Vietnam is one of the most budget-friendly countries for an Indian passport holder to visit. With regular to and fro flights and simple visa procedure, several Indians are now willing to visit Vietnam.
With this blog, we will share with you how to get around Vietnam on a budget in 2019. Following are the main expenses:
- Airfare –
Airfare will bear most of your expenses for a budget vacation in Vietnam. There are quite a few airlines which fly regularly to Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from major Indian cities. Thanks to Air Asia – a low-cost airline – return flight tickets from India to Vietnam can be purchased online for less than INR 20,000, provided you book well in advance.
- Visa –
Once you have booked your flight tickets, you can apply for Vietnamese Visa on Arrival. Yes, Vietnam offers VoA to Indian passport holders. Visit Vietnam Visa to fill up the form. You will have to pay USD 17 to procure an approval letter. Later, when your reach Vietnam, you will have to pay USD 25 to get the stamp. Therefore, your overall cost to get a Vietnamese visa would be USD 42.
- Accommodation –
Accommodation in Vietnam can be found for all budgets. There are plenty of options to choose from. One can stay at a hostel dorm in the cities for as little as USD 3 per night. The better ones are available for just USD per night, offering free breakfast and a bevy of amenities. You can book your accommodation as per your budget on booking.com or on airbnb.
- Food & Beverages –
Indians used to find it quite difficult looking for good vegetarian food in Vietnam. Not anymore. With the increase in popularity of Veganism, vegetarian food can be found in all the popular places around Vietnam. For seafood lovers, Vietnam is nothing less than a heaven. An average meal per person would cost you USD 4, including a beverage. Restaurants, especially the ones inside a shopping mall or at a popular touristy location generally do accept prepaid Forex cards.
- Transportation –
Travelling within the country is fairly easy and cheap. All the major destinations are well connected to each other. There are buses, trains, aeroplanes, and rental cars & motorbikes available for local transport. If you would want to perambulate within a destination, you can also hire a bicycle and paddle away. To book a long-distance journey, you can use a prepaid Forex card to make the payment. To visit Halong Bay, you would need to book a cruise ride. That can be done in advance or on spot (cheaper).
- Shopping –
Vietnam is nothing less than a Mecca for shopaholics. The variety of products ranging from apparels to footwear and accessories to souvenirs are available at tempting prices. However, it is important to bargain to get a good price. Silk is extremely popular in Vietnam and can be purchased at a low price. Although they don’t offer any guarantee, you can also buy premium-looking products for a steal price.
- Sim Card –
Since Vietnam is not a well-developed country, you would need to purchase internet data if you can’t do without the internet for long hours. You can buy a tourist sim card from the airport. The best one – Way2Go comes with unlimited internet and a validity of 10 days (10GB high-speed) for USD 9. If you would also need to make calls as well, you can add packs to your Vietnamese number for a relatively cheap price.
- Prepaid Forex Card v Debit/Credit Card –
Whether your trip ends up being a budget trip or not depends on your mode of payments. A debit or a credit card, unlike a prepaid travel card, will incur a few USD in the name of charges for every single transaction. There will be charges to withdraw cash from an ATM, there will be charges to make direct payment to the merchant using your card, and there will also be charged for using your card outside India … unless you opt for a prepaid Forex card.
A few points to remember:
- As of 28.06.19, 1 Rupee in Vietnam is valued 337.66 Dong.
- The best times to visit Vietnam are from February to April and September to November.
- Do not convert INR to Vietnamese currency in India. You will never get a fair exchange rate for that transaction.
- Visa on Arrival will not be available if you enter Vietnam through a land border.
- The best currency to carry with you on your prepaid Forex card as well as in cash is the USD.
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