I was in Hanoi for two weeks to get my Muay Thai visa for Thailand. Since I lived in Saigon previously, I just don't know anyone in Hanoi so I figured I would jump on a few dating apps to potentially meet a girl for drinks or whatever.
Wow, honestly Hanoi girls really suck. It's 90% scammers and 10% normal girls. I'm glad I was there to get my visa because I now know that I will NEVER live in Hanoi as a single guy. I loved my life in Saigon and miss Vietnam very much and will pick Saigon over Hanoi any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Don't get me wrong, Hanoi is lovely, the people are quite nice and friendly and most girls there are normal and nice. But dating apps are totally useless in that city. It's better to visit there with your girlfriend, wife or a group of friends and enjoy everything that the city has to offer.
By contrast, Saigon is 98% normal girls on dating apps with the odd bar girl who is trying to trick you into coming to where they work so you can pay for their drinks so they get a commission or a straight up prostitute who wants to move the conversation off the dating app quickly and come to your place.
What's the scam exactly?
Simple, you match with young attractive girls on dating apps and they all want to meet for dinner or drinks near Ma May street:
This is the main tourist area and the girls will try to take you to bars, clubs and restaurants where they get a commission.
They will lie to you and tell you they live near here, but its the main bar area in the city and no one lives here.
One popular spot they try to get you in is the Hanoi Circle club:
As I stated I was on a few dating apps, I was quite confused that the majority of girls I matched with:
1) Wanted to meet right away.
This is not normal behavior for women. Women are cautious of meeting men because they worry about their safety and a lot of girls just use dating apps for attention.
In normal setting you talk on a dating app and then funnel the conversation over to Instagram, WhatsApp or Zalo (a Vietnamese communication app). I was thrown off with girls wanting to meet right away at Ma May street.
I knew something was up obviously because this is not normal behavior for an attractive twenty something girl.
2) All wanted to meet in the same area
All of them picked the same exact spot to meet. They also say "I live near here" and to come pick them up or some variation of that. The reality is they just want to get you in that area and then pick a place where they get a commission.
They would also never pick a specific place to go and just wanted to meet on this street (weird). The reason is that they don't want to share the places they want to take you is because if you have half a brain, you'll research it like the Hanoi Club and find out it's obvious scam.
3) A lot of them only wanted to communicate on a dating app
Normal girls ask for your IG, WhatsApp or Zalo and then continue the conversation there. Hanoi scam girls would say stupid things to me like "I only have XYZ dating app."
Oh wow, so I meet the only 20 year old girl in the world with no Instagram or Zalo? Red flag obviously. I'm not stupid and knew there was some sort of scam going on.
I decided to meet a girl for dinner
So I already figured out this was all bullshit, but I was curious so I decided to meet a girl at Ma May street and see what this was all about.
She stated she wanted to meet for dinner, but when we meet at Ma May street she then tried to get me to Circle Club once we meet.
The old bait and switch.
I insisted on getting dinner so we went to an outdoor barbeque restaurant that she recommended. I figured food would be cheap but I wanted to see what would happen.
We ordered three items, but they ended up bringing out multiple dishes that ended up totaling 1.4 million dong worth of food.
Once the food came out she told me she had to go shopping and if she could leave. Totally weird and I told her that we just got here and ordered food and it's rude for you to leave but she insisted and left.
So I was sitting there outside at this table with a ton of food like an asshole.
1.4 million dong worth of food is $50, so it's not a huge amount. Anyways, I simply drank my beer and ate the food. In the middle of eating the owner came up to me and asked me to pay now and that he would walk me to the ATM if I needed it.
That's straight up rude. I told him no, go away and I'll pay when I'm done. He backed down and said sorry as I was not having it.
Then 30 minutes later the girl showed up again and said she wanted to go for a walk, I said no and told her to sit down and eat, she said no and walked away. I told her to pay for her orange juice that she ordered that she left on the table.
Overall 1 million for average food is very expensive. A normal nice place that you would take a girl out costs roughly 700K Dong for a streak dinner for two and drinks.
Once the bill came I told them I would pay for what I had, excluding a few random things they delivered and ended up paying 1 million Dong or $40.
The scam continues
So I guess I'm lucky that I avoided being fleeced for serious cash, but I'm over 40 years old and this is not my first trip around the sun. I already knew that this was some sort of scam and went willingly.
So for the rest of the week I ended up just having fun and wasting these girls time saying I would meet them:
Hanoi Girls suck
So Hanoi was an interesting experience. These girls have no problem wasting a man's time and money. It's clearly some mafia, organized crime thing going on here so I don't suggest fighting anyone or trying to get revenge.
Just be aware of the scam and if you're like me, waste these girls time by telling them you'll meet them and making them walk to and wait at random locations near Ma May.
I told the girls there sure I'll meet you, oh hey I'm at this cafe. Oh sorry I moved I'm over here now. Oh, I'm now in Circle Club etc. If you do want to insult a woman the worst thing you can call them begins with a W. It's what women use to insult each other.
There are normal girls mind you!
I just want to be clear that there are normal, nice women you can meet in Hanoi. The issue are the overwhelming amount of girls you meet on dating apps. Please don't assume all women are like this in Hanoi because they are not.
But this is scam is so prevalent (80% of the girls I matched and talked to) I need to mention it in order to help other men avoid being fleeced out of hundreds of dollars, ruining their trip and having a low opinion of Vietnam.