VIETNAM ADVENTURE – 21st November – 10th December 2011
For several years now this trip has been reported by enthusiastic Ramblers as a great one to go on and we would endorse that. The itinerary has been put together by ACT Travel in Vietnam and we heard from them that they are always looking to make improvements.
For the benefit of those signed up for future trips, we thought that an explanation of finances would be helpful, as it would have been for us. Both the Vietnamese currency, the Dong, and American dollars appear to operate together for all levels of expenditure, from street traders upwards. At the time of our trip, an easy to remember guide for equivalent values was that 100,000 (one hundred thousand) Dongs was equal to 5 Dollars and equal to 3 UK Pounds. The Vietnamese tend to drop the ‘thousand’ when they give you a price so that if they tell you that it is ‘one hundred’ they actually mean ‘one hundred thousand’.
We found that an ATM machine would give out a maximum of 1,000,000 ( one million ) Dongs per request. ATM machines are often in booths, which is good for privacy. Our total spend for the trip was in the order of 450 Dollars. We found it useful to take about 50 x one-dollar notes for tipping and small purchases. Hotels readily exchange Dollars into Dongs and the exchange rate improves if you offer large denominations, eg. 50-dollar notes.
Hoi An is a recognised town for tailors who make clothes quickly. Some members of our group had trousers, skirts etc. made and alterations were required in some instances. If anyone wanted to consider this then help/advice is available on the following websites:
These websites give a list of ten recommended tailors and also guide lines for the best way to go about the venture.