When planning a solo adventure, choosing which country to travel can be daunting. Do you pick somewhere that speaks English? That has a similar culture? Or where you like the food? If you’re struggling to decide, fear not – we have the perfect destination in mind. Here are our six reasons to travel solo in Vietnam.
It’s very safe
Generally, the issues you can expect to encounter will be minor, such as pushy vendors or petty crimes like pickpocketing. But by simply keeping your valuables out of sight and an eye on your surroundings, you should be able to avoid any trouble. And you can always chat with other solo travellers, who are sure to have plenty of tips and advice for you.
‘One of the best things about travelling solo in Vietnam is that it is such a safe country for travel. I’ve been all over the country alone: I’ve walked around Ho Chi Minh City at night, hiked trails in the jungle, ridden a motorbike over Hai Van Pass, and taken night busses across the country.’
‘Not once have I ever felt threatened, scared, or run into any dangerous situation. On the rare occasions I’ve needed help — like that time my bus left without me but with all my luggage onboard — there is always a friendly Vietnamese person nearby to give assistance. Of course, as with anywhere in the world, taking a few safety precautions, like not dangling your handbag off your arm, or getting drunk and wandering alone late at night, will go a long way!’
Street food is a way of life
Street food is at the heart of Vietnam’s culture, with vendors selling local cuisine on almost every corner in cities such as Ho Chi Minh. So if the thought of eating alone in a restaurant is what puts you off solo travel, Vietnam could just be your ideal destination.
Top street eats to try include pho, a type of rice noodle soup, and Vietnamese spring rolls known as goi cuon. Either grab a dish to eat on the go or pull up a stool by the roadside and dine like a local.
You can follow the tourist trail
Whilst there are still plenty of places to get off-the-beaten-track, Vietnam is known for its well-established tourist trail. Running from Hanoi in the north, the route takes in Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An, before ending with the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City in the south.
Following the trail takes the hassle out of planning your trip, as you already have the perfect itinerary that ticks off most of Vietnam’s main sites. And with trains and buses running between each destination, you’ll find it pretty easy to get around by yourself.
‘Hanoi is one of the best places for solo travellers! The city is vibrant, people are friendly and northern Vietnamese cuisine is delectable! While you are in Hanoi, check out the preserved colonial buildings in the Old Quarter, the historical landmarks in the French Quarter and everything in between. And Hanoi is a great hub for travelling to other places in northern Vietnam. The easiest way is to book your excursions to Sapa and Halong Bay while you are in Hanoi.’
You’ll meet other travellers
Another benefit of following the tourist trail is that there’ll be plenty of other travellers following it too. Many of these could be travelling solo and share your same love for travel. So you’re guaranteed to make at least a few friends along the way!
Vietnam is also home to plenty of hostels, many of which will have communal spaces and organise daily activities – making it very easy to meet people. Simply show up, join in, and you’ll leave with some incredible memories.
‘I have travelled to Vietnam twice as a solo female traveller. When I first visited, I was a relatively inexperienced solo traveller and chose the country as a result of it being on the popular Southeast Asia backpacking trail. I genuinely believe that Vietnam is one of the best destination choices for travelling alone.’
‘Since Vietnam is a popular travel destination, it is so easy to meet fellow travellers to make friends with and travel together. You are only alone if and when you want to be. With so many friendly faces around in the same boat as you, you will never feel unsafe. Vietnam is also well set up in terms of its tourism infrastructure – the public transport network is extensive and reliable. Services to major and off-the-beaten track destinations run frequently each day making it incredibly easy to get around.’
There’s plenty of activities
If there’s one thing you can guarantee as a solo traveller in Vietnam, it’s that you won’t be bored. Stretching for 1,650 kilometres from north to south, this country is packed with diverse landscapes, each of which offers a fantastic array of activities.
Whereas the lush mountains and terraced rice fields of Sapa make for excellent trekking, scenic Halong Bay offers cruises, kayaking and caving. Head to Nha Trang or Phu Quoc to relax by the beach or stick to the cities to see a traditional water puppet show or take a Vietnamese cooking class.
Another reason why Vietnam is a popular solo traveller destination, or just a popular destination in general, is its affordability. One of our top budget destinations for 2019, Vietnam is a place that you can be sure won’t break the bank.
You can find accommodation for as little as $9 to $16 a night and street food such as pho for less than $2. Bus travel tends to be the cheapest mode of transport, with the 10-hour drive between Ho Chi Ming City and Nha Trang setting you back just $7. And if you’re staying in a hostel, many will offer free WiFi and a free breakfast, with some even offering free beer during certain times of the day.