How to spend 1 month in Vietnam – Solo budget travel guide

Vietnam (3)

Wow, this is a bit sensible isn’t it… I know you’re used to me writing about sex, periods and female dramas but after receiving a TON of questions from friends and you lovely wanderers I’ve attempted to put together a travel guide of sorts.

My recent vlog showed me jumping from boats, kayaking through caves and strolling through ancient towns, where else can you do all this but Vietnam!

The long thin Country has many destinations to hit and here is how I spent one month trekking through it;

Hanoi

Just a warning, Hanoi will hit you like a train. This City is the definition of Asia; counterfeit goods, MENTAL traffic, delicious streetfood and crazy parties. There’s a lot of history to learn about Vietnam and what it’s been through, the prison here is well worth a visit as well as the big lake and temple of literature. The cafe culture in Hanoi is awesome, serving waffles, vegan food and anything you want! A couple of days here should be enough, unless you enjoy the cheap rice wine shots too much.

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is speedily growing in popularity, 80% of the island is taken over by it’s National Park. I did a full day trek through it, up and down 4 large peaks, stopping for lunch at a local village and playing with the pups of course. You can also visit the impressive fishing villages that span across LanHa Bay, the (maybe more) beautiful neighbor to …

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HaLong Bay

Nobody visits Vietnam without stopping off at the eighth wander of the world! With good reason, although the reality is unfortunately crowded and polluted by boats you can see the bay in many ways. Whether you pick a day trip from the island (like I did) or opt for the famous 3 day Castaways booze cruise you will love the dramatic limestone explosions from the amazing green waters.

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Sapa

Ahh Sapa, sweet innocent tribal villages and rolling rice terraces. Or so you think! Whilst this area of the North is extremely beautiful I could only stand it for 2 days. Whilst trekking here prepare to be followed by the families of the local villages that try to sell you their ‘handmade’ jewellery, bags and clothes.

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Ninh Binh

Ninh Ninh is a great stopping point between the North and Centre of Vietnam. Although I found this odd little town quite empty I rented a bicycle and saw the sights nonetheless. Trang An is the main attraction here, often referred to as a smaller HaLong Bay. Jump on a bamboo raft and be taken through countless small caves hopping off at temples and view points.

Phong Nha

Phong Nha is named after the famous cave in it’s national park. A fascinating boat trip through it will open your eyes to a different world! Phong Nha is also home to the largest cave in the world but prepare to pay big bucks to visit that one.

Hue

Hue is famous for it’s Imperial City, a beautiful site that is well cared for you’d think it was still inhabited. But there is more to Hue than this, just a half hour drive away is an abandoned theme park that few venture to. Crocodiles used to roam in it’s waters but now you will just come across the local cows.

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Hoi An

This beautiful place is by far my favourite spot in the whole of Vietnam. It’s home to lush green rice fields, stunning sandy shores and the best ancient town I’ve ever visited. Explore the winding streets and pick up the bargain tailored clothing or try out local cuisine. You can find everything here! Don’t miss a trip to the My Son temples whilst you’re in the area, older than Ankor Wat and well worth a visit.

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Dalat

The bus ride to Dalat was the most incredible I’ve ever experienced. It also sent me flying out of my seat on several occasions – don’t eat before this one! The journey through the winding mountains was unreal and once you arrive in Dalat you will be shocked by it’s booming center filled with high rise hotels and shops galore. The draw for me was the amazing canyoneering experience, if you like abseiling down waterfalls and hurling yourself into rivers, this place is for you.

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Ho Chi Minh

Just like the start of your journey, you’re about to be thrown into another bustling heart of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) is the capital of the Country and whatever you do here, please don’t drive a scooter on it’s crazy roads! Visit one of the many sky bars for an epic view or crawl through the famous Chu Chi tunnels to get a taste of it’s history.

Phu Quoc

A short flight from HCM will land you in paradise. An island sitting more towards Cambodia than Vietnam called Phu Quoc is a hidden gem that’s about to be named the next crown jewels. Recover from your hectic month on it’s many beaches, drink your way through a thousand fresh coconuts and snorkel in it’s crystal waters. Get yourself there before the resorts (currently being built) are bustling with tourists.

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There are so many more stops I skipped due to lack of time but I feel like I got a real taste for Vietnam during my time there. Eating ALL the Pho possible and getting a million sleeper buses from stop to stop. Have you got plans to venture here?

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