Monday, March 14, 2011

A Millionaire In Hanoi

Being a citizen of a developing country can be depressing when you have to travel to a developed country because the high currency rate will definitely burn a hole in your wallet.

One US Dollar is worth around Rp 10,000. The number may sound a lot, but actually it can only pay the fares of five bus rides (one bus ride is Rp 2,000), or five medium bottles of mineral water, or a plate of fried rice near my office. I normally spend between Rp 30,000 and Rp 50,000 a day, for transportation and lunch (for night meal, I bring a dinner box).

In South Korea, a meal is worth between 6,000 Won and 25,000 Won. One Won is around Rp 7, so a meal worth 6,000 Won is actually Rp 42,000! Yikes!

One Euro is around Rp 12,000, with one meal in Rome is around 10 Euro. One Yuan (Chinese currency) is around Rp 1,500, with one meal is around 30 - 50 Yuan. More yikes!

But during the visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, I felt like a millionaire because US$ 1 is 20,000 Vietnam Dong. Never have I felt intimidated on seeing many zeros. The most jaw-dropping experience was when I saw a poster outside a lingerie shop, with the number 999,000 on it. Whoa! That must be the most expensive bras in Hanoi!


Dong is definitely more friendly to Indonesians than Euro or Dollar. But since I'm not a shopper, I didn't spend much either in Hanoi. I did take many photos, which I will share as soon as the workload is lighter.

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