How cheap is Vietnam

Prices and price level in Vietnam

First of all: Vietnam is one of the cheapest travel countries anywhere. Those who limit themselves to the bare minimum - a bed in the dormitory and meals from cookshops - can already get by on a budget of 10 euros per day. A price level of around 25-30 euros is realistic for an air-conditioned single or double room, average meals and transport costs, entrance fees or the like. At the top, the scale is of course open: For dreamy luxury resorts on the beach and the most famous hotel legends in Saigon, several hundred euros per night can easily be turned down.

The official currency in Vietnam is the dong, but most hotels and hostels quote their prices in US dollars and are happy to use the dollar as a means of payment. A bed in a dormitory is around $ 6-8 a night, and a basic single or double room, or a basic beach bungalow, is $ 20-25 a night. These prices often include other things such as breakfast or pick-up at the airport, and many hotels in this price range already have a small swimming pool.

For prices of $ 40-50 per night there are solid mid-range hotels with all sorts of amenities - spacious rooms with large beds, air conditioning, TVs and refrigerators, as well as swimming pools and their own restaurants with breakfast buffets.

Price level for food and drink

As everywhere in Southeast Asia, the costs for the physical well-being mainly depend on where you eat: The countless cookshops serve a small bowl of Pho Bo or noodles with chicken for prices of 1-2 $. In simple restaurants you have to reckon with around 5 US dollars for a typical "rice and chicken" meal with a cold drink. For a meal in an upscale restaurant in the big cities, for example with fresh fish and a glass of wine, a price level like in Europe is due.

A small bottle of water costs around 30 euro cents, a can of cola 40 cents and a can of local beer a maximum of 50 cents.

Prices for transportation in Vietnam

Even with the price level for transport costs, Vietnam is unbeatably cheap - however, the dirt cheap tickets for long-distance buses also include a slow journey in uncomfortable buses with (for Europeans) too tight seats. Tourist “Open Top” buses are more expensive but also more convenient and faster. The same goes for the train - unbeatably cheap, but slow and rather inconvenient. For longer distances, a domestic flight is therefore usually the better choice. If you book some time in advance, you can get from Hanoi to Nha Trang or from Saigon to Danang for around 50 euros. The “race track” Hanoi-Saigon can be booked for just under 100 euros.

A taxi on site should actually be very cheap - with a kilometer price of 12,000 dong (40 euro cents). However, foreign tourists are often taken advantage of. If you then have to pay five US dollars for three kilometers, you shouldn't get upset but think about what would be due in Germany for this route.

If you want to rent a car, depending on the vehicle - a simple car for the city or an off-road vehicle for the country - you have to reckon with a price level of around $ 50 to $ 100 per day. In many cases, a car can also be rented with a local chauffeur. A liter of gasoline costs (you could cry) the equivalent of around 85 euro cents.

Prices and price level in Vietnam:
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Save face and act

There are two things to consider: Many prices are negotiable in Vietnam. Those who appear humble and smiling in a friendly manner have a clear advantage in trading compared to those who “demand” cheaper offers with Western arrogance and impatience. Nothing is as important to Asians as “saving face” and of course that also applies to the Vietnamese.

The other is inflation: the prices given here refer to the end of 2013 and of course they can change. The dong lost around 15% of its value during the Asian economic crisis, and the price level has stabilized since then. It remains to be seen whether the rapid economic growth in Vietnam will continue in the next few years.