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6 Tips for Going to Vietnam on a Student Budget

09 Oct 2021
Asia is an extraordinary destination if you decide to see something exotic. Why not head to Vietnam? This country welcomes guests with generosity and kindness. A trip there will definitely enrich you with new impressions.
Fortunately, nowadays you can organise everything yourself, without turning to travel agencies. In this article, we have collected recommendations on how to go to Vietnam on a budget and make the journey as comfortable as possible.
Of course, there’s something that might distract you from enjoying local attractions – and this is paper deadlines. If you are thinking: "Сan anyone write my essay for me cheap?", here is good news. There are great paper writing services on the web that can free you from the need to do your homework on a trip. 
Tips for Vietnam on a Student Budget © jakob-owens-unsplash
Just because you're a student doesn't mean you can't still take the trip of a lifetime! © Jakob Owens / Unsplash

When and Where to Go

Depending on the season, the climate in Vietnam changes dramatically: the wet season - to dry, typhoons - to the hot sun. The best time to go to South Vietnam is from December to April. Better not show up in Central Vietnam from October to December because of the weather conditions. Most tourists prefer months from May to October when the sky is clear and temperatures allow them to swim.

The country offers a lot for all types of tourists: from adventure seekers and surfers to romantics and spa lovers. The key is to choose a place in advance. For example, swimmers and diving lovers will like Nha Trang and Da Nang. Da Nang is more suitable for surfing, and in Nha Trang there are better conditions for diving and fishing.

Most tourists come to the island of Phú Quốc from November to March. As for the sightseeing, better go to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. A romantic getaway is amazing in Phú Quốc. This is the only place in Vietnam where the sun sets directly over the sea. The hottest time on the island is from April to July. 
Tips for Vietnam on a Student Budget © doan-tuan-unsplash
Vietnam's famous terrace rice paddies are a must © Doan Tuan / Unsplash

Transportation

The best way to travel around Vietnam is probably to take a train. There is a line that runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and makes stops in all tourist destinations (Nha Trang, Hue, Da Hang). 

No doubt, buses are cheaper than trains, but many travellers claim that bus journeys are terrible, as they are neither air-conditioned nor roomy. There also might be insects crawling over you on a bus.

- A sleeping bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap (Cambodia) costs about $20.
- Boat ticket to Vung Tau - $10.
- Night bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang - $10, day bus - $9.
- The cheapest seat on the train from Nha Trang to Hanoi - $25. Note that traveling like that is long - 1.5 days on the way with a 6-hour day stop in Hue. 

As for the flights, cheap options can be found all around the country. Airports are located in all tourist cities as well. Considering overland trips can take 12 hours or more, turning to budget airlines seems to be a good idea. As for short-distance trips around cities, try renting a bike, a one-day rent costs about $5. The price for a litre of gasoline is $1.
A taxi ride in Vietnamese cities ranges between $1 and $5.  However, be careful. Taxi drivers may try to trick you by using the meter turned up in their favour or by taking the longest road.
Tips for Vietnam on a Student Budget © doan-tuan-unsplash
Getting around Vietnam is both cheap and easy © Tron Le / Unsplash

Food

Vietnam is known for its exotic cuisine, but let's compare the prices of food in cafes and shops so that you can plan your budget better.
- Pho noodle soup costs $1-2;
- Banh Mi sandwich with vegetables and meat is $1 in street stalls (in a café it will cost 2-3 times more);
- fish fried in ginger sauce with a plate of rice and soup is $1.50 in street stalls;
- rice with chicken and broth in a local café is $1.50 (the same dish costs $3-4 in a restaurant);
- a kilogram of bananas - $1-1.50;
- a kilogram of mangos costs about $2-4;
- a pineapple - $0.50;
- coconut juice in a market - $ 0.80;
- a bottle of local wine - $4 and up;
- freshly squeezed sugarcane juice - $0.40;
- shrimps in a market will cost at least $12 per kilo depending on their size - note that they are sold fresh in Vietnam;
- frog legs on a market - $6 per kg;
- a bottle of mineral water - $0.30;

It is also worth trying Vietnamese coffee - it is quite thick and resembles melted chocolate. A cup of coffee costs about $1. Trung Nguyen is considered one of the best coffee companies in the country. 
Tips for Vietnam on a Student Budget © alice-young-unsplash
Fresh, high quality local ingredients are the key to most Vietnamese dishes © Alice Young / Unsplash.jpg

Accommodation

The costs of hotels and guesthouses differ - they depend on your requirements for the place to stay. In the tourist cities (for example, in Nha Trang), you can find a nice hotel and book a double room (with a bathroom and air conditioning) only for $6-10 per day. 

The handiest service when it comes to comparing prices is RoomGuru. You can find both hotels and private offers there. If you will be constantly on the move, travelling from one city to another, better book accommodation on Airbnb.

Tours

Here are some approximate prices:
- Small boat excursions start at $7.
- A self-guided trip to a reserve will cost approximately $20-40 for two adults, including travel fees and tickets.
- An excursion to the same reserve as part of a tourist group will cost $40-100.
- The entrance ticket to the Vinpearl amusement park costs $22.50.
Tips for Vietnam on a Student Budget © kiril-dobrev-unsplash
We can hear the waves genlty lapping the sand from here © Kiril Dobrev / Unsplash

Additional Costs

To relax, many travellers try Vietnamese massage. Acupressure back massage costs at least $7, while massage with hot stones - at least $3. This assumes that you leave a tip after the procedure. The sauna costs $1.5o. In popular tourist destinations, prices can be significantly higher.

To Sum Up

Now you can easily calculate how much a trip to Vietnam costs. If you are planning to go here for a month, then the budget for two people can be as follows:
- Housing (rent of an apartment or guesthouse) is about $ 150-250;
- Food will be $ 150-200;
- Travel expenses - about $ 100 (including renting a bike per month or going to other cities by public transport).

Hope you have a great trip!

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