What you should know and look forward to in Vietnam
There are so many reasons why you should visit Vietnam and there are lots of helpful tips you should know before you set off!
1. It is ridiculously budget friendly
This may seem obvious being in South East Asia, however it is dirt cheap compared to Thailand or Malaysia. $1 AUD can be roughly converted to 20,000 Dong.
Food can easily be found for under $1 a meal, and in Hoi An they have home brew beer for 17 cents a pint(!!!!!!!!). Accommodation is also cheap, averaging $5-$10 for a dorm per night and this almost always includes a free cooked breakfast!
Because it’s so cheap you barely need to keep tabs on your cash, which is a huge relief and allows you to fully enjoy your time.
2. The food is INCREDIBLE!
The food is the most flavoursome, cheap and fresh I have had in any country by far. It is all rice paper, soups, fresh crispy baguettes, coriander, fresh salad, vegies and epic sauces. You can happily survive on street vendor food and spend under $5 a day!
4. You will always have something to talk about with new people
People start their trip either in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and go up or down. This means that when you meet someone new, you’re either going where they’ve just been and you can exchange stories about where to go out and what to see, or you’re travelling in the same direction, in which case you can have a new travel buddy!
5. You will see the same people everywhere
This happens in South East Asia generally, but more so in Vietnam. Because there are only two directions to go in, half the travelers are going the same way as you. Even if they’re going at a different pace, you will ALWAYS see them again. So don’t worry about that time you were too drunk to get that guy’s name to add him on Facebook, because I guarantee you will see him in a week at the next town.
While in Vietnam I ran into at least 10 people from the town I had just been to at each new place. This way it is easy to make REAL friends because you get super excited when you run into them again and end up spending quite a bit of time together.
6. You can’t exchange Vietnamese Dong in many places
This is important to know when you leave, so make sure you spend all your Dong! I had about $50 left and went to Thailand and unfortunately couldn’t change it!
7. The backpackers there are more laid back
I noticed a huge difference from the travelers I met in Vietnam to those in other places such as Thailand. Those who visit Vietnam are often doing it as a part of a greater trip of South East Asia, whereas those in Thailand are often on a whirlwind party holiday for a week.
There is a huge difference in travel personalities here, as the latter are always in groups who often won’t socialise as much, aren’t often on a budget, still have in tact abs and are often slightly more loud and obnoxious (sometimes they haven’t fully developed their traveling social etiquette yet). It is way easier travelling with people you meet in Vietnam as there are more solo, experienced and laid back travelers.
So what are you waiting for!!
Read on for city guides of Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh.