Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days)

Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu

Vietnam, located in southeast Asia, is renowned for its rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, friendly people, and natural beauty. For those looking for a budget-friendly international destination within INR 60,000, Vietnam is the ideal location for you.

So, here I am guiding you with all the details you need to explore this beautiful country. Hope it helps.

• Flight tickets: You can book your tickets through Skyscanner, it provides a convenient option for booking tickets. Indigo offers the best and cheapest flight to Vietnam (From Kolkata round trip costs around INR 25,000). We started our trip from Hanoi and ended our trip to Ho Chi Min. You can also do the opposite.

• Visa: You will need an e-visa from their government website to enter Vietnam. E-visa will cost you around 25 USD. There are many illegal websites which will charge you more, so please do check before paying a hefty amount.

• Currency exchange: Compared to any forex exchanges in India, it is better to exchange your Indian money from Vietnam, as there you will get better rates. However, it is always safe to carry some Vietnamese Dong with you for emergency purpose. USD is also accepted in every shop and restaurant in Vietnam, so you can carry it with you.

• Sim card: While SIM cards can be purchased anywhere, it's better to get them from the airport as it allows you to book a cab from the airport to your hotel. Here are some good mobile networks:

1. Viettel Mobile

2. MobiFone

3. VinaPhone

4. S-Fone

5. Vietnamobile

6. Beeline

Based on my personal experience, VinaPhone has a superior network across Vietnam. It costs around VND 200,000 which is equivalent to 9 USD.

• Internal travel/Cab: Download Grab or Gojek app, both are very cheap and convenient to use. however, cities like Hoi-An and Dalat these two are not available. For internal travel from North to central or south Vietnam or visa versa you can take internal flight. Night buses are a cost-effective way to travel, but they will take up a lot of your time.

Now let's starts with the 8 nights and 9 days itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi

• Places to stay: You can get cheap hotels around 25 USD to 30 USD per night near Old Quarter, Hanoi. By walking from there, you can visit Ho Chi Minh's Mau, one pillar Pagoda, and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

• Places to eat: It’s very difficult to find vegetarian food in Hanoi, pork and beef are very common in road side stalls. So it is better to eat from good restaurants if you want to eat chicken or veg, but it will be costly. Famous Vietnamese cuisine are Pho, Banh bao and claypot rice.

• Places to visit: As I mentioned earlier, you can visit Ho Chi Minh's Mau, one pillar Pagoda, and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in the morning. In the evening, you can visit Temple of Literature, Opera House and Train street (it is a must visit place). Before visiting train street, remember to get the time table of the train from your hotel reception, so that you do not miss the chance of the train arrival. There you can have Vietnam special egg coffee and coconut coffee, its really good.

• Other important things to do in Hanoi: There are numerous travel agencies available to book full-day trips to Ha Long bay and Ninh-Binh. The hotel where you're staying offers day trips at discounted rates, so no need to pre-book them from India.

Day 2: Ha Long Bay

Start your day early, the tour bus will pick you up from your hotel. At first they will take you to a pearl factory. There they will show you how peals are being extracted and you can buy one if you wish. Following that, you'll board a cruise ship to discover the captivating Ha Long Bay.

Approximately 1,600 islands and islets make up Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, which forms an amazing seascape of limestone pillars. The property's extension consists of numerous limestone islands and tall limestone pillars that rise out of the water. The eroded arches, tunnels, and notches in the pillars create a stunning and attractive scene. You can use a bamboo boat or kayak to enjoy this amazing scenery. Lunch and snacks will be served in the cruise. Enjoy the sunset and then head back to the hotel. The cost of this day trip might range from USD 44 to USD 60, depending on whether you wish to spend the night there.

Day 3: Ninh-Binh

The untouched natural beauty of the limestone scenery and the renowned historical and religious sites make Ninh Binh one of the most beautiful provinces in the north of Vietnam. The province was Vietnam's capital from 968 to 1010 and an important military area through the historical period of 968-1010 with three Dynasties Dinh; Tien Le; and Tien Ly. It is also considered one of the best places to escape the city life. Places you can visit in Ninh binh:

Mua Cave also know as the Cave of Dancing, is over 500 steps away from the base of the mountain and offers a 360o panoramic view of the area.

After the trek, visit Dinh & Le temple, the place to worship Kings of Dinh (Đinh Bộ Lĩnh) and Le Dynasties (Lê Đại Hành – the first emperor of the succeeding Early Le Dynasty). The temples are atmospheric and quite beautiful in the field of 5 hectares surrounded by a set of incredibly steep hills and belong to the special protection area of the relic.

After having lunch, you can either visit Tam CoC or Trang An, both are very beautiful places. Opening hours: 07:00 AM – 04:00 PM. Tam Coc, known as ``Ha Long Bay on land'', is one of Ninh Binh's top highlights. As the name suggests, Tam Coc is an area consisting of his three natural caves along the Ngo Dong River. It is home to some breathtaking natural landscapes and secluded rural religious sites.

Compared to the Tam Coc waterway, the Trang An route through Ninh Binh is less crowded. You can paddle through the Trang An cave system which consists of 9 caves. Vast karst formations rise on either side of the river banks is one of the many limestone formations that make Trang An’s scenery unforgettable. After sunset head back to Hanoi. This day trip cost around USD 40 to USD 50.

Day 4: Da Nang, night stay at Hoi-An

From Hanoi, hop on an early morning flight to Da Nang. You can take a taxi or cab to Hoi An or stay in Da Nang. I preferred to stay in Hoi An and take a day tour to Da Nang because home stays in Hoi An are usually cheaper around 30 to 40 USD per night. Hoi An is a small town packed with packed with history and full of magical moments, it is one of the most beautiful places in all of Vietnam. Take a basket boat ride through Bay Mau Coconut Forest. The local rowers will take you through the maze-like canals, lined with coconut trees and full of colorful mangroves. Along the way, you'll get to see how nature and the local people live together in harmony, learning about the traditional fishing methods and the eco-friendly lifestyle that revolves around this coconut forest. After that you can wander down the old streets of Hoi An and visit their night market. There are hundreds of brightly lit lanterns scattered throughout the night market of Hoi An, where you will find vendors selling clothes and many other items. The major disadvantage of this place is you can not find any vegetarian food nearby, so you need to cook your own food at your hostel or homestay.

Day 5: Da Nang

Book a car for the whole day to visit Marvel mountain, Golden bridge, Bana hill and My Khe Beach. Explore the tunnels and caves of Thuy Son, the only one of the five marble mountains open to tourists. Admire the rock-cut Buddhist temples, then head to the top of the hill for stunning views of the city. After that, head towards golden bridge which is situated in the Ba Na Hills. This bridge is one of the most photographed locations in Da Nang. It is a 500-foot-long golden bridge to be held in the palms of two enormous hands in the clouds. In the day time it is hard to get a picture without people because it is very crowed therefore get there as early as possible. It offers beautiful views of the Annamite Mountains and the East Sea as it connects the summit cable car station to the magnificent Paradise Gardens. This excursion typically includes a cable car ride, a visit to the French Village, and Fantasy Park. French village is located at the Bana Hills, you need another cable car ride to go there from golden bridge. The village was built similar to French architecture Gothic style in 19th century. Apart from this, gardens on the hills are also full of nature and have a rich diversity of floras and faunas. They also serve lunch from all over the world, you can have experience of Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and many more cuisines. Enjoy your whole day here, and then head towards My Khe Beach in the evening.

My Khe Beach is a very famous beach, it has smooth white sand, gentle slope, clear & warm water and surrounded by coconut trees. Everything around is peaceful, natural, relaxing.

Day 6: Da Lat

Take a morning flight from Da Nang to Da Lat. Da Lat is a very beautiful hill station, the surrounding hills are home to incredible natural treasures. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, wellness seekers, and couples due to its charming rural setting. The European influence on the town's architecture and abundance of lakes dates back to the French who used this mountain resort town as a summer retreat.

We were unable to experience Da Lat because our flight was delayed due to technical issues, so we only took a tour around the city. You can book a car for the whole day to explore waterfalls, canyoning, you can also go for a trek through nature and along forest paths.

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh

Take an early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City from Da Lat. Ho Chi Minh was known as Saigon, it is the economic heart and the main hub of the southern region of Vietnam. On the first day, you can roam around the city and enjoy the nightlife of Vietnam. While roaming around the city, you can visit the following places:

• War Remnants Museum

• Presidential Palace

• Saigon Central Post Office

• Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Also book your day tours to Mekong delta and Chu Chi tunnels from the local travel companies.

Day 8: Mekong Delta

Your day trip will start early morning, they will come to pick you up from your hotel and will drop you off at Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is known as the “rice bowl" of Vietnam. It produces a significant quantity of fresh produce for the nation. During your trip to this region, make sure to visit Cai Rang, one of the most famous floating markets, where you can see a thriving agricultural trade. To explore the Mekong Delta, the ideal method is to take a boat trip through the canals. To cover large distances, motorized sloops are employed on larger rivers. Honey and freshly cut fruits will be provided during the trip. You can also purchase honey and coconuts byproducts from there, it is really good. In the evening enjoy their local music and then head back to hotel.

Day 9: Chu Chi tunnels

Chu Chi Tunnels is a short day trip so lunch will not be included. Since we had to catch an over night flight, we saved this trip for the last day. Chu Chi tunnels was built during the Vietnam War, it served as a hiding ground for the Vietnamese soldier to stay out of the Americans and the South Vietnamese forces’ sight. These tunnels helped them to launch surprise attacks. At least 45,000 Vietnamese people have lost their lives during the Vietnam War protecting the Cu Chi tunnels. Tourists from all over the world come to visit Chu Chi tunnel and everyone can now crawl through some of the safer zones of the tunnels with the help to the tour guide, visit command centers and booby traps. You can also have an experience to fire an AK-47 rifle on a firing range and even eat a meal featuring typical foods that soldiers living in the tunnels would have eaten (we were given sweet potato). Lastly, a documentary will be shown to you about the Vietnam War and how Chu Chi tunnel was built. Overall, it was a very good experience and I would recommended everyone to visit this place.

That's the end of our 9-day Vietnam tour. I hope I have given you as much information as I can. Now pack your bags and hop on a flight to Vietnam.

Thank You

Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu
Photo of Budget Friendly Vietnam Tour (8 nights 9 days) by arpita kundu