Holidays in exotic places halfway around the world don’t have to cost the earth. Just because you have less to spend doesn’t mean you can’t be adventurous. Even if you’re on a budget, there are some great deals to be had in some amazing places. Vietnam holidays are perfect for the traveller looking to explore somewhere that’s vibrant, unforgettable, and affordable.
A world away from expensive European cities like London and Paris, the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, is a unique mix of French and Asian influences, where a grand colonial setting plays host to the modern bustle of market stalls and cafes. It’s a city steeped in tradition, but with a sense of fun and a decidedly modern outlook. Wizened old men play their hand at chess while motorbikes and street sellers buzz around them.
There are hotels in Hanoi to accommodate all budgets, and it’s easy to find reliable places to stay for a fraction of what you would pay in other cities. For the cheapest deals, try the Old Quarter, where rooms can be found for as little as £15 a night. The district is full of historic character, and is perfect for strolling around with its mix of artisans and merchants trading in silk and jewellery. It’s also the ideal place to try some of Hanoi’s local delicacies.
And if the lights and sounds of the city begin to get too much, then Hoan Kiem Lake is always on hand, acting like an oasis of calm in the middle of Hanoi for locals and tourists alike. Even if you don’t spot one of the many turtles said to be swimming in the lake’s water, then you can still sit back and enjoy the view of the majestic Turtle Tower in the lake’s centre.
700 miles south of Hanoi stands Ho Chi Minh City – better known to the rest of the world as ‘Saigon’. The largest city in Vietnam, it is truly a metropolis, and a city that offers just about everything. Pristine skyscrapers and fashionable restaurants rise up alongside the city’s temples, old-world wooden stalls and spice markets. It also provides a great base for those looking to escape to the more tranquil surroundings of the Mekong Delta to its east.
Backpackers and the budget-savvy flock to the Pham Ngu Lao area of the city. It might not offer the same historic charm as other parts of the city, but with rooms from as little as £20 a night, it’s easy to see why the area is popular with tourists. It’s also right in the heart of the city, and a great place to explore modern ‘Saigon’ from.
With great deals on hotels, Vietnam is the perfect destination for those looking to extend their holiday that little bit longer, where you can enjoy those extra few days without worrying about breaking the bank. It just also happens to be one of the most exciting places on earth.