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A complete Guide to Travel Vietnam for Indians

Planning your next trip to Vietnam? It is an enormous country, home to tropical forests, limestone cliffs, and exhilarating mountain roads. Away from the wonderful nature, are cities full of culture and fascinating history.

So, I have travelled to Vietnam twice, earlier exploring the major cities and latter coring the off-beat destinations. Basis my experiences, I will help you all to plan your trip by sharing my stories and giving details about almost everything.

So, Let’s Start!!!

P.s: Would be using the cost in Dollars for the sake of simplicity (1$=80Rs, 1$= 23,500 Vietnamese Dong)


Visa and Travel Formalities:

  • So yes, an E-visa is required for Indian costing around 25$. You just need to upload a passport size photo and scanned copy of your passport. No other document is required. You get the confirmation easily and guaranteed in 3-4 days.

  • You can fill out the application form by visiting this link: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/en_US/web/guest/khai-thi-thuc-dien-tu/cap-thi-thuc-dien-tu

  • The tourist visa is maximum for 30 days and can plan your travel accordingly

  • Medical insurance is not necessary but I would request you to get one. It costs around 500Rs for 10-day trip

Flights and other internal travel:

  • VietJet Air is offering cheap and direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai to major cities of Vietnam. You can either book it through their official website or through MakeMyTrip.

  • Just be sure that the flights are non-refundable and only hand baggage is allowed in the basic fare. So would suggest you to take check-in baggage while booking itself as it is expensive at the airport counter.

  • For the internal travel, would suggest to take internal flights or the night sleeping bus. You can avoid the trains as they are expensive and take similar time as the night bus.

  • Scooters as available on rent easily at around 8$ per day and the most convenient option to travel local. P.s: There is no need for having an international license or anything. The country is very relaxed in terms of any rules particularly for tourists

Currency:

  • You need to take dollars from India and exchange it in Vietnamese dong there.

  • Please note that country is focused on Cash primarily. You will not find card machines at many places and UPI is not there much (Obviously, thanks to our PM Modi for such smooth transaction in India)

  • 1 Dollar= 23,500 Dong and you will confuse a lot of times while paying if you are not good in maths!!

So as a general rule, remember to divide the amount by 300 and you will get the amount is rupees. For Example: The cost of water bottle is 10.000 Vietnamese dong. So, divide by 300 and it comes to 33 Rs in Indian currency.


Stay:

  • Hostels and Hotels are relatively very cheaper as compared to India. You can easily get a dorm bed in 7$ and a private room is around 20$

  • I stayed in Hostels as was travelling solo and would recommend the same for you as well as it gives you a far better chance to understand the culture and interact with people from other parts of the world.

Food:

  • I am sorry to say but the place is heaven for non-vegetarians and those who are fond of different types of meat.

  • As a vegetarian myself, I found it little difficult to get food and was mostly relying on bland Vietnamese vegetarian options or eggs.

  • You will not find veg options in KFC, Burger King, Lotteria as well and would sometime need to rely on biscuits or Bunh-Mi (Their kind of Subway)

  • There are few Indian Restaurants but usually very expensive and not the similar taste as well. 1 Dal will cost around 8$

  • So, if you eat eggs, then it would be okay for you. P.s: Trust me, not a place for pure vegetarians!!

  • There are lot of options and varieties for coffee. So, if you are a coffee lover, this is actually the right place for you

Booking tours, Scooty, Bicycles etc:

  • Would suggest to not book any tours (Like Halong bay, Sapa etc) in advance from India. There are plenty of tour operators in every city which organize day trips, 2d-1n trips including all transportation, food, guide, pick up and drop from your hotel etc. at a very reasonable price

  • Also, for scoots, bicycles etc., there are many agents at every nook and corner of the street. Along with that your hotel/homestay/hostel will also provide you with all the options!


Now I should come to itinerary. I would be listing down 14-day itinerary. You can skip few things if you wish to, or add some days in particular city if you like.


Hanoi (Take a direct flight to Hanoi from Delhi/Mumbai/Chennai)

  • City walk (Recommended to walk on your own): Stay in Central backpacker hostel or any good hotel but in old quarters part as it is the most happening place in whole of Vietnam. Visit the local museums, the famous beer street and other places for 2 days and get accustomed to the Vietnam culture as well. You can take a lot of tours from here which I will be sharing the details.

Hanoi sightseeing

  • Halong Bay (Recommended to take the tour with Stay): You can take a 2D-1N cruise tour to Halong bay which cost around 100$ per person all inclusive. It is one the best places to visit, a UNESCO world heritage site and would recommend to not miss the place at any cost

Halong bay

  • Sapa Valley (Recommended to take the tour with Stay): You can take the 2D-1N bus and homestay tour inclusive of the guide for 10km trek in the famous rice fields of Vietnam. You will absolutely love it and can also try the famous Happy Water here which is the local Rice wine.

Beauty of Sapa Valley

  • Ninh binh (Recommended to take the day tour): You will visit the famous tamcoc boating which is through the caves and the Mua Caves as well which is at a great height with an amazing view.

Tamcoc boating at Ninh Binh


Hue (Recommended to take flight from Hanoi. Time duration: 1hr, Cost: 50 $)

  • You can stay in shark hostel or any other good hotel in the main city. Visit the citadel, Meusem and famous bridge either on bicycle (Can rent easily in 2$ for a day)

  • Would recommend to hire a Scooty from here to Da-nang as it travels to one of the most scenic roads of the world (called as Hai-van pass). Cost around 20$. They also give an option to transport your bags to the destination hotel so that you can travel freely. (A must recommended one)

  • Alternatively, you can also book a bus or train to Danang.

Citadel at Hue, Road to Hai-van pass, hue bridge


Da-nang (recommended to take a Scooty from Hue):

  • It is one of the most commercial yet beach place in Vietnam and you will find one of the cleanest beaches here. While there is not much sightseeing here

  • Bana Hills: plan a day visit to Bana hills fantasy park to visit the visit golden hand bridge and other exciting games. Cost around 50$

Golden hand bridge


Hoi an (recommended to take a private car or bus from Danang, time duration: 45 minutes)

  • Spend at least 3 days here as it is one of the attractive cities in Vietnam

  • Visit the Japanese bridge, the lantern festival, roam around the basket boats.

  • You can take the cooking classes, pottery classes and see the real culture of Vietnam.

  • You can rent a Scooty here to visit the myson sanctuary (a UNESCO heritage site similar to ankor wat in Cambodia)

Hoi-an Sightseeing


Ho chin minh city (recommended to take a flight from Da nang):

  • Visit the most advanced city in Vietnam

  • Take a day tour of Mekong delta and famous chu-chi tunnels to witness the true essence of Vietnamese wars

  • You can actually fire a real AK-47 as well here

Take a flight back to India from Ho chin min city with a lot of happy memories.


Do let me know if I missed anything. You can reach out to me at peakandtroughs@gmail.com or DM me at Instagram @peakandtroughs

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