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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The Great Coconut Rip-off

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Street vendors are everywhere in Vietnam and you can get just about anything you want from them. You can get your bag fixed, have a hot meal prepared for you right then and there, have a sweet waffle made or fresh fruit cut up for your enjoyment.

Pole vendor selling coconuts

Pole vendor selling coconuts

This vendor is selling fresh cut coconuts with the cold coconut water still in the nut. The box on the back of his pole is a cooler with cold coconuts swimming in ice.


A group of friends sharing a coconut drink together

A group of friends sharing a coconut drink together

Fresh cold coconut water is available everywhere and you can get it in restaurants for 20,000VNDong or about $1USD a coconut. It's a very affordable, refreshing, health-full drink.

Cart vendor

Cart vendor

This cart vendor is selling fresh coconuts for 12,000VNDong or about $0.60 US cents. Notice the small machete on top of his cutting board.

Billy with coconut vendor

Billy with coconut vendor

One particularly hot afternoon, Billy and I are out walking the city when a verrrrry friendly coconut vendor approached us. Wanting us to take his photo, we obliged, and he practiced his English with us. Being polite, we entered the conversation and teased about how heavy his pole weight was.

Here Billy is carrying the fully loaded pole for a few minutes. They weigh more than you can imagine!

Verrry happy coconut vendor cutting off top of cold coconut

Verrry happy coconut vendor cutting off top of cold coconut

But we were making him happy, he said. He didn't mind working if we made him happy. Look! I give you this coconut because you make me so happy.

The Vietnamese people in general had been very friendly to us, and if this guy wanted to practice his English and give us a coconut, well so be it. Anything to keep relations between our countries positive. We did not ask for a coconut, and never asked how much they were, the normal introduction to doing business with a vendor. Once you begin asking about his wares, you are in negotiation.

Notice his Styrofoam cooler with ice cold coconuts, and his pile of colored straws on the other side of his pole.


Oh you make me so happy! Notice how happy I am to make him happy

Oh you make me so happy! Notice how happy I am to make him happy

"Take this coconut! I give you this coconut! Ice cold! You will like it. Hot today."

I'm just thrilled. I'm so happy that he's so happy. In slow motion, I. Take. The. Coco. Nut.

Once we took the coconut into our hands his demeanor changed and he quoted a price to me. 200,000VNDong (almost $10USD). I was stunned and confused over the number and thought I had not heard him correctly. We had just recently arrived in Vietnam and I was still getting used to the many zeros on their currency. I give him 20,000VNDong ($1USD the usual price... I just knew it couldn't be more) and now he is definitely NOT happy any longer. He wants ADDITIONAL money, another 100,000VNDong ($5USD) besides the 200,000 he asked me for to begin with!

Not only is he browbeating me, he is acting indignant.

This now very unhappy vendor wants $15USD for 2 coconuts that anyone could purchase anywhere for $2USD or less.

Dazed with confusion, not wanting to cause trouble yet definitely knowing something isn't right, we refuse to give him any more money, take our $10 coconuts and walk away.

His shouts greet our backs.

It was hotter than blazes, the coconuts were cold as ice and we just figured that we experienced The Great Coconut Rip-Off!

Buyer beware!

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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