Getting Scammed outside Thien Hau Temple

Firstly, don't get me wrong, the temple is amazing. the structures, everything.
I had a great time too, admiring the beauty of its architecture, offering prayers for the world.
Even with this small episode, most of the locals I'd met are really nice and helpful, and I'm truly thankful in all way to those who made my day.
Throughout my travel I'm actually lucky to meet lots of kind souls, locals who gave me the best deal, locals who taught me simple Vietnamese, and the list go on.
However, we wouldn't always get the best out of everything all the time. And there's definitely bad people everywhere. And I just decided to write this down because I should write down all my raw and genuine experiences. Including this.
Nearing the end of my trip, I actually decided to visit the Thien Hau Temple since it's along the way. In Saigon, the temples don't have joss sticks nor they don't usually sell them (From my experiences that is). So usually, there'll be an elderly outside sitting with a box of joss sticks and you'll get from her. As she can hardly speak English, I could hardly make out the amount that was required, but only gave her a 30.000VND. I was still 2.000VND short. 
I gave the rest and she actually gave me a whole pack of joss sticks, and 2 enormous candles instead.
Upon leaving the temple, I was standing by the gate while waiting for my friend to finish his puff when we saw a local walking towards that same auntie.
And to my surprise, she only buys alittle less than 20 joss sticks at less than 10.000VND.
That's where I confirmed that I was scammed.

Alongside this common scams in Vietnam, there's also the usual money-grabbing trick where a fellow backpacker that I had faced.
Some locals would grab your money as if helping you to "make payment" then returning you "your change"
Usually carried out in confusion, you would be found being "overcharged".
The list of unethical scams goes on, but that'll probably be a story for another day.

This experience only reminds me that nothing would be perfect.
There's no perfect getaway, no prefect city, and there wouldn't be a place where every single soul is nice. That's what made us unique, and every single one of our travel experiences differently.
And sometimes, some things are just not beyond our control.
There is always good, and bad. Sometimes, we just have to accept things as it is.
I don't think the Auntie is a very bad person, maybe just alittle scheming when it comes to hustling.
And maybe she's doing this to support her family, so... I'm more than happy to help out with the "extra money".

Despite this episode, I'll very likely revisit Vietnam again, however, I'll be alittle more wary this time round.

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1 comment


Oh boy, that’s good to know & learn from your experience, Ronnie!

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