For every adventure seeker, food lover and someone who has an undying love for everything historic and ethnic, Vietnam is the place to be. As one of the most beautiful countries in South East Asia. Vietnam is a backpacker’s heaven and traveling here is an experience that one simply cannot forget. Let’s read more about how you can explore Vietnam on a budget.
1. Vietnam – A Budget Traveller’s Paradise
As an Asian destination, Vietnam tourism has crossed the likes of Thailand and Malaysia and emerged as a hot favourite for travelers from all around the world. What makes this country so amazing to travel are the lenient Visa rules, well-crafted backpacking circuit, and budget-friendly amenities available almost everywhere.
Traveling in Vietnam makes you feel like a millionaire, want to experience a little luxury, then you can feel like a billionaire too. Backpacking in Vietnam is a dream of every broke backpacker. The cheap cost of living and a diverse landscape makes the travel experience even better.
2. Easy Visa Rules
People visit here from different corners of the world and spend weeks exploring this Vietnam on a budget. The visa situation has changed over the time. While someone traveling from the UK can travel for 15 days straight without a visa and only requires one for longer visits, folks from other countries can easily get the visa on arrival for a very nominal fee. For the Indian travelers, visa on arrival can be arranged through an online form. This form is available at Vietnam Immigration Website.
Just fill the form with the details asked and pay an amount of $17 in advance and you’ll get your approval letter in maximum two days. You’ll have to present this letter and pay $25 at the visa on arrival counter. This process is one of the easiest in the world and hardly takes half an hour. The fee for procuring a visa from an embassy is higher than the one you can get on arrival. Which make it more easier to explore Vietnam on a budget.
VoA counter is available at three airports, Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi); Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City); and Danang Airport (Da Nang).
The trick to getting a cheap flight to Vietnam is to book one from Kolkata. A flight with a stopover from Bangkok will only cost you around 20 to 25k for a return journey. Flights booked a couple of months in advance or during off season are even cheaper. Any flight that asks you to pay more than 25k is a really bad deal and should be totally avoided.
While booking your flights, always look for Air Asia or Thai Airways. Air Asia is cheaper and has frequent flights from India. At the same time, Thai Airlines is a little on the higher side but they don’t charge for the luggage. The best way to avoid this issue is to travel light and save on your luggage charges that Air Asia will ask you to pay.
More importantly, the visa rules for Indians state that you must enter Vietnam by air so you cannot do a road journey from any other country just for the sake of saving some money. But still this is not going to be expensive, you can still take a trip to Vietnam on a budget.
4. Travel Sim Card
Sim Card Shops At The Airport
Travel sim card can be arranged at the airport for USD 12. These sim cards provide 100 mins India calling, free incoming, 100 local talk time minutes and 1GB 3G data which is a very cheap deal.
5. The Insane Vietnamese Currency System
Vietnamese currency system is really confusing. The local denomination known as Dong requires a lot of maths to understand. As said earlier, traveling in Vietnam will make you feel like a millionaire and most of it is because of this currency system.
Go, buy a dozen of banana and it will cost you around 15000 Dongs. 1 Indian Rupee’s value is almost 320 Vietnamese Dong. So you can imagine how much would INR 100 would convert to the local currency, approximately 32000 Dongs.
Expect to pay 50000 Dongs for a plate of pizza and while the accommodation and travel won’t cost you more than INR 600, you can imagine how high it would be in their currency. This is one of the catch to have a Vietnam trip on a budget.
6. Local Transport – Explore Vietnam On A Budget
Local Bus In Vietnam
Vietnam’s interiors are connected via every kind of local transport. There are trains, buses, flights and you can also hire a motorbike and explore the country by yourself. The train tickets mostly cost around INR 50 to 200 depending on the place you are traveling to. The bus tickets are even cheaper but slow and often unreliable.
The National carrier and Jetstar are two of popular airlines in Vietnam. They are recommended by budget travelers as they offer cheap and backpacker friendly prices to many destinations within Vietnam. If you have Cambodia planned in your trip then there are buses that ply between the two countries on a regular basis.
The visa on arrival in Cambodia is only available for those arrive via air so you’ll have to make necessary arrangements for this issue.
7. Cheap Accommodation
When it comes to accommodation options, to stay in Vietnam on a budget gives you a lot of stay choices ranging from cheap backpacker hostels to luxury 5-star hotels and resorts. A lot of travelers carry their own tents and set it up in the backyard of a hotel or a restaurant for a very nominal fee. Others share bunk beds in dorms with other travelers.
These dorms or hostels mostly range between INR 100 for a normal Non AC living situation and somewhere around INR 300 to 500 for an air-conditioned dormitory. The charges for guest houses are not more than INR 700 and you only need to go higher if you are looking for a luxurious stay option.
8. A Delight for Foodies
Vietnam is a treat for the food lovers. The food is super cheap and a full meal doesn’t cost more than INR 250 and sometimes this includes a complimentary beer or alcohol. Some of the must-try food items in Vietnam are Bun Cha, a delicious pork dish, the adventurous ones can also try live octopus, Goi Cuon that are filled with Shrimp or Pork and ever famous Noodle Soup called Pho.
Also, Banh Mi Thit is an amazing sandwich and you need to try as many times as possible. It is filled with ham, cheese, fish, and vegetables.
A 15 day budget trip to Vietnam will cost you somewhere between INR 18 to 25K. This includes the costs for internal transport, stay and food. So with a return flight ticket taken from Kolkata, you can finish a 15 day Vietnam trip in INR 60k at the maximum.
So now that you know that travelling abroad is not always expensive, all you have to do is look out for budget travel destinations. Here we have made that task also easier for you, so all you have to do is book your Vietnam tour package and go out and explore.
Know Vietnam on a budget - Thomas Cook India Travel Blog
For every adventure seeker and a food lover, Vietnam is the place to be. Let's read more about how you can explore Vietnam on a budget.
A tough cookie on the outside, but a big mushy marshmallow on the inside. Nupur loves to live life on the edge and is always up for new adventures. According to her, travelling is not a hobby but a way of life, which everyone should adopt. She is more of a mountain bum than a beach person. Not a coffee sharer and a big-time dog lover.