After a month in Cuba, I think, should record a list of wrong things that people usually speak to each other about this place, indicating that even come from travel guidebook Lonely Planet!
Havana Cuba – Photo: Tran My Hang
Cuba wide-open gate to tourists, but due to limited Internet and isolation from the outside world, information about this country is not easy to find.
On the way before coming to Cuba, I have heard everything the different information about this country, mostly from tourists who gone there. Information sometimes conflicting, very “concerned”.
In fact, there are wrong things, even extremely interesting for everyone to share and experience together.
1. Cuba is expensive?
People say here Internet has priced 5-8cuc / hour. Don’t have a hostel (hostel) with dorm beds (in the gym), go alone still have to hire a very expensive room.
Skim the Lonely Planet books, you will find the cheapest prices 20-30cuc room – this price is too high for those who travel with a low budget. Of course, in Cuba, you hardly find a place to temporarily house stay or volunteer work in exchange for accommodation.
In fact, if you have prepared before, you need not the Internet in Cuba. Everyone else here too, so you need not do anything before booking online. The tourist office in the city center is always ready to provide information to you, there are free maps. You absolutely can go back to the no Internet era.
The ancient city Trinidad famous in Cuba. Here casa Particular more visitors so you can easily find a cheap room – Photo: Tran My Hang
Guests traveling alone will not be able to find cheap dorm beds. In return, you have the opportunity to hire a private room to rent cheap dorm beds.
In Cuba, there are two kinds mainly accommodation: hotels – luxury resorts of the state and the Casa Particular (roughly translated as “the People”) with rooms to rent. Casa is very clean, comfortable, soft prices, especially the price is negotiable.
As well as accommodation, it will have the government’s restaurant with the best price “travel” (actually still cheaper or just on a par with prices in restaurants in the developed countries) and the shops fast food and local restaurants.
With a local store, you can full stomach with a price of 10 Cuban pesos burger ($ 0.5), or eat dinner in the stylish restaurant furnished with weight about 60 Cuban pesos price ($ 2.5).
2 cups of coffee Leche (milk coffee) equal quality, cost 1$ in the bar for guests and 0.15 $ in the local shop – Photo: Tran My Hang
Travelling to Cuba from Vietnam
-Procedures for the Cuban tourist visa are fairly simple. I did not visa at the consulate in Vietnam that purchased at airport Cancun (Mexico), just bring your passport.
-Two routes to Cuba is the most popular from Mexico and Canada. If you fly from Vietnam, you consider these two intermediate points.
– To change money in Cuba, so bring money euros or Canada, if you want to exchange dollars, you will incur approximately a 10% charge. There are ATMs in major cities, but you will not be able to use cards issued by US banks.
If you have a problem with the ATM, you can bring the card to the exchange offices (cadeca), and staff will swipe your card, withdraw the money for you.
There are two types of currencies using in Cuba: Money cuc (1cuc = 1 USD) for guests to use and money cup (Cuban pesos, the local currency) (1cuc = 24cup)
2. Unable to pay the room rate?
My room stays in a Casa Particular in Havana, 10 casa price/night for one person. This price is equivalent to a bed in the dorm room at the water around – Photo: Tran My Hang
It is said that the room price is fixed. Lonely Planet books explain the casa Particular pay a fixed amount every month to the state, so the check-up is virtually impossible to pay down.
Indeed, it was the casa Particular have to pay monthly fees, so they would rather have tenants than to availability. Even in a casa, guests in this room have to pay only 60% of the room exactly like the other.
Cuban are very cute, but they will look your face name and give you the highest price they can room thought out (usually 25-35cuc). You simply tell them what your prices affordable.
In popular destinations such as Havana, Trinidad, Viñales… CASA Particular multiple like autumn leaves and just go from the central square a bit, you may hire a private room for one person for about 8- 12cuc.
Not only accommodations, even eating (if not listed prices) may also pay the price.
3. Guests must use their own currency?
Shop fast food locals, prices quoted in Cuban peso currency. With approximately $ 0.5, you have a pizza to hot crispy – Photo: Tran Minh Hang
People say currency cuc for visitors. At the exchange offices, you’ll get currency cuc and can only spend this currency. Locals use their own pesos.
In fact, at the exchange offices, you can change the contract to clot local Cuban pesos. This is extremely important if you want to save and use the service as local people.
I met many tourists even don’t know two currencies are circulating at the same time in Cuba, and they have to pay 10 times the price of a pizza bought along the way.
With the popularity of travel services (bus, accommodations, supermarket, eating at restaurants governments …) you will have to use currency cuc. But with the transaction directly with local people (local food store, buy fruit vegetables in the street …) you can fully use the Cuban peso contracts and save a lot.
There are messages Cuba would retain only one coin. Be sure to check the information before going.
4. In Cuba lack everything?
Breakfast at casa Particular priced about 4 cups. You cannot lack food in Cuba – Photo: Tran Minh Hang
People say so isolated from the outside world of food and amenities should be extremely needy. No bath soap and shampoo.
The fact you cannot lack food in Cuba. Cuban cuisine was tasty and plentiful even than some other countries in South Central America.
Soap, shampoo, and some other necessary items are sold at the store. Prices comparable to surrounding countries (ie very luxurious with indigenous people. So if you can bring those little bars of soap as a gift).
The casa Particular usually very clean, fully equipped, even with the stock room in the house sparkling.
Cheap and excellent in Cuba
Preparing for a scuba diving in the Bay of Pigs – Photo: Jean Dumas
– If you want to change the atmosphere with an all-inclusive resort (all-inclusive resorts; dining – including alcohol, on-site recreational activities … are included in the room rate), ask a few various travel agents at Cuba.
If it was not peak season, you may find prices 60cuc / day for two people at the beach – 24/24 food beverages, with the game like a sea kayak, catamaran …
– If you love scuba diving (scuba diving), then Cuba is a great destination. Bay of Pigs was a famous bay and price of the cheapest diving Cuba (and extremely cheap compared to other countries in the Caribbean): 25cuc / dives.