Gma Bev’s Shenanigans In Vietnam – Scams Too!

If you haven’t noticed by now, Gma Bev likes to do her own thing.  Sometimes she meets amazing people and other times, she may have a little mishap.  When she visited us in Spain, a couple of years ago, she was “mugged” in Gibraltar.  We’ve also shared her Shenanigans In Laos last month.  This month we will share what she was up to in Vietnam.  Let’s just say it wasn’t quite as mellow as Laos or as innocent as her mugging in Gibraltar.  Vietnam was full of energy, scooters and scams.  We share it all with you here!

Gma Bev's Shenanigans In Vietnam - Scams Too!3 Generations traveling in 3 Countries for 3 Months! What do you think Gma Bev has been up to? We share her stories and scams with you from Vietnam!

We will start with some of her Facebook posts and then we will get into her stories about the scams.  We will let her tell you in her own words about her scam experiences.  Yes, there is an “s” at the end of the word experience.  It wasn’t once, nor was it twice.  It was three times!   Well, 3 biggies worth writing about, and sharing with you.  That way you can be aware and hopefully avoid the same misfortune.

Gma Bev’s Facebook Updates from Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

December 12, 2014   (link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)

This is the proper way to cross a freeway.  We actually did it, too!  Notice the entry/exit places for vehicles and pedestrians on left side.  No need for on/off ramps.

Hue, Vietnam

December 14, 2014 at 3:30pm
(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)
Met Dow on my morning walk.  He wanted to sing to me!  I’m in Hue, Vietnam.
(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)
DROWNING!  Most people in Vietnam do not swim.  32 people a day drown in this country.  This city, had a flood in 1999 when 400 people drowned mainly because they couldn’t swim.  Today on our boat trip I happened to film some commotion on the bridge which is about only 20 ft. high.  (My kids used to jump off a bridge that high on the King’s River.)  A person committed suicide by jumping and no one could swim to save him.  The boats were there to recover the body.  This is a city of 3 million with no public pools; however they now have a program to teach children to swim.

Hoi An, Vietnam

December 19, 2014 at 4:52am ·

(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)  My daily walks are usually in the back alleys as that is where the locals live.  I passed this family earlier and when they invited me to sit I declined.  But this time I accepted.
December 19, 2014 at 4:58am ·

Kudos to Heidi Wagoner for finding the ‘Carmel’ of Vietnam!   — at Hoi An Ancient Town.

Gma Bev Hoi An Vietnam

December 19, 2014 at 6:13am · 

(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)  Had dinner in restaurant other night where supervisor gave me her business card and requested I return today at 3 so she could practice her English.  This video is of my friends in alley who invited me to sit.  It was papa, mama, gramma and a male friend who never smiled but stared at me entire visit!
(link to Facebook Video,  it may not be visible to all viewers)  We chanced upon a group listening to music and they offered us a seat.  We found out afterwards it was a funeral celebration.  People wore white headbands and I presume the immediate family were the ones in all white.  Inside the shop was a small altar in honor of the deceased.  How lovely so many people welcome us with open arms!
Gma_Bev_Hoi_An_funeral
December 19, 2014 at 10:05am

Sorry for all the videos but pictures just don’t convey enough of what we are experiencing.  It’s akin to walking on another planet.  No better…no worse….just different.  Amazing how you mingle with locals they accept you right away.  In every city so far I have walked many miles by myself, day and night, and have felt perfectly safe.  And all the people who initiate a hug with me….mind blowing!
December  (Facebook Video)
MERRY CHRISTMAS! I was sitting outside a mall in Hue, Vietnam when I noticed 3 girls waiting for someone. The 2 cute 10-year olds spied me and began giggling and nudging each other. I knew each was daring the other to approach me. Finally they got up the courage and introduced themselves. In chatting, they mentioned they learned a Christmas song in English. The third gitl was a big sister. Aren’t they adorable. I’ve been so busy, I forgot to post this!
December 22, 2014 at 7:37pm

Just had to share as i thought it was cute what Nam wrote.  He and his girlfriend are going to meet with us at the airport this Friday before we fly to Saigon.

Gma Bev and Nam Hue Vietnam

Ready for our Christmas Eve dinner cruise in Hoi An, Vietnam!  My 10-year granddaughter Anya!
All packed and ready to go to airport in an hour.  Saigon get ready for me!!!
Gma Bev Hoi An Vietnam working it

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)

A NOTE FROM SAIGON…..I am now officially an expert at crossing the street!

Gma_Bev_Saigon_Street

(link to Facebook Video, it may not be visible to all viewers)  A little after 1 am, I finally decided to investigate where the loud music was coming from.  A birthday party on a Monday night!  They insisted I join them.  It’s 2:30 am….just got back to my room, only to discover Heidi, Alan and Anya were still up having a pickle party!
Gma_Bev_Saigon_Party
January 1 at 1:07am
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM VIETNAM!

First picture is the requisite McDonalds.  We are staying right across from KFC.  (Pls. view prior post to see how I risk my life just to get a chicken/biscuit!)

Third pic is the only post office at least in this district.  9 million people in Ho Chi Minh, 8 districts.  AND, no mailboxes!  You must go to P.O.  Heidi and Lars in front of P.O. And Alan and Anya at the tunnels used in Vietnam war by the North.

I love you all and I especially send a big hug to my husband who is being such a good sport about my not being there!

January 2 at 9:16am
Actually at bus waiting to go to Cambodia.  So long Vietnam!
Thanks for reading through all of her updates.  Now you get to read about her scams!

Scam, Bam, Bam, Thank You Ma’am in Viet Nam!  (by Gma Bev)

SCAM
There was a slight drizzle as we embarked from the shuttle at the entrance to our hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam.  We were immediately surrounded by women attempting to sell us $1 dollar ponchos.  We all politely declined and walked on.
After unpacking, I returned outside and the six vultures quickly descended upon me again.  This time I was only holding my camera encased in a wallet, an umbrella and my requisite Pepsi.
One asked if she could exchange her one’s for a twenty.  I willingly obliged as she counted out the money in her partner’s hands. (Remember my hands were full.)  She slapped down a ten then counted out ten ones and handed them to me as I gave her a 20 in return.  
Another lady then said, “Oh, me, too!”  We repeated the process and they thanked me profusely.  I walked off feeling proud that I was being so nice.  Later, back at the room, I discovered they had only given me the ten one’s in each case!  One demerit for me.  And, of course, they were all long gone.  Please note that $20 for them is way more than one day’s wages.
BAM
In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), population 9 million, there are over 3 million people on mopeds.  They not only drive over all the streets with no stop lights to speak of and absolutely no street signs at all, they also drive and park all over the sidewalks.  One has to get used to walking in the obstacle course as pedestrians have no right-of-way anywhere.
I was on the edge of the sidewalk talking pictures which aforesaid camera encased in a wallet.  The wallet had a silver ring with a lanyard encased around my wrist. I was being savvy by now!
Gma Bev PhoneWithin half a second, a man on a moped whipped right by me, grabbed my wallet and was on his merry way.  I was so stunned, my arms were still in the air with the silver ring dangling from the lanyard still around my wrist!  Alan went with me and I purchased a $150 temporary replacement.
BAM
Undaunted, I was still determined to take pictures of the city.  Four days later I was again on the sidewalk, but this time, no purse, no wallet and grasping the very small phone with both hands against my chest.
I, once again, saw a motorcycle quickly swerve towards me with a lady driver and male passenger.  He not only grabbed the phone, but drug it up my chin and across my face all in a matter of about 1/10th of a second and they, too, didn’t even slow down!  
These people are professionals.  He did not even have time to communicate to the driver.  They were totally in sync.  I did get another very, very cheap replacement; however, took no more pictures until we left Saigon forever!
Note from Heidi:   She forgot to mention the we tried to do due diligence and report the theft of her first phone.  We were told we could find tourist police near the market.  We walked over to the market and found this nice man (tourist police).  He tried his best to inform us where we needed to go.  He even wrote the address and directions on Gma Bev’s hand, but we couldn’t read it.  Oh well.
Saigon reporting stolen phoneSaigon reporting stolen phone (1)
She also made some good friends in Saigon, so it wasn’t all bad.  We stayed at the Bali B Hotel in District 1 and here are some friends Gma Bev made along the way.
Dung at the Bali B Hotel Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam - valet/ guard out front of texas chicken

Well, there you have it. Luckily she wasn’t harmed in any of these situations, but she could have been.  Let’s just say she has been far more cautious since this all occurred and she welcomed Cambodia with open arms.

We are doing our best to capture it all for you, as we know you are curious.  Thanks for following along, we really appreciate it.  Please feel free to ask any questions or tell us what you think in the comments below.

Read more about our
Adventure333 (3 Generations, 3 Months, 3 Countries) 
Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia

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About Heidi

Heidi has a passion for travel and has been exploring the world with her husband and 2 kids, since August 2012. She's visited more than 50 countries and loves to write about their family adventures, mishaps and costs. She has been an inspiration to others wanting to live their dreams. Her travel tips, planning posts, cost breakdowns, accommodation, and product reviews are also very popular. Her current home base is in Spain. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, there is no extra cost for you and we may receive a commission.

6 thoughts on “Gma Bev’s Shenanigans In Vietnam – Scams Too!

  1. Wow! Gma Bev!
    Glad you weren’t hurt! Maybe you need to duct tape everything to your body.
    Glad to hear Saigon wasn’t all bad.

    • Ha! We didn’t think of duct tape. That probably would have worked well. She has been having the best time everywhere we go. It is so much fun to see her free after raising a million kids (okay maybe only 9, but it is loads).

  2. Thank goodness Grandma Bev is okay! After having our camera pickpocketed in Sri Lanka and then having our bank card stolen in Cape Town, we can relate. Hope Cambodia is scam-free!

  3. Oh my gosh! Wow, even! Scary stuff but amazing how resilient and positive Bev stays throughout your travels. Love her spirit and glad she was unharmed.

    • I know, I know! Let’s just say that Vietnam was a little rough on her. I forgot to even mention her blowing up at the tour guide to the Cu Chi Tunnels. I’ll let her tell that story.

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