What to Expect While Backpacking through Vietnam
Vietnam is known as one of the all-time best destinations for backpacking travelers. Not only that, but it is also the perfect place to experience luxury for next to nothing. Budget-weary backpackers and luxury-seeking travelers can both enjoy all that Vietnam has to offer. No matter your travel preferences, here’s what to expect while traveling through Vietnam.
Budget-Friendly Accommodations and Transportation
Part of the beauty of traveling in any part of Southeast Asia is its low prices compared to other parts of the world. Vietnam specifically has been deemed one of the ultimate destinations for getting the best bang for your buck. For instance, when browsing around for how to get from Halong Bay to Ninh Binh, you’ll find tons of safe and comfortable options, all for less than $10.
This cheapness doesn’t just apply to transportation, but to everything. You’ll have no problem finding an affordable place to stay, especially if you’re comfortable sleeping in a hostel dorm room. Even private rooms won’t set you back too much. Vietnamese food is no exception to the country’s overall budget-friendliness.
The Asian continent in general is well-known for its amazing cuisine. Pad Thai in Thailand, Paneer Masala in India, Nasi Goreng in Indonesia…each country has its own unique twist on Asia, and some say that Vietnam has the best offerings in terms of authentic Asian cuisine.
Maybe you’re already familiar with the popular Vietnamese dish called Pho, but there are tons of options for delicious foods here in Vietnam. Some common ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine are fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fruits and veggies. The locals also love to use fresh herbs and spices, like lemongrass, ginger, and mint.
In addition to mouthwatering cuisine, Vietnam is known for other unique aspects of its rich culture. The culture here has been heavily influenced by the Chinese people, so travelers having been to China can often see the similarities. However, there are plenty of differences between Vietnamese and Chinese culture, so even if you’ve experienced China you’ll have a unique experience in Vietnam.
World Atlas says that within Vietnamese culture the concept of “family and clan are valued over individualism. Clan is the most important social unit in the country and each clan features a patriarch heading the clan and a clan altar.” These basically means that family rules all, and nothing means more to the Vietnamese people than family.
With such close familial ties, it’s not surprising that the people of Vietnam know how to show care, compassion, and friendliness – even to strangers and tourists. Thailand is often referred to as the land of many smiles, and its Vietnamese neighbor is similar.
So many travelers have stories about the amazing kindness shown to them by the locals. Don’t be surprised if a local gives you a shirt off of his own back or a family invites you into their home for dinner.
We’ve saved the best aspect of traveling through Vietnam for last: the stunning landscapes and waterscapes all throughout the country. The country is filled to the brim with too many natural wonders to even count, many have even made the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. You’ve probably already heard of the famous Halong Bay, but Vietnam offers so much more than just this spectacular sight.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
This National Park is located in north-central Vietnam near the Laos border. The area is known for its perfect mix of mountains, rivers, and forests, providing the ultimate adventure for travelers. The network of underground rivers is a must-see; they cut through underground caves comprised of ancient limestone karsts.
Another natural wonder of northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh is a small town located on the Red River Delta. The views are like nothing you’ll ever see anywhere else in the world. It’s extremely easy to get to since it is just a short trip from the busy city of Hanoi. The fact that is travel-friendly is just an added perk to its picturesque backdrop. According to Culture Trip, here’s what you can expect from Ninh Binh:
“Ninh Binh is also known as the Ha Long Bay on land for an obvious reason – it looks like Ha Long Bay but on land instead of water. There are hundreds of limestone monoliths topped by dense greenery that emerge from the ground, scattered around the city with rivers flowing through them and caves formed in them.”