Perhaps the most useful expression for Travellers in Vietnam is to complain “It is too expensive!” which is “Đắt quá!”. If you are a foreigner shopping in Vietnam, you are almost guaranteed to be quoted outrageously high prices. Therefore, you need to learn this simple phrase.
Here is an example of such an exchange between you and a Vietnamese salesperson:
You: I want to buy this – Tôi muốn mua cái này
You: How much is it? – Bao nhiêu tiền?
Salesperson: 5 (fifty thousand) – Năm
You: Too Expensive! – Đắt quá!
Learn to Haggle in Vietnam
You should always assume that shop-keepers are charging you double the actual price. Therefore, you will have to learn some basic haggling skills. Chances are that you aren’t prepared for the skills and salesmenship of Vietnamese shop-keepers: they have a lot of practise haggling and you are like chum in the water for sharks.
Read more about our Hagging Tips for Vietnam.
Fair Prices in Vietnam
Here is a price-list for common items on sale in Vietnamese cities like Hanoi (as of July 2021). For up-to-date prices, check online at sites like Shopee.vn or Lazada.vn. Vietnamese prices change faster than in Western economies, due to a higher average inflation rate of ~3-6% per year.
- Beer (1 can) – 15,000 VND ($0.65 USD)
- Banh Mi (with meat) – 25,000 VND ($1 USD)
- Eye-drops – 60,000 VND ($2.6 USD)
- Bohemian baggy elephant pants – 60,000 VND ($2.6 USD)
- Men’s cotton collared T-shirt – 150,000 VND ($6.5 USD)
- Face cream – 230,000 VND – ($10 USD)
- Running shoes – 320,000+ VND ($14+ USD)
- Replica oil painting 1m x 1m: 570,000 VND ($25 USD)
- Man’s Suit – 1,800,000 – 5,700,000 VND ($78-$200 USD)
- 2 bedroom apartment in back alley, per month – 12,000,000 VND ($500 USD)