Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vietnam: Budget, Takeaway Thoughts and Tips

Vietnam, particularly HCMC, is a simple country. Simple, clean, and relatively uncomplicated. The language barrier will be a fun challenge. Not everyone speaks English, but the locals were quite nice and helpful.

A monk in the streets

If you are itching for a different adventure, Mui Ne is a good option. The bus ride from HCMC is just 5 hours. 

Sand dunes, anyone?

Here's the table of expenses for our Vietnam leg of the Indochina trip. Some costs are divided by two because I have a travel buddy this time.


VIETNAM EXPENSES
USD
VND


Arrive in airport


Supermarket purchase: Water and jackfuit chips

   11,300.00
Entrance fee in Reunification Palace

30,000.00
Avocado Shake

35,000.00
Entrance fee in War Remnants Museum

15,000.00
Pre-dinner Meal at Pha Lau Li

39,000.00
Dinner near hotel

73,500.00
Water from K-mart

   9,000.00
Bich Duyen for two nights - $17 per night - double bed, 2 nights
17.00

Pick-up service from airport - for the whole taxi - $14
   7.00

Bus from HCMC to Mui Ne
      6.00






Bahn Mi Sandwich at bus stop

 20,000.00
Jeep tour in Mui Ne
8.00

Fairy Stream tip to kids (too much!)

75,000.00
Sled rent - VND 100,000 per sled

50,000.00
Overnight in Mui Ne backpackers - $25/night for a poolside room
12.50

Dinner at Bamboo Bamboo, Mui Ne

82,000.00



Day 3: Bus back to HCMC, Pasalubong Shopping


Bus going back to HCMC
  6.00

Croissant snack at bus stop

15,000.00
Ben Thahn Market food

41,000.00

75,500.00
Water

   6,600.00
Trung Nguyen G7 instant coffee - 2 packs

96,000.00
Vinatural Jackfruit Chips

67,400.00





Lunch during tour

80,000.00
Entrance fee of Cu Chi Tunnel

90,000.00
Mineral Water

    7,000.00
Dinner

96,000.00
Iced Coffee in the streets

10,000.00
Bich Duyen for two nights - $17 per night - double bed, 2 nights
17.00

Cu Chi Cao Dai Tour
   8.00

Bus to PP - Mekong Express
14.00

Total in USD/VND
95.50
1,024,300.00
USD to VND conversion (1 USD = 20,700)

20,700.00
Expenses in USD
95.50
49.48
USD rate (rate that I bought my USD)
42.00
       42.00
Expenses in PHP
4,011.00
    2,078.29
Total in PHP

6,089.29



















































Other expenses not in the table:
MNL-SGN airfare via 5J - with 15kg luggage: PHP 1,313.00
Airport terminal fee: Php 550.00
Travel Tax: Php 1,620

Some takeaway thoughts and tips:
  • The money changer in the airport gave the best rate with no charges. The other money changers around the backpacker's area charge a fee. 
  • Learn how to say "Thank you" in Vietnamese: Cám ơn (Gahm uhn). Use the phrase whenever you can.
  • To get across that motorcycle-filled street, just cross. Or follow someone who looks like an expert in crossing the streets
  • Please try their iced coffee!
  • Haggle your way in the markets
  • Print your own map from google maps. The hotel provided us with a map but I found Googlemaps more accurate.
  • It would help if you read a bit about the country's history.
Filipinos in Vietnam?
A waitress immediately identified us as Filipinos when we sat down and ordered. She said she watched Filipino soap operas everyday - like Mara Clara, and another soap opera that I can't remember. True enough, we found Kim and Gerald speaking Vietnamese on TV!


2 comments:

  1. Hi, I have just discovered your blog yesterday when I was searching for Indochina diy trips. So far, your blog has been the most informative and most detailed blog that I have found! And I have read tons of travel blogs already and following lots of them - but your blog really stands out when it comes to the information. It really helps a lot in planning my Indochina trip next year. By the way, does this blog has an FB page where I can follow its real time feed? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Christine! Thanks for dropping by and thank you for your kind workds. This blog has no FB page. I plan to finish the Indochina trip this year. Hope I can share all the useful details in time for your trip. Come back soon. :)

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