Vietnam has opened their borders to travelers again and I would highly recommend visiting if you get a chance. Their budget airline VietJet flies all across Asia for very reasonable airfares; they have some great specials so you should definitely check them out. There are numerous budget airlines serving Vietnam and it's easy get to anywhere in Asia so make a big adventure out of your trip.
You will most likely need to get a visa to Vietnam (visas on arrival are available for some countries, mainly in Asia). The cost for a 3 month tourist visa is $25USD and should take around 3 business days to process. This can easily be applied for directly through the Department of Immigration for Vietnam. MAKE SURE YOU APPLY AT THE RIGHT PLACE!!! I've noticed more and more 3rd party sites trying to look like the legitimate government sites for obtaining electronic visas. I was really surprised how Vietnam had some .GOV.VN sites (supposed to be official government websites) that offered visa services but charged more than double what Vietnam's Department of Immigration E Visa site charged?!? I noticed the fees were more than they should cost, but what I really noticed is the 10 days processing time (everything I read said should have been 3 days processing time). My flight was only a week away, so I had to keep digging to find the legitimate site, which took waaaaaay longer than it should have.... 3 days later I had my visa and 3 days after that I was boarding my plane to Vietnam.
Da Nang Vietnam is a great budget travel destination, with cheap accommodation, food and transportation. Most of the currency exchange shops (even at the airport) offered good exchange rates. The Vietnam Dong seems to have gone down in value quite a bit since last time I visited. The shopping can be great with street markets, night markets, stores and other places offering all kinds of deals. You can bargain for lower prices at the markets and remember to check your change before leaving the stall... short-changing customers is one of the more common travel scams, which the vendor attempted during my first purchase there.
It's easy to get around using public transportation or the Grab App. I was surprised how easy it is to navigate getting around using the app and you don't have to be worried about being overcharged as the rates are the same for everyone.
Budget plane tickets, buses, trains, cars and motorbikes are all options for traveling around Vietnam. Bus passes can take you across the country on the cheap and there are no shortage of tours on offer at most hotels and backpackers.
Be wary of drinks that may have tap water in them or greens that may have been washed with tap water (commonly provided when ordering the ubiquitous Pho soup). I had the unfortunate experience of putting some of the leafy greens in my Pho soup that got me very sick! I can count on one hand how many times I've had food poisoning after traveling to well over 100 countries... but the leafy greens got me on this trip. It was another learning experience for me and maybe showed I was kind of rusty on the whole international travel thing after a Covid-provided hiatus.
I would suggest going to Vietnam during their dry season. This trip happened to be in the monsoon season and it was amazing the difference in weather. Last trip I hired a motorbike and explored all over the city, beaches and even into the mountains. This trip was a lot more subdued and mainly stayed around the riverfront area of Da Nang, which still offered plenty of things to see and do.
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