I received lots of questions about the last solo travel I did – overwhelming in a good way! I spent 9 days traveling from South to North of Vietnam by entering at Ho Chi Minh, flying to Central Vietnam, and departing at Hanoi. Here are the most frequently asked questions when I got back:
I was originally planning for an Indochina trip – Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. However, I had a problem booking a flight from Bangkok to Manila that’s why I decided to explore Vietnam alone; this trip has become one of the most memorable ones. Another reason of course would be Vietnamese food!
Do they speak English?
They do but…it’s quite hard to understand. They have a strong accent so you really have to listen carefully!
Where’s the best destination you’ve been to?
Hoi An!!! Hoi An is a small city at central Vietnam and is well known for its lantern festival. It is a well-preserved Southeast Asian trading port and also a UNESCO world heritage site.
The boat ride is a must. Here’s my lucky paper lantern – I’ve read that tossing a paper lantern into the canal will give you good luck. The vendor said I can also make a wish, so I did! I really enjoyed my short stay in Hoi An, it was magical – thank you Stefan for suggesting this detour!
How did you get around?
To be honest, I have not tried their public transportation at all – I just used Grab. Booking Grab is super cheap in Vietnam, especially Grab bike! My Grab bike booking only ranges from 12,000 – 25,000 VND (25-50 Php) per ride. Grab is available all throughout Vietnam.
Favorite food/restaurant recommendations?
Mi Quang in Da Nang is a new favorite! It’s a very tasty dish made of rice noodles and your preferred toppings, this one’s a seafood mi quang. It’s very cheap too. I had this Mi Quang at Ẩm Thực Xứ Quảng very near the hotel I was staying in.
A restaurant I can highly recommend would be Secret Garden at Ho Chi Minh. This restaurant was also a recommendation by my Tito Alvin who currently stays at HCM. I can say that I’ve had the best meal at Secret Garden in my entire stay at Vietnam. I even managed to finish a meal that’s good for 2-3 pax, lol.
How much was your budget for the entire trip?
The only flight I booked on sale was MNL to HCM, and that’s just one out of the four flights I had in this trip! So, the amount spent on airfare is a big chunk of my total spending. All in all, I spent around 40,000 Php.
Isn’t it scary?
Vietnamese people are one of the kindest and warmest people ever. Not once did I feel unsafe during my whole stay at Vietnam.
But if you’re talking about travelling solo in general, of course it is a bit scary especially if you’re a tiny young lady like me. My tip is to always, always be alert; be wary of your surroundings. I did not encounter any big troubles in this trip except for that time when I’m running out of cash and one of my cards was apparently blocked, lol.
I just keep in mind that:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
I hope this FAQ on my Vietnam trip helps. Next on the list will probably be my itineraries for South, Central, and North Vietnam – stay tuned!