Solo Backpacking Guide to Vietnam  

As a Solo Destination:

Vietnam is for the adventurous and independent solo traveler. Tourism is only just catching on in this country so while there are many travel opportunities, it's useful to have a trusty guidebook and a patient attitude to help get the most out of your time in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese people are unbelievably friendly to foreigners considering the countries history with war. They are keen to speak any language especially English and while it's not necessary to speak Vietnamese, a few basic phrases will go a long way, particularly when bartering for a Cyclo (form of transport), if you barter right, you may find yourself with an exceptionally cheap tour guide!

Some solo travelers could find the ever-present beggars and street workers an annoyance, however they are only really found in the cities and aren't too persistent. If this sounds alarming, head north and avoid Ho Chi Minh City.

Your hostel or hotel will point you in the best direction to meet people, as there are many clubs and cafes set up for foreigners. Internet cafes are the best place to research the country and also meet people at the same time.

Surprisingly Vietnam is very well equipped for all standards of accommodation from Luxury Hotels to Hostels. Hostels are everywhere, however hostelling international or YHA don't have any on their website so it's best to search independently.

When in Vietnam it is the best country to experience Hill Tribe living. Tours and treks are available that take you to these remote villages and allow you to mingle with the locals in their culture that is so unlike the modernized world.

This style of accommodation is extremely basic and you may find the bathroom is wherever you make it, however the culture is a must for any solo traveler hoping to learn whilst traveling.

Budget for Solos:

Vietnam is a very cheap destination. When exchanging money you become an instant millionaire (1GBP = 29,898VND).

Food is easy to find and you get a lot for your dollar with meals starting at around 15,000 VND. The Vietnamese cuisine is very colourful and flavour rich with many dishes to try.

The biggest expense in Vietnam would be decided on how much you like shopping, with the exchange rate and most things being sold at low prices its easy to fill your bag in one day!

Trips and Activities for Solos:

As mentioned earlier, a trip to the Hill Tribes is unmissable.
Hanoi, the city of lakes has many activities to do, such as a visit to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, museums and shopping galore particularly in the Old Quarter, a traditional area selling anything and everything.
Halong Bay in the countries north is the perfect location for sun-seekers and boats regularly have tours leaving daily.
A DMZ tour is a great insight into the Vietnam War and takes you through the De-Militarized Zone and into Tunnels used by the Vietnamese during the war. Tours generally depart Hue and Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh City has many markets and museums and is nearby the Mekong Delta.

There are many activities to suit all ages and interests it just takes a little research.

A few useful links are-

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