This time last year I travelled to my hometown in Southern Vietnam along with my grandma and her niece for three weeks. This is where I got the chance to visit four cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Tuy Hoa, Nha Trang & Buon Ma Thuot) where our extended family live. I had the opportunity to attend three weddings on my trip and spend plenty of time with my family. It was such an amazing experience to encounter the culture and diversity of Vietnam. To have come from growing up in a country where we have everything given to us, then to visit a country where that is not the case can really open your eyes to appreciate everything that you already have. Below I would like to share with you photos of my highlights from my trip and also provide you with information as to what you should know if you intend on travelling to Vietnam.
To fly from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City the duration is 8 hours and 15 minutes.
The most common languages that people speak in Vietnam are Vietnamese and English.
The currency in Vietnam is the VND Vietnam Dong.
What to know
- Apply for your Vietnam VISA online before you travel, there are four different visas to choose from. For the Single-Entry with 1-month Validity (you will be charged a service fee which is a approval letter of 25 AUD and a stamping fee on arrival of 35 AUD).
- Wear a mask when walking outdoors in the cities to avoid breathing in polluted air.
- Leave your valuables behind in the hotel safe box at all times.
- As there is no pedestrian crossings you are to cross the road at your own risk, make sure you look left and right before you cross to avoid getting hit by motor vehicles.
- Carry wipes/tissues with you as it is common throughout Vietnam toilets that they don’t often have toilet paper due to their sewage systems.
- Dress appropriate when visiting religious sites.
- When using taxis always make sure that the taxi meter is running.
- Make sure you negotiate the price of items when shopping (unless you want to pay twice the price for everything). As a general rule, you should not pay much more than half of their original offer. Tourists are an easy target.
- Do not drink tap water, drink bottled water only and avoid drinks with ice as there as the water is not safe to drink.
- To take extra safety precautions consider purchasing Ethical Nutrients Travel Bug Capsules to help with the upset stomachs from the travel bug.
- When shopping don’t touch anything without deciding to buy it, because the seller will think you want the item and force you to buy it even if you don’t like it. (In Ho Chi Minh City a lady grabbed my arm aggressively after I walked off without wanting to buy an item when she had refused my offer of price).
- At restaurants and cafes wet napkins wrapped in plastic are not free you will not be informed of this, only after when paying for your bill and seeing that the wet napkins have been charged to your bill.
- Keep an eye on your bag or wear a money belt for safety precautions as bag snatching is a big problem in Vietnam.
- Make sure that you have a hotel/hostel business card from the reception desk, this will make returning back to your accomodation easier.
Best season to travel
- Dry season occurs from November to April and the rainy season from May to October.
Best places to visit
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Nha Trang
- Mekong Delta
- Phu Quoc Island
- Vung Tau
- Hoi An
Sights & attractions
- Cu Chi Tunnels
- Museum of Vietnamese History
- Dam Sen Park
- Suoi Tien Amusement Park
- Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
- Ho Chi Minh City Hall
- Tao Dan Park
- Saigon Skydeck
- Rin Rin Park
- Cai Rang Floating Market & more
- You shouldn’t need more then $50 AUD a day, although it depends on the activities that you’re doing. Everything is quiet cheap over in Vietnam.
- Alcohol, food, drinks, shopping, cigarettes, massages, beauty services, tattoos and taxis are usually quiet cheap so it’s easy if your on a budget.
All photos posted on my blog are taken and belong to me.