While the Rand’s less-than-desirable international standing might be putting a damper on your travel dreams that’s no reason to put away your passport. Luckily for South Africans there are still loads of travel opportunities waiting to be discovered and best of all – they won’t cost the earth. One such magical place is Vietnam – with inexpensive food, accommodation and affordable visa requirements, the opportunities to step outside your comfort zone and discover a whole new culture are immeasurable. And, just to show you how affordable it is Busabout has put together some tips and tricks on travelling through Vietnam on a shoestring – trust us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Travel and accommodation:
The biggest expense when you’re travelling through Vietnam will definitely be your accommodation and transport. While it might be tempting to travel independently local bus and train schedules may not be reliable or safe and they certainly aren’t built for comfort. As for accommodation, don’t risk booking that ‘killer spot’ you found online as it could turn out to be a cesspit of fleas and questionable cleanliness. Avoid any unwanted mishaps that could ruin your holiday and try travelling with Busabout instead, they can take care of all that hassle for you!
Where to eat:
Apart from a place to sleep and the means to get where you want to go you also need to factor in your food costs, sightseeing, entertainment, drinks and more. In Vietnam you can enjoy some pretty affordable luxuries with travellers expecting to pay about R4 for a bottle of water, under R7 for a can of Coke, and R11 for a delicious local beer. To make your hard earned Rands stretch even further when in Vietnam visit the local markets for an affordable and delicious bite to eat – the food is fresh and very well priced at about R30 per meal. While you’re there you simply must try Pho – a traditional Vietnamese soup made with the most incredible stock and loaded with tasty noodles and fresh vegetables.
Entertainment and shopping:
If it’s a shopping spree you’re after then the markets are also the perfect place to do it. When shopping in the markets for souvenirs make sure you haggle. The store owner will throw out a price which is usually three times more than what he or she will accept. Offer them less than half and start the negotiations. Be prepared to walk away if the price is not right – they will follow you.
For an affordable and rewarding cultural experience when in Ho Chi Minh pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum – a stark reminder of the Vietnam War of the sixties and seventies which lays bare the good and the bad on both sides of the conflict.
Booking your trip:
Take a look at the breakdown below and you’ll soon see how easy (and cheap) it is to travel Vietnam with Busabout on a shoestring.
Total cost per day: R1197 per person.
R1037 per person with Busabout gets you hotel accommodation and one night’s special stay, breakfast daily, sightseeing, transport in air-conditioned mini bus, and selected meals. In addition, you can expect to pay R60 per day for daily meals, R40 per day for entertainment, and R60 per day for drinks such as water and booze, bringing the grand total to under R1200 per person per day or, about R14530 per person for 14 days in paradise!