Some tips that backpackers have to know for saving money when in Vietnam
Vietnam is considered to be one of the cheapest countries to travel in the world, but that doesn’t mean everything is a bargain and if not careful you may cost an arm and a leg for a thing you don’t need that much. Besides planning your itinerary carefully, take a note to those tips above to save your money when in Vietnam:
- Research for an affordable accommodation
The kind of accommodation you stay cover a lot in your trip budget. If your trip is a long one, your best choice should be hostels to save money. An average cost for night in hostel range from VND 100 000. If you have attention to stay longer or go with a couple of friends, just ask the hostel owner to negotiate for a better price and also remember that booking in advance always have its advantages!
- Travel on peak-off season
If it’s not affect you plan much, it’s advised to travel on the peak-off season. Usually peak-off traveling time always has a better price than the high-peak one. Accommodation and other services price seem to be cheaper and have better service qualify, too. Traveling in the off-peak season, you also have space and peaceful time to enjoy your trip. If you have planned your trip already, book a room in advance to get promotion and save a lot of money!
- Choose the right transportation
As mentioned above, make sure avoiding high-peak season like holidays in Vietnam to get better price for flight ticket or accommodation. Another thing you can do to save money in transportation is using public transportation. There are lots of kinds of transport in Vietnam to get you around places. If you travel in short distance, buses or shared taxis are good options. Buses are very cheap but remember to learn bus map on your heart so as not to get lost or get in the wrong bus. If you prefer on experience and sightseeing, travel on foot will be the best idea, but it doesn’t take you far as other transportations. And if you have motor driving license, you can rent a motorbike and go around anywhere as your like.
- Find out the backpackers districts
Backpackers’ districts in Vietnam is where you can find information about Vietnam better but not cost a cent. You can wander around districts or sit down and chat with other foreigners and save some useful tips for your trip. An ideal example for backpackers’ districts in Vietnam or Ho Chi Minh is Bui Vien, located in the centre of the city, where there are a lot of pubs and of course, foreigners.
- Learn some bargain sayings
Shopping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture during your Vietnam holiday, where you can find unique handicrafts, food items and souvenirs at relatively affordable prices. Bargaining (at least 50% lower than the retail price) is a must for better deals as vendors often charge higher for tourists, especially Western tourists. If you still feel that the final price isn’t match your like, politely decline and move on to the next vendor which may offer a better price (or accept your bargaining). In addition, just say “no” to things you don’t really need, just make your mind and walk away.
- Try to eat and stay like a local
Foods and drinks in Vietnam are diverse and considered to be rather cheap compared to other countries’. However, if you go straight to a high-class restaurant, it’s not that cheap at all. On the other hand, street food or local food corners are delicious and have very reasonable price. You may try a bowl of featured “Pho” with only VND 25 000 (under $1.2). Other tasty food of Vietnam like Com tam, Bun bo Hue, goi cuon (spring rolls),… also costs that average (range from $1 – $2.5). Locals in Vietnam usually have one cup of coffee at roadside vendors with only VND 10 000 ($0.4). If you are in Ho Chi Minh, you can walk around City Opera House and enjoy lemon tea or milk tea like a young local here.
- Take some notes on free entrance-fee destinations
Vietnam has some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world, making it a must-visit amongst nature enthusiasts. Besides that, Buddhist temples, parks and lakes as well as certain attractions don’t require admission fees, such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Hanoi), Notre Dame Cathedral (Ho Chi Minh City) and Saigon Central Post Office. Although there are known cases of tourists being told by strangers to pay an entrance fee to visit certain areas of an attraction, a good way to avoid this is to do your research beforehand.