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How to Travel Vietnam on a Budget?

Travelling Vietnam has a perfect combination of being very affordable with having lots of fascinating sights. If you are sticking to a tight budget, you can spend little here. Vietnam gives you a good value and unforgettable experience. Many activities and attractions in Vietnam are reasonably priced. This article will offer you 13 tips for travelling Vietnam on a budget.

1. Fly with Budget Airlines to Vietnam

Airline fare accounts for a large part of the cost of traveling in Vietnam. Some budget airlines flying to major Vietnamese cities are Pacific Airlines, Air Asia, and Jetstar Airways. You can fly to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi by Pacific Airlines from Taiwan and Thailand.

Air Asia's airplanes connect most famous Vietnamese destinations with countries such as Australia and China. Jetstar’s planes fly to HCMC from Southeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Japan.

Hong Kong Airlines usually offers favorable flight to Vietnam. Many tourists make connecting flights in Hong Kong to Vietnam.

2. Have a tour in Vietnam in a Group

Travelling in a group can split accommodation and transport expenses. Furthermore, members could negotiate lower prices for guided tours and other activities. Try it next time to team up with fellow travelers heading in the same direction and split the price of rooms and transport.

3. Exploring Low-cost Street Food in Local during a Vietnam tour

You can save a great deal by exploring the low-cost and delicious street food available everywhere in Vietnam. Finding out where locals dine and drink would not just save your money, but it would also let you experience what the locals eat.

4. Learn how to make a bargain during a Vietnam tour

If you want to get the best deal between you and the sellers, and have a good chance to buy products at a considerably low price, you have to know the method of bargain. Bargain is very common when you buying things in Vietnam especially in local markets.

Learn some Vietnamese phrases would help you to negotiate prices. Besides, it is suggested to bargain at the half of the original price at first. Many sellers may refuse you at first with the reason that their products with best price and quality. In this case you can gradually raise up the price until both of you reach the agreement.

Another effective way to bargain is pretend to walk away. This method can be used when you nearly reach the price that you want but seller doesn’t agree with you. If you walk away, the sellers may call you back and give you the price that you want.

Eat like the Locals in Vietnam
Eat like the locals can help you save much money in Vietnam.

5.Travel in Vietnam in shoulder season

Try it next time if you can visit Vietnam in a shoulder season. Traveling in the shoulder season can help you to save a lot of money. For example, if you are traveling during the summer time from May to September, there is a big deal for most Ha long Bay cruises from 20% to 40% discount. Although it might not be an ideal weather, you will still have the chance to explore a destination without getting bothered because of the crowds.

6. Stay at Hostels in a Vietnam tour

The best way to see a lot of Vietnam in a most cost efficient way is to stay in hostels. Vietnam offers backpackers a large number of low-cost but also luxury hostels. Many of them are modernly equipped and with additional services for backpackers such as bike rental, motorbike excursion, sports ground and so on.

In addition to being more affordable than ordinary hotels, you can also meet backpackers from all over the world. You can share a lot of interesting travel stories with them or even team up with them to travel.

Explore Vietnam by Motorbike
Taking a motorbike is a great option to explore Vietnam.

7. Rent a Motorbike to Explore Vietnam

If you want a budget-friendly Vietnam tour, you can consider renting a motorbike to travel. Rent a Bike, Dragon Bikes, and Flamingo are some of professional rental companies that add pick-up and drop-off services in the price. If you rent a semi-automatic or standard automatic motorbike, the average price is around $10 per day.

8. Have a tour in Vietnam by Tourist Buses

Tourist buses are another very affordable and convenient way of transportation in Vietnam. The routes of tourist buses in Vietnam are very extensive, and you can take buses in many places. And the bus fare is much cheaper than the train ticket for the same route.

For example, bus tickets for a journey between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which are around 1.750km, are from $25 to $40. Journeying from HCMC to Nha Trang, which is 440km away, by bus costs around 12 USD. From Hanoi to Ha long Bay, fares are typically around 10 bucks for a 180km journey.

Vietnam Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is a free attraction in Vietnam that proves to be gorgeous.

9. Sleep on Overnight Bus when Making Long Journeys in Vietnam tour

To further reduce travel costs, take an overnight bus to and from destinations. Besides enjoying the benefits of the most economical way of transport, you can cut down accommodation expenses.

10. Visit Free Attractions in Vietnam tour

Visiting free attractions is another way of traveling Vietnam in low-cost. There are many engaging sightseeing opportunities for budget-conscious holidaymakers traveling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and beyond.

In the capital city Hanoi, you can visit Hoan Kiem Lake and have a tour in Old Quarter area and various famous attractions, such as bridges and pagodas. In HCMC, visit Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel. Also, visit the old Chinese Quan Am Pagoda.

Last but not least, hike through rice fields of Sa Pa, northwest of Hanoi, and explore Hoi An "the Venice of Southeast Asia" on foot.

11. Shop around for Guided Tours in Vietnam

Do a bit of research before booking a guided tour. For example, a Halong Bay cruise is a must for every foreign traveler visiting North Vietnam. Prices for cruises tend to vary to a large extent, as well as the quality of the experience.

The price of the boat tour of Ha long Bay varies depending on the duration of a cruise and service. On average, one-day cruises start at $40 per person. Note, however, that paying a somewhat higher price may include perks in terms of duration, service, and overall convenience.

12. Convert US Dollars to Vietnamese Dong when travelling Vietnam

When you travel in Vietnam you need to convert American Dollars (USD) into Vietnamese Dongs (VND) is necessary for a budget trip in Vietnam.

The official exchange rate is approximately 23.000 VND for 1 USD, and local banknotes feature many zeros. Hence, practice conversion before you shop or book hotel in Vietnam. Some foreign nationals pay in US Dollars during their vacation. However, this isn't what you should do on an economical tour of Viet Nam. In general, prices are much higher when you pay in US$.

13. Get a Local SIM Card in a Vietnam tour

High roaming charges and inexpensive traveling typically don't go hand in hand. To avoid such expenses while holidaying in Vietnam, buy a SIM card from a local provider.

The average cost of a Vietnamese SIM card is $10, payable in local money. Some reputable providers are Vietnamboile, Vinamphone, and Mobifone. However, Viettel, which is most popular among foreign visitors, has the largest network.


If you follow the guidelines we mentioned in this article, you should be able to keep a daily travel budget for a Vietnam tour around $20. But, if you wish to travel for less, lowering costs to $15 per day is possible. Indochina Tour has a broad experience in organizing various trips in Southeast Asia and especially in Vietnam. With us, you just specify your wishes, habits, budget, and priorities, and our experienced staff will find the perfect solution for you.

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