Vietnam

Vietnam

 

Vietnam amazed the world with its natural beauty, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sights with one of the most spectacular places on the planet earth, Halong Bay. Although, it is not our favorite country in Southeast Asia.

It has a rich history and culture, was dominated by the Chinese for 2000 years, suffered modern influences of the French colonialism and the independence movement of the 20th Century.

Nevertheless, it is worth to visit it and see from up close how Vietnamese people got through all their bad moments in history.

During our travels, we met people who either like it or not. From our experience, it was not an easy country as Thailand or Malaysia to travel through, maybe because it was not so westernized as the other two, but despite the challenges, we are sure you will find it interesting and memorable country.

vietnam

Top places to visit

  • Halong Bay
  • Hanoi
  • Hoi An
  • Mui Ne

Standard prices

Currency: Vietnamese Dồng 25,000 VND ≈ 1 EUR

Accommodation: Hostels in Vietnam are not the cheapest. In the center of a big city like Saigon these prices start from 400,000 VND, while in coastal towns, a nice room for two people with a private bathroom is less than 160,000 VND. The beds in the dormitories can be found from 130,000 VND.

Food: Street food is the cheapest one. For breakfast soup “Pho Ga” you will pay around 20,000 VND. In restaurant’s, the popular fresh rolls cost 60,000 VND and a big plate of BBQ is 180,000 VND. Alcohol is extremely cheap here. For a glass of draft beer only cost 5,000 VND.

Transportation: You can travel in any direction for a modest price. The most popular ways of transport are the night buses and trains. A 15-hour journey on a sleeper bus cost us about 130,000 VND.

Activities: The main attractions are related to nature, like the rice terraces in Sapa, numerous caves in the area of Da Nang, the sand dunes in Mui Ne and the famous Halong Bay. 2-days cruise with transportation, meals, and activities for 1,300,000 VND.

Travel Tips

Visa: It must be arranged in advance at any Vietnamese embassy or travel agency.
There are also a number of private agencies offering a visa on arrival. You apply and pay for a letter of approval online and collect your visa on arrival at the airport. First, they will email you the letter and when you arrive at the airport, you must show it and pay a stamping fee of $25. Only after, you will be able to receive your visa.
The cost of the visa is around $20 for a thirty days and $45 for three months. Make sure you take with you two passport sized photographs.

IMPORTANT – You will not be allowed to board the flight if you do not show either a visa approval letter or a valid visa. Passports must be valid for up to 6 months before entering. For more information and contact details, here.

Food: Try the Vietnamese specialties like BBQ, fresh rolls and seafood.

Night Bus: Save money on accommodation and travel by night bus. The prices start from 100,000 VND and you can sleep in a “comfortable bed”.

Catch a plane: Flights are one of the cheapest way of transport in Vietnam. You can find offers from 400,000 VND!

Best time to visit: In the north of Vietnam there 4 seasons, being spring and autumn the best time to travel. It is less humid and the temperature varies from 20-28 degrees. During the Summer, it is hot and humid. Temperatures reach 40 degrees, and the humidity can exceed 100%. Winter – cold and high humidity.

In the South of Vietnam, there are 2 seasons. The dry season is from December to May. It is hot, but relatively dry (approx. 50% humidity). Very little rainfall. We recommend you this period!
The rainy season is from June to November. From July to October, it rains almost every day.

Our experience

HalongBay-Destinations
HALONG BAY – WHERE THE DRAGON DESCENDS TO THE SEA
The legend tells, the people of Vietnam were born from the union of the dragon and the fairy who lived high in the mountains. The dragon rose up from the sea and onto the Earth to unite with the fairy, together they created…Read more.

 

Hanoi-2-Destinations
MEETING UNCLE HO – HANOI, PART I
The clock was marking 6:00 PM when we landed in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city. As soon as we step outside the airplane, we couldn’t believe how the temperature changed so much from Da Nang to Hanoi. It was freezing and raining…Read more.

 

Hanoi-1-Destinations
MEETING UNCLE HO – HANOI, PART II
On the following days, we visited Ngoc Son, the Temple of the Jade Mountain. The most visited temple in the city, located on a small island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake, connected to the lakeshore by a wooden red bridge, constructed in classical Vietnamese style…Read more.

 

Danang-Destinations
DA NANG AND THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS
On our way to Dan Nang, there were only two free spots on the front next to the driver, the rest was totally busy with travelers from all around the world chatting about their travel experiences…Read more.

 

HoiAn-Destinations
HOI AN – THE VENICE OF VIETNAM
After reading all kind of negative reviews about night buses in Southeast Asia, we were a bit apprehensive about the following 15 hours.
It was around 1:30 PM when the bus stop in front of our hostel…Read more.

 

Muine-destinations
FROM THE SHORES OF VŨNG TÀU TO THE DESERT OF MŨI NÉ
It was an easy ride with Hoa Mai VIP bus limousine, a three hours trip for $7 with the driver stopping right in front of the Sao Mai hotel, located in the calm part of Vũng Tàu.
It wasn’t in our plans to visit this little city in the south coast line of Vietnam but…Read more.

 

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THE LAND OF THE ASCENDING DRAGON
One hour and a half was what it took to fly from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, name given after the fall of Saigon in 1975 to honor the national hero Ho Chi Minh, a famous figure in Vietnam’s struggling and liberating history…Read more.

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