Authored by Victoria Giang
Vietnamese tourism is becoming more popular every year. Western travelers flock to this small, oceanfront country in Southeastern Asia due to its rich culture and affordable pricing.
Even though tourism is on the rise in Vietnam and the surrounding countries, many travelers still don’t know what to expect when they arrive. Here are five of the most surprising facts about traveling through Vietnam.
5 Things That May Surprise You About Traveling in Vietnam
Traveling in Vietnam is very inexpensive. It’s so inexpensive that you can travel pretty comfortably with a budget of about fifty dollars per day – and that includes the cost of lodging.
A standard hotel room will cost about $15 per day, a meal from a street vendor will cost about $1, museums and attractions in Vietnam’s bigger cities rarely charge more than $1 for admission, beaches are free to the public, even massages, day trips, and Vietnam tours won’t break the bank.
Of course, there are definitely ways to spend extra money. Luxury hotel rooms, fancy dinner restaurants, personal tour guides, and motorbike rentals are also available in almost all of the major tourist destinations.
If you think rush hour in the United States is bad, just wait until you see the traffic in Vietnam’s major cities.
Most locals prefer to own motorbikes instead of cars due to their cost. Additionally, streets in Vietnam are notoriously complicated and traffic laws are rarely enforced.
Minimum driving ages, one way streets, red lights, turn signals, and single lanes are usually ignored – as is the existence of sidewalks. Millions of motorbikes are on the road at any given time and rush hour literally never ends.
Street food is an essential part of any trip to Vietnam. Major cities have thousands of street vendors selling every Vietnamese dish imaginable.
Pho is probably the most well-known fare, but spring rolls, meat sandwiches, broth based soups, and hundreds of other dishes are available for you to taste.
The food is delicious – especially since it only costs a dollar or two – but it is the street food atmosphere that really makes these vendors such a huge part of Vietnamese culture; they are as much a place to gather and socialize as they are a place to get a quick meal.
Vietnam has more to offer than cheap meals. It also has delicious coffee. The French introduced coffee to Vietnam, but since then it has taken on a life of its own.
Vietnamese coffee beans are coarsely ground and placed in a press. Hot water is poured over the top and it trickles slowly through the beans, producing a very strong, flavorful brew. Typically, sweetened condensed milk is added to the mixture to make a drink commonly referred to “brown coffee” or “milk coffee”.
Other coffee concoctions involve the addition of fruit, yogurt, egg yolks, or cashews. Each one is unique, so don’t be afraid to try a little bit of everything.
The beaches of Vietnam are beautiful, but then the Son Doong cave is an even more impressive natural feature. Son Doong contains the largest cave passage in the world – nearly double the size of the next largest passage.
The cave is about five and a half miles long, but is punctuated by two separate placed where the cave roof has collapsed. These holes allow natural light and green growth to penetrate the cave, creating a stunning, eerie landscape.
Size is not the only notable feature of Son Doong cave. Cave pearls the size of baseballs and the world’s tallest stalagmites also make their home in Son Doong. Tourist access to the cave is limited, but it can be explored with proper planning and prior reservations.
✈ Need to Know
Most citizens of foreign countries require a Vietnam Visa regardless of the purpose or duration of your trip. Find the cheapest flights to Vietnam by downloading the free Skyscanner app.
If you’d like to search for Vietnam hotels at the lowest prices, click the link below and enter your dates. Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible:
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