The growing economy in Vietnam over the past couple of years gradually increased the cost of living expenses. Though with proper budgeting and insider knowledge that we’re about to share, here’s how you can get the most out of your hard-earned dollar in the various cities of Vietnam.
What to Buy in Vietnam Trip Package with Just One Dollar?
A Cup of Coffee
Trailing behind the leading country of Brazil, Vietnam is the second-largest producer and exporter of coffee around the world. You’d be surprised to hear that coffee, being a staple to most Vietnamese households, is commonly sold at convenience stores, street carts, and small stalls for just about 1 USD.
Coffee dripped over condensed milk served with ice is the signature Vietnamese coffee or locally known as “ca phe sua”, however, Vietnamese people also favor the classic black serving or “ca phe den”. The preparation is fairly easy despite not using a coffee machine. The grounded Robusta beans are usually tossed inside the aluminum filter called “phin”, then manually compressed, followed by adding hot water and finally left to drip until finished.
The quality of the beans used and the location where it’s sold greatly affects the price. A steaming cup from the street carts starts at 0.50 USD (~12,000 VND) and coffee sold at cafes fetches an average price of 1.75 USD (~40,000 VND).
A day of touring around the city would leave most parched and exhausted. It’s a good thing that plenty of vendors sell Sugarcane juice. This is one of the must-try beverages that may sound too sugary to the taste, but is actually lightly sweetened. The citrusy flavor from the kumquat juice adds the right amount of tanginess and makes the perfect drink to quench your thirst.
Smoothies and Juice
The summer season in Vietnam provides an abundance of tropical fruits. From the well-known fruits to the more exotic ones, almost all of them can be made into a delicious fruit smoothie.
Other than the strawberry-banana combo that remains to be popular, the wide selection of fruits can be mixed and matched to make any refreshing fruit smoothie you could think of. Be it the guavas, mangoes, sapodillas, papayas, or avocadoes, you have the liberty to make and try your preferred combinations!
Fancy cafes and even sidewalk vendors sell these in places frequented by foreigners such as Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham Streets; and depending on the size you’ll order, most are affordably priced at around 1 USD (~23,000 VND).
Banh Mi – Vietnamese Baguette
Ever wondered how much would a dollar satisfy grumbling bellies? Look no further as the classic Vietnamese baguette or famously known as the Banh Mi is easily the most recommended filling option.
It is internationally renowned as one of the best street foods around the world. The usual components of a Banh Mi are composed of a crunchy baguette stuffed with a Vietnamese pork sausage, fresh cilantro leaves, slices of cucumber, and green onions, a handful of pickled carrots and white radish, a dab of mayonnaise and finally a splash of soy and chili sauce.
With that many ingredients, who can argue that a Banh Mi wouldn’t be satisfying? A serving typically costs around 0.50 – 0.90 USD (12,000 ~ 23,000 VND), with varying prices depending on the fillings used. Different parts of Vietnam offer their own take on the classic sandwich with fillings ranging from pork barbecue to buttered eggs!
4 Glasses of Beer to Add in Your Vietnam Trip Package
Summertime calls for the words “Bia Hoi” (draught beer) at almost any establishment you can lay your eyes into. Even most parts inside the Hanoi Old Quarters are lined up with street bars awaiting patrons to sit on the stools. For just around 0.26 USD (~6,000 VND) per glass, who could resist chugging down an ice-cold beer during the summer heat?
1 Bowl of Noodles
Aside from the previously mentioned Banh Mi, noodles are probably the next iconic dish that Vietnam is known for.
With various toppings that can be used, it presents a wide range of flavors that can cater to any taste. Prices could reach up to 2 USD (~47,000 VND) for noodles paired with beef (remains fairly expensive) and as affordable as 0.50 USD (~12,000 VND) in southern regions such as Nha Trang or Mekong Delta areas.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with having noodles for a hearty breakfast (you might even get a cup of tea along with it).
1.25 liter of Fuel
The price of gasoline has seen a gradual decrease due to the current situation. At the time of writing, a dollar could get you around a couple of liters of gasoline. This is such a welcome treat to motorists as they could travel a longer distance compared to the same amount they would spend before.
Fruits bought at city centers such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city are priced somewhat expensive considering distribution and shipping costs before getting into groceries.
However, if you’d dive into the rural areas, especially in the farms where these fruits are grown, then you’ve just found your dollar’s worth. For just a dollar, you’d be taking home plenty of fruits with you.
And how plenty you ask? About 4 kilos of dragon fruit in Ninh Thuan, or 10 kilos of rambutans in Mekong Delta, or 30pcs of guavas in Bac Ninh, or 8pcs of mangoes in Nha Trang. Now that’s a bang for your buck!
What makes a Vietnam trip package an attractiveness for travelers is that prices are cheaper than in most developed countries. From food and drinks to souvenirs that you can take home, travelers could experience the Vietnamese cuisine and culture at such an affordable price.