Vietnam

Quick Glance At Vietnam

Travel Cost : ☆☆

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Population

92 million with 54 ethnic groups and over 7 spoken languages. 73.4% Vietnamese folk religion and 12.2% Buddhism. 

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Language

Vietnamese is the national language and understood by most Vietnamese. English is rarely used among Vietnamese therefore not well understood by them. Young Vietnamese has higher chance of understanding English.

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Currency

Vietnamese Dong. 1 US$ is approximately 22,000 Vietnamese Dong. Local vendors usually take US$1 for 20,000 Vietnamese Dong items. US$ is not widely accepted in Vietnam.

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Electricity

Type A & C socket. Standard voltage in Vietnam is 110 / 220V, standard frequency is 50Hz.

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Transport

Public buses are the cheapest option in Vietnam and they are user-friendly to travelers. Bus fare is written beside the bus door. Taxis costs around $4-7, price varies widely depending where you go. Generally, taxis in Vietnam are standardized and use meters. Long distance bus costs around $10 depending the distance and duration. (10-hours sleeper bus costs around $15)

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Accommodation

Accommodation in Vietnam is the cheapest in Southeast Asia. A good dorm bed costs around $4-6 per night. Double room ranges around $8-12. Rooms are relatively more expensive in big cities.

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Festivals

January or February - Lunar New Year
Mid-February - Lim Festival
Mid-February or March - Perfume Festival
Late March to Early April - Phu Giay Festival
Early April - Hung King Temple Festival
Early May - Buddha's Birthday
April/May/June - Hue Festival (Every 2 years)
Early September - Wandering Souls Day
Mid-September - Mid-Autumn Festival
14th of every month - Hoi An Lantern Festival

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Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese cousines are generally healthy and organic without use of artificial seasonings.
Pho - Vietnamese noodle soup made of flavorful broth, rice noodle, herbs and meat (usually chicken or beef).
Banh Mi - Vietnamese word for bread. This French-influenced baguette was one of the most popular choices for breakfast. Banh Mi is made of baguette wrapping up meats, herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes and sometimes avocado upon request.
Bun Cha - Comes with vermicelli noodles, handful of herbs, pickled vegetables and sauce. One of the most widely available staple in Hanoi.
Spring Rolls - Comes in two form: steamed and fried. It's a little difficult to find delicious steamed spring roll but fried spring rolls usually taste great.
Banh Xeo - Basically fried pancakes. Made of rice flour and coconut milk, it is fried with shrimps or meats and heaps of bean sprouts. Signature food in Hue.
Coffee - Vietnamese coffee has a great reputation around the world, due to its distinctive flavor and thick texture. Both with and without condensed milk taste decent. Egg coffee should not be skipped in Vietnam.

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Things to Do

Hanoi - Try street foods and egg coffee, visit historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, take a walk by Lake Hoan Kiem and blend into the weekend vibe in Old Quarter.
Sapa - Go hiking at nearby trails, enjoy the magnificent golden rice field terraces and make friends with fellow travelers.
Cat Ba Island - Take a satisfying one-day cruise tour to Ha Long bay, rent a motorbike and roam around the island, visit the Cannon Fort and dine in my favorite cafe in Vietnam, Like Coffee Cafe.
Tam Coc - Take a must-do boat tour in Trang An, visit the impressive Bai Dinh Temple and walk to outskirt to enjoy the views of limestone cliffs.
Da Nang - Surf by the pristine beach, enjoy fresh seafood feast, relax yourself by the sand coast and take photo of the Dragon Bridge.
Hoi An - Spend a few nights in Hoi An to absorb it all, go shopping at the crowded night market, enjoy the lanterns all over the streets and just relax yourself.

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