Anyone else travelling in vietnam throughout august? Im coming with a mate and a bit nervous as never back packed before. Anyone tell me how much i should take to spend for 3 weeks? is it expensive?
#1 kfitz7151 has been a member since 19/7/2010. Posts: 5
You can find good hotels own room + shower for around $7-10 Aus and food is usually excellent and around $3 sit down and $1 street vendor. There are some lovely people in Vietnam, however, beware. I've travelled in several SE Asian countries over last 30 years and Vietnam is one of the worst for dishonourable / dishonest behaviour - ie. changing the deal. My last trip there was with my family of 4 and it was an almost daily experience that a previously agreed upon deal would increase in price for a trumped up reason or no reason at all. This also applies to hotels, transport etc. Write it down ! And stay very polite and FIRM. Don't leave your passport with anyone for any reason. Allow them to copy it in your presence. Hotels must register you and they usually do this online and it takes 5 min. They do not have to keep it - pay up front if need be.
If you discover you paid more than someone else for something relax, you agreed remember ? But don't let them try to change the deal. We even got out of a minibus in the middle of nowhere and waited for another one. It took a while. Learn some language and you'll meet some special people.
#2 shockster has been a member since 11/7/2010. Posts: 2
It sounds like shockster has quite a bit of experience in Vietnam, so I can't say he or she is wrong, but reading that reply would actually make a person much more nervous than when you started.
In my own experience, which is the four months I spent all over Vietnam earlier this year, I never once had any of that stuff happen to me. Admittedly I didn't take too many taxis or motorbike taxis and that kind of transport definitely can lead to those kinds of problems. But with hotels I left my passport with them, just as they always request, and when I paid at the end the price was always what was initially quoted. In fact, I stayed for 15 days at a hotel in Dalat, and when I checked out the owner actually lowered my rate because I stayed so long (and I had asked about it when I arrived).
Airport taxis seem to be the worst offenders, and that's actually true all around the world, so if you want to take one it's probably a good idea to book a hotel (by email) first and have them arrange the ride. It'll be the same price and they are unlikely to screw with you since that would jeopardize your hotel stay.
Speaking of that, you can almost always find a room upon arrival quite easily without a reservation, but nearly every popular hotel will also take email reservations with no deposit. There are stories of some hotels not holding these email reservations, but overall I recommend it because you have nothing to lose and some of the best places do get full in advance.
Shockster's price estimates are right on. I think Hanoi, Sapa, and Saigon are a bit more expensive than all the other tourist cities in Vietnam, but even in those places you can get by on very little if your budget is limited.
Backpacking in Vietnam is very easy, even if you only know English. For example, you can get a load of laundry done for you for around $2 through most hotels or with a short walk down the road. Every tourist city will have loads of restaurants with menus translated into English, and prices are only a bit more than at the locals' places nearby, so yes, filling and delicious meals are usually around $2 to $4. And the average menu at these places is 20 to 30 pages long (no joke) and will have locals dishes and pasta and sandwiches and plenty of other things, so even if you don't like the local food you'll have no problem finding cheap and decent Western food.
I had a wonderful experience in Vietnam last year. No one tried to rip me off, except for one lady in Hue who overcharged me for ice cream -- she cheated me out of 25 cents One American guy, who also paid a little extra, got incensed at this and started screaming at her. It is not worth getting upset over so little money. When I arrived in Hanoi the travel agency did not have a taxi waiting as promised. I took cab to my hotel for $15.00. When I called the agency they were very apologetic and sent a courier to my hotel with a re-imbursement for my cab fare.
I used taxis, buses and stayed in hotels and I got everything that was promised.
#4 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106
How much would you take to vietnam for 3 weeks if u were just gonna stay in beach huts etc and not eat in big expensive places? How much GPB would u take
#5 kfitz7151 has been a member since 19/7/2010. Posts: 5
between $20.00 and $30.00 per days is more than enough
#6 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106
What is the currency in vietnam and what is ment by 20 and 30? Is that dollars?
#7 kfitz7151 has been a member since 19/7/2010. Posts: 5
Yes US Dollars. The currency is the Dong. The exchange rate is 18,000 dong to the US Dollar.
#8 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106
While there are a few scams around in Vietnam, it's no big deal. I'm coming back for trip #4 soon, but I do take a few precautions. I rarely ever take cabs, and when I do, I insist on Mai Linh Group cabs or a cab sent by my hotel to pick me up at the airport. I never accept an offer on the street. I have never been robbed or cheated in this country, and consider it far far safer than my home country (USA). This is Asia, and I expect customs and practices to be different from what I'm used to - just use common sense and you'll love this place! I live like a king on $40. - $50. USD a day (no, I do not tip, as is the custom in SE Asia).
#9 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,112
Today's conversion rate (July 20 2010) is 19,090VND to the USD from xe.com
#10 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,112
"no, I do not tip, as is the custom in SE Asia"
In Thailand tipping is customary, but it's usually small amounts. Can't speak for Vietnam though.
#11 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Vietnam is easy going, really nice to be. for 3 weeks, I'd think in GBP 600-700 would be enough.
I used about 2000 € in 2,5 months last year but I really was living like a king as #9. Stayed in good hotels, sometimes a beach resort (hoi an) and had a party every day until the morning!
you can manage a lot longer with your money if you want to but what the hell, it's all for fun.
Don't be nervous! As others have said - it's really easy to travel in Vietnam and is relatively safe. There's a standard tourist route (primarily up / down the coast) which is well organised for bus and train travel and also means you're likely to meet other people on your trip too. I have never felt unsafe here anyway. Just take the usual precautions regarding personal possessions - i.e. keep tight hold of them! - and you shouldn't have any problems. Last year we managed on about £20 per day each on average - but it depends where you're staying and what your standards are like. Have fun!
Oh you will be ripped off at some point. It's the Vietnamese way of making money. Just smile and accept it? Like hell! Even when it comes to buying such mundane things as flowers. It is not unheard of them to agree a price, wrap them up for you and then try and charge you double. You're a foreigner, you must be rich! But don't lose sleep over it. I just told the woman to stuff the flowers and walked away.
I've been here nor for over 7 months and I suppose about 4 people have tried to rip me off.... two being taxi drivers.
But you will find, in the main, most Vietnamese are very friendly people, will make you feel welcome even at rock bottom priced establishments. Try to use Dongs throughout your journey. Less chance of being ripped off with exchange rates conversions. Use ATM's, as mentioned the rate is changing, currently over 19000 VND to 1USD. If you use Dongs and get a 500000 dong note, keep it separate. Less chance of getting confused with a 20000d note which is nearly the same colour. If you stay away from the tourist traps you can eat and drink very cheaply indeed. As mentioned $40/day will see you through.
#14 69bertie has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 90