My wife, 2 kids & me are about to leave for 4 backpacking weeks in Vietnam. 4 of us in 28 days intend spending about $US5,500 so commissions could be significant.
Does anyone have any info re the difference in exchange rates ($US to dong) between Travellers Cheques & ATM in Vietnam?
Also what, if any, is the commission on TC's?
Firstly l think you will find your money will go along way - l took $1000 for 4 weeks and that was paying for food, transport accomodation and sundries and l came home with $350. I found Hanoi to be more expensive than Saigon.
I took the majority of my cash in Travellers Cheques, and it was not a problem getting them cashed - in tourist offices where the commission was around 3% or in banks 2.2%. The exchange rate was approximately $1 = 16060 dong.
Im jealous l just got back yesterday and travelled from Saigon to Hanoi taking the open tour bus (it cost $22 for the regular bus and $30 for the sleeper bus as it has 2 overnighters). We had great weather although we were lucky to miss the typhoon hitting Hoi An and it did rain continuously in Hue.
If l can help with any other questions feel free to PM me!
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 26, 2007, at 2:57 PM by Purdy ]
Hi Heather. Thanks for your help and offer of further help. I think I've heard of most of the normal attractions. What would you rank highest of all the thingss you did? Our stops will probably be Saigon, Phu Quoc, Rach Gia, Can Tho, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Ninh Binh, Hanoi and Halong Bay (Cat Ba). We'll likely bypass Sapa as it will be very cold in January and we're pressed for time.
You have loads of cash! You will be living like a royal family.
Hoi An is worth a few days and its right near Hue.
Nha Trang is a bit overrated unless you spend some big bucks to stay at a place like Ana Mandara which is just an ultra luxury splurge and the diving there isn't very good compared to other places in SE Asia. Its still worth checking out though - there are some worthwhile places to see.
I have to say that Nha Trang surprised me - l was expecting something flashy and expensive but we found a really good hotel - just opened ABC hotel cost $10 for an excellent room with balony 5 minutes walk from the beach (not really a great beach though!) Had great sea food dinners - the red snapper barbequed was delicious too!
We went snorkelling and swimming on a boat trip which cost $3 and it was a good day out - met great people who we spent the next couple of days hanging out with. Paul did an introductory dive for $50 and really enjoyed it with Rainbow Divers and now he has the bug - me l was too chicken to give it a go l stuck to snorkelling! But he saw cuttle fish; clown fish and an octopus too!
For a better beach area though l would recommend Mui Ne - so chilled and laid back and really cheap. Hoi Heap beach side bungalows right on the beach were really good. Next door to Jibes Bar and Water Sports place is the best restaurant we ate at in Vietnam! And the cheapest too!