Vietnam is a busy country with a difficult past that’s never far from the surface. We traveled through Vietnam around Christmas time and spent 22 days in the country starting in the south at HCMC and heading north to Hanoi before crossing over to Laos. We stopped off at places like Hoi An, Mui Ne and Hue where we took a tour of the DMZ as well as Ha Long Bay.
How We Traveled
We ate well in Vietnam, opting for the food stalls and some basic restaurants. We also visited a number of military museums and took a few tours to explore more of the American Vietnam war through trips to the DMZ as well as the Cu Chi tunnels. We also took a tour of the famous Ha Long Bay. For hotels we always stayed in private double rooms and found the accommodations in Vietnam quite nice and very well priced overall. We took overnight buses for the longer distances as Vietnam has really great buses for such trips.
What We Paid
We paid $38.05 USD per person per day. We spent a bunch on tours which we found rewarding overall. I have had an interest in the American Vietnam war for a while now and enjoyed being close to the historical sites. The cu chi tunnels in particular were fantastic to climb through and to imagine what life was like back then. We also spent a bunch more on transport than we had in previous countries, mostly because Vietnam is surprisingly tall and we were able to save a couple of nights hotels with overnight buses.the country Flights and trains are faster or more comfortable but also more expensive.
We always stayed in private double rooms. Some like the one in Hue were excellent while others like the one in Hoi An were just reasonable. Prices didn’t vary much from the average. Often we had an included breakfast and hot water. In general, we were quite happy with the hotels in Vietnam and never struggled for comfort. I wouldn’t bother spending more on hotels than what we did when visiting the country. Any extras are just luxuries you can do without.
Almost legendary reputation with backpackers. Ownership is handing over to the daughter which made for some choppy moments. Still, great location and great value. Recommended.
Average hotel with good breakfast but a bit of a walk out of town. Staff wasn't overly helpful or friendly but not poor either. Would suggest finding a place closer unless you don't mind the walk.
New and eager to please. Great staff and really tries hard to make you enjoy your stay. Welcome treat on arrival. Highly recommended.
Basic budget place full of kite surfers. No wifi or any other frills but cheap relative to the rest of the area. Suggest staying elsewhere if budget allows.
We enjoyed the food and got used to having noodle soup for breakfasts and lunches all the time. We did splurge a bit at times with coffee or deserts or such. Occasionally we had some western fare from an ex-pat bar or some other place.
The one big expense that we did incur in Vietnam was a trip to Ha Long Bay with the Oriental Sails tour. That set us back $110 a person which was very expensive but equally very nice and luxurious. If you have the money, the Oriental Sails people do deliver. We didn’t do any shopping or diving.
How To Save More
We probably could have saved a little bit of money on food in Vietnam. We did splurge as mentioned, especially as we got to Hanoi where it was cooler and we felt like having a hot drink frequently. You could probably bring the cost down by 20% without such luxuries. The hotels were fair value and I wouldn’t expect to be able to squeeze too much there. The last area that we could have saved was, funny enough, in the VISA. We got it before leaving Canada and found out that you could do it in Phnom Penh for example a lot cheaper.
Posts from Vietnam
Vietnam has a long history of throwing out colonial and imperial forces. Most famous is the Vietnam War of the American imagination. But even before…
Driving down the coast of Mui Ne in our bare bones jeep, the trees to my right open up to reveal the bay below. Basic life boats and larger fishing…
It must have been terrifying. Entombed in constant darkness of the tunnel, slowly crawling inch after agonizing inch, hands outstretched feeling for…
Have you ever dreamed of the financial freedom that comes from being hit in a traffic accident and suing the bastard that hit you? I know I sure…
Islands puncture the green waters like dragon teeth, stretching high above my head. Pointy canines, massive molars and expansive incisors complete…
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a traveller undertaking a tortuously long bus journey must be in want of a few marbles and in possession…
The trifecta of mass transit - flight, train and bus - are all available to you in Vietnam. While the first is easily the fastest, it is also by far…
$38.00 US per day gets you comfortably from the streets of HCMC in the south all the way north to Hanoi. You'll eat at local restaurants, have private rooms and take a great cruise around the world famous Ha Long Bay.