So I'm planning on going on a 4 week trip to Vietnam in a year as a graduation present for myself.
I haven't been in SA Asia since 2007 so I'm wondering if you have tips on a recommended budget, excluding airfair to and from vietnam.
I'm not gonna be living on noodles and denying myself beer or a cocktail here and there, and i like air-con rooms. I might even go diving once or twice (am certified).
But I do like hostels and local street food and I mostly plan on travelling by bus or boat.
So if you have an estimate of a generously-cheap budget that would be well appreciated
Also if you have recommendations on where to go.
I like the occational hike and i do like beautiful hirstorical places but mostly I think i classify as a beach bum.
Thanks in advance
oh and i forgot to say, i don't want to be in the middle of some party-craze place. I'd rather just have a hammock and a good book
No need to live off of noodles, the seafood is dirt cheap in VN. I usually spend about US$50. a day, but I live very very well there (I'm sure you could get by on $40. without really trying). Others will quote an even lower rate, but who wants bedbugs!
Bus and boats? Not many boats in VN except to Phu Quoc or Cat Ba Islands. PLEASE, PLEASE, STAY OFF OF LONG DISTANCE BUSES - I quote from Wikipedia, "Vietnam has an appalling road safety record mainly due to widespread disregard for traffic regulations."
Halong bay, sleep on the boat is always my suggest. Around 120$ - 150$ for 2 days, include meals (2 lunch, 1 breakfast and 1 dinner), room
Johnny and I have had the bus vs train discussion before. Most visitors to VN choose to use the open tour bus system when traveling between most cities. Especially when spending a month going from HAN to SGN or the reverse. Much cheaper, more convenient, more cities. But bus travel is more dangerous than the train. I have been to VN 5 times and always use the buses. But I admit that the roads are dangerous and VN drivers don't obey the rules. Your decision.
My photos cover most of the open tour route from HAN to SGN. My blog covers my last trip: Nha Trang to HCMC. Send me a PM if you have specific questions. Good luck with your planning.
I spent 3 weeks travelling through Nam 2 summers ago and had a great time! I went to HCMC, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay. I would suggest a similar route if you have 4 weeks. You might also include the Sapa region up north which I believe is beautiful. You can get by in Vietnam on very little money. A nice single/double room with all mod cons costs about 20-30 US dollars a night...of course there are cheaper rooms if you look around. Food and drink are extremely cheap if you eat and drink where the locals do. Don't miss the bia hoi stalls on the street corners!!
Thanks for all the advice
I will take all this into account to plan my dream trip to Vietnam
If you want to be a 'beach bum' in Vietnam, Phu Quoc would have to be the place to go.
Spent 6 days there last month and the beaches, accomodation, food and general feel of the island was GREAT
My LP book says that the Phu Quoc rainy season last from July to November, which is why we went there in December (high season).
Flew in and out from HCMC and the flight takes about 55 minutes.
You can also get a boat to Phu Quoc from Rach Gia on the mainland.
Pretty laid-back so far, although there are a number of large hotels being built for an expected increase of tourism.
The primary tourist beach (Long Beach) is 10 minutes from the airport and is lovely (have pic on profile).
Stayed in beach bungalow at Kim Hoa resort and that was only $49 USD pn with one double and one single bed in room. The resort has standard rooms back from the beach which were $27 USD pn and all rooms have A/C and hot showers. Other facilities include a pool (never even used it) and free internet (if it is working?).
Had a full day snorkelling trip which wasn't bad and that only cost about $15 USD each, and there are dive shops around.
Hired a scooter driver each and they drove us round the island from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it cost us 200,00 Dong each (about $12 USD).
If we ever go back to Vietnam, this is one place we will be revisiting.
Vietnam is a beautiful and impressive country. there are many interesting places to see such as : halong Bay, Hanoi, Hoian ancient town, Hochiminh city ( saigon ) ,,,
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]