Friday, March 9, 2012

Vietnam Travel Guide and Information: Budget Travel in Vietnam

This article discusses relevant tips on handling money when visiting Vietnam. 

Here are some tips on handling your budget while visiting Vietnam:

the Vietnamese Dong

Photo Credit:  http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/asia/vietnam/2008/06/24/162405/Vietnam-trade.htm
1. Exchange your dollar bills to Vietnamese Dong. The value of Vietnamese currency is about USD1 to VD 20.000. In effect, large dollar bills would not be helpful if you plan to shop and dine around the city. For less than a dollar you can already buy a meal. Some Vietnamese tend to withhold change if you pay them in dollars. Don’t fall into letting go of your few bills by changing your dollars to their currency. 


goods sold at Ben Than market

Photo Credit: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-photo/ngrick/13/1282250917/3_inside-ben-thanh-market.jpg/tpod.html
 
2. Know the prices of goods. Admittedly, I am not a good in haggling so I was fooled a lot of times when I bought some items in Vietnam. For example, I bought 25 sachets of coffee for 80,000 VD when I could actually buy 50 sachets for 100,000 VD. Then I bought a small cake along the streets for 10,000 VD when the actual price is 5,000 VD. I really felt bad when I realized my foolishness that I stopped buying anything during my stay.


3. Forego shopping , if you can. Since I am from the Philippines, I am familiar with cheap goods which are also sold in Vietnam. The clothes,bags and other goods that they sell on the streets and the overrated Ben Than Market can be bought at a cheaper prices in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The values of shirts and bags that we saw are twice or even thrice as much as the price in other countries.


4. Look for cheaper tours. The tour packages advertised on the net are twice as much as those you can find along the streets of Ho Chi Minh. I highly recommend Tropic Tours with several offices scattered around District 1. They offer one of the cheapest tour packages in and around Ho Chi Minh. 


tips, tips, tips

Photo Credit: http://soshable.com/social-networking-for-business-8-tips-on-how-to-relate-and-communicate/
 5. Include tips in your budget. Just like in the Philippines, people expect tips after they have served you. Hotel porters tend to linger in the room after they brought your bags waiting for tips. Tour guides also tend to remind you to give him tips. Even waiters from roadside food stalls expect tips. To save yourself from embarrassment, include tips in your budget. I usually give them 30.000 VD or 1 USD. 




1 comment:

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