"Locals may try to secure your trust, then flip" Hanoi Warnings Or Dangers Tip by leafjumper
Hanoi Warnings and Dangers: 99 reviews and 78 photos
I had such a great day until I got mugged just outside of Hanoi by a guy who spent the previous 6 hours warming up to me.
He spoke english pretty well and was convincing in his desire to learn more, shared an interest in food, different cultures. He related he was attempting to be a tour guide and wanted to brush up on his English so he could get a job.
I was suprised he invested that much time and effort into the process. We went out to a food spot and chatted, walked around Hoan Kiem Lake and the turtle temple, he took me to a great place for a hair cut. He showed me slowly how to ride a motorbike, then we went together to a small town where pottery is made.
After stopping for snacks and a beer, (I paid for both) we were 12 miles south of Hanoi as I checked my googlephone to make sure we were getting back on track. Then, he pulls alongside another motorbiker, we both veer off the side of the road onto a quiet, peaceful road and he stops the bike, asks to see my phone and the other biker swiftly draws a machete to my neck, I am in a headlock, and my new tour guide friend pulls a small pistol and points it at me. I surrender completely as they took off with my camera and phone and about $100. Luckily I left my passport and wallet in my room.
I was left there with the smell of blood on my neck, echoes of thrilled laughter, and nothing in my pockets aside from my room key, miles away from town and it was getting dark.
I walk for 20 minutes and am able to show a family what happened by using sherades and their kids as actors, and I turn from a crazy white guy to someone who needs help. They luckily knew someone with a car and 3 friends of theirs packed in the car with me and took me back to Hanoi. I was treated for a minor slash in the back of my neck at the French Hospital when I returned to where I was staying.
It seems very likely this guy has done this before, and I was in a bit of shock the entire rest of the day (still am a bit this morning). I feel like I encountered a human virus, collecting more data about english so he can better strike next time.
I met him after ignoring a request from some other woman on the street in the old quarter that I donate some money to help against city corruption. Then this guy comes up telling me I shouldn't trust her. And wow, shouldn't trust him! What a wake up call!