Vietnam is a big country, so 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. Backpacking Vietnam & FAQs
1.1. Is it Safe to Travel to 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.
1.2. When To Visit 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 details, when is the best time to visit Vietnam? Please click here for more information.
1.3. 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 Vietnam. You can read detailed information about a Vietnam visa and how to get an e-visa here: Visa for US Citizens.
1.4. How To Get Around Vietnam?
Buses are trendy in Vietnam. You can use buses to get to tourist attractions in a province or go from one area to another.
There are many buses, and you can quickly get on one bus for 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 book tickets online: vexere.com and easybook.com.
Using a train has many benefits: it is cheap, safe, always on time, and helps you move to 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.
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 your plan as you want: time to start and return to the city. Traveling by motorbike is cheap, flexible and you can relax during the tour anywhere. 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/
1.5. Where To Stay in Vietnam?
Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Halong, Phu Quoc, Saigon, etc. 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.
1.6. Costs When Backpacking in Vietnam
To have a good backpacking tour in Vietnam, you should have a clear plan and check the budget.
Cost For Hostels and Homestay
In Vietnam, the cost of a hostel and homestay is reasonable. It is around 4 to 10 USD in familiar 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 your days, 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 to Vietnam. The world knows Vietnam is famous for its diverse cuisine and unique culture. From traditional dishes to street foods or favorite 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.
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 1 USD to 4 USD 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 be 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 and daily buses. It may cost from 50.00vnd to 200.00vnd. If you move further, it can be 600.00vnd. 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. Typically, the price of renting a motorbike is 10 USD, and you also need to spend money on petrol, too.
You can choose a good airline and book an online ticket if you have to fly to far destinations. For more information, please click here to read.
Cost For Tickets at Tourism Destinations
An essential part of the expense that people may forget is the cost of activities. You want to enjoy activities in different tourist places, and it needs money. Generally, 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.
1.7. Tips To Save Money When Backpacking Vietnam
There are some tips for you to keep your budget. Please read carefully:
Street food is both cheap and delicious. Even if you are a star, you can not ignore the yummy food on the street of Vietnam! It is fantastic 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 take a bus to move to another province, the best time is midnight. Because the fee is cheaper and a good time for your sleep, you can 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 to ask someone for a tourist bus. You do not need to pay so much but still have a comfortable seat to relax.
Choose Cheap Flights
It would be brilliant if you could find a cheap flight. They are on the internet. Find, and you can decide 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; try to learn Vietnamese sentences such as hi and thank you in Vietnamese 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.
Walking for a time, you will feel thirsty and need some water. But it may cost your money. The solution is to bring a small water bottle with you in suitable cases.
If you need to know more 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.
2. Vietnam Travel Itinerary
There are many top places to visit and unique things to do in 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 three weeks to complete this trip.
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:
- 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, the highest peak in Vietnam and 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.
Ha Long (3 Days)
Halong Bay is a world heritage and the pride of the 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.
- Living like a local: visiting villages can help you live, learn how to catch fish, and more.
- Experience Queen Cable: the excellent cable at the height of 215m is fantastic to try at least once!
For more information about Halong Cruises, please see Top Halong Bay Cruises.
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.
- Visit Hoa Lo Prison to learn the history of the Vietnamese people.
- On weekends, shop at Dong Xuan Market to buy things and feel the local life.
- Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, especially in the morning or late afternoon.
- Try the egg coffee at Giang Cafe; very fantastic!
- Enjoy street food with Banh Mi, Nem Cuon, Pho Bo, etc.
Quang Binh (2 Days)
Quang Binh is famous for Son Doong Cave. It is one of the most impressive 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, a Quang Tri ancient citadel. Vietnamese soldiers had tried their best to entrench the defense for 81 days and nights. After that, the S-shaped country won the Paris Conference.
Hue (2 Days)
Hue is the central province of Vietnam, where you can adventure the culture of the royal lifestyle and enjoy fantastic food. There are many things to do in Hue. If you want to know more, please read these things below:
- 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 a royal meal at Cung Dinh restaurant, and enjoy dishes for a King.
Da nang – Hoi An (3 Days)
Da Nang and Hoi An are two tourist destinations in Vietnam close to each other. People often have a tour of these two places during their trip. Let’s see what to do in Da Nang and Hoi An
- 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 & Linh Ung Pagoda
- Visit Golden Hand Bridge.
- Experience being a farmer in Tra Que Vegetables Village – Quang Nam.
- Visit Cu Lao Cham and relax at the beach.
- Buy Vietnam souvenirs at Hoi An Market.
- Relax at Vinpearl Land and play games.
- Visit My Son Sanctuary.
- Watch the sunset on Thu Bon River.
Nha Trang (2 Days)
Backpacking in Vietnam is enjoyable if you can go to Nha Trang. The place is famous for its clean beach, Ponagar Tower, and 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 fun.
- Seeing 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.
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.
- 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.
- Trekking to Langbiang Peak.
- Kayaking when visiting Tuyen Lam Lake.
Ho Chi Minh City (2 Days)
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Sai Gon, is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam. It is very famous for its noisiness as well as the beautiful destinations. For tourists coming to Sai Gon, there are many exciting activities such as:
- 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.
Mekong Delta – (2 Days)
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 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 learn more about people’s 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 silk sheet 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.
- Discover Vinh Trang Temple 2000m square, which is a modern design.
Phu Quoc Island – (3 Days)
- 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, and Melaleuca mushroom.
We have shared a lot of in detail about backpacking in Vietnam. We hope you will get a fantastic tour when coming to Vietnam.
Currently, I’m the founder and responsible for the content on Explore One Vietnam travel website. After many trips, I have accumulated a lot of experience in traveling to Vietnam, so I want to share these things with international tourists.