General Cost of Things

General Costs of Things and Shoestring Budget in Vietnam

Things are generally quite cheap in Vietnam, especially compared to Western world standards. It is hard to say the exact price for things, since it varies some depending on if you are purchasing them in a store, market, restaurant or street cart, for some examples. Yet, the prices don’t vary too much, so you don’t have to constantly feel like you should be searching for a better deal. Of course, in general, products are a tiny bit cheaper if you buy them at a wet market or off the street as opposed to a storefront location.

If you are buying food, fruits and vegetables are subject to change by seasons and meat and dairy may experience minor price adjustments.

These charts are only posted to help give you a rough idea of what to expect. Please do not be surprised if these estimations/averages aren’t exactly what you find, and keep in mind that things will cost a bit more within the larger cities in Vietnam and conversely, outside of them, things will be much cheaper!



United States Dollar

Vietnam Dong

Apple - per kg (so like, 5 apples)|4 USD| 80,000 VND **

Orange - per kg (maybe 4 oranges)|2 USD|  40,000 VND**

Banana - per kg (about 6 bananas) | USD | 20,000 VND**

Pineapple - per fruit | 0.75 USD | 15,000 VND **

Lychee - per kg (a lot!) |1.5 USD | 30,000 VND**

Jackfruit - per fruit | 0.75 USD | 15,000 VND**
Watermelon per fruit | 1.50 USD|  30,000 VND **
Mango - per kg (maybe 2) | 1.5 USD | 30,000 VND**


United States Dollar

Vietnam Dong

Cucumber - per kg| 0.40 USD|  8,000 VND **

Tomatoes - per fruit | 0.10 USD |  2,000 VND**
Lettuce - per 100 gr | 0.15 USD |  3,000 VND**
Onion - per onion | 0.25 USD |  5,000 VND**
Lime - per fruit | 0.1 USD |  2,000 VND**
Green Onion - per bunch  | 0.05 USD |  1,000 VND**
Carrot - per carrot| 0.10 USD|  2,000 VND** 
Potato - per kg | 0.75 USD| 15,000 VND **
Coriander - per bunch | 0.10 USD|  2,000 VND**
Bok Choy - per bunch | 0.25 USD |  5,000 VND**

Typical Small Purchases

United States Dollar

Vietnam Dong

Bottle of water|0.50 USD| 10,000  VND**

Soft drinks | 0.50+ USD |  10,000 VND + **
Beer | 0.50+ USD |  10,000 VND + **
Fruit juice or smoothie, fresh | 1.50 USD| 25,000 VND + **
Spirit and mixer drink at a bar | 3 USD |  60,000 VND + **
Shorts/ t-shirts | 4+ USD |  80,000 VND + **
DVD’s | 1 USD | 20,000 VND **
Sim Card | 3 USD| 60,000 VND**
Cheap old basic phone | 12 USD|  250,000 VND**
Street food | 1 USD| 20,000 VND **
Cigarettes| 1 USD|  20,000 VND **


Vietnam is notorious for budget travelers. Budgets for some people can mean spending as little as possible to still enjoy a city. If this is you, of course you will do best to stick to street foods, hostel or guesthouse style accommodation and the less expensive or free activities/sights.

For the next step up, the budget is still very tight and you will want to choose the less expensive options most of the time for transportation, food, accommodation and extra activity fees, but maybe you can splurge for a nice meal at a restaurant or a movie ticket, and entrance tickets to tourism destinations are a necessity for you, as you are travelling for this purpose: to take it all in…without being too decadent.

These categories are necessary money outlets for every traveler: transportation, food and water, accommodation, and to varying degrees: sightseeing/activities, entertainment, shopping/souvenir buying.

Accommodations: As an estimation of the minimum budget for accommodation: a range from 150,000 VND to 300,000 VND/ day, depending on the quality of the hostel/guesthouse and it’s location. Mid-range hotels can range around 40 - 100 USD and luxury 4 and 5 star hotels can run from about 150 USD and up.

Public Transportation: This is quite cheap- it will cost you maybe 50,000 to 70,000 VND/ day (at a minimum) if you don’t move around too much. However, if you choose taxi as a means of transportation for further routes, you should expect the fare to go up quite constant with the roughly estimated 11,000/ km.

Food: Vietnam is a heaven of street food. If you do not mind eating like the locals at street vendors, you will only need to spend about 100,000 VND each day to have very good meals.

Sightseeing tickets:  The ticket for museums will take you about 10,000 - 30,000 VND; while most of other tourism destinations, for example, in Ho Chi Minh City, the Opera House or the Notre-Dame Cathedral or Central Post Office have free entrance. Of course if you want to see a show at the Opera House, for example, a ticket can run anywhere from 200,000 VND and up.

In sum, if you want to travel on a “shoestring,” you can keep your spending strapped and get by with only 1.5 million VND (or 75 USD) for 3 days in Vietnam. About double that, (150 USD), will give you a bit better hostel/hotel and bit more flexibility on meals and activities/transportation. For top hotels, the nicest restaurants and maybe even a few of the luxuries like spa treatments or shopping, expect your budget to start from 500 USD for 3 days in Vietnam.