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Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

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Inverloch, Australia
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Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Hi, just trying to gage how expensive it is to holiday in Vanuatu. Could someone please advise how much a carton of beer is at the supermarket. An average cafe meal price? Taxi prices? Tour prices. Is it on a par with Australia. Have heard from some its very expensive.

Thanks

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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1. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Case of Tusker 4800vt at Au Bon Marche 2 or 3800vt at the duty free shop inbound (you can buy spirits here too cheaper than duty free in Australia, a case of beer is included in your allowance). You can buy many different brands of beer at ABM and also many cheap Belgian brands at Leader Price supermarket.

Meals - At the markets curry and rice and a drink 400vt, at a cafe fish and chips, burger etc 900vt (about $10).

Restaurant prices similar to Australian city prices. There are many different cuisines available, chinese, french, thai, indian, etc. There are also upmarket restaurants, theme nights at resorts (eg seafood nights, island feast)

Transport - a bus ride 150vt anywhere in town, out of town to Cascades for example 400vt pp (buses operate like multi user taxis but you pay per person). Actual taxis are more expensive (sole hire) but of they are very quiet you can negotiate a fare. Some will even say same fare as bus. You can also hire a bus for a day or half day to take you where you want to go out of town.

There is no tipping, very few touts and sellers other than paper boys, bargaining is not really done as everything has a marked price. You may be able to negotiate a bulk discount for multiple purchases.

You can save money by self catering some meals, buying fresh french bread, quiches for 200vt at the supermarket, cold meats and cheeses etc.

You could say its expensive compared to Bali but its a lot safer, quieter and great if you like outdoor activities, adventure sports, cultural experiences, beautiful scenery, relaxing on a quiet beach and like to mingle with the locals.

Cheers

Inverloch, Australia
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2. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Thanks for the info sounds like it would suit us!!!

Edited: 06 May 2013, 05:32
Australia
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3. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Is tipping expected at an upmarket restaurant?

Cheers

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

We got back yesterday from PV. We ate in our resort and in PV a few times. I think it is as expensive as Fiji. The thing to be aware of is that tourists are easy targets for overcharging (taxis, buses, cafes). The main supermarkets Au Bon Marche is expensive. Take your own snack foods with you and duty free alcohol. We were charged $NZ20 for a Heineken! and NZ$12 for two lattes which was about the same wherever we went. We ate out in a nice French restaurant and it cost NZ$100 for wine and two courses. Tipping isn't expected, but its a third world country and it helps if you do (that is if you are getting good service and not being ripped off!) Go by bus rather than taxi. The cars are very beaten up, and don't look that safe. Buses are a bit better. Have a great trip. If you are going to tourist attractions take cash, not many places take visa or eftpos.

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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5. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Cookee, Tipping is totally discouraged in Vanuatu so as not to encourage that type of culture. There is no bargaining unless you are buying in bulk either. The price is as marked inclusive of tax.

KiwiCat, Au Bon Marche is comparable to Australian supermarket prices, Leader Price Supermarket (French) is also very good if you are self catering or stocking up on snacks, cheeses and deli meats.

Meat, fruit ,veg and anything local and fresh is very cheap in Port Vila especially at markets. Obviously, you will get much better prices if you take AUD and change to Vatu rather than accepting the dismal generic exchange rate offered by some places for paying in foreign currency. Imported beer such as Heineken is probably comparable in quality to the local Tusker beer but much more expensive due to import duties.

If you are willing to try new foods eg european and asian snack foods rather than having to have the same stuff that you have at home you will find the variety of snack food available in supermarkets cheap and tasty.

When people use the out dated term 'Third World country' they are usually referring to the poorer countries of the world, with starving children, street beggars etc. Urban Vanuatu is far from this and those that are in villages don't necessarily see themselves as poor either. Many ni-vans are subsistence farmers and don't rely on the cash economy, no one goes hungry, the old and the disabled are looked after...unlike many highly developed countries.

Wellington, New...
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6. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

Hi there,

We are just back from a week in Port Vila, and we had a great time. In terms of prices, I think most of your questions have already been answered - but we found (from NZ) that it was a little more expensive than we expected - particularly for food and wine.

Bus travel around the city at 150 Vatu was great, further out destinations (Eg Mele Bay) caused us some issues, as we were told to pay 200-300 per person, but were quoted 1,000 each by one driver!

The supermarkets are not as well stocked as here in NZ and Australia, but what they do have is good - there is only UHT milk (that we found) so be prepared for that. Examples of prices we paid:

Bottled water - 500ml - 55 Vatu

1 litre UHT Milk - 195 vatu

Yoghurt/dairy food -95 - 300 Vatu

Salami - 220g - 250 Vatu

Tusker - 250 vatu

Bread/Baguette 60 Vatu

We did most breakfasts as self-catering which was really good.

Eating out - prices varied depending on the type of restaurant. We found burgers/nachos etc at The Anchor Inn in the 900-1200 Vatu range and steaks at The Flaming Bull at around 3,000. Curries at 2,200 and Chinese around the same. tapas plates 950 vatu. One thing we did find was that portion sizes were larger than we expected, so after several dinners we had enough for lunch!

Beer in most bars was 450-500, cocktails 1250 and wine 500-700. The wine is not the best though - very basic brands, and doesn't seem as popular as other drinks.

I will be doing some further individual reviews over the next few days - but any questions feel free to PM me.

I'm not sure that KiwiCat meant 3rd world in a bad sense - I was aware that the country and the locals seemed less well off than I expected - the quality of roads/cars and some homes seemed lower than I anticipated. The streets were also not as 'clean' as I had imagined. I think that is somewhat to do with my pre-conceived notions, but Vanuatu is a different place - and incredible to experience - as long as you aren't expecting 'perfection'

We were a 15 minute walk from town, and felt 100% safe walking the streets in the dark, everyone was super friendly - and just amazing. I would highly recommend a trip here - as long you know what to expect :)

7. Re: Current Prices, Food, Alcohol, Taxis, Tours?

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