Sometimes haggling over VND 2,000 (10 cents) seems important at the time, but really is worth it?  This nothing to us but a game but for the vendor that could well be 20% of their income if they are earning less than $2 a day.

Yes earning $2 a day – not an hour but a DAY !

This Vietnamese street vendor is into diversification: when I met hi in 2010 he wanted to sell me a newspaper but I cannot read it . .. . . he smiled and pulled out a map !! SOLD !!
This Vietnamese street vendor is into diversification: when I met him in 2010 he wanted to sell me a newspaper but I cannot read it . .. . . he smiled and pulled out a map !! SOLD !!

I am not saying to grossly over pay for things, but be mindful that this is their life and family income.

It’s best to check out the prices first at other shops, work out what you want to pay, and then stick to that amount. Being friendly and having a bit of fun while bargaining will make purchasing a much more enjoyable experience for all concerned.

Sadly a lot of people you see in Vietnam on your travels are struggling financially, they come to the big city like Hanoi to make money to send back to their poor families in the countryside.  Many are young with no education but have hope for a better life for them and their family.

Please always treat people with the utmost of respect and humility.

According to United Nations report on Global Hunger

  • ‘Nearly half the world’s population, 2.8 billion people, survive on less than $2 a day.

  • About 20 percent of the world’s population, 1.2 billion people, live on less than $1 a day.”