I am new to the backpacking in foriegn countries. I plan on flying into Saigon on a one way ticket March 27, and ending my trip in Shanghai, and getting a one way ticket home when I feel like it. I am a 24 year old male, and will be travelling solo. I was wondering if I could get some help with a few questions. I am mostly concerned with getting my trip started, I know all will be fine once a get going, i just don't know where to start.
1. Should I book a hotel in Saigon before I leave, or just get a taxi ride downtown and try to find one then? Any suggestions as to what part of town I should stay in (i want to be close to bars)?
2. How should I travel from city to city in Vietnam? I am interested in hiring a motor bike and guide. Does anybody know how much this will cost and how to find this? Any other ideas?
3. How much money should I expect to spend (daily average $USD) in Vietnam, including hotel, food, drinks, and transportation? I am going to try to stay at less expensive places, and eat cheap.
4. What are the odds that I can find other travel buddies once I get there?
Thanks for all of the help guys. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated, because I am just goin' for it.
Hey,Im 18 and travelling solo at the moment to,just left Saigon about a week ago after travelling through Vietnam from Hue to Saigon.
1-When you arrive in Saigon if you wana be close to the bars,id tell your taxi driver to take you to the Go2 bar.Its on the corner of a crossroads in one of the main backpacker hangouts,there are hotels all around,you'll have to walk about and find one you like if you dont book in advance.Its not that much of a hassle.
2-I just used an open bus ticket for getting around in Vietnam,cheap and easy to use,id definetly recommend it.I have no idea about a guide,but itll obviously be more expensive.If your looking to save money,the bus may be a better option.
3-Itll vary how much you'll spend day to day in Vietnam,if you dont do anything other than eat,sleep,drink(no alcohol) you can get bye on 15-20 dollars a day.I done that a few times in Nha Trang and Hoi An,just lazed by the beach during the day!but if your looking to go out and have a good time every night,30-40 dollars.But you would have a bloody good time lol!
4-You will definitely meet people travelling on your own.The open tour bus is a good way to do this.When you go on tours at the place your staying you'll meet people to(i highly recommend funky monkeys boat tour in Nha Trang,awesome)Dont worry at all about meeting people,you wont have any problems.
Hope this answers some of your questions,feel free to ask me anything else.Have fun travelling
Andy answered most of your questions correctly. Don't book anything. Tell your taxi to take you to De Tham Street. This is the Pham Ngu Lao area, backpacker ghetto. There are dozens of small hotels to choose from within walking distance. Most under $10/nite.
Open tour is the way to go between HCMC & HaNoi. Forget the motorbike/guide option. It is way too expensive for you. They want $50/day when heading up through the Central Highlands. You can rent a motorbike in the smaller cities. In DaLat, Nha Trang, Hue it may be an option to consider. PM me if you want to rent.
3. Expenses. I never spent more than $10/nite for rooms, food was under $5/day. Add you transport costs and tours, you should be around $20/day if you stay out of the bars.
4. I can guarantee you will meet others in your age bracket doing just what you are; bumping around Asia with their backpack. Go and have fun. Good luck.
I am VIetnamese. Pleasure to give you the information.
Almost of them give you the right information.
If you live in the guest hourse , you will have to pay about 10$ per night. And if you rent a motobike, about 5-6 $ per 8 hours.
One more thing you should remember that Vietnamese not good at english like Philippino or Malaysian. So that it is a little difficult for you go alone to the remote area.
Now i have to go. If you need any information just ask me. Take care.
Thanks very much to all of you. These forums are awesome! I just stumbled across this site browsing the web yesterday, and pretty much all of my questions are answered. Once again thanks guys!