A Crash Course To Vietnam Travel

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All prices are in United States Dollars

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam? Check out this crash course for having a fun and successful journey through the country.

What’s my daily budget in Vietnam?

Daily budgets. A subject that haunts even the most experienced traveler. Hours and hours spent tracking your budget can get very tiresome, but it doesn’t need to be that way. It all depends on your lifestyle and what kind of person you are.

Living on a shoestring

Vietnam is a very cheap country, one of the cheapest countries in the world in fact so it’s perfect for the budget traveler. You need to be careful though. If you’re the kind of person who needs there morning ‘pick me up’ coffee then be aware that coffee can be the same price as a bowl of yummy ‘pho’ a Vietnamese, noodle soup. So, you need to weigh up your options beforehand. Here are some ideas of what $15 can get you during a day in the Vietnamese capital, Ho Chi Minh City.

  1. A bed in a budget hostel-$4
  2. A bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup-$1
  3. A bottle of water-50c
  4. 2 local beers-$1
  5. Banh mi, a Vietnamese style sandwich- $1.10

You get the idea. Vietnam can be very cheap if you’re prepared to sacrifice some luxuries. Bus tickets, however, can be pricey, around $10-$15 depending on where you are going. It’s a good idea to pay a bit more and travel further, that way you can forgo the price of a hostel because you will be sleeping on the bus. The sleeper buses in Vietnam are very good quality, so don’t be worried about spending 15 hours in a stress position.

The ‘baller’ budget

if you have a bulge in your pocket that would make Ron Jeremy blush, then Vietnam can be a very fun place to visit. Vietnam is a very big place but the long, narrow shape of the country makes it easy to get around, especially by car. Renting a car can be an amazing way to see what Vietnam has to offer. 2 routes come to mind when talking about this subject:

QL.1A – the QL.1A is a road that runs from the north to the south of Vietnam. Covering around 2301km and is perfect for somebody wanting to see the entirety of this spectacular place. Some of the highlights of this route are, Ninh Binh, an overlooked natural paradise. This beautiful place boasts some of the most breath-taking landscapes in Southeast Asia. Or hoi An, a sleepy, picturesque city in the middle of Vietnam. If you like the sound of locals chattering in bustling markets or narrow, cobbled streets filled with petit art galleries, then Hoi An is the place for you.

QL.32- this road running from Sapa in the north of Vietnam to Hanoi is in my opinion, the best road in the world for experiencing life-changing mountain views. There’re a few places in the world that have had me in awe of what I was seeing, the views along the QL.32 was one of them. Get in your car, turn the key and take in this stunning area of the world.

 
5k Street in Hanoi, Vietnam

What do I need for my trip to Vietnam?

I hate packing. I can pretty much go anywhere in the world with just a toothbrush, passport, bank card and a change of clothes, but hey that’s me. Other people need more, much more and that’s cool too. Here’s a list of the essentials when traveling to Vietnam.

  1. Passport and visa- I know what you’re thinking “duh, I’m not going to get very far without a passport/visa” and your right but you’d be surprised at the number of people that think they can just rock up to the airport without a Vietnamese visa, I included! Most countries need a visa when traveling to Vietnam so do your research and save yourself an embarrassing conversation with airport officials.
  2. A sturdy backpack or suitcase- whether you’re a city slicker or a survivalist, Vietnam can accommodate both, but dragging around a suitcase can be bothersome and can limit what you can do. I’d recommend getting a good backpack, that way you can just throw it on your back and you’re ready to go. We all love a bargain.
  3. A good pair of flip-flops- let your feet breathe. Vietnam is hot all year round so treat your feet to some quality flip flops. Your welcome.
  4. Sun cream- peeling, weird tan lines, nothing ruins your day quicker than getting caught outside in the heat without sun cream. Don’t do it to yourself.
  5. Maps.me app- I don’t mind getting lost. Getting lost is part of the fun, right? Well yes and no. taking a detour to find that magical waterfall no one is talking about, sure. Having a ‘Blair Witch’ moment in a Vietnamese jungle somewhere, absolutely not. Download maps.me and your good to go.

What should I eat in Vietnam?

What should I eat in Vietnam? Everything, it’s all good! Here are three dishes to make your taste buds sing. All you vegetarians and vegans out there, I got you. All these options have vegetarian and vegan variants.

  1. Pho- Lucky for you this stuff is everywhere. A delicious noodle soup cooked with fresh herbs, filling noodles in a hearty stock. You can get it with or without meat but beware. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan be careful. The stock is usually made with beef or chicken bones.
  2. Banh Mi- it’s a sandwich but it’s amazing. The bread is usually made fresh every day and the filling options are endless. The most common filling is an egg, cucumber, spicy chili sauce, and sprig of mint. It’s usually the cheapest option for food if you’re into penny-pinching, like me.
  3. Goi Cuon- Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are a foodie’s best friend. These little bundles of joy look just like the spring roll you are used to, but they’re not fried and eaten cold. They’re usually accompanied by a crazy good dipping sauce.
    Spring roll

 

  1. So that’s it. All you need to know before venturing out to Vietnam. I promise you, this won’t be your last trip to this magnificent country. Happy travels!

Kris is a freelance writer who is traveling the world by bicycle. He has his own website at Global Bike Trip feel free to visit and see what he's up to.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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