I just had to mention how cheap everything here is, and how funny their money is (well, all money nowadays is funny money, as in worthless, but the Viet Dong is extra worthless).
First of all, the exchange rate is 16,000 to 1. So $1 USD is worth 16,000 Dong. 100,000 Dong is $6.
Up until recently, the highest denomination note was the 100,000 Dong note, which is $6. You would think this is pretty crazy as you would need a pocket full of them to do anything in North America, but here 100,000 Dong can last you a very long time. Today I had an unbelievably delicious fresh pineapple/strawberry juice for 5,000 Dong (30 cents). In the travel agency I was at, you can take a bus from Nha Trang to Saigon (about 400 kilometers, or 7 hours via bus) for 100,000 Dong (6 dollars).
Last night I had a delicious large fried rice with chicken dish and 3 glasses of nice white wine for less than 100,000 Dong (6 dollars).
I booked a flight from Nha Trang to Saigon and then Saigon to Bangkok for tomorrow for a total of $235 USD, taxes included.
The Dong is the third least valued currency unit in the world. The word dong actually means ‘bronze’ referring to back when Vietnamese currency was actually real money (copper). On a sidenote, the US government stopped making pennies out of copper in 1982 as they inflated the money supply so much that the copper became too expensive to use in pennies. If they still did it would take about 3 cents of copper to make a penny.
Another interesting thing about Nha Trang, there are nice ATM cubicles almost on every single block. When I first came here I thought that they may not even have ATM’s and regretted not having taken some cash out in Saigon but once I got here I realized that there are probably more ATM’s per square kilometer here than in most places in the world.