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1 week in vietnam on shoestring budget

Vietnam is one of the crowning jewels of the famous banana pancake trail of Southeast Asia. While you can spend months exploring Vietnam, you can still see the best of Vietnam in just one week! All that on a shoestring budget. Wonder how? Let’s dive right into it my ultimate one-week Vietnam itinerary on a budget.

One week Vietnam Itinerary 

Day 1: Start your day by visiting sites of historical importance in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Start with the Cu Chi tunnels, an extremely important sight showcasing the warfare used during the American war. You can visit these tunnels to go back in time, but if you are claustrophobic avoid going inside the tunnels. Head back to the city to visit the War Remnant Museum, which exhibits the timeline, statistics and weaponry used during the French & American Wars. Continuing on the history lesson visit the Saigon central post office, built by the great architect, Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel tower. Set in gothic-style architecture, this post office is a piece of art! You can even send some postcards while here.  

Day 2: Get on an early start of the day by visiting the Mekong delta & the surrounding islands. Here you get a taste of the cultural side of Vietnam. You’ll come across the beautiful floating market of Cai Be, some small-scale cottage industries that make traditional Vietnamese sweets & savouries, a fruit market selling the most exotic of fruits and a host of other experiences. You’ll be filled with awe simply walking in the bylanes of the villages. Once you are back take a break and let yourself loose in Saigon’s nightlife. Saigon really come alive at night and you’ll see a whole new world, go bar hopping or enjoy the street food there’s something for everyone. 

Day 3: Time to visit the ancient town of Hoi An, you can take an overnight train from Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An. Or take a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang and another taxi ride to Hoi An – this is much quicker and will take just about 1.5 hours. Take the day to walk around the Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, and marvel at the gorgeous building of the yesteryears. It is amazing how the town is so well preserved after going through terrible wars. Shop for handicrafts, and souvenirs or get a suit made for yourself! 

Day 4:  Start your day by visiting the Silk Village of Hoi An, located in the Quang Nam Province it is just about a kilometre from the city centre. Here you’ll witness the artisans making beautiful objects using silk, you can even try your hands on it. In addition to that, the Silk Village is a great place to view the traditional Vietnamese homes & interact with locals. Continue the cultural expedition and visit the Hoi An museum & Tan Ky family house. If you wish to go off the beaten track take a day trip to My Son- a temple complex built over the 4th to 13th century, it is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Or if you wish to unwind head to An Bang Beach. 

Day 5: Today head up north to Hanoi, the quickest way is to get on a flight from Da Nang to Hanoi. It is only a 20-minute flight and will cost between $30 to $70 depending on when you book. Downtown is where everything is happening, so try and stay around here to avoid taking a cab for everything. Explore the old quarters and grab a coffee near Hoan Kiem Lake. Later visit the Ngoc Son Temple & watch a water puppet show. Call it an early night because you have an early start of the day tomorrow. 

Day 6: Today you start your day at 8:00 AM to visit the famous UNESCO heritage site of Halong Bay. Most tours are 11 hours long, where you start by driving through the countryside and then sail in a junk boat throughout the trip. Get the adrenaline rushing by visiting the limestone caves around the bay or kayaking in the bay. Once back in Hanoi unwind with Hanoi’s nightlife. 

Day 7: Today is the last day in Vietnam, before flying out shop for your heart’s content in Hanoi’s french quarters. Also, visit the Vietnamese Women’s Museum & take a cooking class before saying bye to Vietnam. 

The average cost of travelling in Vietnam

Cost of internal transport in Vietnam

When travelling across Vietnam taking the road is the cheapest mode of transport but also the most time-consuming. A slightly more expensive yet quick way is to take flights wherever possible, cost of flying is highly dynamic & can range between $45 to $70 so keep an eye out and book as early as possible. To move around in a city you can either use local metered taxes, GRAB or a bike taxi – expect to pay between $4 to $7 depending on the distance travelled. If you are living in the downtown area it’s best to walk around & explore the streets to find new gems. 

Cost of food & drinks in Vietnam

When in Vietnam you’ll be spoilt for choices, the food culture has something for all budgets. A coffee at the street side cafe will cost you only $ 1 while the same at an upscale cafe like a Starbucks or Trung Nguyên would start at $ 3 and upwards. Like its neighbours, Vietnam has a rich street-food culture and one you must give a try! You can garb fried rice or noodles for $3 & a bowl of Pho for $2 at a roadside stall. A sit-down dinner at a restaurant establishment will cost anywhere upwards of $5. You’ll have to buy water here and a big bottle costs $1.4 at the supermarket. When it comes to alcohol, the Vietnamese love their beer (called Bia) the local beer costs a little less than $1 while imported ones start at $3 and above. 

Cost of budget accommodation in Vietnam

Being a backpacker’s paradise Vietnam has no dearth of comfortable & affordable accommodation. For your budget holiday in Vietnam stick to staying at hostels, you can book dorms or even a private room, which would still be cheaper than a budget hotel. A bed in a dorm starts from $5 and can go up to $10 depending on the facilities and the location of the hostel. A room at a budget hotel starts at $15 a night the same at a midrange hotel starts from $30 a night 

Cost of other activities in Vietnam

Most of the sites are free to visit in Vietnam like- Saigon Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral & the Pagodas. To visit Museums you’ll end up paying a ticket free of about $2 to $4. A guided tour to the Mekon delta will cost $14 from a  local operator. A day trip to Halong Bay could cost around $30 or more depending on the facilities and operator. 

The total cost of 6 Nights & 7 Days long trip was $245 this includes accommodation, food, entry fee, local transport, internal flights & excursion fees. That averages out to be $35 a day! Start planning your Vietnam trip now! If the Maldives has been on your list, here’s my guide to visiting the Maldives on a budget. 

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Comments:

  • Pooja Nuwal

    April 5, 2022

    This is amazing. Super informative and doable! You should become a full time travel blogger 😊

    reply...

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