It was one of Rowjie’s most bothered looks I’ve ever seen of him. No, he wasn’t thinking about a sick member of the family nor stuff at work that he left unfinished. His thoughts were completely focused on why we still got outsmarted by a taxi driver aka scammer after avoiding a lot of them at the airport.
Philippines’ low cost airline Cebu Pacific Air only has one flight to Saigon (old name of Ho Chi Minh City) everyday at 10:50 PM and lands in HCMC at 12:20 AM (Vietnam is an hour ahead of us). Though we initially planned not to use the services of taxis during our trip (to cut down our expenses), we had no choice but to ride one upon arriving in Saigon. It was late and last trip of buses from the airport leaves at around 10:oo PM.
We were specifically told by our Saigon-based friend, Daks, to only ride either a Vinasun or a Mai Linh taxi (they are the only meter-based taxis) and that we need to pay 10,000 VND for their toll fee. We kept that in mind and honestly followed it except that one thing went wrong.
After running away from a flock of taxi scumbags offering overpriced fixed rates, we THOUGHT we found a driver of a Vinasun taxi because he was standing in front of the said cab. After sealing a deal that we would use the taxi meter, we followed him and he took us to a seemingly-like ordinary car, no name of Vinasun on the side doors but we just shrugged it off.
To cut the story short, though the unknown taxi’s meter ran all throughout our ride, we still paid a whopping $22 (including the toll fee) for a 30-minute ride from the airport to Saigon’s District 1 where our guesthouse was located. He insisted that we pay him 450,000 VND instead of the agreed metered rate. From what I’ve read, our taxi fare should only range from 100,000 – 150,00 VND max. We didn’t want to argue since we were in a foreign place, which we barely know so we gave him what he wanted.
After harvesting a lot of money from our small wallet farm, the taxi driver still had the heart to warn us to take care of our stuff because District 1, the backpackers mecca of Saigon, is apparently crook-infested.
Oh boy, we were cheated by a boss-like taxi driver.
Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com says
Yeah, don’t ever ride in an unmarked taxi. I always take those two because they’re government-owned (I think). Next time, get the cab’s name, license plate and other details. He may bring down the price when you tell him you’ll report him. 450K is really too much. Even 200k is expensive already.
We were noob and didn’t want to argue. Next time matutulog na lang kami sa airport if really needed just to avoid this kind of mishap. Thanks Aleah! ☺
Mine wasn’t metered also, but before I took the cab we agreed on a price from 250,000 to 200,000 VND or 400 PHP, still a bit expensive but sucks that the CEB flight arrives just after midnight.
On the way back from District 1 to the Airport though its only $7 (280 PHP)
Good fate that we didn’t need to ride a cab back to the airport. Pag nagkataon, badtrip na kami sa buong trip namin dahil alam namin agad how much we wasted on a single taxi ride.
duy minh says
Tks foor your cmt .
I am a driver of Vinasun taxi .
Welcome to Saigon , Vietnam .
Anh if you have any require a taxi , pls call me 84989005463 .
lakbay philippines says
mahirap talaga pag hindi natin lugar eh 🙁
Tama. Limitado ang pwede mo gawin.