Avoiding Shopping Scams in Halong Bay
Halong Bay offers a great diversity of specialties, souvenirs, and unique things to buy. To be a smart purchaser in Halong Bay, you should equip yourself with these common shopping scams before you visit this world’s natural heritage.
Vietnam is one of the best destinations to travel on a budget, and Halong Bay is an affordable place compared with other famous tourist attractions. Besides the cost of shopping, you should pay attention to the quality as well as the authenticity while shopping in Halong. Many scammers want to take advantage of the products’ reputation and popularity to cheat credulous tourists.
If you are wondering how to avoid shopping scams, here is some notice for you to get a worthwhile experience of shopping in Halong Bay.
1. Overpriced products
Like most touristic destinations in Vietnam, the most common shopping scam in Halong Bay is overpriced products. Everything in Halong Bay is costly to overcharge customers. Be careful with the advertisement. You should ask about the cost of each item and pay 70 – 80% of the first price. Or else, if you have learned about the average price in Vietnam, you can offer your best rate. It helps you avoid overvaluation and buy the items at affordable costs.
If you’re going to visit the night market in Halong Bay, you should be aware of stalls selling handicrafts and fine arts. These products are usually overpriced due to the elaboration. To avoid this scam while shopping in Halong Bay, you should ask for help from your tour guide or hotel staff.
Read more: Top 5 Best Shopping Places In Halong Bay
2. Counterfeit products
There is a wide range of products sold in Halong Bay, ranging from clothes, fabric, electrical equipment to traditional medicine. Due to the variety, the products aren’t locally made and imported from China instead. The scammers want to reduce the production cost and sell counterfeit goods to increase profits. Especially in the markets near Mong Cai border crossing, counterfeit products are so popular that tourists shouldn’t buy any expensive items to avoid this shopping scam in Halong Bay.
Additionally, you should stay away from packaged products like foods and drinks in Halong Bay markets because they’re usually fake and poor-quality.
Remember to buy handcrafts in Halong Bay since they are exquisitely made by the locals and such adorable souvenirs for your loved ones.
Handmade products are highly recommended to buy in Halong Bay
3. Stale seafood
When it comes to seafood, it’s hard to choose fresh and high-quality seafood without a local guide. You can see many street vendors selling seafood called ‘fresh seafood’ that newly caught from the sea. Don’t trust them at all! They are trying to extort you to pay for high prices compared with seafood at other places. Another scam to avoid while shopping in Halong Bay is staying away from dried seafood at the night market.
Here are a few tips to buy seafood and avoid shopping scams in Halong Bay
- Dried squid: Choose the straight, thick, and pinkish one with full arms and tentacles. Avoid the squid having red spots, light colors, and black arms. There’re 3 main types of dried squid at the cost varying from 500,000 VND to 700,000 VND per kilo.
- Dried sipunculus nudus: Remember to pick up the ivory-white one with a length from 7 to 15 cm. Because of the uniqueness and rarity, sipunculus nudus in Halong Bay costs from 4 – 5 million VND per kilo.
- Squid sausage: To find the authentic squid sausage in Halong Bay, you should go to some reliable shops like La Hien (Cai Dam Market), Kim Thoa, and Hoai Phuong (Halong 1 Market), etc. The price range of squid sausage is between 350,000 and 500,000 VND per kilo.
Squid sausage is the most famous specialty in Halong Bay
All in all, it isn’t difficult to avoid some shopping scams in Halong Bay. Besides the tips in this article, you’d better follow the guide from your friends and local people who have experienced shopping in Halong Bay before.
Let’s travel to Halong Bay and bring the souvenirs home for your family and friends.
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(Image source: Internet)