“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
If you want to get away to recharge, regroup and keep costs down, Vietnam awaits. Last week, Forbes Magazine listed Vietnam as one of the 30 cheapest places to travel in 2017 citing it as “A standout vacation destination” with affordable upscale accommodations, healthy food choices, and beautiful sights. Pack light, wear comfortable shoes and go for an experience you will not forget.
Travelers attest to the lasting impression a visit to Vietnam brings the soul. An abundance of spirit and grace emanate from this beautiful country and its people. A Lonely Planet travel writer described it as, “Astonishingly exotic and utterly compelling, Vietnam is a country of breathtaking natural beauty with a unique heritage, where travel quickly becomes addictive.”
Flights from major cities in the U.S. to Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi are available daily from several airlines, many for under $500 round-trip per person. You need a valid passport and visa to enter the country. We have a good article here on how to apply for and expedite the process for those documents. Once you arrive, no rental car is needed. Take an Uber or taxi to your hotel, get a map then start exploring your surroundings. Do as the locals do and walk. The city streets are active and vibrant day and night. You can also rent a motorbike, scooter, or take an open bus for a hosted tour around the city. If you want to fly while inside Vietnam, try the fun, local airline Viet Jet, known as bikini airlines.
Hotel and motel rooms across Vietnam are priced to fit every budget. Ho Chi Minh City offers luxury hotel rooms at the beautiful Le Meridien and Park Hyatt hotels in the heart of the city. These two properties are gems of Saigon, open to visitors for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and nightclub fun. Other less-expensive motels, apartments, homestays, and hostels are widely available throughout the country.
If your idea of recharging involves action-filled heart-pumping outdoor adventure, Vietnam will not disappoint. Visit our travel page here for articles on interesting destinations in Vietnam. Thrill seekers will enjoy mountain climbing, cliff diving, cave exploring, sky or scuba diving, biking and water sports.
If you want a serene day trip, quiet hike, or guided tour, you can easily find the perfect tour and rent everything from a boat room, tent or treehouse to wind up your day. Yes, you read that correctly. Savvy tour operators and landowners have groomed grounds and yards to build some seriously interesting overnight stay options for those explorers not wanting to trek back into the city every night. Treehouse rooms are $10 and up, tent and boat room rentals are available on many beaches, as well as private homestay and bed and breakfast rentals at all price points throughout the country.
Food and drinks in Vietnam are incredibly creative, fresh, tasty, and inexpensive. Start your day with a cup of amazing Vietnamese coffee and buy some beans to bring home because you will be craving this uniquely satisfying brew. Most coffee beans are locally grown and sourced. The Vietnamese take great pride in preparing meals for family and consider it an honor to invite guests for a cooking lesson and a meal. Seafood is plentiful and caught daily. Meat and poultry are farmed and prepared to the highest standards. Gardens, fields and orchards are carefully tended to grow and harvest quality produce, spices, herbs and delicacies such as chocolate. You can find street food vendors in big cities and small towns cooking with ingredients from local farms. Be sure to watch our Michelle Phan food tour video and try the regional versions of classic Pho, homemade craft beer, wines, and other local specialty foods you will encounter as you visit different cities.
Silk is the favorite fabric of Vietnam, keeping you cool or warm as the humidity and temperature changes throughout the day and evening. Buy a handmade scarf from the locals to use while there and have as a keepsake when you return home.
The key to a great vacation is discovering something new, keeping things simple, not over-spending and coming home with a restful mind and spirit. Vietnam delivers on all fronts, and beckons your return.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
– Mark Twain