12 times we were ripped off during Asia-Euro trip 2016

Asia, Europe, Travel

And how you can avoid the same!

12. Sparkling water in Europe

Sparkling water is everywhere in Europe supermarkets! And when the language isn’t in English the difference between the bottles are not well marked. Also, sparkling water is cheaper. Why.

How you can avoid this rip off

They don’t call it sparkling they call it bubbles. Haha! Ask the store clerk if the water has bubbles.

11. Ice-cream in Laos

Sometimes after you’ve been in a country for a while it’s easy to forget to look a price and just assume it’s going to be consistent with what’s it’s been elsewhere. Don’t. At a convenience store in Laos, we almost bought an ice-cream for the equivalent $AUD11.

How you can avoid this rip off

Think with your brain, not your taste buds and convert your prices back to AUD.

10. Ice-cream in Rome

I have a problem. It’s called addiction.


9. Cocktails in Nha Trang, Vietnam

See this pineapple cocktail? Looks good doesn’t it. Three quarters of it is ice cubes.


How you can avoid this rip off

Don’t avoid it – the pineapple is totally worth it!

8. Mount Phousi

Luang Prabang is famous because of the Kuang-Si Waterfalls and old city. After that, I think they are stretching their limits for ‘sites to see’. I went on Trip Advisor to see what of the limited options were available. There is a hill that you can climb and it overlooks the town. So we tried to climb the hill. We made it halfway up the mountain and then. THEN they request 20,000 KIP or $3 to WALK UP A HILL. I’m not paying to exercise. I didn’t even know this was a site until we got here! No.

How you can avoid this rip off

Don’t bother climbing half the hill

7. Landing Fee in Bangkok

Wherever possible, we’ve tried to use local transport. The cheapest way to get from our hotel to the Grand Palace in Bangkok was by paying for a ferry. That was fine. When we arrived at our destination, we were told we needed to pay a landing fee! A fee for arriving at that dock!

How you can avoid this rip off

Just hire a tuk-tuk for the day, it’s affordable and less confusing.


6. The bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang

You pay for your bus. It takes you four hours and then inconveniently drops you at the bus station on the outskirts of the city instead of in the city centre. Tuk Tuk drivers know you have no choice but to catch them and monopolise the market/set their own prices. You’ll end up paying half your bus price again for them to take you 5km down the road. Once we were on our Tuk Tuk, the tuk tuk driver actually had no idea where our (and the other four couples) hotels were and tried to just dump us in the middle of town.

How you can avoid this rip off

Talk to your hotel and ask they recommend a bus that drops into the centre of town instead of a the bus station

5. Additional Car Hire Fees

I hate additional car hire fees. I don’t understand why it costs so much to register a second driver to the vehicle (seriously, it takes 5 minutes of your administration time, why does it cost me $8 a day?) or why they can charge a $90 ‘administration fee’ if you’ve missed a toll/need to pay a ticket. The car company told me based on the general insurance claim I had, if I caused any form of accident I would be immediately out of pocket $4,000. What if it was a scratch? Would you really charge me $4,000?

How you can avoid this rip off

I don’t know. If you find out, tell me.

4. The bus stop ticket machine in UAE

The bus stop ticket machine in the UAE ate our money and did not given us our tickets. When we talked to the sales counter they told us they could see what our problem was but did not have the authority to fix the issue and we would have to go to some office somewhere to ask them to fix the issue. But we didn’t have time for that so goodbye money.

How you can avoid this rip off

Don’t use the machine. Use the sales counter.

3. People that carry your luggage at airports

I hate these people. The ones that force their assistance upon you and then demand money for it. In Jordan, we were 10 meters from the taxi bay and a man came up to us implying that he was a taxi driver. He took our luggage and put it in the back of a taxi. A taxi that already had a driver. He wasn’t the driver, he was a random who then requested money for his services.

How you can avoid this rip off

They won’t go away unless your firm. Be firm. Maybe yell. “STOP TOUCHING MY STUFF”

2. Australian Passport Office

Australian Passport Office charge an amount for your passport to last 10 years, however most countries (including Australia) won’t allow visitors that have anything less than 6 months remaining on their passport. So you have to renew your passport before the 10 years ends, so really you’re only paying for 9 and a half months. Jipped. Because we’re moving to Fiji and my passport will have ‘less than six months’ just before the end of my assignment, I’ve had to renew my passport 18 months in advance of it’s expiry. That’s silly.

How you can avoid this rip off

You can’t yet. Hopefully someone smart will make a change here one day.

1. Australia Freakin’ Post.

Australia Post are the worst. After my Fiji job offer I had to express order my passport renewal. I spent HOURS being sent from store to store with conflicting instructions on how to complete and post the renewal. Express order means completed within 48 hours. Australian Passport Office processed the passport in less than 24 hours. Australia Post then took 7 days to get the passport back to me despite the express post request. I drove in circles around Brisbane trying to reclaim my passport. Anyway as I whinged away to my friends about this, they all had their own stories of trouble with the post office.

How you can avoid this rip off

Dear Australia Post – up your game!

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  • Reply
    February 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    RE UAE they have a hop card now 🙂 & yes we experienced the same thing in Jordan just getting our only 1 luggage and because I feel sorry I told hubby it’s ok but then upon getting the money he just turned without saying thanks.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 1:01 am

    haha number 3 and 5 i learned the hard way! You think, oh how nice they have people to help with luggage…and then the demand and harass you for tips!! ugh!
    kali recently posted…Packing Tips for Long TripsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Emma Margaret
      April 8, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      It drives me crazy! Definitely a culture shock moment!

      For so many cultures it can mean something different:
      1. Just being helpful
      2. Trying to get some money from you
      3. Trying to run away with your stuff!

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