Itinerary & Expenses for Vietnam Trip

During my second trip to Vietnam, I stayed for approximately 3 weeks. I traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue, then back. It was a fun trip and I managed to stay within my budget.


Expenses 

*VND 21,000 = 1 USD as of July 2014 during my trip

Nha Trang

250000 - 2 nights HQ Cafe Hostel
330000 - Food &drinks
12000 - Round way bus to Ponagar Cham Towers
20000 - Transportation
22000 - Ponagar entrance fee
70000 - Laundry                                
704000 - Total

Ho Chi Minh City

800000 - 5 nights Phan Anh Backpackers
670000 - Food &drinks
145000 - Cao Dai and Cu Chi Tunnels tour
90000 - Cu Chi Tunnels entrance fee
440000 - Open bus ticket  from Saigon to Nha Trang to Hoi An
30000 - Reunification Palace fee
15000 - War Remnants Museum fee
130000 - Transportation
170000 - Souvenir
145000 - Ben Tre & My Tho tour
10000 - Bus to airport (Station 152 near Ben Thanh Market)
2645000 - Total

Hoi An

1008000 - 6 nights Hoa Binh hotel
872000 - food &drinks
55000 - Motorbike rent & gas
45000 - Marble Mountain round way elevator and fee
105000 - My Son tour
100000 - My Son fee
124000 - Postcards and stamps
25000 - Toiletries
63000 - Laundry
250000 - Bus to Nha Trang    
2647000 - Total

Hue

287300 - 2 nights Tigon Hotel
126000 - Bus to Hue from Hoi An
140000 - Hue city tour
20000 - Moto taxi
320000- Food & drinks
80000 - Fee for Khai Dinh
80000 - Fee for Minh Mang
105000 - Fee for Imperial City
20000 - Fee garden home
80000 - Bus to Hoi An from Hue    
1258300 - Total

Da Lat

330000 - 3 nights Smiley Backpackers
195000 - Bus to Da Lat from Nha Trang
451000 - Food & drinks
20000 - Flower Park fee
40000 - Crazy House fee
350000 - Pongour Falls trip
10000 - Pongour fee
240000 - Bus to Saigon                
1636000 - Total

I spent a total of VND 8890300 in three weeks during my trip from South to Central Vietnam. I approximately spent around US$20 or P890 per day excluding flights. You could spend less by going on tours fewer times (or not at all), renting a motorbike on your own, and cutting back on souvenirs. Some people have spent less, but there were a few comforts that I didn't want to let go of.

I managed to spend less on a daily basis because I stayed in hostel dorms and ate in roadside restaurants or food stalls. I was also traveling by myself. Thankfully, I didn't have any trouble with the food, no upset stomachs or anything.

Itinerary

I started my trip in Ho Chi Minh City by crossing the border from Phnom Penh. The trip was uneventful but lasted longer than I expected. I would recommend Mekong Express as the company of choice whenever you cross the border from Cambodia into Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City (6 days)

I stayed WAY too long in the city, but for good reasons. Saigon was my transit point when I came in and out of the country. There were days when I was too tired to do anything so I just stayed in the hostel most of the time. I think 4 days and 3 nights would be enough to see the city. Visit the War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels, and a Mekong Delta Trip would probably be the highlights of a short trip to Saigon.

Nha Trang (3 days)

I wasn't that keen on seeing beaches in Vietnam as they were not as good as in Thailand or back home. I stayed longer than I should here because I wanted to get some rest before a long trip to Hoi An. But if you're into beaches and a good party, there's plenty of bars and restaurants in Nha Trang.

Hoi An & Da Nang (7 days)

My favorite place in Vietnam, Hoi An. Stayed the longest here during my trip around Vietnam. Waited for the lantern festival while I was here, it was a good decision to stay. Walking around the old town was the highlight of my trip. Covering the highlights takes only around 4 days and 3 nights. A day walking around the old town in the morning and at night, a trip to Marble Mountain and My Son, and a day bumming around the beach is enough for short holiday seekers.

Hue (3 days)

Hue is filled with history as you walk around the city and its surrounding areas. There's the Imperial City and the royal tombs for history lovers. 3 days and 2 nights here is enough to see the historical highlights, if you only have a few days to spare.

Da Lat (4 days)

Da Lat was one of the places where I just didn't want to do anything in some days. There's plenty of action here like canyoning and other adrenaline pumping tours, but I decided to relish and relax during my last few days in Vietnam. I visited the nearby attractions such as the Crazy House and Flower Park, and one beautiful waterfalls in Pongour.

I liked Vietnam the country, there is so much culture and history, but I honestly didn't like the Vietnamese. They were too aggressive about making a sale, it seemed like people were just out to make money out of you. It seemed like the Vietnamese would only be nice to you if you paid for an expensive travel package or bought something from there store. There were also little things that irked me that just added to my annoyance (borderline loathing) towards them.

I had several bad experiences with the Vietnamese during my trip and some of the travelers I met felt the same way, but I did meet some kindhearted Vietnamese. I've had the most number of bad experiences with the Vietnamese compared to other locals in Southeast Asia.

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