off someone and being free of touts is part of the service? Beats me.

inhanoi wrote:


Perhaps this is a more serious issue in HCMC, because in Hanoi it's rarely a problem. So much for the beloved "friendly" Saigon vs unfriendly Hanoi blather.


Like a lot of people who post here, I've lived in both cities and, in my experience, it's totally not "blather". Putting the matter of touts to the side, IMHO, the Saigonese are much friendlier and easier to deal with than the Hanoians.

Anyway, to get a little bit closer back to the OP's topic, one thing that I have trouble getting used to here is pointless internet censorship Mad. Is it just me, or is anyone else having problems getting on Dave's forums via regular internet?
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The Mad Hatter



Joined: 16 May 2010
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the internet fluctuates in strength and is just slow from time to time. I don't always manage to connect to facebook early in the morning (not that I find it so important).

I've had no problems connecting to Daves.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 398
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mushroom_season wrote:
I think you guys gotta move out of the Old Quarter or Pham Ngu Lao if you want to taste the real Vietnam.


So you think as soon as you're out of the Old Quarter the funny business stops there? Wrong!

I hand pick my restaurants based on quality of food, service and of course, price. I never eat at the OQ in the hope I get a fair price. Most of the time I feel like I'm not getting taken advantage of but from time to time I'll eat somewhere new and then a bowl of noodles suddenly is 20 VND higher than what I usually pay. This "let's see how much we can get off this guy as we'll never see him again" attitude is simply moronic and fits well with their live for today attitude. Granted, some new places give me a decent price (I think) but the fact is unless the price is there on a menu (in Vietnamese to stop foreigner pricing) you just never know.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 398
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: Foreigner Price Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
kurtz wrote:

a) nose picking

Yes! I was astonished last night to witness an attractive, elegantly dressed Vietnamese girl saunter up to a mirror and start picking her nose and squeeze a zit...in a crowded bar.
kurtz wrote:

c) paying different amounts of money at the same restaurant for the same meal.

I have a feeling I've paid the foreigner price at my local noodle, spring roll and grilled meat place on Co Giang in HCMC. 40,000 VND seems a bit high for this food.

I'll send one of the friendly girls working at my guest house to order food for me and test my theory soon. Wink

I know the Vietnamese earn much less than us but it still pisses me off to pay twice as much for the same meal.

How does this 'foreigner price' tend to work in restaurants?

Is it fixed, or just as much as they think you look like you can pay? Do they drop the price if you order in Vietnamese, or once they get to know you better?


You're usually taken advantage of in the heavily touristed areas. After spending quite a lot of time in Hanoi's Old Quarter when I first arrived, I got jaded with the endless parade of fat Westerners with gaping mouths and a heavy digital SLR hanging their necks; I don't blame the locals one bit for overcharging someone with a lot of money and who you'll never see again.

You're always at a small risk ordering from the side of the road shops. You might get charged more but sometimes you'll get charged the right amount too. If you get eating there you might be accepted as a local and get the right price. Best to keep your eyes peeled when another customer pays to get the right price.

My Vietnamese is quite appalling but I'd say you might get a fairer price if you can speak the lingo.
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know about you but I find that I pay the local price for most things. Speaking a little Viet does help as does owning a property and having a decent Vietnamese wife (ie not some chick you may pick up in those a said areas.).
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snollygoster



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Ditto Reply with quote

Ditto Mushroom.
I dont think I pay more than local price for most things, and I have a Viet wife, and I speak enough of the lingo to be able to joke if I get quoted a silly price. Plus I make myself part of the local community whenever I relocate. Stuff like know the neighbours, where is the local Policeman etc.
I think those things help.
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mushroom_season



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not being moralistic. I am merely referring to the current exchange rate. Today $1 US or are we talking Zimbabwean $ is worth 20850 VND. Hence your quoted price inflated by 20 VND is only 0.1 US cents at most. By the way I am if we wanted to we could also talk Australian dollars since I am an Aussie. But anyway the smallest denomination that is of current legal tender is 200 VND or 1 US cent. So I do not know how you overpaid 20 VND which is currently not in any other circulation other than the note collectors clubs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/curtisperry/6849704436/
Sorry this is the best image I could get of the old 20VND note.
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kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 398
Location: off the radar

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well strike me pink, I've made a blue. I meant 20,000 VND, not 20 but since I said it was about 1 USD/AUD I guess you could have worked that out. 20 VND well bowled Warnie, just shows how inflation has hit the land of the nose pickers.
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