Just returned from 2 weeks in the north of Vietnam. 3D2N Ha Long Bay trip, 4N in SAPA and then the final 4 in Hanoi. For travellers new to this country, below is a list of items and their approximate costs so you know that you are either getting ripped off or the cost is roughly where it should be. I had trouble coming to terms with forking out 20,000VND on a can of coke, but it is actually $1AUD/USD.
Please note that the prices are general and will vary. For Australian and US travellers the easiest way to convert VND->AUD/USD is to move the comma one space to the left, drop the "000's"and then divide by 2.
EG: 45,000VND = move the comma to the left one space = 4,5000 - lose the "000" = 4.5. Divide by 2 = $AU/USD2.25 +/-.
Cafe Latte' ~40-50,000VND
Bottle of water in street ~8-10,000VND
Can of Coke ~20-25,000VND
Beer ~20-40,000VND (local brew ~10,000VND)
Meal in Restaurant varies between 60,000-200,000VND
Taxi ~15,000VND per KM +/-
Cyclo per hour ~40-50,000VNDpp
Fresh Juice ~10-30,000VND.
ATM fee ~200,000-400,000 for transaction with a limit between 4,000,000 - 10,000,000VND. HSBC charge 400,000VND - ANZ only 200,000VND fees.
Everything was in VND and even if it was priced in USD, the conversion is made at $1:20,000VND. An example was I bought a small figure and he said $1USD, so I said 20,000VND and he said yes. Simple. In some hotels, they will display the conversion price for you and you just work it out from there.
Taxi to/from airport will cost about $25-35 for a car - most hotels will provide a pick up service for half this cost so it's worth asking your hotel. Allow for an hour when going back to the airport.
Remember when negotiating a price, a lot of the time you are really haggling over $1-3 and if you pay a little extra - does it really matter (even if it is $5 extra)?? It does to the Vietnamese not to well off westerners that can afford to travel.
Anyway, I hope this helps - if anyone has questions on the above or SAPA or Ha Long Bay, please post.
REMEMBER the prices are general - so don't sue me if you end up paying 50,000VND for a coke and feel ripped off.
#1 Benno has been a member since 18/1/2012. Posts: 36
"ATM fee ~200,000-400,000 for transaction with a limit between 4,000,000 - 10,000,000VND. HSBC charge 400,000VND - ANZ only 200,000VND fees"
I don't understand what you're saying here - I just know that I pay 40,000VND for my ANZ debit withdrawals at their ATM!
I got carried away with my 0's. Transaction fee of between 20,000 & 40,000VND. I was just highlighting that if you withdraw VND from AND tellers, their fee is 20,000. I got slugged 40,000 when I used a HSBC one.
Again when I put my card in one ATM said a maximum of 4,000,000 was able to be drawn and another said I could withdraw 10,000,000.
Again, just highlighting differences.
#3 Benno has been a member since 18/1/2012. Posts: 36
Good of you to take the time to put this info up Benno. So please excuse me for commenting - I realise prices vary so am not saying your prices are wrong, but just want to clarify a couple of things:
The prices you give for beer and coke are restaurant / bar prices - a can of coke in a shop should be under 10,000VND and a beer a little bit more.
Small bottles of water from a shop (OK, so maybe outside of Old Quarter) should only be 5,000VND. Big bottles 10,000VND.
15,000VND per km for a taxi is a bit too high - I've never seen that on a meter. Taxi group are the most expensive and get near to that (14,000VND I think) but Mai Linh is nearer 13,000VND and the small taxis are around 10,000VND. I know we're talking a few cents but sometimes that makes the difference.
Taxi to the airport should only be $12 - 15 and the airport to Hanoi is about $18 - so don't just take a taxi meter and pay $20 - 25. More expensive hotels will charge more of course.
More info on prices in Hanoi here.
These were the prices I encountered in the Old Quarter and quoted to me as an obvious tourist in Vietnam and accept that they are probably higher than what locals pay or we should be paying. As mentioned if I paid 50c more for a bottle of water or 75c more for beer, it is still a lot less than what is being paid her in OZ. I like the idea of a 600ml bottle of Tiger Beer costing only 25,000VND :)
I only took the taxi a few times and it was for short trips & didn't take much notice of the company as the restaurant ordered them so it was probably the expensive one.
In any event, it was a relatively inexpensive holiday.
#6 Benno has been a member since 18/1/2012. Posts: 36
Bia Hoi can be as little as VND 3000 for a small glass :-)
#7 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84
I wanted to clarify that (a) the prices Benno quoted for drinks were correct for a bar, not from a grocery store, (b) that you should be able to get a small bottle of water for 5,000VND - but I appreciate that you're likely to pay more in OQ and (c) that I thought his prices for taxis were a bit too high (taxi prices are quite a big issue for people so it's important to have the right information). OK?