Tags: Food, Money, Shopping, Tips, Tour-Vietnam
I know ‘cheap’ and ‘inexpensive’ are 2 very different expressions. When I say ‘Cheap Vietnam’ in this blog post, I really mean ‘Inexpensive Vietnam’. It’s just that ‘cheap’ reads easier on the title
The inspiration for this blog post comes from all the talks about how Vietnam should be sold as a travel destination. Yes, she has pretty beaches and a rich history. But people also need to appreciate how cheap (Ok, inexpensive) Vietnam can be. Even if cost is not an important factor to you, you’ll agree that there’s a special feeling when your $1 can stretch verrrryyyy far.
So I present to you 10 examples of how incredibly cheap (inexpensive ) Vietnam can be:
Example #1: Cheap food
You can get a meal for a freaking US$1.
Example #2: Cheap Cigarettes
Ok, this is not a great example but still an example I’m going to use. 1 packet of cigarettes in Vietnam cost a mere US$0.30. Compare that to an average price of US$8/packet in the States, it is less than 4% of the cost. Or 27 times cheaper. I am unfortunately a smoker and even more unfortunately an expert in this subject. So trust me when I say that while this brand of cigarette is cheap, it is also very tasty.
Example #3: Cheap Spectacles
Comparing to Singapore, getting a pair of spectacles done here in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is 10 times cheaper. Quote from a friend: ‘One can fly to HCMC (from Singapore), make a pair of spectacles, have a 4D3N holiday that includes airfare, accommodation, food and shopping and probably still have some spare change leftover!!!” You can get the cost and location details from his post here.
Example #4: Cheap Beer
This is a popular fact but in case you don’t know, you can get a mug of beer in Vietnam for US$0.20. Even a can of local beer, 333, cost only US$0.45.
Example #5: Cheap Attraction
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and India’s Taj Mahal entrance fee alone cost US$20+. Do 2 days 1 night tour to Vietnam’s Halong Bay and you pay only US$40 for an overnight stay onboard, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast and enjoy more than 24 hours of her beauty.
Example #6: Cheap Hotels
A 2-stars hotel like this, in the middle of a fantastic location, cost only US$26/night. At this price, you get plasma TV with cable service, water heater, clean bed sheet, air con, mini fridge, room service and 24hours security guard. Stealing Circle K Mart’s slogan- “what else do you want?”
Example #7: Cheap Shopping
If like me, you’ve got no morals, you’ll love all the imitation and hence very cheap stuff available in Vietnam. The pretty Abercrombie shirt you see me wearing below cost only US$6.
On the other hand, there are many good local brands with nice design and quality products costing a tenth of what you pay from your own country. My camera bag below comes from a local shop with their own brand. A similar bag from a branded oversea company would have cost more than US$200. I paid less than US$20 for that. It went with me from the mountains of Sapa to the rivers of the Mekong Delta. After more than 3 years and 300,000 photographs, the zip, straps and padding are still reliable and tough as nails.
Example #8: Cheap Gifts
Go home with lots of good gifts from Vietnam for your friend. They will make you look good. All the things pictured below can be bought for under US$2.
Referring to the conical hats here
Example #9: Cheap Food Part 02
Example #1 talks about street food. Even if you go to a mid-level restaurant, 7 delicious dishes will come to only US$56. See this blog post for more pictures.
Example #10: Cheap Dental Treatment
In Singapore, it will cost at least US$500 to whiten your teeth. In Vietnam, it’s only US$75.
Your turn: What other cheap (ok, inexpensive) experiences have you got from Vietnam? And how do you think Vietnam should be sold as a travel destination?