Waiting outside Binh Thanh Market to meet a cooking tour. Approached by a cyclo as I had missed the group somehow. I continued to wait and chatted to him. He then said he could take me to the second meeting place, just down the road. I continued to wait and he continued to chat. Finally I agreed too with him for15000 VND, a price he set.
He took me down back streets, supposedly looking for the place. Finally met up with his friend, a motor bike rider. They had a lengthy discussion, then set off with motorbike in the lead and my guy following. After a bit, on a quiet road my guy said he was tired and I had to go with the bike. They knew I had a time limit to be at the meeting place which was approaching. As I got on the motor bike my guy asked me to pay. I took out my wallet. As I opened it he said he would help, took out 3 500,000VND notes. As I protested he produced a typed note saying cyclo city tour 1,500,000. He gave the bike rider one 500,000 and kept two for himself, about $75, then waved the bike on. I did get to the meeting place, so I guess in a way I was lucky.
I will never go on a cyclo again, although 10 years ago in Hanoi we used them frequently and always paid our guys well over what they asked.
My husband was also scammed about $30 in a taxi change, number of zeros rort.
Two major scams in 2 days. I guess coming from Aus we are pretty naive and not careful with our money or our safety, but I don't think HCMC is a safe city at all. I won't be going back.