As a Vietnam Photo Tour Operator, we have traveled around Vietnam constantly to find new destinations and new spots for our fellow photographers to explore. We mainly travel by our private cars or vans. But sometimes, we have to take a taxi to visit some rural destinations while our photographers resting in the hotels.
Having said that we have travel all destinations in Vietnam and we know every corner of our destination, we know the the routes that get to our destinations. But sometimes, you will have to deal with tricky drivers who try to outsmart you by changing the route into a longer one and waste most of your time sitting in their cab – I haven encountered this situation twice : One in Da Lat and one in Quy Nhon City.
When I was in Da Lat City, with my customers, on a Vietnam photo tours. I take break time between lunch to visit my old friend, who is a famous photographer in Da Lat. It takes about 5 minutes for me to walk from my hotel to his house, but I don’t have much time, and in order to save time I took a taxi to get there. After giving the driver my friend’s address, he thought that I don’t know much about Da Lat, he took me around the city until I told him that way wont lead to my friend house, then he realized that he should not mess with me and drove me to the given address.
Second time was in Quy Nhon, when I took a taxi to get to Ham Tu fishing Port and the driver played the same, he took me around the city for sightseeing until I told him that is not the way to Ham Tu fishing port. The driver charged me for 200.000 VND (about 10$ USD) for that trip.
There is also one thing to notice that every time I take a taxi in Da Lat or other major tourist cities, when I pay for my fare, if the payment is not required change then it’s fine. If your payment require small change like 5000VND or 1000VND, the driver will play slow. He will pretend to give your change back, but he is not. He just wait there until you feel that your change is not worth waiting for and give up, then he will drive away.
To deal with those tricky drivers, you must follow those tricks below:
- Have google maps installed on your phone. Before going to anywhere, check your routes both far and close to measure the distance and try to memorize them.
- Have internet connection or buy a simcard to use 3G service so you can track your route.
- Change your money into small bills so you can give them exact amount of money that you have to pay. If you want to give some tips, give them later after the payment.