Everyone has seen Vietnam; the sad part is that people see it as a backdrop in countless war movies. And know of it as the country that stood up against a major power in the Vietnam War. While it’s an irreplaceable part of history, there is much more to this beautiful country than the war it fought several decades ago. From the natural beauty of Sam Mountain and Halong Bay to the artistry of the sacred temples, Vietnam has a lot on the plate for the tourist. It is not an easy country to travel through but for those who love a challenge, there are few places on the planet which rival Vietnam.
Note that 1 USD equals 22487 Vietnamese Dong (VND).
Hostels start at 130,000 VND (about $5) and private rooms around 400,000 VND for a double room. Food is best on the local street stalls and hawkers. The food is fresh and really cheap; 20000 VND gets you a rice dish or bowl of pho. Restaurants are not expensive and cost around 45000-87000 VND. The cheapest form of travel is bus travel. For example, the public bus around Ho Chi Min City costs a maximum of 3,500 VND. The train is also relatively inexpensive; the 800 km long train journey from Danang to Hanoi costs around 760,000 VND.
Vietnam’s attractions consist primarily of its natural beauty and hence are free to see. Organized tours such as the Cu Chi tunnel tour can cost between 105,000 to 215000 VND however. Halong Bay tours from Hanoi start at 650000 VND for a trip of 2 days and depending on the number of days, the cost increases.
Money Saving Tips
As aforementioned eat street food as much as you can – it’s really cheap. If you’re traveling lone distance try to take the late night train or bus, they are relatively cheaper and will save the cost of a night’s accommodation as well. And if you possess the power of bargaining, you’ll find it pretty helpful in Vietnam.
Top things to Do and See
Pagodas are Vietnam’s most distinctive architecture and can be found all across the country. They are intricately carved and elegant in structure. Most are used as shrines and temples and are definitely worth visiting.
Explore Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is a city which is a fusion of French Colonialism and Eastern influences. Wander the narrow streets of the Old Quarter and visit countless temples and galleries located around this busy city. If you want a detailed taste of Vietnam’s colorful history check out the History Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
If you want to relax, head on over to Dalat which is nestled in the hills of the central highlands. Enjoy the mountain air and the serenity of the natural landscape. You can visit the tribal villages which are dotted around the nearby hills.
This Vietnam Travel Guide only introduced you to the places, there are a lot more should you decide to visit this country.