Cheap and cheerful, Vietnam is the ultimate backpacker destination. Weather is pleasant here all year round, and costs for delicious and hearty food are unbelievably low. Vietnam may not be as cheap as Indonesia but the value here is considerably higher with two vibrant and beautiful cities, numerous historical sites and stunning natural landscapes tucked into a long and narrow stretch of land that is easy and inexpensive to explore in its entirety.
Most visitors to Vietnam arrive in the southern capital of Ho Chi Minh City which was formerly known as Saigon. It is a busy, brash city that is home to what seems like millions of motorcycles. Traffic is usually bumper to bumper and traffic laws are chaotic and very loosely adhered to. Adventure travellers can save money by renting a motorcycle for their trip, but inexperienced riders should avoid this option.
Another way to set off on a Vietnam adventure out of Ho Chi Minh City is via the train. There is one main train line that snakes through the entire length of narrow Vietnam and it is called the Reunification Express. The trip takes several nights and can be a great way to meet people. Second class tickets are perfectly comfortable and are very cheap, so a lot of backpackers in Vietnam take this atmospheric option. As well, travelling by train provides great views of the countryside.
With so many budget airlines operating in the area travellers strapped for cash as well as time can speed up their travels by hopping form city to city in a place. One of the many budget carriers that operate flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the northern and national capital of Hanoi is Bangkok Airways. The websites of these budget airlines will advertise all the cheap standard fares as well as rock bottom special prices.
There are many, many flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the regional hubs of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Backpackers on the Southeast Asian backpacking trail can easily hop from one of these hubs to Vietnam, but many like to rough it overland, entering Vietnam from border crossings in Cambodia, Laos of China. Buses are the main form of transport for these journeys, but crossings by river boat are also possible.
Once travelling in Vietnam, the opportunities to save money while seeing the country are pretty unlimited. It costs nothing to spend time on the beach, and one of the many things that Vietnam has in abundance is coastline. Some of the beach towns like Nha Trang are justifiably world famous and the party scene at these places is made up of young people on a backpacking adventure.
Eating in Vietnam is cheap. It’s traditional to order several meals and share them all around the table. This makes for a social experience and there are so many backpacker-oriented restaurants in the country that this too makes for a good way of meeting people as well as saving money. Good buys are spring rolls and there are plenty of opportunities for cooking classes, too.
For more Vietnam travel information visit: http://www.1stopvietnam.com/
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