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Vietnam Travel Tips -Things to Know Before Visiting Vietnam as a Solo Traveller

March 30, 2024

Traveling solo can be an exhilarating and enriching experience, offering the freedom to explore new destinations at your own pace and immerse yourself in the local culture. Vietnam, with its captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant traditions, is an exceptional destination for solo travelers seeking adventure and self-discovery. This Vietnam travel tips aims to equip you with essential information and practical tips to ensure a seamless and unforgettable solo journey through Vietnam.

Why You Should Take a Solo Trip to Vietnam

Vietnam is a mesmerizing country that offers a unique and diverse travel experience. From the bustling cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the serene landscapes of Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, Vietnam promises a wealth of opportunities for solo travelers to explore and grow.

Personal Growth and Self-Discovery

Embarking on a solo trip to Vietnam can be a profound journey of self-discovery. As you navigate through unfamiliar territories, you’ll have the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and gain a deeper understanding of your own strengths and capabilities. Vietnam’s rich cultural tapestry will expose you to new perspectives and ways of life, allowing you to broaden your horizons and embrace personal growth.

Flexibility and Freedom

As a solo traveler, you’ll have the freedom to design your own itinerary, allowing you to explore Vietnam at your own pace and tailor your experiences to your interests and preferences. Whether you wish to immerse yourself in the vibrant cities, trek through the stunning landscapes, or simply embrace the laid-back Vietnamese lifestyle, you’ll have the flexibility to create your own adventure.

16 Things to Know Before Traveling to Vietnam

1. What is Vietnam’s Visa Requirement?

The visa requirements for Vietnam vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Many countries have visa exemptions or e-Visa options for your visits up to a certain number of days. From 15th August 2023, citizens of all countries and territories around the world can apply for electronic visas (e-visas) entering Vietnam. Vietnam E-visas are issued with a validity period of up to 90 days, one-entry for 25 USD or multiple entries for 50 USD.

To apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, you need the following requirements:

  • A valid passport with at least six months’ validity from the date of entry
  • A scanned copy of your passport information page
  • A recent passport-sized photo (4x6cm, white background, without glasses)
  • A valid email address to receive the e-visa approval letter
  • A valid credit or debit card for paying the e-visa fee

You can apply for the e-visa on the official website of the Vietnam Immigration Department. It usually takes around 4-6 working days to process your application.

2. Is Vietnam a Safe Country?

Vietnam is generally considered a safe destination for solo travelers. However, as with any foreign country, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas, so it’s advisable to keep your valuables secure and be vigilant.

3. Is Vietnam a Budget-Friendly Country?

Absolutely! Vietnam is renowned for being a budget-friendly destination, making it an excellent choice for solo travelers seeking an affordable adventure. Accommodations, transportation, and food can be remarkably inexpensive, especially when compared to Western countries. With careful planning and a bit of bargaining, you can stretch your travel budget and make the most of your solo journey.

4. What Currency and payments in Vietnam?

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). It’s recommended to carry a mix of cash and travel cards to have multiple payment options. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, making it convenient to withdraw cash as needed.

The most common payment methods in Vietnam include cash, bank transfers, credit cards, and mobile wallets. Cash is still widely used for day-to-day transactions, especially in local markets and small shops. Bank transfers are commonly used for larger transactions and online payments. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers in major cities. Additionally, QR code payments are gaining popularity in Vietnam, allowing customers to pay using their smartphones at participating merchants.

Identify types of cash in Vietnam

Currently, Vietnam’s currency comprises two forms of notes: Polymer notes, available in denominations of 500,000 VND, 200,000 VND, 100,000 VND, 50,000 VND, 20,000 VND, and 10,000 VND, and Paper notes, which are issued in denominations of 5,000 VND, 2,000 VND, 1,000 VND, 500 VND, and 200 VND. However, the lower value paper notes, specifically the 200 VND, 500 VND, and 1,000 VND denominations, are rarely utilized due to their minimal value, making them unsuitable even for tipping service providers. Notably, coins have been out of circulation in Vietnam since 2011.

Vietnam currency denomination

Vietnam currency denomination

5. What is the Standard Voltage in Vietnam?

The standard voltage in Vietnam is 220V, and the frequency is 50Hz. If you’re traveling with electrical devices from countries with different voltages, you’ll need a voltage converter or a universal travel adapter to ensure safe and proper charging.

6. How to Buy a Vietnam Tourist SIM Card?

Having a local SIM card can be incredibly useful for staying connected and using navigation apps while exploring Vietnam. There are several mobile network providers in Vietnam, and you can easily purchase a tourist SIM card at airports, stores, or authorized resellers. Be prepared to show your passport for identification purposes.

To buy a Vietnam tourist SIM card, you can follow these steps:

  1. Look for mobile network providers such as Viettel, Vinaphone, or Mobifone.
  2. Visit their official stores or authorized resellers.
  3. Choose a suitable tourist SIM card package based on your needs (data, calls, texts).
  4. Present your passport for registration as it is required by law.
  5. Pay for the SIM card and top-up with credit if needed.
  6. Insert the SIM card into your phone and follow the provider’s activation instructions.
  7. You can now use your Vietnam tourist SIM card for calls, texts, and data during your trip. Remember to top up when necessary.

7. Is There Free WiFi in Vietnam?

Free WiFi is widely available in Vietnam, particularly in major cities, hotels, cafes, and tourist areas. However, the quality and speed can vary, so it’s advisable to have a local SIM card as a backup for reliable internet access.

8. What is Vietnam’s Official Language?

The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese. While English is becoming more prevalent in major cities and tourist destinations, it’s still not widely spoken or understood, especially in rural areas.

9. What if I Can’t Read and Speak Vietnamese?

Don’t worry if you can’t read or speak Vietnamese! Many Vietnamese, especially those in the tourism industry, have a basic understanding of English. Additionally, you can download Google Translate app on your smartphone to translate your English into Vietnamese to help communicate basic phrases and requests.

10. Should I Learn a Few Basic Vietnamese Phrases?

Learning a few basic Vietnamese phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture and making your interactions with locals more meaningful. So, you can go by with some Vietnamese basic phrases like:

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Daily Conversation

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Daily Conversation


Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Travelling

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Travelling

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Shopping

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Shopping

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Dining & Ordering Food

Guide use Basic Vietnamese for Dining & Ordering Food

11. How to Travel Around Vietnam?

Vietnam offers various modes of transportation to explore the country, each with its own advantages and experiences.

Vietnam Domestic Flights

For long-distance travel or to save time, domestic flights are a convenient option. Vietnam has several airports serving major cities and tourist destinations. Airlines like Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Bamboo Airways offer affordable flights, making it easy to cover larger distances quickly.

Vietnam Railways

Taking the train is a popular and scenic way to travel in Vietnam. The Reunification Express runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, with stops in various cities along the way. It’s a comfortable and affordable option, allowing you to witness the beautiful landscapes and interact with locals.

Long-Distance Buses

Long-distance buses in Vietnam are a budget-friendly way to travel between cities. While the journeys can be long, they offer a unique opportunity to experience the countryside and observe local life. Be prepared for potential delays and basic amenities on these bus rides.

Motorbike Rental in Vietnam

For the adventurous solo traveler, renting a motorbike can be an exhilarating way to explore Vietnam’s rural areas and coastal routes. However, it’s essential to have a valid driver’s license, experience riding motorbikes, and exercise caution on the roads.

Grab or Xanh SM Taxi in Vietnam

In cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, ride-hailing apps like Grab or Xanh SM (a local taxi app) are convenient and affordable options for getting around. These services are generally safe and reliable, making it easy to navigate the bustling cities as a solo traveler.

12. Use Google Maps to Navigate

Google Maps can be a lifesaver for solo travelers in Vietnam. Not only does it provide turn-by-turn navigation, but it also displays points of interest, restaurants, and accommodation options. Downloading offline maps can be helpful when you don’t have a reliable internet connection.

13. What is the Accommodation Like in Vietnam? Hotels, Guest Houses & Hostels

Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels and resorts to budget-friendly guest houses and hostels, you’ll find something to fit your needs.

Hotels in Vietnam can be quite affordable, especially in smaller cities and towns. Many offer modern amenities and comfortable rooms, making them a great choice for solo travelers seeking privacy and convenience.

Guest houses and homestays are popular options for those seeking a more authentic experience and an opportunity to connect with locals. These accommodations often provide a warm and welcoming environment, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and way of life.

Hostels are a go-to choice for budget-conscious solo travelers seeking a social atmosphere and opportunities to meet fellow backpackers. Many hostels in Vietnam offer dorm-style accommodation, as well as private rooms for those seeking a bit more privacy.

14. What is Vietnamese Food Culture?

Vietnamese cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors, influenced by French and Chinese culinary traditions. As a solo traveler, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a wide variety of delicious and affordable dishes.

Street food is a quintessential part of the Vietnamese food experience. From the famous banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches) to pho (noodle soup) and bánh xèo (savory crepes), the street food scene in Vietnam is vibrant and offers a chance to immerse yourself in the local culinary culture.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try exploring the local markets and sampling exotic fruits, vegetables, and spices. It’s a great way to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new flavors.

15. Do You Have to Tip in Vietnam?

Tipping is not an ingrained cultural practice in Vietnam, but it is becoming more common, especially in tourist areas and higher-end establishments. While not mandatory, a small tip (around 5-10% of the bill) for good service is appreciated, particularly in restaurants and for tour guides.

16. Be Prepared for the Weather

When traveling in Vietnam, it’s important to be prepared for the weather as it can vary greatly depending on the region and time of year. The country has a tropical climate with a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. Make sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to bring a rain jacket or umbrella during the rainy season. Stay hydrated and be mindful of the heat and humidity, especially if you’re not used to it.


Solo travel in Vietnam promises a rich and rewarding experience. From navigating the bustling cities to discovering hidden gems in rural areas, this diverse country offers a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, cultural immersion, and unforgettable adventures. By being prepared and embracing the local customs and traditions, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Vietnam. Embrace the journey, stay curious, and let this captivating destination leave an indelible mark on your soul.