The Cost of Things
You must be wondering what things cost, me too since dong exchange rates is crazy. A half million dong is about $23 dollars. I see a price like $400,000 dong and I’m like no way, I can’t afford that and it I’m like oh wait, that’s somewhere right $20.
Today, people live in house with a business in front; the kids have clothes and no one wants candy since it’s bad for your teeth. The change has been due to tourism. The governor of this area has worked really hard to have paved roads with lines. Hotels in which tourists would want to stay and put into place stiff penalties for robbing or ripping off tourists. Another big change in this region is the food. I’m told I can eat the salad. In southern Vietnam and Cambodia foreigners get what is commonly know as travelers diarrhea because of the pesticides used in farming. Here, it’s all organic. Pesticides are not allowed.
The plan has worked. Tourists flock here to relax on the beach during the day and haggle at night. Dan and I bought a can of beer at the corner market and made the mistake of drinking it on the curb. Huge mistake. Everybody and their cousin came over to use to sell us things. Everyone.
And thus my clothes I had made. This is the region I’m told that was on the TV show the Bachelor, this is where the girl had a traditional dress made. There is several shops on every corner for hand made clothes. I saw two shops and knew instantly what I needed; a traditional gown made just for me.
There was bolts and bolts of fabric to choose from. I was easy; show me the purple silk. The ladies wanted me to get blue pants to match. Blue?! Such a safe choice, I went with red. Why not?. And then they said they’d give me a discount if I ordered more. So I did. I ordered two silk (and purple) tops to wear at work. The total price for one long gown, pants and two tops; $80. Worth every penny for the experience.
Costs of other things:
Can of beer, .50 cents or 10,000 dong. I think that’s about right.
Dinner each night; between $10 to $15 dollars which does include my big bowl of soup and two beers.
Street sandwich, a buck.
Bottle water; .50 cents. Bottled water at the airport, .50. Coffee is the same price. However, the coffee here makes Starbucks taste like water. It is stronger than even Turkish coffee. Here, they put sweet cream in your coffee. I don’t like cream and I don’t like coffee quite that strong so I’ve been drinking instant. I purchased a box of instant coffee, 25 sticks for $1.25. I think.
Common tourist items:
Tee Shirts, $4.00 bucks.
Silk sleeping bags (quite popular here) $7 bucks.
Full body message, $6 to 8 bucks for an hour. Not a typo.
Mani/Pedi both for $12.
Laundry service, $1 per 1 kilo
A taxi ride, about $2.50 to go across town. At least I think that is what we paid today.
Three plus star hotel rooms with beautiful grounds and swimming pools with a full breakfast in the morning including soup, about $45 bucks.
Why are you still reading this blog? Shouldn’t you be looking at airfare to Vietnam?