Monthly Archives

May 2016

Lifestyle, Nha Trang, Travel, Vietnam

COST OF LIVING: NHA TRANG, VIETNAM

May 13, 2016
Nha Trang City View

After spending three whole months in Koh Samui, Thailand the next stop on the list was Vietnam. Here I spent two months in a beach-side city called, Nha Trang and this blog will cover the breakdown of how much it cost to live there.

Rent

Within two days of arriving me and my boyfriend had managed to find a one bedroom apartment within the tallest building in city called Muong Thanh Nha Trang Centre. It was spacious and modern with high speed wifi so it was perfect for what we needed.

The views were pretty amazing too – one side looked out over the ocean with the beach below whereas the other side had views of the mountains which looked amazing at sunset. The overall location was also great as it was right in the middle of Nha Trang just across the road from the beach and just around the corner from all of the main bars and restaurants.

The apartment cost us $500 per month but this did not include water, electric and management fees. With these extra bills on top it came to a grand total of $600 per month which is the equivalent of around £415/€526.

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Getting To Nha Trang and Getting Around Nha Trang

From Bangkok we took a short flight to the capital of Vietnam called Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Siagon City). We stopped over for one night to enjoy the city and then headed back to the airport to catch a 50 minute internal flight to Camh Ramh Airport – the closest airport to Nha Trang.

Unfortunately we didn’t do our research prior to arriving in Nha Trang and thought that the airport was a lot closer than it really was. So we jumped in a taxi thinking we would arrive at our hotel within 15 minutes but instead it took 45-50 minutes, and the taxi meter just kept rising and rising! We ended up forking out over 500,000VND for the ride when it should have only cost 300,000VND for a pre-booked transfer.

My advice here would be book a transfer in advance and save your pennies, but if you have to get in a taxi I’d recommend you only get in a Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi as these two companies have the best reputations and run on meters.

Also living within a city we had the added bonus of not needing to rent a motorbike, like in Bali and Thailand, as everything was close by. However, for a day of adventuring where a bike is needed it shouldn’t cost you more than 100,000VND per day – but be sure to take the receipt with you on your journey as you might breakdown in the middle of know where like we did on our own little day trip – luckily for us we broke down on the top of a cliff-side and the view was amazing.

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Eating, Drinking and Basic Groceries

What I really loved about Vietnam was the cost of eating out and drinking. It was the cheapest place we had been to in Asia. A small bottle of the local beer cost around 8,000 VND (25p) at its cheapest and a cocktail would cost on average 80,000-120,000 VND (£2.50-£3.70) but there was always happy hour where you could get 2 cocktails for 1.

A local street food meal would cost around 30,000-70,000 VND (£1-£2.20) per dish or if you wanted to go to a proper restaurant you’d be looking at around 250,000 VND (£7-£8) and upwards for two people which would be including drinks. We eat out and went drinking a lot more in Nha Trang than we did in any other place because it was such good value for money and is a real perk of living here.

In terms of groceries here is a basic list and the prices of each item:

Milk – 37,000 VND

12 Eggs – 34,0000 VND

Bread – 25,000 VND

Bag of Sugar – 12,000 VND

Bottle of Beer – 12,000 VND

Bottle of Red Wine – 80,000 VND

Pepsi – 20,000 VND

Toothpaste -14,000 VND

Other costs of living that may be useful for you to know is the cost of beach beds on the beach. Here in Nha Trang it is known for its long golden beach stretch and is the place we spent most of our weekends. A bed for the day should cost you around 30,000 to 50,000 VND which is lower than what you pay in Bali. Also, if you wanted to head to the gym as well whilst you’re here then the prices you can expect range from  300,000 VND (£9) per month, 250,000 (£7) per week or 80,000 (£2.50) VND per day.

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Visas

Once we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City airport before passport control we headed over to a section designed specifically for those wanting to get visa’s on arrival.

Prior to our arrival we had applied for approval or sponsorship letters online which would allow us to get a three month, single entry tourist visa on arrival. This cost $15 per letter and then once you get to the airport you will also have to pay a stamping fee which is $25 or you can pay in local currency, but I’m unsure exactly of the price of this.

Upon arrival we filled in about two forms, paid our money and waited for the immigration officers to put the visa on one of our passport pages. This whole process took no more than 20 minutes and once you have it you just carry on through passport control as normal with three whole months to spend in the country.

Conclusion

Overall, living in Nha Trang was very cheap (the cost of rent, eating out and drinking) however, after about a month you do start to get very bored of the city. There isn’t much to do except go to the beach and if you want to explore other places its an over night bus or a flight away which can be a real pain and cost a lot of money. We ended up leaving Vietnam after two months and headed back to the island of the Gods – Bali.

Follow the links to explore the cost of living in Bali or Koh Samui

Bali, Restaurants, Reviews

BARBACOA: LATIN AMERICAN DINING IN BALI

May 12, 2016

DSC_1043_1DSC_0972_1 DSC_0987_1 If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a chilled drink and BBQ style food with a stunning view of the Balianese rice paddies I’d highly recommend stopping over at Barbacoa. The whole venue has a warm and rustic feel to it, and the food is delicious!

Their lunch menu provides a wide selection of tapas style dishes, perfect for sharing and enjoying over a cocktail or beer. Me and my boyfriend ordered a few smaller dishes and one main to share, and this was more than enough for us to feast on.

There is also so much to look at whilst you dine – apart from the view, if you head over to the kitchen area you will see how the chefs roast their pork ribs! The atmosphere and ambiance here is 10/10 so add this Latin American eatery to your list of places to dine at whilst in Bali.

BarbacoaBali.com

Bali, Indonesia, Restaurants, Reviews

ILLIDO BALI: AUTHENTIC ITALIAN DINING

May 11, 2016
IlLido Bali Courtyard

After visiting their stunning rooftop oyster bar in Singapore – Southbridge – IlLido Group were kind enough to invite me to their first flagship in Bali to experience more of their amazing hospitality.

The venue was elegant and open-plan with a courtyard surrounded by trees, and furnished with dark wooden tables and chairs in true Italian style. The menu is extensive with a focus on quality – here you will find quintessential Italian dishes which are cooked to perfection and presented beautifully.

Upon entering the restaurant the staff were accommodating and remained attentive throughout the whole time that me and boyfriend were there. The atmosphere was relaxed and unpretentious which made for a great dining experience. To start, the wonderful manager, Claudio recommended two historic Italian favorites – bruchetta and grilled octopus which were both delicious. Prior to this home made fresh bread was served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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For the main courses I had the Milanese pork chop and Chris had the snapper. Both dishes were impeccably presented and tasted as good as they looked. The manager suggested both of the main courses for us to try after describing them with such knowledge and passion which was really amazing. IlLido is most definitely a restaurant where you can expect and will receive the highest quality Italian cuisine.

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Finally, dessert was served and of course, I had to try the Tiramisu and we also ordered the profiteroles. The waitress came to serve hot chocolate sauce over the profiteroles which was a very nice touch and was great to watch. Definitely leave room for dessert at IlLido, it is so worth it!

Dessert Dessert

Conclusion

I had a fantastic experience dining at IlLido. This super-chic venue along with its outstanding menu and friendly hospitality sets the standards high for all other trending restaurants in the Seminyak area. You can find IlLido at: 38 Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Banjar Taman, Kuta, 80361 Bali, Indonesia.
Reservations can be made via info@illidobali.com or by calling +62 361 731175.