Money and Costs
One of the constant worries for non-package tour travellers is to budget for the trip. The good news is, it is relatively cheap both to live in and to travel in Vietnam. A 5 star hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, for example, would cost you the same as what you pay for a 2 star hotel in New York or Toronto. The rule is that Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will be more expensive than smaller cities like Hue or Hoi An and much more costly than the countryside area.
It depends on how much luxury you want but you can find a hostel dorm for as little as $5. Contrastingly, a five-star resort in Hoi An such as the world famous Nam Hai can go for as high as $600. The condition varies greatly but in general, the standard will leave up to your expectations - in other words, good bang for your buck.
“The cheaper the food, the better it is”, say an expat in Hanoi. Believe it or not, street food is a culture thing that you can’t afford to miss when visiting Vietnam. A bowl of Pho (which is filling for a meal) costs about 20,000 in local place and 65,000 in upper scale restaurant. A set menu in high-end restaurant is about $15-$30, depending on restaurant venues and chefs’ prestige. For budget travellers, you will be pleased to know that you can get by a day with $10 spent on food.
Getting around the city, you can choose taxi, xe oms, walking or city bus. Taxi meter varies but do not exceed 15,000 per km (about 75 cents) and is the most expensive option. You can continue working out the math. Getting from one city/province to another, you have airplane, open tour bus or train. The flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is about $115 one way (you can haggle around to find the best deal). Buses and trains are about half-price.
Museum entrance fees:
Most museums and arts galleries cost you less than $2. There is no discount for students with valid card or for seniors. Depending on site, admissions for children less than 12 years old are free.
The most luxurious 3D movie ticket will cost you about $6, well below the Western standard. For music shows it depends on where you go- a concert at Hanoi Opera House vary between $10-30 while a show at tea house will cost you only drinks. If you plan to go out for the night, avoid bringing excessive money in case of theft. A cocktail will not cost you more than $5.
* Note: 1 USD = 20,000 VND (Approximately)