Vietnam is a country filled with different types of tourist destinations spread in various parts of the country. When you plan to go to Vietnam on a solo tour, plan on the things you would wish to see should be limitless. Therefore, it is important to have enough funds apart from what you have budgeted for the solo travel in Vietnam. Attraction sites range from historical sites, museums to the beautiful natural scenery of the coastlines and islands. Despite a few reports of fraud and insecurity cases, most of the Vietnamese are social and hospitable to the visitors. Your Vietnam solo travel will not be lonely once you come across the restaurants along the streets with local dishes that are delicious and nutritious. Prepare yourself to taste meals that you had never tasted before.
Knowing how to deal with the stares is important since as one venture in less-traveled cities or around street food stalls. It’s best to say hello or at least smile back when someone stares so much. During solo travel to Vietnam, I happen to pass by a group of middle-aged men. The whistles and giggles made me feel quite uncomfortable, but I choose to take a photo which was a memorable moment. In most cases, the people are just curious about the foreigners who may be something they do not encounter on the everyday basis. It’s embarrassing when a solo traveler chooses to throw vulgar language or loss temper towards the staring crowd thus creating a hostility environment for the tour. It’s recommendable to walk away or embrace the stares as the solo traveler in Vietnam.
Getting familiarized with the local language especially some key phrases commonly used in the streets by pushy merchants or sellers. Solo traveling can get difficult if one is approached on a busy highway by some vendors and can’t seem to understand simple local lines. Attempting to learn Vietnamese may help one avoid paying tourist fee. Local people feel comfortable among foreigners that at least try to communicate their language rather than using gestures. Many are the situations I found myself having to get an interpreter when purchasing from street stalls since the sellers could hardly understand my language or gestures. In either way, I felt overcharged on some things that would cost be less cash if I could communicate in the same language.
Knowing what you are doing as a solo traveler helps to avoid confusion and stress. At times things go wrong when one gets lost in some parts of the town or maybe misses a train. Prioritizing on early hotel booking and research on the places to visit is important. Thus, solo travelers avoid trudging at arrival looking for somewhere that is within their budget limits. On landing in a new town one should take a walk to get familiarized with environment thus building confidence exploring different places.
Solo travelers should consider dressing conservatively in this case of cultural differences in parts of the tour. The hot environment might trigger one to dress in a manner that is indecent to the Vietnam culture. It's advisable to put on light, sturdy shoes especially when visiting places like Ha Long Bay. It’s wise to wear good tread patterned shoes to walk on rocks that can be slippery. It's morally upright to wear clothing to do not expose lots of flesh when visiting temples and pagodas.
Understanding the currency “the Dong “can be a bit challenging but makes it easier when converting the current currency. Most solo travelers face difficulty during payments in hotels and other transactional areas either end up making overpayments or underpayments. In such instances cost the solo traveler the day’s budget twice which is a serious problem. In some cases, a person is charged at a higher price because of looks or just because one doesn’t understand the currency which is very annoying. It is best to learn bargaining power by speaking Vietnamese to a seller who tries to sell a product at a higher price.
Mode of Transit may either come early or late thus it's important to add extra hours to traveling time to ensure that one is not late in case of nay traffic, inclement weather or unplanned train or bus stops. Taxis in Vietnam have become scam free and safer especially from reliable companies like Mai Linh and Vinasun taxis.
It's best to pack smart, that is using smaller bag packs that are easy to carry around in the streets. Being a solo traveler can be challenging if one has large luggage that can be ripped off by a stranger at a train station. It’s easier to use two small bags instead of a large one if the traveler wants to carry bulky items such as winter gear. When using taxis, some driver may give advice one places a huge bag in the boot thus becoming a hostage. Getting to the destination the traveler is demanded to pay a higher price than agreed or his belongings are taken. This situation could be avoided if the bag is at hand thus one can choose to take and go.
Sharing the memorable moments that you cherish is marveling as compared to group tour solo travel which can be quite a dull experience. Bearing in mind every detail can be fascinating, for example absorbing the diverse cultures of Vietnam. Taking photos in new and unique places and sharing them with friends becomes part of the experience. Rather than trying to capture the moments in the social medias a solo traveler should just live the moment.
Meal planning should be on the to-do list and should be made creative in all ways. Taking solo meals in a restraint can be boring, it’s better to consider buzzy café. Its okay to find yourself gazing on the phone chatting which should not be the case. Looking around the room or just reflecting on the day’s experience can be the best techniques to make one approachable by other diners. It’s best to pick a table that gives a better view to stare at as compared to a dark corner which is lonely. If one is having a solo moment dining at the luxurious restaurant can be the best choice where there is more staff for social interaction.
When you plan a solo visit to Vietnam, there are those places you would not like to miss out. Each of these destinations has its unique attraction especially to those who have never visited before. Those who had been to Vietnam might not have toured all the places because some were opened up in the recent past.
Ho Chi Minh City
For a solo traveler to Vietnam, the journey is exciting just as you set your feet this great South Asian country. Alone in this country, you should first visit Ho Chi Minh City. There are good hotels for accommodation where you can spend a few nights at affordable prices. The attractions found in this city and its environs ranging from the well-preserved colonial structures and war relics to sleek skyscrapers and world-class sports clubs. Moving around in this town when you are alone can be easy since using motorcycle taxis, and cycles are more convenient especially when there is heavy traffic.
Cai Be - Sa Dec
Mekong Delta is also one of the exciting destinations in Vietnam. It is a suburban area where people live and work and carry out their business transactions on water and villages like Vinh Long, and Cai Be is full of family-owned factories and historic colonial houses. There is trishaw ready to give you a ride through the town as you listen to the stories of the elderly who have witnessed a lot of transformations in Vietnam.
Chau Doc - Chau Phong Island – the famous Mekong River
The Oar-powered sampans are the traditional flat-bottomed boats of Vietnam commonly found narrow canals and inlets of the delta ferrying passengers to bustling waterfront markets. Islands of Gieng are known for their world-class architecture, like the Catholic cathedral.
There are various attractions found in Hoi An, for example, ancient Buddhist temples and pagodas, museums and colonial shophouses. All these destinations are spread all over the riverside and the Ancient town. This city was once a prominent trading port between 15th and 19th century. On the riverside of Hoi An, it was declared a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site.
Your solo tour to Vietnam won’t be a waste of time you pass by Hoi An because of its easily accessible sites both on foot and cycles. Beyond the ancient town of Hoi An, there are various villages and beautiful beaches that are not far away from the town. Hoi An Traditional Performance Theatre is located in the ancient city has a lot to show about the culture of Vietnamese. In the outskirts of the Hoi An, there are places such as the Tra Que Herb Village that was named after the vegetables that are used as spices in the daily meals of Vietnamese.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It is estimated to be 1000 year old; it was initially the French Indochina capital during the colonial era. Arriving is via the airport, however, on your solo tour, you can move around the town using taxis. Use of buses and shuttles is also common.
The famous place where new arrivals spend their first nights is known as the Hanoi Old Quarter. This place is known for its bustling nightlife, various foods. However, other luxurious areas such as West Lake are expensive but worth the prices.
There is no official drinking age in Hanoi; residents spend most of their time on the streets till midnight. Bia hoi, the cheap local beer is available in most of the local joints, especially around the Old quarter. Such places are popular with both locals and visitors. The venues mostly accommodate all classes of people. Other common ones include Funky Monkey, Minh’s Jazz Club, and Hanoi Rock City.
Unique landmarks to visit include, Ho Chi Minh Museum for an interesting treatment of a modest leader’s beliefs and lifestyle. The next destination should be Hanoi Hilton, a museum for American prisoners of war. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, off Hoan Kiem Lake, is a form of ancient entertainment that still has a massive number of modern day audiences. A solo trip to Vietnam cannot be complete without this experience.
About the interesting walks in Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a perfect place for strolling and interacting with the locals from different parts of Vietnam living in this region. West Lake is a popular destination with a shoreline that stretches up to 17 kilometers, a good area to explore on foot.
During your interaction with the locals, there are a few things that you need to consider, for instance, avoid sensitive and controversial topics such as politics, unless they bring it up in their conversations, either, be cautious. Since Vietnam is still under communist rule, there are some aspects of their lifestyle which might contradict your beliefs, like brewing. Avoid confronting the locals with questions on how they live.
Vietnam is named as the country with the most dangerous traffic in the world, Hanoi being the capital, is not an exception. There are also critical areas within the city. Scamming cases are rampant, and in some cases, it might turn violent. Always be cautious while walking alone at night especially going through empty streets.
Your solo travel to Vietnam will be more exciting if you plan to pass by this vibrant city. Its mountainous landscape and verdant rice terraces extend to villages where people are friendly and welcoming to visitors. The famous attractions include Cat Cat village, Lung Khau Nhin market, and Cao Son market.