Vietnam News

American tourist complains about harassment by boatwoman in Ninh Binh

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An American tourist claimed she was harassed and coerced by a boatwoman into buying souvenirs in the northern Ninh Binh Province.

Carol Leong told VnExpress that she and her husband took a boat tour along the Ngo Dong River to visit the Tam Coc– Bich Dong area, famous for its limestone karst mountains and ancient caves, on Jan. 17.

The trip was normal until the ferrywoman showed her some paintings and asked her to buy them for VND200,000 (US$8.20) a piece.

Leong refused, but the woman was insistent and said if she did not buy them immediately the price would increase by VND100,000.

It is not known why but she then apparently gave in to this bizarre threat and agreed to buy three paintings for VND100,000 each.

Though the ferrywoman accepted the prices, she was “not happy,” Leong said.

“The woman did not row the boat anymore and let it float by itself.

“It was my worst travel experience ever.”

Bui Van Manh, director of the Ninh Binh province Department of Tourism, said officials identified the boatwoman, who admitted to selling goods on the boat though this was banned three months ago.

But she denied she coerced Leong to buy souvenirs or acted unpleasantly.

Since the tourists could not provide evidence, she was let off with a warning that any further incidents would see her suspended.

Many foreign tourists have complained about similar experiences while taking boat tours in Ninh Binh.

In 2021 Bonnie, a South African tourist, said on the way back to shore she had to pay VND300,000 ($12.28) for three cans of soft drinks though she did not want to buy them.

By Tu Nguyen – – January 31, 2024

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