I took a cyclo ride in Ho Chi Minh city a couple of weeks back.
He said he wanted VND500,000 (about $US22) for a half hour ride. I told him that was ridiculous, and offered him VND200,000 (about $US8) – a fair rate, I thought.
We haggled, and ended up at VND350 – that’s $US15, and an excellent rate of pay in Vietnam for a half hour’s work.
Like the Energiser bunny.
We saw an awful lot of Saigon / HCMC, before I eventually said “Look, I have to head back to my hotel: my wife is waiting”.
So he took me back. Sort of. We actually stopped around 100 metres away from the hotel, where he said he’s been pedalling for two hours – so I owed him 1,400,000, or $US60.
“That’s not my fault,” I responded .. “It was your choice.”
“But I am tired,” he said again -“And I want a beer!”
In the end, I gave him VND500,000 – or about $US22 – and another VND20,000 for a can of beer. Because he HAD been pedalling me around for two hours. And $US25 is pretty good for two hours work in Vietnam.
But I wonder how many tourists would have paid the asked price of $60 – or who would have stuck by the original $15, no matter what?