In a region known for being budget-friendly, Vietnam is one of the top value-for-money destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s possible for a backpacker to get by on as little as $25 per day and still experience the best of what the country has to offer.
Most nationalities require a tourist visa to enter Vietnam. Don’t let this initial cost put you off: once you’re in, everything is cheap. You can find a bed in a decent hostel in the bigger cities or at a homestay in rural Vietnam for as little as $10 per night.
Street food dominates in Vietnam, and a bowl of pho, a plate of banh cuon or any one of the county’s other delicious delicacies will set you back less than $2. A glass of bia hoi (keg beer) in Hanoi goes for as little as 20 cents. Expect to pay between $5 and $35 for an inter-city bus or train ticket depending on the distance.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to travel to Vietnam beyond the low costs. The country is incredibly diverse, offering everything from trekking in the magnificent hills of Ha Giang, to boat rides in the Mekong Delta backwaters. An excellent way to experience the country is to travel between Hanoi and Saigon on the Reunification Express train, stopping at beaches, historic towns, and national parks along the way.
I’ve visited Vietnam twice: once as a backpacker in 2012, and again in 2017-2018 when I lived in Hanoi for a year. I didn’t notice much fluctuation in costs between those two visits—an encouraging sign that Vietnam will remain a budget-friendly destination for years to come.
DAILY BUDGET: $25-$35 per person
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