Backpacking in Vietnam is interesting for any traveler. But Vietnam is a big country this means you have a lot to do and see depending on your schedule. If you are looking for a complete guide about Backpacking Vietnam, I think you are in the right place.

1. Is it safe to backpack in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a safe country. People do not use guns, and it is difficult to see any demonstration. People do not like to use violence and want to live peacefully. That is wonderful, right?

Click to read: Is Vietnam Safe To Traveler

2. Best Time To Backpacking in Vietnam

If you care about the best time of year, it is an intelligent decision for a country with volatile weather like Vietnam.

If you still want to know more in detail about When is the best time to visit Vietnam? Please click here for more information.

3. Do you need a visa to go to Vietnam?

Under 30 days: Free visa for Philipines, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, and Singapore. 

Under 15 days: Free visa for South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Denmark, and Finland.

If you are a US, UK, or Australian citizen, you will need a valid visa to travel to Vietnam; usually, you can apply for an e-visa with a single entry and a stay of 30 days.

I think one month is enough for you to Explore One Vietnam. You can read detailed information about a Vietnam visa and how to get an e-visa here: Visa for US Citizens. 

4.How To Get Around Vietnam

4.1 Use Buses

Buses are trendy in Vietnam. You can use buses to get to tourist attractions in a province or go from one province to another.

There are many buses, and you can quickly get on one bus to have your trip. The fee is cheap, and you can even sleep when moving. It is also an excellent way to enjoy life like a local. You can take some pictures when sitting on the seat. The view from the buses is impressive, too. 

Some websites help you booking tickets online: vexere.com, easybook.com.

4.2 Use Train

Using a train has many benefits: it is cheap, safe, always on time, and helps you move too far destinations. You do not need to go to the station but can sit down at home and book an online ticket. 

In the beginning, you search the website and find itinerary information. In the second step, you click on the Search button. Then you can see the information about the train you choose; please click for train carriage.

You can only choose the seats in white color. It means these seats are still empty. Then, you click the “ Buy” button and fulfill your information for paying.

To book a ticket online, please visit this website: dsvn.vn

4.3 Use Motorbike 

Motorbikes are very popular in Vietnam, and many tourists also like this transport because it is flexible and is one of the best means of transportation to experience Vietnam.

When using a motorbike, you can set up your plan as you want: time to start and come back to the city. Traveling by motorbike is cheap, flexible and you can relax during the tour at any place. You even have amazing pictures with your transport.

However, if you are a person who has never ridden a motorbike or has little experience when driving this vehicle, Vietnam is not a good place for you to practice driving; the traffic here is quite chaotic.

Some motorbike rental websites

At Hanoi: https://rentabikevn.com/

At Ho Chi Minh City: http://www.saigonbikerentals.com/

5. Where To stay in Vietnam

Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Halong, Phu Quoc, Saigon, etc. In each place, you can easily book a hostel or homestay at great prices. However, if you have financial conditions, you can book rooms in luxury resorts in Vietnam and have a nice trip. 

6.Vietnam Backpacking Costs

To have a good backpacking tour in Vietnam, you should have a clear plan and check for the budget.

Vietnam Backpacking

Cost for Hostels and Homestay

In Vietnam, the cost of a hostel and homestay is reasonable. It is around 4 to 10 USD in regular places. The price will increase when there are events, festivals of the Vietnamese people, or you come to famous places. If you choose a hotel, it will cost you about 15 to 20 USD per night. Depending on the days you spend, you can easily have an exact number.

Cost for food

Of course, you can not miss yummy food on the street and at the restaurant when traveling. Vietnam has wonderful dishes; you should never ignore this! Remember that the cost of this is not a big problem. It is cheap and reasonable if you choose small stores along the road. You have to pay around 1USD to 4USD for a dish. So it means you can comfortably enjoy food in Vietnam.

For drinks, beer and tea are the most popular. They are also cheap too. You can use 1 dollar for 3 to 4 cups of beer. But in the restaurant, it is much more expensive. When you come to Vietnam, you will be a genuine millionaire and enjoy a long list of dishes.

Cost for moving

Moving around the city and the country will take up part of your budget. For the cheapest way, you can use buses or motorbikes. The public buses are even more affordable, just 1 dollar for three times moving. But it is not suitable for tourists.

If you need to move to other provinces, there are overnight buses and daily buses. It may cost from 50.00vnd to 200.00vnd. If you move further, it can be 600.00vnd. It means you have to spend 4 to 25 dollars to move to a different province.

You can rent a motorbike to discover different places in the city. Normally, the price of renting a motorbike is 10 USD, and you also need to spend money on petrol, too.

If you have to fly to far destinations, you can choose a good airline and book an online ticket. For more information, please click here to check.

Cost for tickets at tourism destinations

Golden Hand Bridge in Vietnam.

An essential part of the expense people may forget the cost of activities. In different tourism places, you want to enjoy activities, and it needs money. In general, ticket prices in destinations in Vietnam usually cost between 2 and 20 dollars.

How much does it cost to visit Vietnam? If you’re backpacking Vietnam, plan to budget between $35-45 USD per day.

7. Tips to save money when going backpacking in Vietnam

There are some tips for you to save your budget. Please read carefully:

Enjoy street food

Street food is both cheap and delicious. Even if you are a star, you can not ignore the yummy food on the street Vietnam! It is amazing to taste delicious things and fulfill your stomach. You can try Pho Bo, Banh Mi, Nem Cuon, Bun Cha, Che, etc. It is around 1 to 2 dollars.

Travel at night

If you have to get on a bus to move to another province, the best time is midnight. Because the fee is cheaper and it is also a good time for your sleep. You can both save money and relax during this time.

Go in group

Moving alone can cost much more than in a group. That is a good idea if you can ask some for a tourist bus. You do not need to pay so much money but still have a comfortable seat to relax. 

Choose cheap flights

It is smart if you can find a cheap flight. They are on the internet. Find, and you can make the best decision to get the best price. Cheap airlines will give you time to save money.

Try to bargain

Bargaining is a common thing in the shopping culture in Vietnam. You can save a haft of your money. It is the truth. It is not difficult at all; try to learn some Vietnamese sentences to use in need. 

Use free wifi

In a coffee shop or at a hotel, restaurant,…wifi is free. You can sit down, order a kind of any drink on the menu, and use wifi if you need. It can save money.

Ask before doing something.

If you want to move by taxi or bus, you should ask the price before getting in the car. Because you can know the right price and none can ask for more!

Bring a bottle with you.

When you walk for a time, you will feel thirsty and need some water. But it may cost your money. The solution is to bring a small bottle of water with you to use in the right cases.

8. Where do backpackers go in Vietnam?

There are many top places to visit and amazing things to do in each part of Vietnam. So, In this section, I will suggest an itinerary and route for backpacking in Vietnam, helping you discover a complete Vietnam. Start in Sapa and end in Phu Quoc Island. It will take you about 3 weeks to complete this trip.

8.1. Sapa (2 Days)

Sapa is a northern destination of Vietnam, where you can feel the peace in the air and the love among people. There are many things to do in Sapa. You can write it down in a notebook some things below here for your trip:

Backpacking in Vietnam
Backpacking in Vietnam
  • Visiting tribal villages: To know more about ethnic people, you should visit Ta Phin, Cat Cat, and Y Linh Ho Village. 
  • Climb the Fansipan peak: it is the highest peak in Vietnam, as well as Indochina.  It is more than 3000 meters high.
  • Enjoy food: Thang Co is the most famous food in Sapa. There are also many other yummy dishes to experience.
  • Shop at the Market: Sapa local market opens on Sunday when ethnic people come and join the group with colorful traditional dresses.

8.2. Ha Long (3 Days)

Halong Bay is a good place to backpack in Vietnam.

Halong Bay is a world heritage and the pride of Vietnamese. Mother Nature gives beauty to the land and the legend with it. To make your tour better and more meaningful, please try things to do in Halong Bay recommended by us below:

  • Kayaking: you can join a group and let your body work hard and feel happy. 
  • Have a night on the boat: You can have chances to enjoy the beauty of the star in the sky. You can also listen to music, watch the fish, and feel the wind during the night.
  • Discover the caves: Halong bay has many caves such as Sung Sot, Me Cung, Thien Cung, etc. 
  • Live like a local: visiting villages can help you live like a local, learn how to catch fish, and more.
  • Experience Queen Cable: the wonderful cable at the height of 215m is fantastic to try at least once!

For more information about Halong Cruises, Please click and see: Best Halong Bay Cruises.

8.3. Hanoi (2 Days)

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The city with a beautiful view and a long list of destinations will make you feel great. Let’s see what to do in Hanoi.

A part of Hanoi

 

  • Visit Hoa Lo Prison to learn the history of the Vietnamese people.
  • Shop at Dong Xuan Market on weekends to buy things and feel the local life.
  • Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, especially in the morning or late in the afternoon. 
  • Discover West Lake and visit Tran Quoc Pagoda.
  • Try the egg coffee at Giang Cafe, very fantastic!
  • Have a ticket to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to discover the art of Vietnam.
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and you can see how this Vietnamese leader is loved.
  • Visit Quoc Tu Giam, the first university in Vietnam.
  • Take a picture at One Pillar Pagoda: the special pagoda as a symbol of Hanoi.
  • Trying to make your pottery at Bat Trang village is so interesting.
  • Stroll around the Imperial Citadel to find more about Vietnam Heritage within 1000 years.
  • Use Grab Service and get around Hanoi to live like a local.
  • Enjoy street food with Banh Mi, Nem Cuon, Pho Bo, etc.
  • Drink Beer like a Vietnamese man.

8.4. Quang Binh (2 Days)

Phong Nha National Park is so stunning for backpacking in Vietnam.

Quang Binh is famous for Son Doong Cave. It is one of the most amazing caves in Vietnam. Besides this, Quang Binh also has many things to do for you to experience; let us show you how:

  • Visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and discover the rich ecosystem.
  • Discover many caves such as Phong Nha Cave, Thien Dong Cave, Son Doong cave, etc.
  • Swim and relax at Nhat Le Beach.
  • Trekking the mountains.
  • Have a bath at the Bang Hot stream.

Notes: there is also a historic site near Quang Binh, which is Quang Tri ancient citadel. Vietnamese soldiers had tried their best to entrenched the citadel for 81 days and nights. After that, the S-shaped country won the Paris Conference.

8.5. Hue (2 Days)

Hue is the central province of Vietnam, where you can adventure the culture of the royal lifestyle and enjoy amazing food. There are many things to do in Hue. If you want to know more, please read these things below:

Visiting Hue in the afternoon.
  • Enjoy Beef Noodle in Hue at Nguyen Cong Tru Street as a local person.
  • Visit Bach Ma National Park and ride a motorbike to conquer Hai Van Pass.
  • Go jogging on the ironwood bridge, and enjoy fresh air on the romantic river.
  • Visit Hue Citadel and discover the history.
  • Experience royal meal at Cung Dinh restaurant, and enjoy dishes for a King.

8.6. Da nang – Hoi An (3 Days)

Da Nang and Hoi An are two tourist destinations of Vietnam that are close to each other. People often have a tour to these two places during their trip. Let’s see what to do at these destinations.

Hoi An is a beautiful place to discover in Vietnam.

Things to do in Da Nang

  • Enjoy food with My Quang, Banh Xeo, Banh Trang, etc.
  • See the dragon bridge at night.
  • Visit Ba Na Hills and take part in many activities.
  • Go backpacking to Hai Van Pass and have a good view of the city.
  • Sunbathe on My Khe Beach
  • Visit Son Tra Peninsula
  • Discover Linh Ung Pagoda
  • Visit Golden Hand Bridge.

Things to do in Hoi An

  • Experience being a farmer in Tra Que Vegetables Village – Quang Nam.
  • Visit Cu Lao Cham and relax at the beach.
  • Buy souvenirs at Hoi An Market.
  • Relax at Vinpearl Land and play games.
  • Visit My Son Sanctuary.
  • Watch the sunset on Thu Bon River.

8.7. Nha Trang (2 Days)

Nha Trang city

Backpacking in Vietnam is enjoyable if you can go to Nha Trang. The place is famous for its clean beach, Ponagar Tower, as well as Aquarium Institute. You can do many things to do in Nha Trang during your trip, such as: 

  • Diving in Hon Mun island and Hon Mot island.
  • Try Flyboar- a strong game with water for the youth.
  • Visit Vinpearl Land Nha Trang to play a lot of games.
  • See the sunset at the beach is so romantic.
  • Enjoy seafood in Nha Trang and many other yummy dishes such as Banh Canh, Nem Nuong, etc.
  • Swim at Doc Let Beach to relax.
  • Discover creature life at Aquarium Institute.

8.8. Dalat City (2 Days)

Dalat is so well-known for its beauty. All foreign tourists visit this place during their travels. Below here are things to do in Dalat that you should try.

Backpacking to Dalat, Vietnam
  • Take a walk around Xuan Huong Lake.
  • See the city from the cable car from Robin to Truc Lam Zen Monastery.
  • Experience the slide at Datanla Waterfall with a length of 1000 meters.
  • Walk around at Lam Vien Square.
  • Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda.
  • Trekking to Langbiang Peak at the height of more than 2000m.
  • Kayaking when visiting Tuyen Lam Lake.
  • Discover Dalat at Night Market.
  • Enjoy Dalat food with Pho, Banh Can, Banh Mi Xiu Mai, Lau Ga La E, Com Nieu, etc.

8.9. Ho Chi Minh City (2 Days)

Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Sai Gon, is the biggest city in Vietnam. It is very famous for its noisiness as well as the beautiful destinations. For tourists coming to Sai Gon, there are many interesting activities such as:

A picture of Ho Chi Minh city.
  • Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Enjoy street food such as Com Tam, Hu Tieu Nam Vang, Sui Cao, Banh Trang Tron, etc.
  • Visit Nha Rong Harbor
  • Buy souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market to discover local life.
  • Discover the historical place: Independence Palace
  • Visit Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Visit Giac Lam Pagoda.

8.10. Mekong Delta – (2 Days)

Foreigners like to backpack to Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta is in the south of the country. It includes 12 provinces such as Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, etc. The life of people in the Mekong Delta is always an appealing topic for travelers. If you are a genuine backpacker, this will be a place that you cannot miss; below here some fantastic things to do in the Mekong Delta.

  • Use cruise to get to My Tho, Cai Be, Vinh Long, and Tan Chau.
  • Visit floating markets to know more about people life ( Cai Be, Cai Rang, Nga Bay, Phung Hiep)
  • Experience with food such as Duong Dua, Hu Tieu, Banh Pia, etc.
  • Discover the Tan Chau Silk Village in An Giang and buy a sheet of silk as a souvenir.
  • Adventure Tra Su Cajuput Forest
  • Visit a fruit farm and enjoy the fresh fruits of Vietnam
  • Visit Tram Chim National Park – home to more than 200 types of birds.
  • Discover Vinh Trang Temple 2000m square, which is a modern design. 

8.11. Phu Quoc Island – (3 Days)

Backpacking in Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Diving in Phu Quoc Island.

Phu Quoc is always on the list of the best islands in Vietnam to visit during holidays. What to do on Phu Quoc island? If you have some days, come here.

  • Visit Vinpearl Safari and relax by discovering more than 2.200 animals. 
  • Participate in outdoor activities at Vinpearl Phu Quoc, 170.000m square, and watch a dolphin show.
  • Discover markets such as Dinh Cau Night Market, Duong Dong Market, etc.
  • Diving for corals is also enjoyable.
  • Adventuring primary forests is amazing at Phu Quoc National Park.
  • Squid fishing at night is a new experience.
  • Enjoy delicious food such as herring salad, Ham Ninh Crab, baked snails,  Melaleuca mushroom.

9.Vietnamese Food and Drinks

The whole world knows that Vietnam is famous for its diverse cuisine besides its unique culture. From traditional dishes to street foods or famous Vietnamese desserts, they make many foreign visitors go from one surprise to another. If you need a reference to the top dishes of Vietnam, you can read this article.

10. Vietnam Travel Tips

If you need to know some tips when traveling in Vietnam, what should you avoid in Vietnam? Let us help you find the answers here. Besides, If you can learn some Sentences and use them to say thanks and hello in Vietnam, you will become a friendly visitor.

We have shared a lot of in detail about backpacking in Vietnam. I hope you will get a wonderful tour. Welcome to Explore One Vietnam.

(Thanh Van)