Travel Tips – Prices in Vietnam

Last Updated on 10 May, 2024 by admin

Vietnam is renowned not only for its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes but also for its affordability compared to many Western countries. Whether you’re dining out, shopping for souvenirs, or using local services, the cost in Vietnam is generally lower, making it a budget-friendly destination for tourists. This article aims to provide travelers with a comprehensive understanding of what to expect in terms of prices, from street food to transportation, and how these compare to costs back home.

General Price Levels

Travelers to Vietnam will find that their money goes a long way here. Food, accommodation, and transportation can be incredibly affordable, with quality often exceeding the price paid. However, it’s important to note that while many services and products are cheaper, the quality of manufactured goods can vary. For instance, clothing and electronic goods may be available at lower prices than in the West, but their quality and durability might not always match their Western counterparts. Understanding this trade-off is crucial for managing expectations and making informed purchasing decisions.

Detailed Price Guide

Food and Drinks

  • Street Meal: You can enjoy a fulfilling street meal for as little as $1 (about £0.60). These meals are not only affordable but offer a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Vietnamese Coffee: A strong and aromatic cup of Vietnamese coffee can be enjoyed for around $0.40 (£0.22), providing a cheap, energizing start to the day.
  • Restaurant Meal: A more formal dining experience in a restaurant will cost around $6 (£3.50) on average, although this can rise to $20 (£12.00) in high-end establishments.
  • Café Meal: For a casual dining experience in a café, expect to pay about $4 (£2.20).
  • Canned Soft Drink: A 300ml can costs approximately $0.50 (£0.28).
  • Cappuccino: Sipping on a cappuccino will cost around $2.50 (£1.50).

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Local Beer: A glass of local beer can be as cheap as $0.25 (£0.15), making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
  • Heineken (330ml): More familiar brands like Heineken are available for about $2 (£1.20).
  • Bottle of Wine: Prices for a bottle of wine start around $20 (£12.00), varying greatly depending on quality and origin.


  • Fruits: Mangoes and pineapples are incredibly cheap, costing around $1 (£0.56) per kilogram and $0.20 (£0.12) each, respectively.

Clothing and Souvenirs

  • Silk Dress (Bespoke): Custom-made silk dresses are a great buy, ranging from $15 (£9.00) for simpler designs to around $100 (£55.50) for more intricate ones.
  • Tee Shirt: Prices for a basic tee start at around $8 (£4.40).
  • Man’s Suit (Bespoke): Tailor-made suits offer significant savings compared to Western prices, starting at $80 (£45.00).


Transportation Costs

  • Taxi: Taxis are a convenient way to travel around cities with rates starting at about $0.45 (£0.23) per kilometer. They offer a comfortable and air-conditioned ride at a reasonable price.
  • Xe Om (Motorbike Taxi): For shorter distances or navigating through traffic-heavy areas, xe om charges about $0.30 (£0.17) per kilometer, providing a quicker, more adventurous option.
  • Cyclo (Pedal Rickshaw): Ideal for leisurely city tours, especially in historic areas, cyclos cost around $0.50 (£0.28) per kilometer.
  • Car Hire: Renting a car can cost between $25 (£13.80) and $30 (£16.70) per 100 kilometers, suitable for longer, more comfortable journeys or family trips.
  • Bicycle Hire: At about $1.00 (£0.55) per day, hiring a bicycle is an eco-friendly and enjoyable way to explore smaller towns or rural areas.
  • Limousine Service: For luxury travel, a limousine service can be hired for around $150 (£83.00) per day, offering premium comfort and style.

Accommodation and Dining

  • Two-Tier Pricing System: The practice of charging foreigners more than locals is phasing out, but discrepancies might still be observed in some hotels and medical facilities.
  • Tax and Service Charges: Most casual dining spots include VAT and service charges in their prices, while upscale restaurants and hotels will add them separately, often totaling an additional 15% (10% VAT and 5% service).

Tips on Managing Expenses

Understanding Pricing Variations

  • Be aware of the regional and seasonal variations in prices. For instance, coastal tourist destinations might inflate their prices during peak travel seasons.
  • Check multiple sources or ask locals to ensure you’re getting a fair price, particularly for services like accommodation and bespoke items.

Beware of Additional Costs

  • Always review bills carefully, especially in upscale restaurants or hotels, to identify any added taxes or service charges that may not have been initially transparent.
  • When shopping, especially for branded or luxury items, be vigilant of counterfeit goods. The market for fake products is prevalent in Vietnam, offering items at tempting prices but often of inferior quality.

Special Considerations When Booking with Haivenu

Inclusive Pricing

When booking a tour with Haivenu, all taxes and service charges for accommodations, meals, and itinerary activities are included in the quoted price. This transparent pricing ensures that clients can budget effectively without concerns about unexpected costs.

Advice on Tipping and Gratuities

While tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam, it is appreciated for good service. Haivenu provides guidelines on customary tipping practices to help clients determine appropriate gratuities for services like guides, drivers, and hotel staff. This advice ensures that travelers can navigate the tipping culture in Vietnam respectfully and confidently.


Traveling in Vietnam offers a fascinating tapestry of cultural experiences paired with remarkably low costs, especially when compared to Western standards. Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the broad spectrum of prices, from street food and handcrafted souvenirs to transportation and upscale dining. Understanding these prices and knowing what to expect can significantly enhance your travel experience, ensuring that you can plan your budget effectively and enjoy the richness of Vietnam without financial surprises.

Vietnam is a country that rewards those who come prepared. By understanding the intricacies of its pricing landscape, you can navigate your travels more confidently and ensure that your expenses align with your expectations. Remember, the cost of living is part of the adventure, and managing it wisely will allow you to explore this vibrant country more extensively.

Whether you are savoring a bowl of Pho at a bustling street stall, tailoring a bespoke silk dress in Hoi An, or exploring the scenic landscapes of Ha Long Bay, being informed about the financial aspects of your journey ensures that your focus remains on the rich experiences Vietnam has to offer. With careful planning and an understanding of the local economic environment, your visit to Vietnam can be as enriching as it is economical.

Haivenu is here to ensure that every aspect of your Vietnamese adventure, from budgeting to booking, is handled with expertise and care, allowing you to immerse yourself in the joys of travel without the hassle. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and prepare to discover the beauty and affordability of Vietnam with peace of mind and financial savvy.

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