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We also found the Medina impossible and left as soon as possible-and we also were tricked by the "I'm a waiter in your hotel" trick.A scam we nearly fell for was being approached right after the rep meeting in the hotel foyer by a man wearing an ID badge saying he was employed by the tour operator to give free tours of Hammamet because guests did not like being hassled.We were driven through Hammamet to Nabeul not stopping at all and taken to a pottery shop and then a carpet shop.
We did buy some things at the pottery shop and were then taken to the carpet shop.We were given tea and gradually the atmosphere changed from a tour to high pressure selling.We became increasingly alarmed as we were hassled to buy carpets for between £750 and £1200.We escaped by agreeing to buy a carpet but needing to get the money but not doing so.Two ladies did buy a carpet each and we noticed how we were prevented from communicating with each other.
Whilst we mainly enjoyed Tunisia (outside the tourist areas and the South) we will not be returning because you cannot enjoy many things because you are trying to escape the touts.We would never have been suckered in if we had been approached outside of the hotel and will be writing to the tour company to ask why the rep did not mention anything about these things.
Written Mar 18, 2012
With our youngest child in tears from the constant wave of vendors trying to drag him out of our arms and into their shops we went on a horse trap ride to try to get some peace. It all started off ok, a trit trot around town. But then our driver took us to the outskirts of town to a large pottery factory. The workers all stopped working and crowded around us demanding that we HAD to buy something. It was all incredibly expensive and there was nothing we wanted so we tried to be polite and firm but we actually felt uncomfortable and a little threatened, especially with the kids, so we agreed to buy a "magic camel" which we paid through the nose for. Refusing to buy anything else we left feeling that we had made no friends here!
Warning - To be aware. No damage was done (except to our wallet) but it didn't feel right...
Updated Apr 26, 2007
When we visited Nabeul our children were 2yrs & 3yrs at the time. In their money-hungry efforts to get us to their stalls and into their shops the vendors tried to use our kids. They were literally grabbing at them and trying to drag them away from us to their items for sale.
They were literally trying to prize them out of our arms so up onto our shoulders they went and whilst this was better they still were not left alone. Our youngest ended up in floods of tears. It was all very aggressive and, as a Mother, I did get very protective and cross.
There was never any danger- who knows - perhaps we just caught them all on a bad day - afterall it was Ramadan so I bet they were all hungry! However it's neither a pleasant experience to be so aggressively harrased that your kids end up upset!
Updated Apr 24, 2007