One of the biggest appeals about visiting Vietnam is that it is one of the best places to travel in Asia for a cheap price. This is of course in addition to Vietnamese delicious cuisine, exotic culture as well as some of the most spectacular views in all of Asia. This has made it a favorite for backpackers for decades.
The following article explains a little about what makes the country one of the cheapest places in Asia to travel. It also provides a quick reference guide on where travelers can make the biggest savings and how to plan trips to Vietnam with different types of travel budgets.
What Makes Vietnam So Cheap For Tourists?
There is a variety of reasons that Vietnam is cost-effective for tourists. Firstly, the US Dollar, Euro, and British Pound Sterling have strong purchasing power against the Vietnamese Dong. This means visitors to the country from Europe and the US literally get more bang for their buck.
Additionally, the country’s Communist economy has made the standard of living very cheap for local inhabitants. As a result, prices are concurrently very low for travelers visiting from abroad in the local currency.
Despite the fact that Vietnam’s profile is soaring in the travel sector and prices are steadily rising it is still one of the best cheap places to travel in Asia. Just this year, a number of Vietnamese cities have been noted by travel experts for being amongst the cheapest for tourists in Asia. The 3 cheapest cities to visit in the country are:
How Much to Budget for a Trip to Vietnam
Tourists will find their money goes a lot further than in other countries. According to the most recent estimates, travelers can budget for as little as $18 per day in major cities like Hanoi.
However, getting these bargain-basement prices relies on a lot of factors. It’s, therefore, more sensible for the majority of travelers who don’t want to forego luxuries on their trip to set aside around $30-50 dollars a day in order to travel comfortably on a budget.
A great way to save on costs while in the country is to visit outside the high season of June and July. One of the cheapest times to visit the country is during September when the weather in Vietnam is cooling and getting drier again after its hot and wet summer conditions.
The Cost of Traveling to Vietnam
Tourists planning a visit to Vietnam should remember to factor the initial costs that occur before even setting foot in Vietnam into their budget. These include the prices of necessary vaccines, flight tickets and the fees for Vietnam visas.
Flight tickets vary depending on the departure destination and the time of year amongst other things. Prices at the cheaper end of the scale from the US to Vietnam are around $400 and can rise up to $800-1000 for more upscale airlines.
Check more information about how to save money on a Vietnam trip.
The Cost of Hotels and Hostels in Vietnam
Hotel accommodation varies in quality around Vietnam with some travelers opting for cost-effective places to stay like hostels. These can be procured for as little as $5-7 per night for shared dormitory accommodation. For travelers looking to stay in hotels, these can cost as little as $15 per night.
Nevertheless, prices can vary depending on the time of year, especially if there are any public festivities occurring at the time. National holidays can occasionally lead to hotels filling up with visiting tourists from other parts of Vietnam and a rise in prices as a result.
Average Transport Costs in Vietnam
Travel by bus, train, and taxi in Vietnam are also very easy-going on the wallet. A journey between cities by bus or train will usually cost around $20 up to around $50 depending on the distance traveled.
Taxis in Vietnam are often metered, although it’s better to agree on set prices in advance. This is because some of the meters are fixed by drivers to overcharge unwitting foreign visitors. As a guide price, a 10-15 minute taxi ride shouldn’t cost more than around $2.50.
Internal flights within Vietnam are also highly cost-effective. Travelers looking to make the journey between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh by plane can expect to pay around $50-60 for the privilege.
Buying Food and Drink on a Vacation in Vietnam
Perhaps the element that gives Vietnam its reputation as one of the best cheap travel destinations in Asia is its food culture. For those really looking to travel on shoe-string budgets, local restaurants and cafes are the places to go.
Eating at restaurants with the local Vietnamese population is a great way to get to know the national way of life better. It is also the best way to enjoy some of the most delicious street food in the world for just a couple of dollars. A bowl of Pho in Hanoi, for example, can often be purchased for as little as $1-2!
For those wishing to splash out a little more, there’s no shortage of good quality restaurants available with more upscale menus. In most cases dining out will set travelers back around $5-10 (including drinks).
Alternatively for those seeking out fine dining experiences and who are willing to spend the biggest bucks on a meal costs are still relatively affordable. Eating at one of the more exclusive restaurants will cost as little as $20 up to around $50 for the most opulent taster menus.
However, in all situations, it’s important to factor in the costs of bottled water during a trip. Drinking tap water in Vietnam is highly risky and sealed bottled water is a necessity during a stay in the country. Fortunately, the individual cost of this is very low at around $0.27 per 0.5L bottle.
How Much to Spend on Tours and Activities
Vietnam offers a broad variety of activities and tours to enjoy. Perhaps one of the most exotic ways to take advantage of its alluring landscape is to explore the country by motorbike. This can be enjoyed for just a couple of hundred dollars (including the cost of motorbike purchase) and is a great way to really get to know the country.
Additionally, tours of hotspots like Halong Bay, Sapa and the Mekong Delta can be enjoyed for around just $20-50 per day. It is however recommended to book these independently through local travel agents rather than through hotels where these activities can be subject to a significant markup.
Vietnam is a magical place to visit and being one of the cheapest travel destinations in Asia makes it accessible for visitors with almost all levels of budget. By becoming familiar with the costs in advance, travelers can really take advantage of everything this amazing country has to offer.