WHEN I said I became an instant millionaire in Vietnam, I just mean that. It was the first time I held over two million in bills in my hand at one time.
An ATM was the first thing I looked for after I cleared immigration after over an hour in Ho Chi Minh, which I’d call Saigon from now on because it’s easier to type and I always mistake the spelling of Minh to Mihn.
I saw one just inside the arrival doors and punched out the withdrawal button for $100. Lo and behold the the ATM spit out bills amounting to over two million! My millionaire feeling was short-lived when I called a taxi to take me downtown. The taxi fare was 220,000! I wasn’t planning to buy the car but just needed a ride for the 15 or so miles distance!
I bought a coke in can at the airport and it cost 16,000 which means my two million is fast disappearing, and I say real fast.
It’s hard to hold your eyes from popping out at the prices in Vietnam. I haven’t ordered a fried chicken slices from a restaurant in my whole life that costs 135,000 ever, a McDonald’s meal for 90,000, or a cup of coffee for 12,000!
Command your mind to convert, convert and convert the equivalent every time to look at prices so you won’t starve or die of thirst as a small 11oz bottle of mineral water is like 7,000.
I booked a private one day tour with a company to go to the Cu Chi Tunnels and around the city and openly gulped when the lady said the private tour is 3.4 something million. Vietnamese Dong or VND, that is. I did the math and it was US$150 for a private tour in an air-conditioned van with a driver and a personal tour guide, plus bottles of mineral water and free lunch and snacks. I was getting into the millionaire game and tipped the driver 50,000 and my tour guide 100,000 after the tour. Something I never thought I could ever afford in my life ever. The numbers are just staggering!
With the current exchange rate, the Vietnamese dong is 22,813.42 to the US dollar. If you dream of becoming a millionaire, stop dreaming or working and make your way to Vietnam. Your wish is granted but those bills slip through your fingers so fast. Good luck with your mental calculations haha!
Here is a link of the general cost of living in Vietnam: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Vietnam.