Central Vietnam seafood eatery cheats foreign guests

By Xuan Ngoc   February 9, 2019 | 05:07 pm GMT+7
Central Vietnam seafood eatery cheats foreign guests
Police work with a man (C) whose restaurant in Nha Trang has been accused of overcharging customers. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Some Malaysian customers were billed over VND9 million ($387.76) for a meal at a Nha Trang seafood restaurant. 

A group of Malaysians visiting the famous beach town of Nha Trang in central coastal province of Khanh Hoa during Lunar New Year holiday decided to have a meal at seafood restaurant near the beach Thursday.

After finishing their meal of about 10 dishes, they were shocked with a bill of over VND9 million ($387.76). They were charged VND500,000 ($21.54) per plate for fried eggs with tomato, VND200,000 ($8.62) for a portion of white rice, and VND300,000 ($12.93) for a portion of boiled okra.

Usually, the three dishes in total would cost some VND100,000 ($4.31).

When the travel company responsible for the group of tourists failed to get a satisfactory explanation from the restaurant, they contacted local tourism authorities. 

When contacted, Nguyen Van Phung, the restaurant owner said that he and some other investors had already transferred ownership to another through an intermediary on February 2. As a result, he was no longer aware of the restaurant’s activities.  

Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, deputy director of Khanh Hoa Department of Tourism, said that she had received the information for this case and working to clarify the matter.

Such scams are not uncommon in Vietnam despite occasional crackdowns by local authorities.

Fining people who harass and cheat foreigners does not seem to be an effective deterrent, many people on social media have commented, blaming weak law enforcement for the continued fraud on visitors, tarnishing the country’s image and discouraging tourists from returning.

Vietnam welcomed an estimated 1.5 million international visitors in January 2019, a rise of 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office.

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