Travel Guide: Vietnam
Vietnam was a dream destination to us. We wanted to travel, discover and explore what this somehow mysterious country had to offer. We indeed had one of the best experiences during our time in Vietnam!
When to Travel
We travelled from South to North Vietnam in the month of December as we didn’t have much choice. We had warm days with slight rain in the South, heavy rain/typhoon season in the Central area and cool, really cool weather in the North. If you want to see snow in Sapa, for example, travel in January. If you want warm & dry days in the South, go for December to April. So it depends if you are covering just one part of Vietnam or the whole country. If the latter, try March/April (Spring) or September/December (Autumn).
In Vietnam, accommodation averages around AU$12 per night in a private room for a couple. Once again, we made use of the vast range of cheap guesthouses in the country to save some money and learn a bit about their culture.
Vietnamese food is a delicate issue, some love it and some hate it! We love the variety of soups, noodles and rice dishes. The diversity didn’t change much through the country and we got stuck eating way too many noodle dishes in just one month (they serve noodles for breakfast, lunch & dinner). On the other hand, you’ll love how the food is in here!
Depending on where you are, walking will be fine. Big cities offer taxi services but be careful when handling money. Always agree on a price before hand (on a taxi, always ask for the meter). We made use of motorbikes on most of the country, but just because we had experience. Riding a bike in Vietnam is not for the faint-hearted. Specially in the countryside, where roads are precauriously cared for.
Things to Do
What you won’t miss in Vietnam is variety! There are so many things to do in this fantastic country. From rice to war fields. Adventure packed deals and even wonderful beaches (although we totally missed them on this trip) are plentiful around here. Check what we’ve been up to in 1 month trailing in Vietnam:
- 5 Places to Visit in Ho Chi Minh City
- 5 Reasons to Visit Da Lat
- Our 3 day Bike Ride in Vietnam
- The Old Fashioned Charm of Hoi An
- Halong Bay: One of the Seven Wonders of the World
- Why we Fell in Love with Sapa
- Vietnamese people will usually (but not always) try to take advantage of you and ‘forgetfully’ give you the wrong change. Pay attention and always count your change in front of them. If they give you the wrong change, call it out politely and require the right money. Unfortunately, it happened way too often and by the end of it we were a bit tired of dealing with the hassle. But if you come around here, it will likely happen to you very often.
- If you decide to drive around Vietnam, always wear a helmet and follow the law. The roads and the traffic are already bad enough and you wouldn’t want to get into trouble with the police.
- Crossing the road in the main cities (like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh) can be an interesting challenge! Just go with the flow and follow suit. The locals will show you how to cross. In other words, just go. Motorbikes and cars will stop if you just keep going.
*Cost breakdown shown below refers to expenses per day for 2 people for Australian & Brazilian passport holders (visa).
- Accomodation: AU$13.58
- Food: AU$19.02
- Entertainment: AU$16.14
- Visa: AU$108.14 (US$60 each)
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