Posted: 21 November 2017
Travel to Vietnam is more popular than ever, and 2016 was a record-breaking year for the country. A reported 10 million international visitors made their way to Vietnam last year and had the opportunity to experience all that the country has to offer.
The unique culture of Vietnam is part of its appeal, but it can also make it overwhelming to plan a trip. Especially if you are traveling on a budget, you want to make sure you experience as much as possible without spending an excessive amount of money.
Fortunately, there are many low-cost options for things to do in Vietnam. You can get a complete sense of the country and its culture without blowing your budget.
Below, we’re sharing our 9 favorite things to do in Vietnam that won’t break the bank. Read on to learn how you can enjoy this incredible country to the fullest, even on a limited budget.
1. Indulge in Incredible Street Food
The best food in Vietnam isn’t found in a fine dining restaurant with white tablecloths and inflated prices. It’s found in any one of the many street stalls that cook up the country’s most popular dishes.
That’s good news for travelers on a budget, as well as anyone who wants to taste the best of what Vietnam has to offer. Seek out open-air markets for the greatest selection of cheap eats that taste as fresh and delicious as an expensive restaurant meal.
Some local favorites include pho — a comforting dish of salty broth, fresh noodles and protein — and Bahn mi sandwiches.
2. Travel by Train
There are great budget-friendly things to do in Vietnam throughout the country, so don’t limit your trip to just the cities.
Instead, book reservations on a sleeper train. It’s an inexpensive way to travel to some of the less urban areas of Vietnam and will give you an opportunity to enjoy the changing scenery as you go.
Exploring the less tourist-heavy areas that are accessible by train is also a chance to spend less money overall. City prices are always going to be escalated, so the more remote you are, the fewer things will cost.
3. Visit a Buddhist Temple
Visiting a Buddhist temple is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. And, since temples are free to enter, it’s also a great activity for travelers on a budget.
Every temple has a distinct style, so make a list of several that you want to see and scatter the visits throughout your trip.
If at all possible, try to time your visit to Vietnam during a religious festival. That will give you the opportunity to experience the temples in a lively and celebratory atmosphere, and help you develop a better appreciation for the religious culture of the country.
4. Join a Trekking Tour
From plunging valleys to rice paddies to soaring mountains, Vietnam’s scenery is as diverse as it is breathtaking. One of the best ways to experience it all is by booking a trekking tour.
With a company like Mr. Linh’s Adventures Vietnam trekking tours, packages can be customized to meet your specific needs and specifications. Tours can be as strenuous or as comfortable as you desire.
And because tours can also be designed based on your specific budget, working with Mr. Linh’s Adventures is one of the most cost-efficient things to do in Vietnam.
5. Visit the Saigon Central Post Office
If your trip to Vietnam includes a stop in Ho Chi Min City, be sure to schedule a visit to the Saigon Central Post Office.
It is free to enter, making it a perfect activity for travelers on a budget, and its unique architecture stands out amongst other buildings in the city.
The post office was constructed in the late 19th century when Vietnam was part of French Indochina. As a result, Gothic, Renaissance, and French influences impacted the design of the building.
6. Relax with a Massage
Part of the reason we go on vacation in the first place is to escape the stress of our everyday lives. In Vietnam, that is especially easy to do because inexpensive, high-quality massages are available throughout the country.
Massage therapy has been a part of life in Vietnam for centuries, and there are many options to choose from. Foot massages and full body massages, in particular, are popular.
7. Soak Up the Sun on a Vietnam Beach
Staying at a beach resort can get expensive, but that’s not the only way to enjoy the coast. Planning a day trip or spending an afternoon on the sand is one of the best budget-friendly things to do in Vietnam.
Between the turquoise water and white sand, Vietnam’s beaches are a beautiful destination worth including in your trip’s schedule.
A day on the beach also makes a nice break from exploring the busy city or hopping from one destination to the next.
8. Shop at a Night Market
Any trip to a new country should include a little shopping. Mementos are a great way to remember the experience long after you’ve returned.
For budget-friendly options, visit one of Vietnam’s bustling night markets. There, you’ll find an array of products, including toys and clothes, that can help you commemorate your trip.
Ask around for the best markets that the locals go to. You’ll find more authentic pieces, and will avoid the typical hike in prices that tourists can fall victim to.
9. Enjoy a Museum
If you’re spending time in the cities, like Hanoi, research what museums you might be interested in exploring. Many of them, like the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, have minimal entry fees.
No matter what their subject, museums offer a unique glimpse into a country’s culture. They represent what the people felt it was worth it to preserve, and detail history in an objective way.
Ready to Explore Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Vietnam?
Being able to explore a new country and experience a different culture is a luxury, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money when you travel. Take the time to research activities before you go, and you can end up getting the most out of a limited budget.
For more information on budget-friendly travel, please contact us.