Vietnam Postal Service / Taxing packages
The Vietnam Postal Service is a sham filled with corruption! After taking a trip to Vietnam and being well taken care of by a local family in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), I decided to send some gifts to to the hosting family. Unknown by me at the time, it came along with some unintended consequences. They all love things from the US, especially things that they can't get there. I decided to send clothing. When it arrived, my friends were told that they have to pay a tax on the gifts by the Vietnam Post Office. They didn't give a reason and didn't even open the package. I sent maybe a $100 USD of clothing, but when it arrived they had to pay $1 million dong (approx $60 USD) just to pick it up. I was very disappointed and disgusted that my gift had cost the family so much money and that the corrupt employees of the Vietnam Postal Service would take advantage of the Vietnamese people. $1 million dong is a lot of money for most people in Vietnam and it was certainly a lot for my friend. That was about 1/3 of her income for the entire month. Vietnam continues to be corrupt and takes advantage of it's own people with this type of scam. Hopefully someday they can get further away from all the corruption that goes along with being communist, but for now if you decide to send a gift there BEWARE, it could come at a high cost the recipient. Think about it before sending anything to Vietnam through the postal service!