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Why you should only use Grab in Vietnam

Grab in Vietnam

When you are taking taxis there are a number of remains you should only use Grab in Vietnam, or at the very least one of the other taxi hailing apps within the country.

Why is this you may ask? Well prior to Grab and other taxi hailing apps within Vietnam your chances of getting ripped off were extremely high. This has changed a bit, but sadly not so much if you go “off the meter”.

What the Grab Taxi

Grab taxi is the Uber of South-East Asia and as such introduced a fixed rate and being able to rate and be rated by your driver. They did this using not just cars, but also whatever transport medium there was in the respective country.

This means bikes in Indonesia and Vietnam, Trikes in the Philippines and TukTuks in Cambodia to name, but a few examples.

Photo: Tuoi Tre News

There are of course other options within such as GoJek in Vietnam, which are also very good, but no one quite has the reach of Grab, who are now most everywhere within the country.

Why you should use Grab in Vietnam

If you do not use Grab in Vietnam you risk many things, some much more serious than others. One example of this is the fixed taxi meter in Hanoi. Basically you get in the taxi, but the meter goes up like crazy turning a $5 ride into a $50 one. Usually you can get away from this by simpler putting up a fight, because even off the police dud get involved you should win. Overall though who wants this.

Also the fact that Grab also track you means you have less chance of being robbed, or indeed worse. Vietnam is generally a safe country, but nowhere is perfect.

By linking your card you also get to avoid the whole “I have no change scam”, which will inevitably come whether you use Grab, or not. Again this can be mitigated by insisting on getting change, or as I stated using your card.

Using Grab though will not stop you being hassled with you getting mobbed at any train station, airport and tourist area. The most popular thing to hear at this point is “I grab”, “I same price as Grab”. All very well, but this seriously negates one of the main reason for Grab in Vietnam, avoiding getting ripped off and safety.

To read about taking the train from Saigon to Da Nang click here.

Never use Grab Bike in Vietnam without the app

Perhaps the most obnoxious and indeed dodgy of taxi drivers in Vietnam are the Grab Bike Drivers. Now I cannot work out if they buy their hat and shirt, or if Grab throw them out like confetti, but everyone has one.

Now I like taking Grab Bike, particularly in Bali, but in Vietnam the chat always goes the same way, particularly up by walking street “Hey you want taxi, I Grab”, “No” “I Grab”. “No”, and then “You want drugs, you want girls” etc etc etc. This is something I really thing Grab should do something about….

Som while we can never get rid of dodgy drivers, at least by using and encouraging the use of Grab and other apps, we can at least mitigate the risks and hopefully push the bad eggs to the bottom of the pile.