“There’s nothing to do in Vietnam.”
I probably heard this from at least 3 friends after I’ve already booked my ticket to Vietnam. I thought I was in for an uneventful weekend but boy were my friends wrong! I had so much fun! True to its claim, Vietnam really is the hidden charm of Asia.
Exchange Rate: 10,000 Vietnamese Dong = 20.63 Philippine Pesos = 0.50 US Dollars
For easier mental computation since their bills can be overwhelming:
1) Take out the last 3 zeroes. Or divide Dong by 10,000 VND. [ 1,000,000 VND in your mind should become 1,000]
2) Multiply by 2. [1,000 x 2 = 2,000]
3) Answer is value of Dong in Pesos. [1 Million Dong is a little over 2 thousand pesos]
For benchmark, 1 beer in Vietnam is about 44PHP = 1USD.
Best to bring a calculator that can handle more than 8 digits.
Manila to Ho Chi Minh City = 11,000PHP Plane Fare + 1,600PHP Travel Tax + 750PHP Terminal Fee = 13,250PHP / 300USD
Hotel =as low as 700PHP / 15USD per day
Meals = 150-300PHP / 7USD per day
Tours = 3,000PHP for 3 days/ 70USD
Shopping Money = 2,000PHP/ 50USD
TOTAL = P20,000 for 3 days/ 450USD
Days to stay in Vietnam: at least 3 days. Include Cambodia (to marvel at the Angkor Wat) in your itinerary and add 2 days.
What you can do by day:
What you can do by night:
Watch the Water Puppet Theatre Show
Other cool things you can do:
Learn the art of “tea cup clicking”
Statement Tees and Customized Ai Daos (National Costume)
What I learned about Vietnam:
There are about 4Million scooters in Ho Chi Minh alone.
Their population is about 87Million (The Philippines is close to 90Million) and their GDP growth is one of the highest in Asia for the past 2 years.
Whenever they win a football game, the 4 Million motorbikes come out to the streets and celebrate!
There are no volcanoes and thus, earthquakes, in Vietnam. But the day they won against Brunei in football sure felt like one [motorcycle] seismic upheaval! 🙂
Our Vietnam crew was composed of 4 kids (when I say kid, I mean my age. LOL) and 4 kids-at-heart. Regardless of age, we all felt like our stay was too short. Next time we come back, we will stay longer and go to the white sand beaches and waterfalls.